Monday, October 21, 2013

What exactly is Universal Design?

Leo Chantre, Lisa Bonneville, Mark Doughty and Jason Sevinor
photo credit: Jessica Delaney

Our ability to navigate comfortably through our homes on a daily basis was the topic of discussion at a Design New England Design Salon that we hosted earlier this month in our Beverly showroom. Three guest speakers – Lisa Bonneville of Bonneville Design, Leo Chantre of Stone Projects, and Mark Doughty of Thoughtforms – joined us to share what they know about designing a home with accessibility in mind.

While some think of Universal Design as preparation for Aging in Place, the real plus side of planning ahead for possible limited mobility is that spaces designed with universally accessible features actually benefit a variety of ages and abilities. From the very young to the elderly, to those with temporary or long-term physical challenges, the principles of universal design improve quality of life by creating environments that are safe and comfortable. For those who want to remain in their homes as long as possible, preparing ahead may actually save money in the long term, by avoiding the expense of having to move into an assisted living facility.

photo credit: Jessica Delaney

We asked designer Lisa Bonneville to share the story behind her award-winning master bath that featured universal design products from our showroom. Lisa is the author of The Safe Home, and is an expert on creating lifelong interiors. Lisa explained how there are many thoughtful options available today for universally designed spaces. Gone are the days of commercial looking grab bars and sterile environments. Homeowners can age safely and comfortably in their homes and still satisfy their design sensibilities.

Bonneville Design // photo credits: Eric Roth

Universal design considerations mentioned by our speakers:

prevent falls and slips with flush
entries and adequate lighting
install wood paneling behind drywall
for future grab bar installation
install curbless entry in shower and plan
for room for caretaker in the bath 
touchless faucets and toilets with self-care features
provide independence in the bath
non-porous countertops require least maintenance
while being extremely hygenic
non-glare surfaces and layered light options
are helpful for the vision impaired
include multiple surface heights to accommodate
a variety of ages and heights
provide accessible storage via
roll out shelves and drawers
plan for single level living (full bath on ground floor)
when hoping to age in place 
incorporate exterior views and natural light into the home to be enjoyed by those who spend large stretches of time indoors

photo courtesy: Thoughtforms

photo credit: Jessica Delaney

We had a full house for this event, and a number of people with physical challenges who rely everyday on accessibility through universal design were in the crowd and generously shared their unique points of view.

We thoroughly enjoyed presenting this very important topic for discussion and are always happy to assist our customers in discovering the best fixtures and accessories for a safe, efficient, and beautiful bath. 

To view additional photos taken during our Design Salon event, please visit our facebook page.

Timothy Hopkins Catering // photo credit: Jessica Delaney

Floral arrangements by Laura Thomson Design
photo credit: Jessica Delaney

Event sponsored by Design New England 

Friday, October 11, 2013

12 photos showing California style

Perrin and Rowe tub filler flanked with a pair of Afina mirrors (both available at Designer Bath) seen at the Walker Zanger tile showroom in Los Angeles (WZ tile is available at Tile by Design in Danvers)

While we may be separated by about 3,000 miles and a significant difference in wardrobe styling, interior design choices on the West Coast appear to be very similar to what is available throughout East Coast showrooms. New Englanders may lean toward more traditional looks to fit within the framework of our older homes, and our vibe may not be as minimalist in nature, but it is nice to see that we still have access to the same types of high-style bath products that our sun-kissed neighbors get to enjoy.

Below are more snapshots of favorite brands from our Beverly showroom that I spotted while on a recent trip to visit West Coast design destinations, including the inaugural WestEdge Design Fair in Santa Monica that artfully showcased the latest in contemporary, progressive design. 

Laguna copper lav sink from Native Trails with Water Decor faucet
(both available at Designer Bath)

Walker Zanger on Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles

Visiting a tile showroom is a great way to experience complete vignettes that really highlight a products beauty. How amazing is the chevron textured tile behind the equally textured copper sink from Native Trails? Also loving the black lav faucet ... great combination!

a newly introduced contemporary faucet from Rohl

Seen at WestEdge Design Fair

I saw a real mix of contemporary and traditional styles at the WestEdge Design Fair. Rohl had a number of vignettes set up that included some new products paired with some of their best sellers. Perrin and Rowe, part of the Rohl brand, is very New England looking. In fact, we have the console sink below in our showroom.

traditional (very New England in style) Perrin and Rowe bath

a neat single unit thermostatic shower, hand spray and tub filler

the Turn lav faucet
Rohl photo

The modern Turn faucet from Rohl’s Jorger collection was inspired by the Infinity Tower in Dubai. The helix shape was very eye-catching and it’s available in a variety of finishes including a warm yellow gold called “Sunshine.”

a new stainless copper single bowl kitchen sink from Rohl

We don’t have this sink in our showroom yet, it’s that new! The finish was brilliant:

• the look of copper with the durability of stainless steel
• zero-edge side walls with “TangentEdge” = easy to clean  
• fully insulated with “quiet coat” sound deadening technology

water filtration systems from Everpure on display at WestEdge Design Fair

Fresh filtered water delivered with ease makes Everpure one of my top-picks. We have a working system installed at our showroom coffee bar sink. I visit it throughout the day to fill my drinking glass with crystal clear, cold water (no water bottle waste!) A small filtration unit is placed in the cabinet below the sink. Ask to see it next time you stop by!

New and noteworthy from Blanco ...

Blanco finishes are inherently anti-bacterial with a Hygienic+Plus shield

Blanco Alta Compact kitchen extendable pull-out spray facuet in white

Modex sink in new cinder Silgranite finish from Blanco

Modex features a unique 3 inch profile that sits above the counter and offers a generous amount of task space thanks to the dual draining design and large integrated cutting board.  –Blanco

Modern geometrics mark the latest kitchen collections from Blanco. Their signature Silgranite finish is now available in Cinder, which looks like a warm cross between a slate and a soapstone. Blanco was one of the generous sponsors of my California field trip. We got to see their products while visiting the new Poggenpohl showroom in LA. Read more about Blanco and the other WestEdge-Modenus-BlogTour sponsors in future LA design updates on Design Vignettes. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...