Glorious Glass is the Material of Choice

A recognised and established trend expected to continue making an impact throughout bathroom design is the remarkable way in which glass can be used as a raw building material. Architects and designers across the globe are continuing to find unique and attractive ways to incorporate glass into home renovations, paving the way for both practical and unusual solutions for the bathroom.

There are obvious benefits to utilising glass, with the most apparent being the sense of an increase in natural light. The passive characteristics of glass allow daylight to pass through without limit, creating a brighter and more welcoming atmosphere. Furthermore,  using glass helps to create a seamless finish like no other, guaranteed to take centre stage in any  bathroom renovation.

Below are a few of our favourite examples of how glass can create a truly striking finish;

Floating Glass Sink by Prizma Studio

This take on the classic bathroom sink demonstrates how something as simple as flowing water can be transformed into majestic beauty. Complete with an invisible drain, transparent wall fixings and a clever internal glass support structure, the sink seemingly floats in situe.

GlassSink

Modern Glass Cristalli Bathtub by Novellini

For the ultimate in opulence, this futuristic approach to transparent bathing is as striking as it is magnificent. Constructed almost entirely from glass, the  straight edged sides meet the upward curves of each end providing a minimalist, unique modern finish like no other.  The freestanding side mounted taps add a hint of chrome, finishing the bath in true European designer fashion.

novellini-bath

Floating Glass Shelving by Adatto 

Storage is an ongoing problem for every household, with the bathroom being no exception. In no time at all, one can expect a wealth of shampoo bottles and body washes cluttering any available surface – Where does it all come from? This unique take on the floating shelf provides an ample wall mounted platform to keep untidiness at bay, with no limit to how many you could have.

glass-shelving

Glass Block Dividing Walls – Various Suppliers

Perhaps a blast from the past, the use of glass block tiles became frequent fare in the 1980′s with many home design moguls incorporating them into the kitchen and bathroom. The truth is, when used right, a glass block wall is great way of dividing space within a room without losing all important natural daylight. The added element of frosting maintains privacy, whilst being an extremely versatile material to work with.

glass-diving-wall

Frameless Glass Shower Enclosure by Twyford

This list wouldn’t be complete without the introduction of a frameless glass shower enclosure – a proven solution to help create a luxury hotel spa escape within the privacy of your own home. Walk in showers usually comprise of a single large glass panel mounted against an adjacent wall, creating a protected open-plan showering space for the user. Combine with a monsoon overhead shower and let the deluge begin!

twyford-frameless

Freestanding Glass Shower Cabin by Di Vapor

Taking a slightly different approach to the frame-less walk-in shower, the enclosed glass cabin provides a practical glass showering solution as it eliminates the need for a waterproof membrane or any additional tiling. There’s a wealth of different sizes and shapes available so decide on your room limitations before you start shopping.  The Venice by Di Vapor provides an ample sealed showering space with dual shower heads, body jets and removeable bench seat.

venice-divapor

Designer Glass Bathroom Mirror by Affinity

The introduction of a large mirror can drastically transform the look & feel of any room, instantly increasing the levels of natural light within the bathroom. This designer example is not only sizable, the side mounted lighting creates a striking mural on an otherwise ordinary wall.  If you haven’t already looked to fit a large mirror in your bathroom, it’s one of the easiest and quickest ways to transform your space.

glass-mirror

If you’ve got a unique example of glass being used in the bathroom, be sure to send it through to us via Facebook.

 

6 Bathroom Trends of 2014 to help you stay on track

Here at the Healthy Hideout we would like to wish all of our readers a very Happy New Year and prosperous 2014! We’ve decided to take a look at the top 6 bathroom trends that will sweep through homes across the nation, so if you’re short for inspiration on your renovation, keep on reading.

Vintage-Style Bathroom Vanity

1. Vintage-style Fittings

They’ve been around for a long time, but the addition of second hand vintage fixtures and fittings can bring a much needed warmth of nostalgia to any room. With the 1920′s at the forefront of most bathroom renovations (think high wall mounted cisterns with a pull chain), you can be sure to see Buckingham Palace style elegance popping up on wanted lists.

2. Rimless WC’s

With a very much quiet introduction into the UK marketplace over the last few months, rimless WC’s are poised to make an impact on UK bathroom design. With a wealth of attractive designs, rimless WC’s are more hygienic & easier to clean when compared to conventional WC’s.

3. Frameless Shower Enclosures

When given the opportunity to install a frameless shower enclosure, many would find it hard to say no. Sleek seamless design combined with unobtrusive doors (or lack thereof) can make quickly transform a standard looking bathroom into a contemporary home spa haven.

4. Colourwatch – Monochrome

We saw a lot of pastel colours last year, complimenting the uprising trend of “up-cycled” vintage furniture. We predict that colour may take a bold turn in 2014, reverting to the ever reliable boldness that a monochrome black & white palette can bring.

5. Texture & Materials

There’s been a strong prominence of gloss finishes in both bathrooms & kitchens over the last decide, but the abundance of matt finish options available for everything from tiles to kitchen worktops points towards another design shift for 2014. Other popular finishes & textures include linen & wood grain – great for feature walls or natural work surfaces.

pp6360-swedish-oak-pgn-worktop-pp1340-white-sco-bb

What do you think will be big in bathroom design this year? Be sure to tweet us your feedback @divapor – We’d love to hear from you.

5 ways of making your project affordable

If you’re planning an upcoming home renovation project such as a bathroom or kitchen, you’ll quickly realise that funds disappear when not managed properly. Budgeting your project down to the last “nut & bolt” can be a menial task, but this attention to detail can save you headaches in the long term.

In addition, sourcing financial support from a number of widely available options can help spread the cost of your project, allowing you concentrate on the finish rather than the finance. Here are 5 top ways of making your project more affordable:

A Home Improvement Loan

Many people turn to a home improvement loan when it comes to financing a renovation, with many banks offering competitive products that are quick and easy to apply for. They work in the same way a personal loan would, with different banks offering different deals depending on your circumstances. As with anything, shop around for the best possible interest rates as they can vary from 5% – 8% depending on your credit rating.  Providing you tick all the boxes, you’ll get the money straight away so your project can be finished quickly and efficiently.

Retailer finance

With an abundance of suppliers in the marketplace, competition has never been stronger. Many retailers now offer their own versions of finance deals to help make your dream kitchen or bathroom become a reality quicker than you’d expect. The interest rates are often very low making retailer finance an affordable option for anyone, with some of the larger retailers offering 0% finance on complete supply & fit options.

Credit cards

Many of us would instantly turn our noses up at credit cards, branded with the image of high interest rates and unrealistic minimum payment options. However, credit card companies have changed their methods in a fast track way to attract new customers, offering 0% interest on purchases for those with strong credit ratings. Be sure to pay off your amount within the grace period (or switch it to another card) as you may face interest rates of up to 25%.

Using your mortgage

The previously mentioned options are all quick and easy ways of getting your project started, but some people now are utilising low interest rates as a way of paying for large projects. By re-mortgaging your home to suit a better finance deal, you’ll often find yourself with a larger source of funds to work with. This isn’t a quick option however as the entire process can take time, not to mention potential fees which can be upwards of £500.00.

Plan & Save

At the risk of not confiding with the ways of modern society, you could always plan your project well in advance, using good old fashioned saving to gather the necessary funds. It’s the way it’s been done for many years before the dawn of credit! Put away a little each month for a set period of time to pay for your renovation, leaving no trail of credit repayments when you settle down to your first hot soak in your new bathroom. There is no better feeling!

How did you plan for your project? Let us know on Twitter @divapor or visit our newly renovated Facebook page!

 

 

Powerful Punchy Pumpkin Seeds

Maintaining a healthy diet is just as important as exercise when it comes to practicing a healthy lifestyle. Many of us are looking at new ways of introducing healthy super foods into our diets, but as our days become busier and schedules become booked up, it’s easy to pick up the wrong kind of snack foods. Say no to doughnuts and crisps and grab yourself a handful of powerful punchy Pumpkin seeds.

Not only are they deliciously more-ish, they’re easy to transport around with you during a busy working day, whilst being widely available in ready to eat packaging. Be wary that they are high in calorific content, so moderation is the key (as is the case with everything). Here are the top 4 pumpkin seed benefits which demonstrate why the pumpkin is the pumpking!

Help control stress

The naturally high level of L-trytophan found in pumpkin seeds have been shown to calm the nerves and maintain a “calm mood”. Ease your stress levels by munching on a handful of the “pumpking” seeds and taking a 5 minute break from your desk!

Glowing Skin

Pumpkin seeds contain a high level of vitamin E, preventing the early breakdown of skin cells. This helps to maintain a youthful looking glow whilst combating high levels of UV found in the sun. Perfect accompaniment for those in a warmer climate.

Lower cholesterol

Packed with phytosterol, which help to reduce cholesterol levels, toasted seeds contain healthy compounds that help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels. This increases your immune response whilst helping to decrease the risk of certain cancers.

They fill you up!

Packed with high levels of protein and fibre, the pumpkin seed is great snack to turn to for a quick fill me up. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds, seasoned with a dash of salt!

Water Aid 2013 Petition Video

A new campaign being launched for Water Aid 2013 has been brought to our attention in the form of a neat new video shown below!

WaterAid, one of Glastonbury Festival’s official charities, is asking everyone to sign a petition in order to pressure world leaders into making sure that everyone everywhere has safe water and sanitation by 2030.  As quoted from marketing agency the 7th Chamber:

This film will be shown on the screens at Glastonbury and in the run up to the festival we are trying to get as many people talking about the petition as we can!

Its a pretty fun dance off video!

Be sure to check out the video and show your support or visit https://www.wateraid.org to donate today! If the video is not working correctly, then watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKocrUxW0vI

5 Wholesome Healthy Heart Foods

The sudden influx of the UK health conscious culture over the last decade has caused many of us to take a long hard look at ourselves ask one simple question – How can I be healthier? Dramatic and unsustainable lifestyle changes really don’t work, so many of us have taken to the idea of changing a small part of our lifestyle one piece at a time. Joining the gym is an option that works for many, but a commonly overlooked area is taking a look at the foods we eat. With coronary heart disease still standing as the number 1 killer in the United Kingdom according the National Office of Statistics, changing what we eat on a day-to-day basis will have a dramatic effect on our heart health.

Although year-on-year statistics are falling with medical advances in science, and as a Nation are making changes in our day-to-day lives, there is still room for improvement. There are obvious requirements such as exercising regularly, eating healthier and drinking less alcohol – but keeping a healthy heart can as simple as avoiding the salt soaked fat induced morsels that tempt up on a daily basis.

Take a look at our recommended 5 wholesome hearty foods and try integrating them today:

Olive Oil

Used daily by the inhabitants of the Mediterranean isles, olive oil has been shown to help regulate blood flow, whilst being rich in healthy mono-saturated fats. According a new 2012 study compiled by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “just 2 tablespoons of olive oil per day almost halves your risk of dying from heart disease”. It’s important to look at swapping saturated fats such as butter or lard that raise the risk of heart disease,  for unsaturated fats like olive oil to help lower your overall cholesterol.

Suggestion: Drizzle over your favourite salad leaves or roasted vegetables! 

Pears

Apples and pears are naturally high in fibre and antioxidants, hence the encouragement to try and eat one at least once a day. The fibre in pears however is made from “pectin” water soluble fibres which has been shown to reduce cholesterol by binding molecules in the bowel instead allowing them to circulate through the bloodstream. Pears also contain antioxidant flavonoids which help to support your cardiovascular health inhibiting plaque formations in the arteries.

Suggestions: Eat as you would normally or try sliced as a dessert or into salads. 

Blueberries

Known as one of the most powerful fruits money can buy, blueberries are powerful disease fighters loaded with antioxidants which work to protect the body against free radicals. The unique blue pigmentation comes from anthocyanins, responsible for providing most of the anti-oxidant properties. Rich in vitamin C, Blueberries are packed with fibre which is essential for lowering your cholesterol levels.

Suggestions: Delicious on their own or sprinkled over your breakfast cereal 

Garlic

Forget the fact that Garlic is the last thing you want to eat on a first date – Garlic is a pocket-sized superfood you simply don’t want to ignore. This spice has been shown to cure and alleviate a number of medical ailments for decades. Research into the properties of garlic and the cause of it’s wonder-powers show how it decreases the build up of fatty deposits in the arteries. Lower calorific values of just 10 calories per clove make them a healthy way of adding flavour to any dish. Garlic also contains allicin which helps to keep blood flowing easily, reducing your blood pressure overall.

Suggestion: Crushed into most foods for added flavour or roasted with vegetables & sweet potatoes

Mackerel

Oily fish such as herring, sardines and mackerel contain high levels of omega-3 – a vital ingredient for improving your overall heart health. The British Heart Foundation recommends that you consume at least two portions of fish each week, with a portion of oily fish at least once a week. Consuming fish this regularly has been shown to help decrease blood pressure, regulate heart beat and make blood less susceptible to clotting.

Suggestion: Steamed with a squeeze of lemon for flavour - delicious!