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    We’ve noted many time before in these posts, building equity in your home is one of the best ways to see a return on your investment. While there are a whole host of ways to do this, improvements or upgrades to the kitchen and bathroom are by far the most fruitful.

    Over the past 20 years the ratio of bathrooms to individuals living in the home has increased significantly. In fact in some of the newer, larger homes the ratio is very close to being 1 to 1. But what about an older home that has a single bathroom? Ideally, a second or a half bath is preferable to having just one. If the bathroom is located on a second floor, adding a half bath off the kitchen or in close proximity to plumbing is one way to address this problem. Unfortunately, a second floor bathroom can be very inconvenient, particularly for the elderly.

    However you look at it, one thing is for certain; when it comes time to sell you’ll want your bathrooms to be a show place. Here are somethings you can do to upgrade an existing bathroom:

    The Big things:

    Lighting – A well-lit bathroom makes personal grooming easier and more pleasurable. Be sure you have ample light over the sink for shaving and applying makeup.

    Double sink – Once a luxury, now a must have, a double sink helps the family prepare for the day faster.

    Claw foot or stand-alone tub – Not only does a claw foot tub make a statement, it’s also a luxurious way to wash away the tension of a busy day.

    Whirlpools and saunas – Bringing the therapeutic benefits of gym to your own bathroom has never been easier.

    Tiles – Tiled walls and floors offer many options for unique and colorful design. They’re also easier to clean and maintain.

    Radiant heat flooring – Tiles, while lovely to look at, can be cold. Consider adding radiant heat flooring to add warmth to your bathroom without having to increase the air temperature.

    Spacious shower – There is no end to the choices available when it comes to expanding and enhancing your shower. Add faucets that adjust to any height along with a comfortable and convenient shower bench. Deck out your walk -in shower with marble, granite or rows of Italian tile.

    Cabinetry and storage – A well-organized bathroom is a pleasure to behold. Hide towels or toiletries or use them as part of your design.

    The Small Things:

    A small bathroom can be a cozy place, but beware of clutter. Avoid dark colors and make sure you have enough light.

    Baskets, crates and shelving – Think of storage from a design perspective. Use baskets, crates and high shelving to highlight towels and toiletries while at the same time keeping them neat and organized. Take advantage of the back of the bathroom door for towel racks and hangers for robes etc.

    Add a sink skirt to block unsightly pipes and create a useful place for storage.

    Hang a multi -level fruit basket from the ceiling to hold soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioners in the shower.

    Last but not least:

    Replace old toilets with state of the art low-flow high efficiency toilet. Your perspective buyer will appreciate the monthly saving on their water bill and you’ll have done something good for the environment.

    The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in your house. Pier 1, Crate and Barrel and Restoration Hardware are just a few of the places where you can find all kinds of accessories to improve comfort and design and create a jaw dropping bathroom.

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