Archive for the 'Rooms in Your Home' Category

Feb 16 2011

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7 Uses for Bonus Rooms – The House Plan Shop

House Plan 034H-0022Do you ever find yourself wishing for a flexible space in your house that can be a sewing room today and a guest suite tomorrow? House plans with bonus rooms offer tremendous flexibility when it comes to changing needs. Weather your needs change day-by-day, week- to-week or every 10 years, a home plan with a bonus room is sure to accommodate you.

 

Usually bonus rooms are found on the upper level of the home or above the garage and most are designed to be finished when the home is built or years down the road. That’s their first sign of flexibility. Maybe you don’t have the need for extra living space when you first build the home or maybe it is not in your budget to finish another room right away. Just wait until you’re ready and finish the bonus room when the time is right for you. Or if you have an immediate need for the bonus room, finish it right away and get maximum use out of it.

 

So what can you do with a bonus room? How you use your bonus room will be completely influenced by your lifestyle and changing needs. Here are a few ideas:

 

Guest Room/Suite: If you have frequent overnight visitors, finish the bonus room as an extra bedroom. Add a full bath to completely accommodate your guests.

Game/Recreation Room: For all the entertainers out there, a game or recreation room offers a great place to kick back and relax with friends and family weather you are enjoying a billiards game, playing cards with the guys, Bunco with your girlfriends, or your teenagers need a space to hang out and visit with friends. A game/recreation space encourages conversation and relaxation.

Home Office: Perhaps you own a home-based business or just work from home on a regular basis. An upstairs office provides a private workspace and you’ll never even have to leave home! Plus, because it is secluded, you’ll never have to worry about the kids or guests seeing important documents or interfering with the big project you’ve been working on for weeks.

Homework Station: While the kids are still in school, your family might find it necessary to have a dedicated space for homework furnished with decks, a computer and good lighting ensuring a good place to study and complete homework assignments and school projects. This is a place where students can focus on the tasks at hand without being disturbed by other happenings in the home.

Craft/Hobby Room: If you enjoy crafts, scrap booking, sewing and other indoor hobbies, a bonus room offers the perfect place to work on your projects and store supplies. Plus you won’t have to clean up a project you’re working on until it is complete.

Exercise Room: For families with an eye on a healthy and fit lifestyle, create an exercise or workout room for everyone to use. This is the ideal place for the treadmill and weight bench keeping them out of sight in the main home, but still conveniently accessible, ensuring you’re workout routine won’t be disrupted.

Home Theater: This is an option the whole family is sure to love, not to mention friends and visitors. Turn your bonus room into a home theater so every night can be movie night. Furthermore, the kids can enjoy watching a movie upstairs without disturbing you while you might be reading or talking on the phone downstairs. This is a space people of all ages will enjoy.

 

Now, consider this. Perhaps you really needed that home office when you started that successful business in your younger years. But, now that you’re retired, you’d prefer to use the bonus room as something else. So convert the home office you originally started with to something more fun like a rec room. Or maybe your family really needed the bonus room for a homework station years ago, but now the kids have homes and kids of their own. Maybe you need to convert the homework station into a playroom for the grandkids.

 

With a little imagination and a bonus room, the sky is the limit. If you’d like to browse house floor plans with bonus rooms, visit The House Plan Shop.

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Jan 19 2011

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11 Bathroom Safety Tips – The House Plan Shop

House Plan 053H-0054 Masterbath PhotoDangers exist all around the home. Unless you have proper safety precautions in place, you, your family and your guests might be in danger. Besides the kitchen, the bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in your home, and it is necessary to practice bathroom safety to ensure everyone’s well being. The bathroom safety tips listed below shouldn’t be ignored. Recognizing potential bathroom dangers and practicing bathroom safety will prevent accidents in your home. The House Plan Shop recommends reviewing the following 11 bathroom safety tips:

 

1.    Make sure all of your bathrooms have adequate lighting during the day and a nightlight to illuminate the room at night preventing trips, slips and falls.

2.    Electrical items in the bathroom can lead to deadly accidents. Do not plug in electrical items in an area where water is present including outlets near the sink, toilet, shower and bathtub. One wrong move could send your plugged-in electrical item into the water causing electrocution.

3.    Mop or dry up accumulated water on the floor or counter tops and inspect both surfaces after bathing, brushing teeth and washing hands. Puddles on the floor can cause someone to slip and fall. Standing water on the floor or counter top is cause for electrocution as mentioned in Tip 2.

4.    Use ground-fault circuit interrupters in areas where water is present. (This is a good idea in the kitchen too.)  An electrician can install them for you. They will prevent you from being shocked should electricity and water meet.

5.    Prevent burns by setting the water heater at or below 120 degrees F. Also, consider installing anti-scald faucets in sinks, bathtubs and showers.

6.    Use slip resistant mats in and around wet floors and in the bathtub and/or shower. Purchase mats with a non-slip backing to prevent slips and falls on the bathroom floor or when stepping in an out of the bathtub and shower.

7.    Consider installing grab bars near the toilet, shower and bathtub. They make it easier to stand after using the toilet and get in and out of the tub and shower safely particularly for seniors and disabled people. Do not use a soap dish, towel rack, or door knob as a grab bar.

8.    If small children are in the home, keep the toilet lid closed as well as the bathroom door. You might even want to install a lock on the outside of the bathroom door out of reach of small children and keep the bathroom locked at all times. It doesn’t take much water to drown a child. Children have been known to drown in no more than an inch of water and an open toilet is looming hazard to a curious child.

9.    Cleaning supplies should be kept out of reach of children. Most cleaners can be poisonous to children, so keep cleaning supplies under lock and key.   

10.  Likewise, do not keep medications in the medicine cabinet if there are children in the home. This includes prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. Child-proof lids may deter a child in most cases, but a very determined child can still manage to get medicine bottles and containers open.

11.  Don’t forget about tweezers, manicure scissors, pointed nail files, nail polish remover, etc. Keep these items out of reach of children.

 

With a little common sense and these bathroom safety tips, you’ll be able to keep family and friends safe when using your bathroom.

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Oct 07 2010

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Resources to Help you Create your Dream Man Cave – The House Plan Shop

Following up on last month’s blog post, “Ultimate Man Caves,” The House Plan Shop wants to share a list of resources to help you create your dream man cave. ChangeofAddress.com recently posted a list of 40 websites to help you design the ultimate “guy space” whether you need a quiet place to kick back and relax after a long day of work or a fun space where you can watch the game with the guys without disturbing the rest of the home. You can turn anything into your man cave from the garage or bonus room above it to a space in the basement. It is time to get started! Check out these interesting and fun man cave sites.

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Sep 10 2010

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Ultimate Man Caves – The House Plan Shop

Man caves are becoming popular. We are hearing the used more and more on TV and in everyday conversation. So what is a man cave? A man cave is a designated area of the house such as a room in the basement, the garage, a workshop or a bonus room where a man can go to be alone or socialize with friends without disturbing the rest of the home. Some guys decorate their man caves with sports memorabilia, street signs, model cars and planes or other “guy related” items. Furthermore, it is becoming more popular to outfit man caves with big TVs, good sound systems, comfortable seating, and perhaps and fridge or wet bar. Guys use their man caves for relaxing alone, holding poker parties with buddies or watching football and other big games with friends. Now that it’s football season, there is no doubt some guys will be spending extra time in the their man caves.

 

Check out photos and a video of some of St. Louis’s ultimate man caves.

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Jan 27 2010

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10 Tips to Make your Home Office Inspiring and Fun

0035H-0040 Home OfficeWhile being a work-at-home professional can be rewarding, sometimes it can be hard to settle in and start working. Without others around you to share ideas, it may be difficult at times to come up with fresh thoughts and notions. And face it, some days we all lack motivation. So, what can you do to ensure you are always productive while working at home? Create an office that you love – one that promotes positive thinking, ingenuity, productivity and a little fun. The tips below will help your decorate and arrange your office in a way that you will feel motivated, creative and fruitful.

 

·         Create a short list of professional goals (two or three) and review it often. Remind yourself often that you WANT to achieve these goals. Keep it in your desk or hang it on the wall where you can see it.

·         Surround your desk with things that inspire you from a favorite quote to a recent project that was a huge success.

·         Bring the room to life by adding a potted plant or vase of flowers to the room.

·         Open the curtains and let the sunshine fill the room.

·         Invest in various organizational bins, baskets and tubs and make a point to keep your files, supplies and other items organized.

·         Add a personal touch. Place a framed family photo on your desk or add an object that was given to you by someone special such as a pretty vase or a handmade pillow.

·         Simulate your senses with rich color and texture. Use colored file folders instead of the typical manila folders. Include a few wicker baskets and wooden crates instead of using all the typical plastic storage bins and tubs. Consider a wooden desk and a comfortable chair covered in your favorite color fabric.

·         Include something with sparkle or shine such as hanging a mirror on the wall or using chrome drawer pulls on your desk.

·         Have fun with a funky patterned lamp shade or area rug.

·         Keep the tools and supplies you use the most close at hand. If you are a writer, keep the thesaurus you grandmother gave you on your desk. If you are an artist keep a sketch book and your favorite pencil nearby.

 

Remember this is your office. It must suit your needs and stimulate productivity delivering positive results at the end of the day.

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