Upgrading to the house of your dreams - FOX 54 WZDX – Huntsville News, Weather and Sports

Upgrading to the house of your dreams

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(ARA) - The real estate market is still in a state of limbo, which has many homeowners staying in place and looking for ways to make their current abode the most comfortable it can be. Real estate agents expect the market to continue to be flat in 2012, according to ActiveRain Corp, a real estate social network. Because they're not selling, homeowners are looking at remodeling rooms, changing out decorating schemes and in some cases, even adding on to the home.

Incorporating a new look into the home - whether it's in the kitchen, bedroom or bathroom - can really change the feel of the house. Upgrading a bathroom is a great place to start, because it's a smaller room and is used by both occupants and guests. A remodel can also help you save money on your utility bills. With a new bathroom adding a spa-like feel to your home, you may even rethink your desire to move when the housing economy turns around.

Here are some tips to changing the bathroom of your home into a beautiful and comfortable space:

* Vanity: Used for hand washing, preening in the mirror and brushing teeth, the vanity is one item in the bathroom that is the center of activity. Add an artistic - and economical - touch to your vanity with TOTO's Wyeth Faucet, characterized by its refined good looks. When on, this budget-friendly, universal design faucet runs a mere 1.5 gallons of water per minute, earning it the green WaterSense label. In addition to the faucet, consider upgrading your mirror with a model that combines beauty and elegance in the room.

* Walls: A fresh coat of paint can go a long way in changing the look and feel of a room. Don't forget about the ceiling. Even if you only give it a new white coat, the fresh look can make all the difference. Choose a paint that handles high humidity well to give your upgrade a longer lifespan.

*Toilet: The toilet tends to be the largest water consumption appliance in homes. But replacing your older toilet with TOTO's 1G, a one-gallon per flush ultra high-efficiency toilet, can really affect your utility bills. This gravity-fed toilet uses Double Cyclone Flushing technology to provide excellent performance and exceptional bowl cleansing action to create a green, clean flushing system that saves you money, water and time cleaning the toilet, always a thankless task.

As you upgrade your toilet, don't stop with just installing a high-efficiency, self-cleansing toilet. Bring the spa to your own home and consider upgrading your toilet with TOTO's Washlet S350e or S300e, which turns a toilet into a warm-water personal cleansing unit. These new additions to the Washlet family use eWater+ technology, which is applied after each flush and once every eight hours when the unit is not in use, disinfect the bowl, reducing the need for harsh chemicals during cleaning, which saves money and is better for the environment.

* Flooring: High humidity often found in bathrooms can quickly age the flooring, causing peeling and even cracking of dated linoleum. Plus, modern flooring products are much higher quality, and are built to withstand more traffic and high humidity environments. Consider using ceramic, clay or stone tiles, or laminate in stone or wood styles to modernize the look of your bathroom.

Upgrading a bathroom will transform your entire house with a new look and feel. And if you love the change enough, you might decide to continue the upgrade to another room, like the kitchen or master bedroom, turning your home into the beautiful house of your dreams.

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