Small Bathroom, Big Potential: How to Make the Most of Your Limited Space 0 17

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A spacious bathtub to soak in, a big window that floods the space with light, a stunning vanity and basin combo. So many desires, yet so little space. If you have a small bathroom, you may think that you can never get that coveted clean aesthetic and spa-like feel. After all, a confined space doesn’t scream relaxation.

If you’re designing a new bathroom that you consider too small, don’t give up on your dreams yet. With some careful planning and smart shopping from a well-stocked bathroom store, you can fit everything in the tiny space without it feeling claustrophobic. Here are some great ideas on how to make a small bathroom appear larger and unleash its full potential.

Layout Is Everything

Even though they aren’t exactly visible, water lines and drain lines can affect your bathroom design and rob you from the already limited space you have. Their location is what dictates where the fixtures and drains can be placed. In other words, where your bathtub, basin and toilet can go. So, before you go on a shopping spree at a bathroom store, plan your bathroom layout carefully.

Bathrooms can have a one -, two- or three-wet-wall layout. In a one-wall layout, the basin, toilet and bath or shower are all located along a single wall. This makes it the easiest and most cost-effective layout to achieve, but it also the most limiting, especially for small bathrooms.

Modern bathroom with shower

A more suitable layout for limited space would be a two-wall one. You can connect the sink and toilet on one wall, and have the tub and shower on the other. This allows you to use the space more efficiently. The three-wall layout is the most flexible one as you can arrange your bathroom elements however you like. The only downside is that it can be complicated and expensive to achieve.

Stick to the Walls

Any visible cisterns, pipework or pedestals can make the bathroom smaller than it is. Everything that seems to stick out, not only restricts the space but it also draws the eye to it, contributing to an even more cramped feeling. The closer to the walls certain elements are, the better. For that reason, opt for more compact designs of toilets and basins with slim profiles.

Instead of a pedestal sink that takes up valuable room, consider an inset sink, or even better – a wall-mounted one. As it doesn’t require to be installed on a vanity or other surface, a wall-mounted sink helps free up floor space. And the more free floor space, the bigger the room will look.

small-bathroom-wall-mount-sink

Additionally, instead of a close-coupled toilet which is already long out of style, why not opt for a more modern design such as a floor pan toilet? The cistern of a floor pan toilet is neatly hidden in a specially designed unit within the wall and the flush is in the form of a smooth button on the wall. The result is a sleek and minimalist look that makes the toilet resemble nothing like a traditional toilet. This way, you won’t be reminded of the less glamorous stuff that goes on in the bathroom as you have a luxurious soak.

It’s also worth to mention that the sleek designs of both wall-mounted basins and floor pan toilets can contribute to creating a bathroom that’s easy to clean. There’s no visible grout, pipework, pulleys or levers to regularly wipe and scrub.

The Solution Is Just Around the Corner

Having a small bathroom shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying a relaxing soak. If the limited space has you feeling like you’re backed into a corner, that corner may be just the perfect spot for a bathtub. Although you may not be able to fit a hot tub or freestanding bathtub, I’m sure you can easily find a free corner to sneak a corner tub in. Corner bathtubs are the most space-efficient option for smaller bathrooms. You can purchase a rectangular corner tub or one with a rounded end for a more comfortable soaking experience. With the wide range of corner bathtub designs and materials any premium bathroom store carries, I’m certain you can easily find a complementing look for your space.

Colour It Right

If your bathroom has a patterned paint job or colourful wallpaper or decor, the space can seem somewhat overwhelming. Avoiding a splash of colours in favour of cleaner, monochromatic designs can make your bathroom appear more spacious. Regarding what colours to use in a small bathroom, it’s a good idea to pick something light for the walls. White is obviously a winner, but if you want to spice things up a little, you can opt for other hues such as sky blue or pastel yellow. Neutral shades such as beige and light grey can work just as well. You can use these clean, light walls as a blank canvas to build your décor upon. You can use accessories, plants and even art to add colour and interest to the space in a way that isn’t overwhelming.

Drop the Curtain

Sure, shower curtains are practical and prevent the floor from getting wet. But they are also a visual obstruction that can make an already small bathroom seem even tinier. When it comes to enclosing the bathtub, a glass screen is a much better alternative. A glass shower screen is an almost invisible element in the bathroom, and as such can help keep the space open and airy. Plus, glass holds up the steam inside which can enhance the spa-like feel of your bathroom.

bathroom-glass-screen

As opposed to shower curtains which can easily turn yellow and moldy, a shower screen is a permanent investment that’s easy to keep clean. It also allows you to showcase any decorative tiles surrounding the bathtub area. And if plastic shower curtains are old-fashioned, glass is more modern and glamorous looking. So, if you want your bathroom to look modern, a glass panel is definitely what you should enclose your bathing area with.

Contain Yourself

And finally, even if your bathtub, toilet and basin might say minimalist, your ever-growing collection of shampoo bottles, body scrubs, face cleansers and creams suggest otherwise. I’m not saying to put a hold on your skincare addiction (although that might not be such a bad idea), but you can at least try to organize these things neatly. Make sure that all those self-care products aren’t lying on the sink or edge of the tub and contribute to visual clutter. Hide them away in a wall-mounted cabinet or use cute wicker baskets under the basin or on a shelf. Wall hooks are also a helpful addition as you can use them to hang your shower sponges, brushes and towels. All in all, it’s important to know how to organize a small bathroom as clutter can easily pile up.

 

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What New Parents Should Look for in a Credit Card 0 6

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Author: Michelle Couch, Financial and parenting writer

Michelle Couch is a freelance writer who covers family finance, personal finance, parenting and more. Couch lives in Maryland, MA and loves to leverage credit card points to travel with her husband and two children. 

Having a baby brings overwhelming joy but also comes with a lot of new expenses. From buying packs of diapers in bulk, to walking the grocery aisles for baby food, your expanding shopping list may mean it’s time to consider opening a credit card that fit your new family needs.

Data shows, in the first year alone, the cost of raising a baby can run up to $21,000, and the cost of raising a child to adulthood can increase after that. In order to maximize your financial flexibility and your credit card rewards, the credit cards you carry should evolve as your family and spending habits change. Read on for the qualities you should look for as well as some of the best credit cards for each stage of raising a family based on your goals and spending habits.

Parenting stage: Newborn baby

When you have a newborn baby, you will spend an outrageous amount of money on new baby gear – from diapers to medical bills and childcare. Having a credit card that gives you rewards and cash back for all those expenses can be beneficial and help ease the burden of all those extra costs. Choose an easy-to-use card that will reward you for the spending you’re going to do and skip cards that give you extra points for entertainment and dining out, since you’ll likely cut back in those categories. The Brim Financial credit card, for example, has built a unique rewards marketplace that provides points for the things you will need for your little one like groceries and retail items.

Parenting stage: School-age kids

As time goes on, you’ll spend less on diapers and baby food, but that does not mean spending costs will decrease. A USDA analysis found that family expenses actually increase as a child ages. Spending costs will go more towards extracurricular activities and your grocery budget will increase. New moms and dads will appreciate the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express because this credit card offers the highest cash-back rate at U.S. supermarkets at 6%.

Parenting stage: Teenagers

Once your child is 16, many experts recommend making your teenager an authorized user on one of your credit cards to help build your child’s credit history. Keep in mind that just because you add your teen as a user doesn’t mean you have to give them the card. If your goal is to maximize rewards, The Chase Freedom and Discover It Cash Back all offers 5 percent cash back each category in different categories, ranging from dining to gas.

Parenting stage: Kids off to college

It’s never too early to start saving for your child’s college education. 529 college savings plans are your best bet when planning for future college costs. A 529 plan is a savings account where the money is used to pay for the beneficiary’s college expenses and K-12 tuition, tax-free. If your goal is to enjoy more time to yourself since your child is away at college, apply for a premium travel card with a big sign-up bonus to help pay for those planned vacations. The Chase Preferred and Reserve cards offer 3 percent back in both dining and travel.

The Takeaway

As your children grow from diapers to college caps and gowns, different credit cards can help you reach and manage your goals dependent on your household spending. Credit card users should switch cards frequently as their spending habits change and the issuers change their offerings.

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

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Tips for Choosing the Right Bank For You 0 1

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Most people reach a point in their life when they need to choose a bank where they can keep their money. To some, choosing a bank is no big deal. However, for others, it is an important decision that they have to make, especially since it concerns their finances. Banks have different qualities and offerings that set them apart from each other, and you must consider these when choosing the right bank for your needs.

Things to Consider when Choosing a Bank

Fund Security

The first thing that you have to consider is the security of your money. You cannot merely hand over your money to an institution without knowing whether it would be safe or not. Check whether the bank has insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Do not open an account with a bank that does not have this.

Fund Availability

The immediate availability of funds is also a crucial factor to consider, especially if you need funds in the event of an emergency.

Usage Fees

As much as possible, do not open an account with a banking institution that has a charge for doing basic account transactions. Check if they have charges for in-branch services, monthly fees, or check deposit fees.

Accessibility of Banks

If you need to do banking transactions regularly, it might be best to open an account with a bank which has a branch that is easily accessible from your location.

Deposit Options

If, on the other hand, you need to deposit cash or checks, it might be best to check their deposit options. Do they have partnerships with virtual payment terminals so you can easily integrate them into your online business? This option would allow you to streamline your financial transactions. What other online banking features do they have? Will it be easier for you to settle your bills online? Will they charge you for online transfers?

ATM Use Charges

If you are the type of person who regularly uses an ATM for purchases and payments, make sure your bank of choice would not charge you for every transaction you make. Don’t forget to check inter-bank fees as well.

Interest Rates

When comparing interest rates among banks, check for two things: the interest rates that your money will earn from your deposits and the rates that you have to pay should you apply for a loan. Note that your credit score can factor in when applying for a loan. The higher your credit score, the better the rates you can get. In general, you should look for a bank that has higher interest rates on deposits and lower rates on loans.

Minimum Monthly Maintaining Balance

Some banks require their depositors to maintain a monthly balance in their accounts. If the deposit amount is less than that, the bank can charge a service fee on your account. Only open an account with a bank if you can commit to maintaining that balance requirement. If not, you might end up paying fees.

Customer Service Support

Customer service is something that you should factor in when choosing a bank. When you encounter problems with your funds, your bank should be able to help you resolve it without much hassle.

Saving money in banks is an excellent way to ensure that you can manage your finances the best way possible. If you can get a passbook or a monthly statement from your bank, the better. The summaries of your transactions can help guide you in assessing your finances as it can show you how often you are depositing and withdrawing from your funds. It is also an excellent way to see where you are in your financial journey.

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