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Luxury Living
Surrounded by nature

 

 

By Tammy Clayton

 

There is no more serene setting than one in the great outdoors. It should be no surprise that the hot home trend of outdoor living spaces has gained popularity instead of fading out. Man’s connection to nature is an undeniable entity. From blue-collar society to the luxury lifestyle this is as alluring as blue jeans to any price point homeowner. The positioning and amenity of an outdoor living area is here to stay.

   Outdoor living areas are far more than an expansive covered porch or deck. Here one can find as many styles of accommodations as are there are dwellings. They can vary greatly, from being quite simple and utilitarian to featuring all the comforts and modern convenience to be enjoyed beneath the sun and stars.

   The addition of a well-designed, full-featured outdoor living area can make any luxury home far more attractive outdoor living area can make any luxury home far more attractive  to the discerning buyer. As with any embraced lifestyle feature, innovations and improvements have completely changed the original motivation. People need that connection with nature, for without it the psyche is out of balance.

    The idea of a deck or gazebo has morphed into an entirely new outlook on home entertainment and family time.

  While a small stone patio complete with outdoor fireplace is a good beginning, it is not an outdoor living area. Today’s outdoor rooms feature refined amenities like complete kitchens, incorporated pools or spas to fountains and waterfalls. Outdoor sleeping areas can also be part of the whole. What was once a place to be seated, dine and grill has emerged from the chrysalis an entirely new creature.

   At the luxury price point level studies show that a pool is in very high demand. Living next to the water is also highly sought after. By blending water features into a complete outdoor living room, the home has now become a refuge indoors and out. In the hills and valleys of The Carolinas, the sloping terrain makes the perfect setting for the most natural looking waterfalls
and streams.

   The backyard water feature can be much more than a Koi pond. It is becoming very popular to have the waterfall holding reservoir a full-blown swimming pool. Instead of the pool area being surrounded by vast expanses of paved areas the look of being nestled into nature is welcomed. With the pool side paving flowing right into the outdoor dining and entertainment spaces,  a setting of serenity and great beauty such as this draws one in and soothes the senses.

   The gazebo is a great intimate space that can house screened in seating or an outdoor sleeping area. The attraction of a gazebo is still

 

There is no more serene setting than one in the great outdoors. It should be no surprise that the hot home trend of outdoor living spaces has gained popularity instead of fading out. Man’s connection to nature is an undeniable entity. From blue-collar society to the luxury lifestyle this is as alluring as blue jeans to any price point homeowner. The positioning and amenity of an outdoor living area is here to stay.

   Outdoor living areas are far more than an expansive covered porch or deck. Here one can find as many styles of accommodations as are there are dwellings. They can vary greatly, from being quite simple and utilitarian to featuring all the comforts and modern convenience to be enjoyed beneath the sun and stars.

   The addition of a well-designed, full-featured outdoor living area can make any luxury home far more attractive outdoor living area can make any luxury home far more attractive  to the discerning buyer. As with any embraced lifestyle feature, innovations and improvements have completely changed the original motivation. People need that connection with nature, for without it the psyche is out of balance.

    The idea of a deck or gazebo has morphed into an entirely new outlook on home entertainment and family time.

  While a small stone patio complete with outdoor fireplace is a good beginning, it is not an outdoor living area. Today’s outdoor rooms feature refined amenities like complete kitchens, incorporated pools or spas to fountains and waterfalls. Outdoor sleeping areas can also be part of the whole. What was once a place to be seated, dine and grill has emerged from the chrysalis an entirely new creature.

   At the luxury price point level studies show that a pool is in very high demand. Living next to the water is also highly sought after. By blending water features into a complete outdoor living room, the home has now become a refuge indoors and out. In the hills and valleys of The Carolinas, the sloping terrain makes the perfect setting for the most natural looking waterfalls
and streams.

   The backyard water feature can be much more than a Koi pond. It is becoming very popular to have the waterfall holding reservoir a full-blown swimming pool. Instead of the pool area being surrounded by vast expanses of paved areas the look of being nestled into nature is welcomed. With the pool side paving flowing right into the outdoor dining and entertainment spaces,  a setting of serenity and great beauty such as this draws one in and soothes the senses.

   The gazebo is a great intimate space that can house screened in seating or an outdoor sleeping area. The attraction of a gazebo is still very high but the more open shade of the pergola makes space in the shade more versatile. The pergola’s roof creates instant shade without leaf debris and also allows furniture to be moved as the sun

Luxury Outdoor Living and Design

Luxury Upgrades for Bathroom


 

 

 

(BPT) - Today's homeowners are increasingly expecting their bathrooms to mirror some of the spa-like features previously seen only in hotels, resorts and luxury vacation rentals.

 

 

 

Home TV shows and websites showcase these once aspirational luxuries, while technical advances have made them more attainable.

 

 

 

The baby boomer population is among the most active of renovating groups. Those wanting to remain in their current homes longer have an eye toward safety and accessibility, but also luxury and style when upgrading their bathrooms.

 

 

 

Here are some of the latest features transforming modern bathrooms.

 

 

 

1) Towel warmers

 

 

 

On a cold morning, nothing is more pleasant than reaching for a warm towel as you step out of the tub or shower. To help make your bathroom feel more like a luxury spa, a heated towel warmer keeps towels at just the right temperature for optimal comfort. If you don't have enough space for a towel warming drawer or cabinet in your bathroom, space-saving towel warmer racks are also available. Some are free-standing, while others are wall-mounted.

 

 

 

2) Heated floors

 

 

 

Another option for warming up on a cold morning is to install a heated bathroom floor. Radiant floor heating can supplement your home's overall heating system, making you feel warmer when standing on a tiled floor in January. Because these systems warm objects and people in a room, radiant floor heating systems are more energy efficient than conventional forced-air. In fact, more people are comfortable with radiant floor heating at a lower thermostat setting than with forced-air heating at a higher thermostat setting.

 

 

 

3) High-tech mirrors

 

 

 

From mirrors with automatic, built-in LED lighting options or fog resistance to magic-like mirrors incorporating built-in clocks, TV panels or digital assistant-connected features, the bathroom mirror has gone way beyond a simple place to shave or check your look. Bathroom mirrors with automatic sensors light up as your face approaches the mirror. Some high-tech mirrors include touch-screen controls, some are controlled by remotes and others are responsive to voice commands. If it's connected to an advanced security system, you can use a smart bathroom mirror to check who's at the front door while brushing your teeth. With a smart mirror that connects to the internet, you can watch tutorials on your favorite makeup app while getting ready for that big date. You can also check the news and weather or tell your digital assistant to turn on your coffee maker while you're fixing your hair. The latest mirror features make all your simple grooming tasks easier.

 

 

 

4) Standalone bathtubs

 

 

 

Homeowners with the space and resources are increasingly choosing to separate the bathtub from the shower, opting for a much larger and more stylish soaking tub. While whirlpool-type spa tubs are not as popular as they have been in recent years, larger tubs for luxury bathrooms - disconnected from the shower - are considered much more desirable.

 

 

 

5) Curbless showers

 

 

 

As showers are increasingly separated from tubs in modern bathrooms, curbless showers with linear drains, such as those designed by QuickDrain USA, are gaining in popularity. A curbless entrance makes showers easily accessible for all ages and abilities, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They can also accommodate a freestanding bench, wheelchair or other mobility aid because they require no center drain where water may pool or make users feel unbalanced. Usually located against the edge or back of the shower, linear drains are more hygienic, as they are most often designed with larger format tiles, reducing grout joints and seals where mold, mildew and grime can accumulate. Because of the larger tiles and the elimination of a center drain, more diverse materials can be used, including ceramic, porcelain or stone tiles, plus a range of solid surface materials like marble, granite or engineered stone products.

 

 

Today's homeowners are increasingly expecting their bathrooms to mirror some of the spa-like features previously seen only in hotels, resorts and luxury vacation rentals.

 

Home TV shows and websites showcase these once aspirational luxuries, while technical advances have made them more attainable.

 

The baby boomer population is among the most active of renovating groups. Those wanting to remain in their current homes longer have an eye toward safety and accessibility, but also luxury and style when upgrading their bathrooms.

 

Here are some of the latest features transforming modern bathrooms.

 

1) Towel warmers

On a cold morning, nothing is more pleasant than reaching for a warm towel as you step out of the tub or shower. To help make your bathroom feel more like a luxury spa, a heated towel warmer keeps towels at just the right temperature for optimal comfort. If you don't have enough space for a towel warming drawer or cabinet in your bathroom, space-saving towel warmer racks are also available. Some are free-standing, while others are wall-mounted.
 

2) Heated floors

Another option for warming up on a cold morning is to install a heated bathroom floor. Radiant floor heating can supplement your home's overall heating system, making you feel warmer when standing on a tiled floor in January. Because these systems warm objects and people in a room, radiant floor heating systems are more energy efficient than conventional forced-air. In fact, more people are comfortable with radiant floor heating at a lower thermostat setting than with forced-air heating at a higher thermostat setting.
 

3) High-tech mirrors

From mirrors with automatic, built-in LED lighting options or fog resistance to magic-like mirrors incorporating built-in clocks, TV panels or digital assistant-connected features, the bathroom mirror has gone way beyond a simple place to shave or check your look. Bathroom mirrors with automatic sensors light up as your face approaches the mirror. Some high-tech mirrors include touch-screen controls, some are controlled by remotes and others are responsive to voice commands. If it's connected to an advanced security system, you can use a smart bathroom mirror to check who's at the front door while brushing your teeth. With a smart mirror that connects to the internet, you can watch tutorials on your favorite makeup app while getting ready for that big date. You can also check the news and weather or tell your digital assistant to turn on your coffee maker while you're fixing your hair. The latest mirror features make all your simple grooming tasks easier.
 

4) Standalone bathtubs

Homeowners with the space and resources are increasingly choosing to separate the bathtub from the shower, opting for a much larger and more stylish soaking tub. While whirlpool-type spa tubs are not as popular as they have been in recent years, larger tubs for luxury bathrooms - disconnected from the shower - are considered much more desirable.
 
5) Curbless showers
 
As showers are increasingly separated from tubs in modern bathrooms, curbless showers with linear drains, such as those designed by QuickDrain USA, are gaining in popularity. A curbless entrance makes showers easily accessible for all ages and abilities, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They can also accommodate a freestanding bench, wheelchair or other mobility aid because they require no center drain where water may pool or make users feel unbalanced. Usually located against the edge or back of the shower, linear drains are more hygienic, as they are most often designed with larger format tiles, reducing grout joints and seals where mold, mildew and grime can accumulate. Because of the larger tiles and the elimination of a center drain, more diverse materials can be used, including ceramic, porcelain or stone tiles, plus a range of solid surface materials like marble, granite or engineered stone products.

 

 

Bathroom: Luxury Additions

Bathroom upgrades and additions

(BPT)

Bathroom:

Simple updates

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Outdoor Living

"Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach of us more than we can ever learn from books." - John Lubbock

Do you have a bathroom that's starting to look a little dated and drab, but perhaps doesn't need a complete remodel?

 

If you're craving a change, you can update the space's style with a few strategic steps. Not only will you elevate the appearance of your bathroom, but you'll be boosting your home's value as well.

Here are five ideas for updating your bathroom space with fashion and function in mind.

 

Flooring replacement

The floor in your bathroom gets used and abused, with frequent foot traffic as well as moisture from baths and showers. Replacing the flooring gives the space a noticeable face-lift. New tile is always a great choice for the bathroom, with options in virtually every shade, so you can select a new color palette if you please. Add a heated floor element to give the space upscale appeal. Not into tile? An alternative is luxury vinyl flooring that gives the illusion of wood but with better durability.

 

Vanity upgrades

Your vanity is a main focal point of the bathroom, but replacing the entire unit is costly and difficult. One way to update a vanity is to replace the top portion with a durable material, such as granite, quartz, marble or concrete. This can change the entire look of the vanity and update it with modern style. Want to go one step further? Consider updating the hardware as well. By replacing the handles and knobs you are enhancing the look of the piece while adding to the overall aesthetic of the room.

 

Mirror and lighting

One of the hottest trends in bathroom design right now is lighted mirrors, adding both elegance and function to a bathroom. Upgrade your mirror to a new Sunfield Lighted Mirror from Sterling Plumbing and you'll enjoy natural, purposeful lighting in a sleek design. Sunfield lighted mirrors create a flood of natural light from the perimeter of the mirror with a true-to-daylight Color Rendering Index (CRI) greater than 90, providing accurate reflection and color representation. Learn more at www.sterlingplumbing.com.

Shower style

Replacing the shower is a massive project, but if you want to update the style with less effort, replace the shower curtain or door. If you have a shower door, it can be difficult to keep the glass clean and eliminate water deposits that build up over time. A new crystal-clear door from your local home improvement store will add a clean, updated look to the space. If you have a curtain, swap out old material for one in a fresh hue that evokes just the right feel for the space.

 

Linens and rugs

Last but not least, to update the style of your bathroom space, don't forget about fresh linens. New hand towels, bath towels, rugs and more in a coordinating color will update the visual appearance of the room in an instant. Simply swap out new for old and you'll not only love the look, but there's something luxurious about wrapping yourself up in a fresh plush towel after a long bath or shower.