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Fast, Functional and Fabulous Bathroom Fixes for Less Than $500 Longing to update your home, but short on time and Page 14 September 16 2011

money? You’re not alone. Remodeling experts report that whole-house remodels have declined in recent years - but don’t throw in the towel just yet. Instead of focusing on every room - focus on smaller areas where you spend a lot of time, like the bathroom. “Bathroom renovations are one of the most popu- lar projects with homeowners, but not everyone has the same needs or budget,” says renowned home improvement expert Danny Lipford. “Luckily, cosmetic updates can be quick, inexpensive and easy enough for anyone to do.” With a few days and minimal budget, you can

give your bathroom an instant facelift that will be fashionable and functional. 1. Start your bathroom update with a good cleaning. Removing any mildew, dust and soap scum is the first step to a brighter bath.

Impr Homeovement

2. Color can affect our mood - so add a splash of paint. For only the cost of a brush, roller, tape and a gal- lon of paint (less than $40), both your bathroom walls and your mood will feel refreshed. 3. Did you know that within a year,

the average person washes their hands 8,776 times? And that doesn’t account for the time spent brushing your teeth or washing your face. With these many interactions with water, be sure that your bathroom remodel includes a stylish new faucet.

4. Not sure if your current cabinets or

vanity are fashionable enough for your new faucet?

Before you

replace it, consider adding new cabinet hardware for an instant update. There are a wide variety of choices - and manufacturers, such as Moen, even offer knobs (starting at $8) and pulls (starting at $16) that perfectly match your faucet in both design and finish. 5. The average person takes 365 showers per year. If your shower space is feeling a bit small, add 7 1/2 inches in an instant with a curved shower rod. Moen offers both single and double curved shower rods (starting at $41) in the most popular finishes to maximize your bathroom shower space with ultimate style. 6. According to the National Association of Home Builders, fewer people are living alone. In fact, the number of homes with five or more residents has increased in the last two years - which means you likely share your bath with others. Bathroom accessories are a simple and inexpensive (less than $150 for a set) way to add organization and a design update to your bath. Col- lections, such as Ashville or Lindale offer a variety of solu- tions such as towel bars, towel rings and robe hooks to keep items tidy and off the floor, as well as pivoting paper holders to entice users to change the empty roll. Plus, they are available in a variety of finishes to perfectly coordinate

with the rest of your new bath hardware. 7. The final step of your simple and sensational bath up-

grade is the soft touches. Add plush and colorful towels to your new accessories, a decorative shower curtain to your new shower rod and a soft throw rug in front of the vanity. Soon, with minimal budget and effort, your bathroom

will be more enjoyable - with an attractive look you’ll love and your guests will envy. For more information on Moen products, visit

- ARA Content How to ‘Green Up’ Your Home, Office or Dorm With Houseplants

Looking for a fresh new look for your home or office or want to add some color and cool for your college digs? Houseplants are always in style. For an easy transformation for any space, houseplants add high impact and eco flair that rival expensive makeovers. Whether you choose orchids or Bonsai, houseplants fit any lifestyle, mood and taste. From finding the perfect plant to decorating ideas at your fingertips, check out the new digital magazine GrowingStyle. This free download and app is your go-to resource for the hottest plants, green living tips, expert advice and lots of eco eye candy.

Whether you’re a long time plant collector or

novice, these tips from top garden experts show just how easily houseplants will “green up” your life. The air in there. Did you know that houseplants do double duty? They not only add beauty to indoor spaces but also clean our indoor air and remove nasty toxins from carpets, paint, house- hold cleaners, printers and even furniture. “Besides what they give back in aesthetics, one of the greatest things houseplants do is provide

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much needed humidity in the winter months and freshen the air year round,” says Justin Hancock, editor of Better Homes and Gardens online (BHG. com).

Plant hunter and expert, Mike Rimland, says that houseplants help clean indoor toxins com- monly found in homes, apartments and offices. “What houseplants you choose and where they’re placed are important considerations to maximize air filtering benefits.”

Rimland suggests houseplants like peace lilies for bathrooms and Sanseveria and Golden Pothos for your entryway and living spaces. “They’re easy to grow and can help remove volatile organic compounds found in cleaners, carpets and fur- niture like benzene, formaldehyde, acetone and xylene.”

Set the mood. From added drama to a touch of

whimsy, houseplants instantly liven up any room or office with natural beauty and add a funky touch of greenery to boxy dorm rooms. For happy plants, Rimland recommends you assess your rooms for optimal lighting conditions and care requirements, follow the plant care guidelines on the tags and choose plants that fit

your lifestyle. Want to create a quick and easy upscale look or a serene retreat? Nothing beats orchids, arranged in simple or elaborate containers, for high impact drama and Zen-like simplicity. “As a great ‘everyman’ plant, orchids can’t be

beat,” says Hancock. “Mini orchids are easy to grow and perfect for a centerpiece or a thing of beauty and tranquility alone on a windowsill.” Green-up your space with living walls. If you

have limited space or want a visually dramatic, high impact design for a room, living walls are the ticket.

Not only can they improve air quality, but they are quite a conversation piece, adding instant “wow factor” to any room. Rimland says that living green walls are a great

way to maximize the benefits of houseplants to purify and beautify spaces. “Whether you buy one of the new kits available or have a professional install your living wall, your rooms will spring to life with living art you create.” Go green and groovy. Looking for fun and easy houseplants that are practically a no-brainer? Water-retaining, light-loving, easy-care succulents and cacti are virtually indestructible and come in many colors, shapes and varieties. So mix them up in containers for a visual feast that draws the eye and soothes the soul.

“Succulents are great-looking, low maintenance plants that make it easy for everyone to bring the outdoors inside,” adds Hancock. For more ways to spruce up your home with the hottest houseplants and tips on decorating with a splash of sophisticated and refreshing greenery, visit

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