Smart Strategies for Bathroom Remodeling

You dream about a bathroom that’s high on comfort and personal style, but you also want materials, fixtures, and amenities with lasting value. You can have both.

Stick to a Plan

A bathroom remodel is no place for improvisation. Before ripping out the first tile, think hard about how you will use the space, what materials and fixtures you want, and how much you’re willing to spend.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends spending up to six months evaluating and planning before beginning work. That way, you have a roadmap that will guide decisions, even the ones made under remodeling stress. Once work has begun — a process that averages two to three months — resist changing your mind. Work stoppages and alterations add costs. Some contractors include clauses in their contracts that specify premium prices for changing original plans.

If planning isn’t your strong suit, hire a designer. In addition to adding style and efficiency, a professional designer makes sure contractors and installers are scheduled in an orderly fashion. A pro charges $100 to $200 per hour, and spends 10 to 30 hours on a bathroom project.

Keep the Same Footprint

You can afford that Italian tile you love if you can live with the total square footage you already have.

Keeping the same footprint, and locating new plumbing fixtures near existing plumbing pipes, saves demolition and reconstruction dollars. You’ll also cut down on the dust and debris that make remodeling so hard to live with.

Make the most of the space you have. Glass doors on showers and tubs open up the area. A pedestal sink takes up less room than a vanity. If you miss the storage, replace a mirror with a deep medicine cabinet.

Make Lighting a Priority

Multiple shower heads and radiant heat floors are fabulous adds to a bathroom remodel. But few items make a bathroom more satisfying than lighting designed for everyday grooming. You can install lighting for a fraction of the cost of pricier amenities.

Well-designed bathroom task lighting surrounds vanity mirrors and eliminates shadows on faces: You look better already. The scheme includes two ceiling- or soffit-mounted fixtures, and side fixtures or sconces distributed vertically across 24 inches (to account for people of various heights). Four-bulb lighting fixtures work well for side lighting.

Today, shopping for bulbs means paying attention to lumens, the amount of light you get from a bulb — i.e., brightness. For these bathroom task areas, the Lighting Research Center recommends:

  • Toilet: 45 lumens
  • Sink: 450 lumens
  • Vanity: 1,680 lumens

Clear the Air

Bathroom ventilation systems may be out of sight, but they shouldn’t be out of mind during a bathroom remodel.

Bathroom ventilation is essential for removing excess humidity that fogs mirrors, makes bathroom floors slippery, and contributes to the growth of mildew and mold. Controlling mold and humidity is especially important for maintaining healthy indoor air quality and protecting the value of your home — mold remediation is expensive, and excess humidity can damage cabinets and painted finishes.

A bathroom vent and water closet fan should exhaust air to the outside — not simply to the space between ceiling joists. Better models have whisper-quiet exhaust fans and humidity-controlled switches that activate when a sensor detects excess moisture in the air.

Think Storage

Bathroom storage is a challenge: By the time you’ve installed the toilet, shower, and sink, there’s often little space left to store towels, toilet paper, and hair and body products. Here are some ways to find storage in hidden places.

  • Think vertically: Upper wall space in a bathroom is often underused. Freestanding, multi-tiered shelf units designed to fit over toilet tanks turn unused wall area into found storage. Spaces between wall studs create attractive and useful niches for holding soaps and toiletries. Install shelves over towel bars to use blank wall space.
  • Think moveable: Inexpensive woven baskets set on the floor are stylish towel holders. A floor-stand coat rack holds wet towels, bath robes, and clothes.
  • Think utility: Adding a slide-out tray to vanity cabinet compartments provides full access to stored items and prevents lesser-used items from being lost or forgotten.

Choose Low-Cost Design for High Visual Impact

A “soft scheme” adds visual zest to your bathroom, but doesn’t create a one-of-a-kind look that might scare away future buyers.

Soft schemes employ neutral colors for permanent fixtures and surfaces, then add pizzazz with items that are easily changed, such as shower curtains, window treatments, towels, throw rugs, and wall colors. These relatively low-cost decorative touches provide tons of personality but are easy to redo whenever you want.

Written by: John Riha – House Logic –


8 Ways to Convert Empty Spaces

You’ve done it. You’ve raised your kids and they’re ready to be on their own. Maybe they’re leaving for college or maybe moving out for good (fingers crossed), and you’ll be left with an empty nest. What should you do with all the extra empty rooms? Here are a few ideas…

0206_craftRoomCraft Space
Space means everything to the craftily inclined. With the right light, organization and style, your indoor craft space can be just as inspiring as nature outdoors. We can help you with cabinets, shelving units, fun and practical seating, and cool pendants to create the perfect creative space.


0206_recRoomREC Room
Pingpong, pool and foosball — what’s not to love? Games offer screen-free entertainment, bring the whole family together and make parties more fun. If you have a lot of space, you can knock yourself out with a full-fledged rec room, but if you need more of a rec corner, consider adding a pingpong net to a seldom-used dining table or hanging a dart board on a basement wall. There are lots of reasons to create a place for more fun in the house.


Mom Cave
For years, men have had the luxury of escaping to the comfortable — and usually sports-themed — domain that is known as a man cave. It’s often located in the basement or garage of their homes, and usually consists of a TV, refrigerator, sports memorabilia — and peace and quiet from the rest of the world. But what about Mom? In recent years, moms, too, have been seeking out their own private area, or mom cave, in hopes of a little R&R away from the rest of the family, or just the struggles of day-to-day life.


0206_homeOfficeOffice Space
Home offices are becoming increasingly popular among commuters in Northern Virginia, who would rather spend less time on transit and more time on being creative. They’ve made new use of their living rooms, spare rooms and lofts — and even built additions to their homes. The common thread seems to be that they love having more control over their time, and most seem to integrate work with life and combine business with pleasure.


0206_wineRoomWine room
Who wouldn’t want to visit your own personal wine room after a long day at work? Especially if you like to stock up on your favorite varietal when it goes on sale. Having a designated room to store, display and enjoy a glass of wine on your own, or with friends, is a unique experience. If your budget allows, install tile or hardwood flooring for easy cleanup of the inevitable spilled merlot. Our plumber can add a sink or small dishwasher. And if you want cheese with your wine (who doesn’t?), install a mini-fridge for snacking convenience.




0206_homeGymHome gym
It might be cliché to automatically turn one of the extra rooms into a home gym, but it can be a practical move. By having some free weights, yoga mats, and workout DVDs just down the hall, you won’t have any more excuses to avoid a quick workout. People are converting a spare bedroom into exercise space, finally taking the treadmill and exercise bike out of the garage and locating them in a designated exercise room in the house.


Walk-in Closet
Have you always dreamed of a luxurious, spacious closet? If you have a spare bedroom that you’re not sure how to use, stop fretting over bedroom design ideas. Instead, convert that extra space into the walk-in closet of your dreams. Call us and we will help you create a completely custom design with all the bells and whistles.


Attic Bedroom0206_atticRoom
No longer mere storage space for broken dolls and old clothes, attics are being turned into the most stylish of bedrooms. When homeowners start to feel cramped, they don’t immediately think of upgrading to a bigger home. Instead, many are looking for ways to maximize the space they have. One area that can provide major square footage without adding on to a home is the attic. If you have an unfinished attic, consider the possibility of turning your unused space into a bedroom.


Bathroom Makeover Ideas for Every Season

As seasons change, your bathroom designs should too. It’s not enough to just have one look throughout the entire year. It can get boring and you will most likely lose interest in your bathroom that way. Here are some tips on how to make your bathroom presentable for all seasons:


bathroom remodeling - spring season - foster remodeling solutions Floral is a staple for Spring. You can do this by placing fresh flowers on a vase next to your sink. White flowers with light pink and lush green foliage is a perfect decoration for every bathroom. You can have them in detail around your mirror, or have it as a pattern for your curtains if you have any. These simple changes can make anything look more alive and feminine.

You can also try painting the walls with muted and pastel colors for that cool and clean effect. Classic white tiles is a traditional grand bath design that will work with every season of the year too. Lighter tones and spacious designs can promote a calming feeling that will surely encourage you to spend more time in your tub.


bathroom remodeling - summer season - foster remodeling solutions Summer has always been a loud season. Loud in a sense that it is usually incorporated with bright, bold colors that usually reflect fun and excitement. Hues of yellow, green, orange and electric blue give of that tropical vibe. You can add some art works of your choice. It could be splotches of paint or a well-crafted piece of furniture. With the help of experts, it’s possible to squeeze in a tub big enough for two people inside a normal-sized bath. And they can even make it look spacious. Bathing will then feel like you are on a luxurious spa somewhere in the South Pacific.

Don’t ever limit yourself when it comes to your home. Bathrooms may not be the first room your guests would think about, but it’s a pretty personal area that can really show people how well you enjoy your “me time.” If you are a Summer person, don’t hesitate to incorporate a single design that goes well with the season.


bathroom remodeling - fall season - foster remodeling solutions With the red and brown leaves falling to the ground, Fall is surely a unique season on its own. It’s colder than the last two seasons, but it’s also warmer than Winter. Usually this season attracts color with warmer tones and hues.

Add an armchair or two in your bathroom. Place it just beside your tub or right next to your sink where it hits the mirror at a perfect angle. This way, if you ever felt like sitting down while you are waiting for the tub to fill or the water to reach its perfect temperature, you’d have somewhere to sit on. Deep mahogany cabinets and pieces of furniture will complete your grand bath’s Autumn theme. You can also go for the classic plum if you want. An excellent interior design team will be able to provide you with the look that can best portray the magic of this season without much hassle for your bathroom remodeling.


bathroom remodeling - winter season - foster remodeling solutions Winter is a festive season. It’s cold, but it shouldn’t stop you from achieving your ideal bathroom interior design. When it’s freezing outside, it should be soothingly warm inside. But to celebrate the holidays brought by this season, you can incorporate deep colors of red and green. These two may not look good with the other three seasons, but if you pair and match them up with a complementing color, it will work.

A good tip for this time of year is to add fairy lights along your glass shower doors, plain walls, mirrors, or tubs. They are not too harsh and they are lovely to have around come winter holidays.

Bathrooms are easy to redesign and redecorate once you get to work with the right professional home-building team. Of course, there are some DIYs all over the internet that you can most likely try, but when it comes to major renovations and remodeling, call the experts.

Stop in and visit us anytime:

Foster Remodeling Solutions
7211-H Telegraph Square Drive
Lorton, VA 22079

12 Clever Bathroom Storage Ideas

Whether your bathroom is large or small, these savvy storage ideas will help you add space and stay organized.

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-2-29-25-pmWall Cabinet
Making use of every inch of space is essential in a small bathroom. Marian Parsons hung an easy-to-make handmade cabinet to make use of the empty wall space. The different compartments store a variety of bathroom items while maintaining an organized look.




screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-2-29-15-pmStorage Tower
This built-in storage tower not only stores several towels, but it also brings visual interest to the neutral bathroom. This designer placed rolled towels in the compartments to add color and texture to the space. The floating vanity has open shelving for even more storage.




screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-2-29-35-pmStorage Ladder
Freestanding storage is a great option if you frequently change the design of your bathroom. Ana White built this simple storage ladder and stored different items at each level. Paint the ladder any color to match your bathroom design style, and fill the ladder with different types of containers to bring dimension to the space.



screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-2-29-56-pmVanity Niches
This Old World-style bathroom, is centered on a large vanity with oversize drawers for plenty of storage space. The vanity mirror is flanked by two deep niches complete with shelving to store towels for guests.





Courtesy of HGTV

Creative Family Room Accents

The family room is often the one room of the house that you and your family spend the most time in—awake, at least. However, it is easy to let that familiarity prevent you from doing anything creative with the decorations. After all, everyone spends time watching TV, playing games and reading anyway, don’t they? Don’t let your family room turn drab. It’s easier than you may think to add some style and interest. We’ve put together a few creative family room accents that will make this homey space feel fun and fresh.

Accent WallCreate an Accent Wall – Who says all your walls need to be the same color? Choosing to go with three similar walls and one in a brighter coordinating shade (or utilizing a high-end wallpaper) can be an excellent way to add simple visual interest. Choosing this may even encourage you to mix up your current pictures and other wall hangings as well as offer some creative ideas for ways to enhance the room with things like throw pillows or artwork to draw out your accent color.

Add Mirrors – Mirrors are an excellent choice in many rooms. Not only are they functional and decorative, but mirrors make a room feel bigger too. Consider a large focus mirror on a large wall or use several smaller mirrors in a grouping.

Cafe Table in Living RoomCafé Table – A café table and stools can be an excellent accent piece for a family room. Not only does it immediately add interest to the room, but you now have a designated space for putting together puzzles, working on bills or homework or playing a game.

Make the Windows the Focus – If you have a beautiful view, turning your windows into the focus of the room can be a fabulous choice. A window seat or small settee placed near the window makes the space attractive. Use care in choosing curtains that draw the eye in but don’t take over the space. When your window is a big part of your decorating plan, you will need to put a little extra effort into keeping them clean, so make sure you invest in some window cleaner!

Dramatic LightingAdd Dramatic Lighting – A ceiling fan or boring light fixture won’t get any attention. Why not try something unique? Consider a vintage piece, or turn an old wheel into a hanging light for a classic look. If you prefer a modern styling, look at the track lighting options available today. You may be amazed by what a big difference a new light can make.

While it’s possible to spruce up your family room with a few accent pieces or even some simple DIY work, to make a real change, you need to work with a real professional. If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Washington D.C. or Northern Virginia, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Our in-house designers and talented remodeling team can help you make your dreams into reality.

Doorway to a Smart, Stylish Remodeling Project

Picture1Pocket doors add a level of sophistication to a remodeling project. When space is limited, a pocket door tucked neatly into the wall can be the difference between an awkward transition and a smart, stylish solution.  When opened it provides the seamless transition of a doorway. The visual clutter of a swinging door in a tight space is eliminated. Closing the door is like revealing a hidden surprise that is as elegant as it is clever. This understated element is the sign of a well-designed space with careful attention to detail and functionality.

Swap out a basic door for a glass panel or specialty door, and increasePicture2 the wow factor of your practical solution. Like the perfect accessory to an outfit, a pocket door is a way to showcase your unique style and personality. It makes a statement that says “this is my home.” Whether your style is classic, transitional or modern, there’s a pocket door with you written all over it.

Picture3If you really want to step up the wow factor, consider a sliding barn door. Like it’s cousin the pocket door, when opened it rolls neatly out of the way. But instead of hiding inside the wall, it makes a bold statement that is bound to spark conversation. The two bathrooms shown express the versatility of this style door. Above is a fusion of traditional farmhouse comfort and urban industrial chic. The barn door, with its time weathered wood and exposed industrial pulley wheels, is an ideal focal point to pull the two styles together perfectly. On the right, is a transitional bath in a colonial home. This barn door, with its crisp white bead board and traditional hardware is the perfect transition between the classic and contemporary styles.

Picture4Barn doors and pocket doors can add character, elegance, and that pop of the unexpected in a remodeling project that translates to wow factor.

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!

written by: Dory Clemens – Design Consultant – Foster Remodeling Solutions


Top Reasons to Remodel your Kitchen


The National Kitchen & Bath Association offers advice on when and why to update.

Many homeowners think their kitchen is outdated from the looks of their worn cabinets, dated appliances and crackled countertop. What they may not realize is that there are many other reasons, more important than cosmetic, why a kitchen needs to be remodeled.

The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) offers the following tips to help homeowners evaluate the current condition of their kitchen and decide if the time is right for a remodel.

Adequate space: Are you satisfied with the amount of counter space, cabinet space and floor space in your kitchen? The position of your refrigerator or shape of your counter may be taking away useful workspace. According to the NKBA Kitchen and Bath Planning Guidelines, when replacing a countertop or changing the shape of your kitchen, keep in mind that a total of 158″ of countertop frontage, 24″ deep with at least 15″ of clearance above, is needed to accommodate all uses, including landing area, preparation/work area and storage.

Traffic flow: If there’s more than one cook in your household, you may want to consider making more room around the main workspace. If you enjoy entertaining, you may want an open plan kitchen that allows for more social interaction between the kitchen and other rooms. According to the NKBA Kitchen Planning Guidelines, the width of a walkway should be at least 36″ and the width of a work aisle should be at least 42″ for one cook and at least 48″ for multiple cooks.

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!


article from National Kitchen and Bath Association


How to Maximize Your Home’s Current Space

Whether you’re expanding your house because it’s too small or because it’s missing something—like another bedroom, bathroom or home office—don’t assume an addition is the only way to do the job. You may be able to get everything you want simply by reconfiguring your house’s existing square footage—which could slash your costs by 25 to 50 percent and avert hikes in ongoing HVAC fuel costs and property taxes from making your home larger.

Here are four possibilities to consider:

gremsFinish the Basement or Attic. Assuming there’s enough headroom and full-fledged staircase access, turning the attic or basement into living space is by far the lowest cost way to expand your home, says Curt Schultz, a Realtor-architect-builder in Pasadena, Calif. After all, the four walls, floor and roof are already there. All you need to do is build finish details that go inside that shell. Of course, neither an attic or basement will help you get a bigger kitchen or add a powder room—both of which belong on the main floor—but a basement can be an ideal spot for anything from a family room to a guest room and an attic is great for a master bedroom or home office suite.

dunlaveyConvert Underutilized Spaces. Do you have any rooms in your house that don’t get much use? A spare bedroom, for instance, or a formal living or a formal dining room may only see action on a few holidays each year. And there’s often little or no costly construction needed to convert them into multipurpose spaces, eliminating the need for an addition. “We’re seeing a lot of people putting media centers or libraries into their dining rooms,” says architect Dennis Wedlick, who works in greater New York City, where living space is at a premium. “The table gets pushed against a wall to make room for the other uses—and pulled out for dinner parties.” Also, a spare bedroom can double as a playroom or home office, he says, if you transform the closet into a built-in storage cabinet or desk.

CLICK HERE for more ideas…

If you would like to talk about ideas for remodeling or renovating your home in Fairfax, Mclean, Springfield, Woodbridge, Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church VA, reach out to us at Foster Remodeling. Call now for a free consultation!

Written By: Oliver Marks – HGTV


Convert Your Tub Space to a Shower

ordonezThere are so many examples of large bathrooms, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that most of us have bathrooms that are about 50 square feet (5 by 10 feet). A dream shower can often become a reality only if it fits into the footprint of a dated tub. But what’s the best way to go about this conversion?

The first step is to put everything down on paper. Before you start ripping out tile, bringing home sale items or searching for the perfect grout color, make sure you measure, plan and research.

JW – Houzz Contributor

13 Design-Friendly Storage Solutions for the Bathroom

Adequate storage is crucial to the success of any room, and the bathroom is no exception. In fact, we often overlook the need for storage in this much-used area or are challenged by the small dimensions of the space. But whatever the size or style of your bathroom, there are nifty ways to work in storage, whether it’s built-in drawers around a bath, handsome shelves or vintage baskets.
Modern Bathroom by Kristy Noble Photography










2. Squeeze in a drawer. A bathroom often contains little pockets of underused space. Think about exploiting them by building in neat little drawers. As many bathroom products are small, even a sliver of additional storage can be really useful.


April 27, 2016   Houzz UK Contributor

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