Home renovations before the holidays

(ARA) – Fall is a great time to tackle some of those home improvement projects. Now that the summer vacations are over and children are back in school, you’re ready to make your home all comfy and cozy before the deep freeze and holiday guests arrive.

Consider starting with your bathroom first, since this is a room frequently used both by your family and guests. If your bathroom is dated in decor, aged in function and behind the times in energy efficiency, you’ll be doing your home and your pocketbook a good service by upgrading some features. Here’s how:

* Beautiful visuals: The bathroom vanity is the first feature in the room people will see. Incorporate a contemporary new look in your bath that will earn admiring glances from your guests with TOTO’s Maris Semi-Recessed Vessel Lavatory. With a sleek design and deep basin, this semi-recessed lavatory has a nano-technology glaze applied that helps prevent bacteria and soap debris from sticking to its surfaces. Because of this, you’ll use fewer harsh chemicals to keep the sink clean, which saves you money and is better for the environment. Pair the lavatory with the Aquia Single Handle Faucet from TOTO for a seamless and stylish finish. This high-efficiency faucet is made from solid brass and is WaterSense approved.

* Warmer flooring: There’s nothing worse than bare feet on a cold floor – especially in the morning. Tile flooring looks beautiful in bathrooms, but can leave the feet feeling a bit chilled. Place a soft and decorative rug in front of the sink, the shower and the toilet to help alleviate cold toes. Look for rugs that match the color and decor of the room. Or use the rugs as an accent color to brighten up the space.

* Efficient commodes: Upgrading your toilet to a high-efficiency unit will make a noticeable difference on your water bill. Consider the Universal Design Maris Dual-Flush Toilet from TOTO, which has clean, contemporary lines, a recessed-curve tank, and skirted design that saves on cleaning time. Its state-of-the-art, gravity-fed flushing system puts an end to a common complaint many dual flush toilet owners have – “flush ‘n brush,” the need to brush the bowl to remove streaking after every solid stop.

* New linens: A quick and simple upgrade for your bathroom includes replacing towels and the shower curtain. To introduce a calm and restful spa-like ambiance, find new linens in colors that blend with the colors on the walls. Or go bold with vibrant accents and splashes of color to give your room a sense of energy.

* Elegant tiling: Prefab showers are easy and convenient, but they can look aged and stained after long use. To really spruce up the look of your shower area in the bathroom, consider tiling the surround, or installing large glass pieces painted to match the color of the room. You’ll be amazed at how beautiful the shower will appear, and you may decide that you won’t want to hang a curtain to block the view of the beautiful surround, and instead opt for a sliding glass door.

Once you see how beautiful your renovated bathroom appears, you’ll probably want to get started sprucing up the rest of your house. In the meantime, enjoy the bathroom, as well as the compliments you’ll receive from your visiting guests.