August 27, 2015 § Leave a comment
Once the ready made manufacturers start mass producing a style, you know it’s in response to a trending demand. This trend I agree with is floating vanities. They make a small room feel less encumbered and more streamlined. Meeting a demand for transitional design, W2 by Wetstyle has a beautiful collection at more affordable prices.
What I like about the W2 collection by Wetstyle is that it’s the whole package. The counter top (Wetmar Bio) comes with the vanity saving you thousands of dollars in not having to buy a whole slab of quartz or marble and the labor to fabricate the slabs. Pick a single hole faucet and sink and you’re good to go!
Wetsyle’s newest brand, W2, includes an all-wood furniture collection with a slim profile integrated washbasin. Designed to make a statement in smaller bathroom spaces, the transitional-style vanities are available in sizes ranging from 24″ to 60″, in one- and two-drawer configurations with one or two sink bowls. The vanity is available in oak with a plank effect – mix of rift, flat and quarter cuts – with Mocha or Charcoal finish.
Need to know: Consult your contractor for installation details. Support into the studs is required for floating vanities.
For more information visit ttp://wetstyle.ca/product-w2/element-vanity-30#
June 3, 2015 § Leave a comment
Blanco introduced the ONE – the most recent addition to Blanco’s stainless steel collection offering a fresh approach to single bowl sinks. The Blanco One XL single bowl shape offers convenience for the things we need at the sink. This is a work horse sink allowing for many function that happen at the sink. A magnetic, removable sponge holder allows for convenient access to hold sponges or long-handled scrubbie brushes. There is a thoughtfully designed two level stainless steel grid bottom to allow for prepping, stacking and cleaning. It is like you have two sinks! Resting delicate lettuce leaves in a colander is not a problem in this single bowl because Blanco designed the bowl with with an elevated grid so your food prep area can share space in the bowl on a higher tier and away from dirty mixing bowl you just used to mix a sauce. Mise en place removable containers to customize your foodie habits for having your cutting board, knives & cooking utensils where you need them while prepping. The single bowl sink you can customize. There are five kits to work with your needs. For more information visit http://www.blanco-germany.com/en_us/en_us/blanco_one_2/blanco_one_tv.html
April 16, 2015 § Leave a comment
A new article claims that super-sized kitchens, breakfast bars and ultra-convenient pantries are not doing our waistlines any favors. Read here. Is it true that your expanded kitchen will expand you waistline? Oh no, what to do, what to do? Blame your kitchen designer, that’s what! Well even though it would be nice to point the finger at someone else for our expanding waistlines, that is not necessarily the truth in why we are fat. It is about personal responsibility in what we choose to put in our new sleekly designed kitchens.
Healthy eating habits are formed regardless of your kitchen space weather modern or old, big or small. The beauty of modernizing your kitchen is that technology and innovation in appliances are there to support your healthy eating habits. You can achieve a smart and efficient design that encourages healthy eating habits even if your space is small. Steam and convection ovens provide healthy ways of preparing our meals. Refrigeration that controls temperatures to protect the longevity of our expensive organic produce we buy for the week. Wouldn’t we all love to stop off at the produce stand daily to buy our veggies but how practical is that? What I wouldn’t give for turning a wine fridge into a wheat grass grower!
What consumers want is convenience and efficiency. I agree that it would be ideal to shop daily for the freshest produce but our fast paced lives prevent us from a daily trip to the market. What my clients want is bigger and better storage. Not just a big cabinet, but a cabinet with drawers. And if you are stuck with a small kitchen with limited storage, how many of you have a second refrigerator in the garage? It’s about being practical, purchasing in bulk is a cost saver for larger families.
People have a desire for good food and how to be more efficient in making good meals. One of my favorite cookbook authors, Mark Bittman, is one of the country’s best-known, most widely respected food writers. His cookbooks are in demand for those of us who love good food and do not have a lot of time for a complicated recipe.
I don’t have clients asking me for better storage for the FryDaddy. Clients are making sure that there is proper clearance for the taller Vita-Mix blenders that will sit on the counter. (PS., Vita Mix redesigned them so they fit in 17″H space, perfect for a 18″ backsplash. ) For the truly health conscience consumers, they are purchasing juicers and not just one but sometimes two or three! You’ve got to have a juicer, a blender and maybe you even have a smaller Ninja Bullet. Part of that trend in juicing is the need for better functional design and storage solutions for these health related appliances, and with it comes the need for smarter storage solutions as well as easy clean up solutions.
So don’t feel guilty for wanting to open up your kitchen with it’s fancy new features.
Embrace it, eat healthy, entertain in the kitchen, and enjoy!
April 12, 2015 § Leave a comment
Here is my five top five features every kitchen should have.
1) Interior Cabinet Lighting Light up your most used drawers, corner storage and tall pantry cabinets with lights controlled on a sensor that engage when the drawer or door opens and closes.
Save your sink base from water leaks with a protective thick rubber mat that can hold up to a liter of liquid from seeping into your cabinet and damaging your sink base floor. A very functional kitchen accessory that should be a mandatory item with every kitchen cabinet order. Also an easy add on for existing cabinets. It comes in various sizes including 21″ depth for vanity sink base sizes.
3.) 12″ Base Pull out Cabinets
The most awkward cabinets are narrow 12″ width base cabinets with a single top drawer and a door with a shelf below. Make a narrow space more functional with a pull out drawer dedicated to a specific use. 12″ has never been more functional for storing kitchen utensils next to the cook top or in the bathroom for curling irons & hair dryers.
4. Toe Kick Drawer
Small Space + Touch Latch Hardware + Toe kick drawers = Storage Love! Townhouse kitchens, small kitchens with minimal drawer space can really benefit from found space in your 4 1/2″ toe kick area. Locate these wonderful toe kick drawers underneath your sink base or any base cabinet for more storage. I can think of a million ways to use my toe kick storage! A place for dog leashes and cat toys. Long barbecue utensils I don’t want to take up prime real estate in my top drawers, large platters and serving trays, extra canned goods, foils and plastic wrap, extra gadgets that I need near by but don’t want in my top drawers.
5. Drawers, Drawers, Drawers!
My favorite item in a kitchen is drawers! There are so many options today for larger storage up to 48″ wide. Sink base drawers, cook top deep drawer storage. The possibilities are endless.
June 15, 2011 § 1 Comment
I just read a post from the great Saxon Henry about her experience visiting American Standard. So eloquent and witty, she said exactly what I felt and thought about our recent tour of American Standard’s Design Center, but the difference is she has the writers knack and I do not. I will sum it up ever so clumsy by nodding my head and agreeing, “Yup, what she said.”
So without further ado, let me point you to Saxon Henry’s post.
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June 14, 2011 § 7 Comments
Last week, I was pleased to be one of six invited guests of American Standard for a tour of the American Standard Design Center in Piscataway, New Jersey.
The design and marketing team at American Standard Brands provided a great presentation highlighting the current trends in designer faucets, fixtures, furniture, sinks & tubs. As a designer, I look forward to attending factory tours because you get to see firsthand the level of detail, craftsmanship and service that goes into your decorative fixtures. Gray Uhl, Director of Design at American Standards, stated it most eloquently, “When you don’t think about my product, we’ve done a good job.” Maybe more important than style, durability and reliability is what you first come to expect from your fixtures.
So the question on everyone’s mind lately is what does the consumer expect from their decorative plumbing fixtures? Are we looking at the end of excess or is luxury back? The answer may be a little of both. The American consumer is very savvy and the demand for quality products is a very important factor in deciding which brand to buy.
- Contemporary styles are still on the rise. You have to wonder how many ways can a faucet be redesigned? You would be surprised! The design department is always trying out new shapes and ideas, (and I will have to tell you about the 3-D copier in a minute), but some of the most popular shapes that get a thumbs up with test groups are contemporary or transitional styles with more sculptural shapes.
- Bathing is sinking and showers dominate. Say it isn’t so! But yes, as building styles adapt to a smaller footprint, so it goes with a shift in reducing the size of tubs to accommodate a walk in shower or showers with zero thresholds.
- You won’t see tubs disappear entirely; instead tubs are being designed smarter. Watch for modular combinations in whirlpool tubs and eco silent tubs. A quiet whirlpool tub? Yes, it is possible!
- Watch for an increase in freestanding tubs as well.
- Bathroom collections will continue to have a furniture quality. Toilets have the look of furniture with higher seats, consciously mimicking furniture.
- Re-purposing design details from the 1920’s with modern performance and ergonomics is a classic that will continue to be popular.
If you are a computer nerd like me, you will enjoy hearing about the 3-D copiers. The engineers can draw the shape of a faucet in CAD and send it to the 3-D copier to produce a prototype made out of ABS plastic. I was surprised to see fishing wire is utilized in these high priced copiers. Yes, fishing wire! Of course there is a lot of other high priced gadgetry involved in a 3-D copier. If you were looking to pick one up, be prepared to shell out over $40,000 for one of these machines.
Mad scientist skills and sworn to secrecy policy:
Part of the fun of touring manufacturing facilities is that you get to see what they are working on that might be top secret. Since I have been sworn to secrecy there are some things I cannot tell you about. Let me just say, these engineers and designers really have a cool gig and toilet humor aside, they really flush out all the details to ensure your bathroom toilets, faucets and fixtures provide durable and lasting performance. You have no idea the level of detail and technological advancement that goes into design and product development and as Gray Uhl said, “When you don’t think about my product, we’ve done a good job.”
American Standard Brands is a leading North American manufacturer of a wide range of high-quality building products, including faucets, fixtures, furniture, vitreous china fixtures, cast iron sinks, whirlpool tubs and other wellness products for the bath and kitchen as well as decorative panels. The company currently offers total project solutions for residential and commercial customers; employs more than 5,000 people in the United States, Canada and Mexico; and markets products under well-known and respected brands, such as American Standard®, Jado®, Porcher®, Safety Tubs®, Crane®, Eljer®, Fiat® and Decorative Panels International®. American Standard Brands is an affiliated portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners. For more information, visit www.americanstandard.com
January 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
The National Association of Plumbing Showroom Professionals announced that Kohler company has pledged their support to the NAOPSP’s newest endeavor to develop e-reader type price books.
The idea behind this endeavor is to develop an industry standard format for price books which can be accessed on an e-reader, tablet or some other sort of electronic device.
The move towards electronic price books is a smart one that saves time, money and decreases the burden on our environment. Price books become obsolete very quickly once a product design or price correction is added, addendum’s must be sent out to dealers and hopefully the updates make it into all the price books. As one who used to work in a showroom, I made sure my price books were up to date, but invariably, when busy, I would grab for another person’s price book and the updates were not included. This leads to pricing errors and slows down the sales order process.
The value in E-Reader Price Books means that manufacturer’s can send price updates seamlessly with automatic updates and additional collateral sales material for their product. I look forward to more manufacturers providing E-Reader price books. This kind of sales tool is the wave of the future saving sales associates time and making the sales process more efficient.
- State of the eBook: 2011 Begins! (geardiary.com)