Thursday, December 27, 2012

Find true love on Pinterest

Are you on Pinterest? If you are considering a home remodel project for 2013, this is a great site to use as a way to discover what you really love. Besides being able to follow the boards of interior designers, shelter magazines, style curators and home decor businesses, Pinterest allows you to easily save and categorize the design images and ideas that appeal to you most. After pinning photos of glass tiles and soaking tubs over and over again to your inspiration boards, you can be pretty confident that incorporating both in your next project will create a look you could live with for years to come.

By sourcing design ideas online, you will be able to quickly identify the look and feel of your dream bath. Whether you covet a glamorous and sleek modern bath, or a simple and relaxed space suggestive of country charm, your boards will visually help you to narrow down your bath must-haves.

Once you have a good idea of what you love, set up an appointment with one of our design consultants. Before you even come into the showroom, you can request that the consultant check out your likes on Pinterest so that you are both on the same page. Its a great way to quickly get started in the right direction towards achieving your personal version of a what a designer bath should look like. 

We are big fans of Pinterest and have started a number of boards that feature our favorite looks for the bath and kitchen. We also have a shared board with our local Passport to Design partners. Check it out to see what is new and on trend in our showrooms. And if you have designed a bath featuring fixtures from our showroom, tag your images with #mydesignerbath. Wed love to see them! 

Friday, December 21, 2012

5 Gifts that Can’t be Wrapped

Comfort and Joy. We sing about it, we wish it for others, but how can we deliver on it? While there may not be a one size fits all solution, here are five special ways to surprise someone with a gift that keeps giving well beyond the holiday season. 

1. A Luxurious Get-a-Way: Gift Card to Designer Bath

Days begin and end in the bath. A space that is comfortable, well lit, and truly reflective of an individual’s personal design aesthetic (not the previous homeowner’s, for example) is a luxury that can be enjoyed on a day-to-day basis. A gift card from Designer Bath good towards shiny new fixtures, luxurious towel warmers, radiant heat installed under new tile ... this would be the ultimate gift for a new home owner or that special someone who has been dreaming of a bath upgrade. 

photo courtesy: Steamist
watch the video here

2. A Youthful Glow: Steam Bath from Steamist

Steam therapy hydrates dry skin, enhances collagen production, and helps to release the tensions of the day by relaxing sore, tired muscles. Creating a spa-like environment at home is one way to share the healthful benefits of steam year-round without the need to schedule appointments. 

3. Virtual Levitation: A Good Long Soak  

A soaking tub is a lot more than just a pretty fixture (although some of them can certainly be considered sculptural works of art). Submerging the body in warm water induces relaxation while relieving stress on joints. Heat therapy quiets the mind and allows the bodys natural pain relievers to work more quickly and effectively. Radiant heat technology in the bath structure provides a warm surface for neck, back, and shoulders, allowing the user to escape reality in warm, enveloping comfort.   

image courtesy: Brizo
watch the video here

4. Designer Model: Smart-Touch Plus Faucet by Brizo

The little black dress of elegant faucets, this sleek number featuring hands-free technology is part of an exclusive bath collection by international fashion designer Jason Wu for Brizo. Bonus gift: coordinating matte black accessories are available. The perfect fit for the fashionista on your list. 

5. Colorful Therapy Sessions: Vedana from Bain Ultra

The ultimate personal time out, the Vedana Therapeutic Care Unit offers four transporting experiences that foster overall well-being.  Light, color, scent, heat and sound are combined to create a guided sensory experience that can clear the mind, energize, and induce feelings of joy. 

Designer Bath will be open on Saturday, December 22nd from 9am to 4pm. Check out our special on sale now link for “take home today” gift giving. We will be closed on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Design Forecast: Going Green

Have you heard the news? It’s all the rage ... Emerald Green is THE color of the year for 2013 as determined by the experts at Pantone. We have to admit to being a bit sad to see Tangerine Tango left behind as it is one of our Designer Bath favorites. Even so, we are never one to shy away from finding ways to incorporate modern design trends into classically inspired baths. While we don’t offer the emerald green fixtures of yesteryear in our showroom today, may we present some alternative suggestions ...

From Linkasink:
Oval Undermount sink

The brilliance of emerald green is easily replicated with both glass and stone. While a set of vintage knobs in this highly-saturated color may be enough for one person, another might appreciate an accent wall set entirely with verdant green mosaic tiles, or a striking countertop fabricated from a slab of natural malachite.

Rich green looks crisp with white fixtures by

Accessorizing with pops of green will effortlessly add some emerald sparkle to a bath. If full on emerald is too strong for your taste, feel free to interpret this new trend by choosing a similar shade on the fan deck.

Add visual depth to the space by combining patterns and textures that share a common green thread. To see how one local designer created an elegant green guest bath, visit our recent post on the Junior League of Boston Show House.

Outside our showroom, we have discovered that emerald green and tangerine tango can co-exist quite nicely. Do stop by and see for yourself.

Monday, December 3, 2012

7 sinks that will make you look good

Hammered Metal Prep Sink from Native Trails 

When company is coming, having the space to prepare and serve both food and drinks becomes number one on the holiday wish list. This is when having a separate bar or prep sink really comes in handy. A second, smaller sink will allow more than one person to have access to fresh running water without having to interrupt the family chef. It can also serve as a drink station, again keeping traffic away from the kitchen’s work triangle. Second sinks can be designed into an island, a separate counter, or even in a different room (from butler’s pantry to great room). 

Luna Bar Sink from Native Trails

Prepare for all conversation to stop and all heads to turn as this "entertainer" steals the show. Luna's half moon design creates a work space in front of the sink that is especially great for kitchen or cocktail-hour prep work. Or, when entertaining, fill it with ice and keep beverages or seafood appetizers cool and accessible for guests. 

Rio Grande from Native Trails 

The sleek design of Rio Grande creates a contemporary focal point for your bar or prep area (but with an old world feel). Beautifully made of hand-hammered copper, this creation from Native Trails is available in Antique or hand-dipped Brushed Nickel.

photo credit: Yvonne Blacker

This elegantly appointed wet bar was recently featured as part of the Wenham Museum Heart of the Home Kitchen Tour. See more of this designer kitchen by Wilson Kelsey Design here.
See more bar faucets like this one from Perrin and Rowe
on display at the Designer Bath showroom.

Multi-function kitchen sinks can easily make you appear to be a master chef when preparing for guests. This round stainless steel sink from Blanco has an integrated glass cutting board option as well as a set of colanders that can be placed right below the cutting board for effortless prep work.

Kallista Multiere available through Designer Bath

If you have a lot of room to work with, you might want to consider the 45 inch Multiere from Kallista. This award-winning sink is the ultimate multi-tasker with a cutlery rinsing tray, teak cutting board, colander holder, towel bar and knife sharpener all in one. View a video that shows all the bells and whistles as described by designer, Mick De Giulio. 

Elkay Mystic Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink 
with cutting board is on sale now!

Currently on display in our Beverly showroom, this multi-function kitchen sink from Elkay has been significantly reduced. Check it out on our Sale Page. It’s ready to take home today, just in time to help you prep for the holidays in style.

Friday, November 23, 2012

From Studs to Stunning

photo courtesy: Toto

Earlier this month we hosted the first design presentation in the Passport to Design seminar series, “From Studs to Stunning: Remodeling Tips from the Pros.” A panel of local design experts shared their tips on the best ways to prepare for a successful bathroom renovation project from the point of view of a remodeling contractor, Gary Moffie of The Remodeling Company; a representative from the decorative plumbing supply industry, John Magruder of Magruder Associates; and an award-winning interior designer, Sally Wilson of Wilson Kelsey Design.

Guest panelist Sally Wilson with moderator Mary Beth Haggerty
photo credit: Andrew Swaine

Their individual presentations were followed up with a question and answer period moderated by the President of the New England chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, Mary Beth Haggerty of The Drawing Room Interior Design. We had a full house of guests who arrived eager to learn how to make bath remodel decisions with confidence. Whether creating a small powder room or a large master bath, taking the time to plan in advance was stressed as the key step to achieving the very best end results. 

Images from The Remodeling Company portfolio of projects ...

Bath remodeling statistics and advice from Gary Moffie ...

Bathroom remodeling has the second highest average return on investment when selling your house, preceded by kitchen remodeling.

The two finishes that maintain their original appearance the longest by far are chrome and stainless steel. Bathrooms 10 or more years old with these fixtures still look showroom new. Next best is satin nickel, and the least durable are bronze and brass/gold.

Upgrading your bathroom’s wiring, plumbing, and fixtures can substantially improve your home’s efficiency and safety.

Moisture is your bathroom’s greatest enemy. Mold and mildew will make quick work of any renovation you’ve done so be sure to install a vent fan of appropriate CFMs for the square footage of your bathroom. 

Universal Design: Another trend in master bathrooms is the use of universal design. This approach, designed to accommodate people of all ages and abilities, includes wider doorways, showers with no raised lip around the bottom, larger shower doors and more room around fixtures. Once thought of as industrial-looking, universal elements such as grab bars now blend seamlessly into even the most luxurious bathrooms.

Consider water efficiency: shower heads, toilets, and faucets have all become more water-efficient in recent years.

Guest panelist Gary Moffie (plaid shirt) answering questions from the audience.
photo credit: Andrew Swaine

Gary also stressed the importance of working as a team and trusting your contractor to keep the best interests of your project – and your budget – in mind.

When a design plan is decided in advance, homeowners will be more likely to meet their deadlines and stay on budget by avoiding costly change orders.

Another important tip: beware of lead times. Find out when an item will be available before committing to it in your final design. Tile shipping from another country, for example, could delay the completion of a project if it does not arrive when everything else is ready to go.

When constructing a bathroom, be sure to block (add framing lumber support) for towel bars, toilet paper holders, wall mounted vanities and other heavy-use items that must be secured to the wall. The Remodeling Company will often use strategically placed sheets of plywood to ensure that adequate wall space is designated for these purposes.

Guest panelist John Magruder shared industry trends ...

photo credit: Andrew Swaine

Some trends that John is seeing in the decorative plumbing industry: double bowl vanities, vanities with open shelf designs, free-standing soaking tubs, attention to aging in place (hand-showers that act as grab bars), shower enclosures without thresholds or headers, wall hung products like vanities and toilets as a small space solution, and environmentally responsible products that conserve water while considering their manufacturing impact.

When planning a bath remodel, John recommends choosing the shower valve first since that has to be roughed in at the beginning stage of the project. A valuable option today is a universal thermostatic shower valve which can accomodate dozens of different trims choices.

John notes that the clean, minimalist lines of contemporary design are showing up more and more in the collections offered by the quality brands that he represents. Where the purchasing trend in New England used to be around 90% traditional design, John is seeing that number change to around 70% traditional, with contemporary and transitional choices making up the difference.

Images from Sally Wilson’s portfolio of bath projects ...

When planning ahead for a bath remodel, Sally recommends that you ask yourself “What have I always wanted in my bathroom?” Start from there in order to prepare an attainable budget that balances desires with necessities.

Designer upgrades that Sally’s clients have appreciated the most: the statement of a custom mosaic tile pattern, the comfort of heated floors especially when paired with marble, the luxury of a Toto washlet, the joy received from a soaking tub. With some of these heavier options, such as marble flooring or a large soaking tub, Sally cautions to plan in the construction phase for added floor weight considerations.

When asked about the influence that trends have on design decisions, Sally encourages her clients to go for what they love and not worry about what is currently considered popular in shelter magazines. Many looks and styles return to fashion after a period of time, so choose based on the style of your home paired with what appeals to you.

When trying to determine the look for a bath, she recommends starting with the faucet. “There are lots of beautiful faucets out there but you can’t own them all.”

photo credit: Andrew Swaine

Vice President Jason Sevinor and Sales Consultant Beezee Honan
with guest Dani Poole from FBN Construction
photo credit: Andrew Swaine

Designer Maureen McGrain with Designer Bath associates Maureen Hodgkins
and Michelle Ritchie, plus Lisa Amore of lucia lighting and design
photo credit: Andrew Swaine

photo credit: Andrew Swaine

Food by Timothy S. Hopkins Catering of Ipswich
photo credit: Andrew Swaine

Floral arrangements by Laura Thomson Design
photo credit: Laura Thomson

photo credit: Yvonne Blacker

photo credit: Yvonne Blacker

photo credit: Andrew Swaine

Thanks to everyone who joined us for this first seminar in the Passport to Design series! Next up will be “New Fabric Trends” which will be presented on Thursday, December 6th from 6:30-8:30pm at Circle Furniture in Cambridge. Click here to register to attend. Then pick up a Passport and enter to win the $20,000 Home Makeover sweepstakes and you, too, could be on your way to creating the designer bath of your dreams : )

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