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How to update windows and outdated bathroom

My husband and I bought a new house, and our windows and '70s era master bath are driving me up a wall. Our windows in each of our main rooms are basically "cookie-cutter" looking - like someone just sliced a big square in the wall. No trim, nothing. Just one big square. They are set a foot higher from the floor, and a foot lower that the ceiling. Oh, and we also have a bay window that seems to defy the idea of making it pretty. How can I make my windows pretty and home? Second bit: Our bedroom is very '70s - Poorly installed dark parquet floor, and a bathroom with a sink/cabinets that are at my hip level (I'm 5'8) I am soo lost with everything, but want to take on the projects myself. Help!
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Posted 2011-06-20T22:55:35+0000  by Bluegrrl Bluegrrl

Hello Bluegrrl and welcome to The Community! We are glad that you are here. 


First of all, congratulations on the new house!  I am excited to hear that you want to tackle these projects yourself.  Be sure to check out our weekend clinics and upcoming Do-It-Herself hands-on workshops to learn new skills and practice with our knowledgeable associates.  Our books and magazines will get your creative juices flowing for ideas and inspiration.


I have several suggestions at different price points to help make your new house feel more like a home.  First: the “cookie cutter” windows in the main rooms seem to be a major source of frustration.  Since you spend most of your waking hours in these rooms, the aggravation factor can seem to grow.  Will your budget allow you to replace the windows to more modern and energy efficient ones?  If you are not able to replace them now, consider “dressing them up” by adding trim molding to “frame” them. 


royal molding.jpg   build out window with glossy decorative molding & accents


window trim.jpg        jamb-main.jpg


Cover them by adding shutters or covering them with pretty full length sheers, curtains, or drapes to “cover them up” while allowing light to come through.  Another option is to use Roman shades inside the frame – I have made them with easy no-sew kits from the fabric store!


living room.jpg     the focus is on the material not the window


As for the bay window with “potential,” consider adding an accent feature such as an unusual plant (suited to the light and temperature variations) or a small statue or sculpture on the sill.  Replacing the bay window would be a project for a more experienced do-it-yourselfer.


Anderson bay.jpg     matching trim helps create a unified theme


Another idea is to use color to “pull” the eye from the windows and onto your accent features.  Paint is the fastest way to improve the atmosphere of the room.  Consider adding some medium-toned colors to the walls – even creating an accent wall or possibly use several complementary shades on different walls.   


interiori room.jpg


Behr colors.jpg


living room.jpg


Now to the dark parquet floor:  There are so many options available to replace your floor: tile and stone, carpet, hardwood, vinyl, laminate, and more.  Check out the Flooring How-to Center for ideas and project guides and installation videos.  You will need to know what your subfloor is and its condition before starting any major project. Your local Home Depot flooring specialist can help you determine your special needs for each flooring surface.  


tile.jpg     tile


Carpet.jpg     carpet


Hardwood.jpg     hardwood


Vinyl.jpg     vinyl


Laminate.jpg     laminate


Finally: the bathroom with sink and cabinets at your hip level.   If the sink and cabinets are original to the home from the 70s, the working surface may be as much as 3-5 inches lower when compared to a new vanity.  (I think that the bathroom counter height is shorter than you have been accustomed – please tell me if this is not correct.) 


You could attempt a cabinet modification, but would have to redo the drain line (and supply lines if they are not flexible).  The quick solution is to look at a new vanity that has a higher working surface and may be more comfortable for you.  We have complete solutions (vanity + countertop + matching mirror in a box – just add a bath faucet) as well as a comprehensive line of cabinetry, custom countertops, and matching faucets with hardware (towel rods, toilet paper holders, etc.).  One of our kitchen designers and plumbing specialists can help you learn about all of the options at the store, online, and through our Special Order programs. 


 vanity -1.jpg     vanity -2.jpg    vanity -3.jpg



Best wishes and be sure to take “before” and “after” photos.  You will be proud to see your transformation – and please share them with us so we can celebrate your success too!





Posted 2011-06-21T17:28:36+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL
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