Refrigerators in the Bathroom!
Posted on August 27, 2015
Yes...you read the title right. The hot, new trend is to put a mini, or full, sized refrigerator in your bathroom! According to Houzz, here are seven reasons why it might not be such a crazy concept!
1. Morning caffeine and getting ready go together like coffee and cream! I mean, what's better than having your java brewing while you're soaping up in the shower!?
2. It's important to stay hydrated if you're taking a long steam or soak. Having a cool bottle of water on hand is great for these moments!
3. Sometimes couples want to retreat to the suite for a nightcap. 'Cheers' to a glass of bubbly in the tub!
4. Some medications and vitamins are best kept at below-room temperature.
5. Products like eye cream and lotion have a different and better feel when applied cold. Bonus points for face masks!
6. In addition to beverages, natural beauty aids can be stored in the bathroom. You never know when you'll need cucumber slices on your eyes for that face mask!
7. They're easy to hide. Camouflaging is easy with modern technology and gorgeous design!
The Latest Top 5 Kitchen Trends
Posted on August 19, 2015
According to multiple sources, the following are the top five latest trends in the kitchen! If you're looking to build, remodel, or give your kitchen a fresh, new look, look no further!
1. White and Wood
It's modern, but warm — the best of both worlds. Not something you can do overnight, but this would be a great application for some IKEA butcher block.
The popularity of subway tile (and other glazed white ceramic tile) shows no signs of flagging. It's a lovely, traditional look that works equally well in modern kitchens.
3. Marble Countertops
Because it's a natural material, like wood, marble is wonderful for adding a little bit of visual texture to a modern kitchen.
4. Open Shelving
Open shelving is freakishly popular. Pros: open shelving can make a small kitchen look much larger, and it's a great way to put all your lovely things on display. Cons: all those plastic stadium cups and souvenir pint glasses are going to have to be stashed in the lower cabinets. Can't decide? You could even try a mix of both!
5. Two-Tone Cabinets
Painting upper cabinets and lower cabinets a different color keeps things interesting — and it's an easy makeover you can do by yourself!
To read all the pro's and con's, tips and tricks, and the full article, visit http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/5-top-kitchen-trends-184706#_a5y_p=4080367 !
How to Clean Stainless Steel Surfaces
Posted on August 06, 2015
Below are some of the best ways to handle fingerprints on all those shiny surfaces, as well as how to care for and clean one of the hardest-working surfaces in the house.
Safety first. For safe care and cleaning, start with the right tools. The European Stainless Steel Development Association, or ESDA, suggests using soft sponges and microfiber cloths as the first line of defense.
Don’t clean with steel scouring pads, which can scratch. Instead choose plastic scrubbing pads for tough jobs.
Go with the grain. On stainless steel surfaces with brushed or polished finishes, always wipe and scrub in the same direction as the “grain” lines in the metal.
Better with age. The ESDA says in addition to the availability of an increasing number of fingerprint-proof finishes, regular stainless steel shows fewer fingerprints over time. Patience is a virtue.
Stainless solutions. When it comes to choosing cleaning products, Mindi DiNunno, owner of Polished 2 Perfection, says whatever you decide, the key to cleaning is sticking to it. “Stay consistent,” she says. “Most cleansers don’t blend together well, and it makes it much harder to keep perfect. For appliances, we use CLR[Stainless Steel Cleaner]. It will clean off any hard-water stains from the water and ice dispenser and any drips or food.”
Since products containing chloride can be harmful to the protective finish on stainless steel, the ESDA advises using the following:
- Diluted vinegar (for cleaning limescale)
- Baking soda (to remove coffee deposits)
- Alcoholic solvents, such as acetone (for removing adhesives)
- Chloride-free glass sprays (especially efficient for polished, mirror-like surfaces)
- Commercially manufactured pastes and sprays that specify use on stainless steel
Naturally clean. For a DIY approach to cleaning using pantry items, the sustainable-living team atEartheasy advises dampening a cloth with undiluted white vinegar or olive oil and wiping in the direction of the grain.
To clean a stainless sink, it suggests pouring club soda on an absorbent cloth to scrub, then wiping dry.
Shine on. Spray cleansers made specifically for cleaning decorative stainless steel surfaces usually contain silicone oil, and although they will remove fingerprints and smudges, they will not prevent them. The ESDA says the silicone oil can be completely removed by washing with mild soap and water.
Using a polishing paste is another way to keep stainless sparkling. Commercially sold pastes, such as 3M Marine Metal Restorer and Polish, will create a microscopic wax layer on the surface that will make it easy to clean. Since the pastes are resistant to detergents, treatment with a polishing paste may last several months. It can be removed using alcohol on a soft cloth.
It’s important to note that pastes and sprays meant for cleaning decorative stainless steel elements — refrigerator doors, kitchen backsplashes — should not be used on pots, pans or surfaces where food is prepared.
Do not use silver dip polishes, like the ones used for cleaning jewelry, because they are corrosive to stainless steel.
Be sure to check out http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/51225359/list/how-to-clean-stainless-steel-appliances-and-surfaces for more information!
Awesome Use for Unusable Kitchen Island Space
Posted on August 04, 2015
The kitchen is the heart of the home, and as kitchen sizes increase, so do the size of kitchen islands. It's not uncommon to see a kitchen island 6' x 8' or larger. Unfortunately, with an island this large, the middle often goes unused! Why not turn that wasted space into a beautiful and functional area with a trough sink?
Trough sinks are great for entertaining; fill it up with ice and put in your guests favorite beverages. You can also put flower arrangements in one for an easy DIY centerpiece. There are tons of possibilities for the "kitchen island dead zone" with the addition of a trough sink! Leave the sink as a standalone for a clean look, or increase the possibilities by adding in a kitchen or smaller bar/prep faucet.
Lunch with the Pros - August 28th
Posted on August 03, 2015
Join us for a lunch at Maumee Supply on August 28th, sponsored by:
Burnham - Grundfos - Unico - Triangle Tube - Uponor - Tekmar - Amtrol - InSinkErator - Central Brass - Embassy - Danfoss - Moen
Lunch With The Pro's!
Posted on July 14, 2015
You won't want to miss this month's 'Lunch With The Pro's' Event! Come enjoy lunch on us, meet and chat with the Pro's, and enjoy a Friday afternoon! See you there!
The Time is Now for Showrooms
Posted on July 10, 2015
Here is the latest article in 'The Wholesaler' written by Waterhouse Bath and Kitchen Studio's Manager, Dion Wilson!
One of the topics of late that I am focused on is the future of showrooms within our industry, because I honestly believe this is a make-or-break time for many showrooms. It is due to this belief I not only study what the future will bring to our industry, but what it holds for all main stream brick-and-mortar retail stores. Now you might be wondering how does what the athletic apparel store, electronics store or the locally owned mom and pop dress store have to do with selling toilets and faucets? Well, much more than you might realize.
See, we are all connected by one common thread, one that is constantly evolving; the retail consumer. The consumer that needs a faucet also needs shoes, mobile phones, computers, clothes and so on. I think you see where I am going with this. The Where and Why they choose to spend is as important, if not more so, than What they choose to spend it on. I believe customers worth having want to purchase an experience more than they want to save a few bucks.
Even though online retail accounted for 7% of total sales in the first quarter of 2015 according to the U.S. Census Bureau, brick-and-mortar still retains 93% of the market. That is to say, despite the overall growth in e-commerce, physical stores are far from dead. That is good news for small retailers and showrooms like many of our own. Consumers of all ages still prefer physical stores to e-commerce shopping, according to a study by A.T. Kearney. In fact, brick-and-mortar retailing is not only the industry’s cornerstone today – but also its future, the study predicts. While consumers can find virtually any product online and cheaper, stores need to consider what they can offer shoppers that cannot be replicated virtually. I challenge you to think about not only what you can offer, but also how you offer it in order to sell “Experiences, Not Products.”
One advantage physical retail has over online shopping is the ability to provide consumers with a sensory experience that allows them to touch and feel products, immerse in brand experiences, and engage with sales associates who provide tips and reaffirm shopper enthusiasm. Shoppers never really know how a touch faucet will work unless they have the opportunity to try one out. Similarly, it is difficult to know how useful a new technology will be unless users can test it and see how it can enhance their daily routines. If Amazon or Faucetstore.com (fake website I made up) can beat you on price, how can you win on experience?
With stores focusing on experiential practices, one trend I am seeing is stores offering product immersion experiences. Retailers are taking showrooming to the next level offering one-on-one, expert-led demonstrations of their products within the store. By creating these truly immersive experiences, retailers can leverage their physical presence to find new planes on which to compete with their online-only competitors.
So how does this information translate into your showroom? You have to make the experience consumers have in your showroom a memorable one. You need to bring the "wow" — and do so in a big way. For example, more space dedicated to working displays and lifestyle displays. Consider interactive displays, flat screens running product videos, and use of things like iPads.
If you pay attention to who is doing what in our industry then you know one of the companies blazing the way in experience retail is PIRCH. Founded in 2009 by a group of seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders who set out to prove that shopping for appliances and plumbing products could be inspirational. Now in the midst of a national expansion, the award-winning store has redefined not only an industry, but retail at large. If I started to list the awards PIRCH has won I would need another full page. Just this year they garnered two prestigious industry awards – at KBIS, PIRCH won awards for best multi-location retailer (large), the other for most innovative showroom.
Fostering a culture of hospitality and kindness, PIRCH inspires its customers to dream. PIRCH welcomes entering visitors at their signature Bliss Cafe offering customers signature complimentary beverages. Guests are then invited to embark upon an endless journey of inspired experiences. From design ideas to culinary instruction, the PIRCH experience is best described as magical. The way they present and deliver the consumer a unique experience should be what each of us inspires to achieve in some form or another. I personally consider them the Apple Store of our industry.
Certainly each of us would love if our companies could invest the capitol in our showrooms that PIRCH has in theirs, but that is not in the cards for most of us – though I believe you don’t have to be a PIRCH to deliver the best retail experience within your market. I will use three of my favorite showrooms by Hubbard Pipe & Supply Inc. as examples. Each of the Hubbard Kitchen Bath and Lighting showrooms have been remodeled and crafted to meet the demands and needs of today’s consumers. Hubbard has does something within their showrooms I rarely see done by other showrooms. They have created an environment that is not only inviting, but also gives a feeling of warmth and intimacy. They do so with a mix of textiles, colors and staged displays designed to easily allow a customer to visualize any of their products within their own homes. Their staff conveys a sense of trust and confidence to each of their customers, who come away from the Hubbard experience confident that they have partnered with an experienced advocate there to provide unparalleled customer service before, during and after the sale.
They also have one of my favorite marketing/advertising ideas, whose creation I truly consider nothing less than pure genius. Hubbard has its very own plumbing and lighting fashionista named Sarah Faucet. She is a mix of cartoon character, mascot and spokesperson that represents the Hubbard experience. She can be found on their website, in their advertising, in the showrooms showcasing the latest displays and even about town promoting the importance of shopping and supporting local businesses. That’s right, Sarah gets around, but in a good way. She will show up at local events and other local businesses that Hubbard is cross-promoting with. I follow Sarah’s adventures via Hubbard’s Facebook page. For a cartoon spokesperson she is pretty darn hot; I think she easily could give Jessica Rabbit a run for her money.
Hubbard Kitchen Bath and Lighting showrooms are proof that a family owned, independent local business can deliver consumers an amazing showroom experience rivaling that of showrooms found in major markets. It just takes a little creativity, a vison and the courage to follow that vision.
The size of your showroom — be it 20,000 square feet, or 3,500 square feet — does not matter. What matters is the size of the experience you are offering your customers. Similarly, you don’t have to invest millions to create something memorable. A memorable experience can start with something as inexpensive as the service you personally offer your customers. It can be a cup of coffee or some other beverage that you hand to the customer. Whatever experience you offer, make sure it is one that will make the customer want to buy from you over the Internet or your competition. Make them feel special and I promise the majority of people will reciprocate by patronizing your company and telling their friends they should do the same. To borrow a major corporate slogan — Just Do It!
- See more at: http://www.thewholesaler.com/content/time-now-showrooms#sthash.gcbTjJCf.WuSpejKS.dpuf
5 Tips to Give Your Bathroom High End Style
Posted on June 30, 2015
5 TIPS TO GIVE YOUR BATHROOM HIGH END STYLE: Inspired by the 'Kohler Purist' Line!
ONE | IT BEGINS WITH THE DESIGN.
Either a piece of decor, something you saw while out and about, or an everyday object. For this bathroom, it was the classic look of a Chanel No. 5 bottle. What will yours be?
TWO | USE UNEXPECTED VESSELS FOR STORING ITEMS.
High-end bathrooms are unique, out of the ordinary. As it comes time to accessorize your bathroom, storage is such a big part of that. A lot of times, the beauty of storage gets overlooked; it’s an afterthought. The regular response is to purchase those plastic bins and call it a day. Look at storage needs as an opportunity to add in beautiful objects that will only enhance your space and still meet your needs. Having a collection of beautiful bowls, trays, and bins gives your space high-end appeal.
THREE | ADD IN LIFE.
Although we all love flowers, you may not want to spring for new blooms every week. Potted plants are great too. Every great interior has a form of life. A touch of nature is always a good idea.
FOUR | ADD IN FURNITURE.
Along the same lines as using beautiful objects for storage, you can add furniture into your bathroom. This will give your space a high-end, collected vibe.
FIVE | USE SENTIMENTAL OBJECTS.
Great rooms always have meaning to the ones that live in them. A good designer always designs for the people who live in the space. Yes, in magazines they are styled to perfection and for the camera, but those spaces always have sentiment and thoughtful details that make them shine. A good tip for a high-end bathroom is to make it personal.
Adding in your initials on a monogrammed towel is also always a lovely touch!
For more information, visit http://bliss-athome.com/2015/04/10/10-tips-to-give-your-bathroom-high-end-style/
9 Kitchen Trends That Can't Go Wrong!
Posted on June 23, 2015
1. Love White? You Won’t Go Wrong
It’s hard to believe that white kitchens could get any more popular. But the preference for white cabinets continues to soar. Sixty-seven percent of National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) members said that white is their top choice for cabinets, a 20% climb from two years ago. And layering white on white — white backsplashes beneath white cabinets on white countertops — was spotlighted in the 2014 Best in American Living Awards presented by the National Association of Home Builders.
2. Want Color? Go for Neutral Gray
The popularity of sleek, sophisticated gray color schemes is soaring. Seventy-one percent of NKBA designers said gray is the fastest-growing color scheme for kitchens in 2014.
But gray can be tricky. In cold, cloudy climates, gray can appear frozen unless you use it on warm materials like wood cabinets, or pair it with hot colors likes reds and yellows. On the other hand, gray can appear pleasantly cool in sunny, hot climates — a breath of fresh air in heat and humidity. So while white kitchens are a safe bet, gray is neutral enough — and close enough to white — to have staying power if you use it well.
3. Embrace Smaller Appliances
Small is big these days. Micro-living is taking off for millennials and retirees. Owners of multigenerational homes are installing tiny, secondary kitchens for returning adult children and elderly parents.
Typically, these micro-kitchens feature a two-burner cooktop, combo microwave/convection oven, 18-inch dishwasher, and 60-inch fridge or refrigerator drawer.
4. Choose Quartz Counters Over Granite
In 2013, quartz and granite almost tied in countertop popularity. But in 2014, the trend is definitely toward quartz.
“Consumers Reports” says quartz is the toughest countertop material, which resists scratches, burns, and chips. Crushed quartz stone is mixed with resin to produce countertops that range from solid colors to the look of real granite, but they’ll beat natural stone in toughness. It’s easy to maintain, and unlike granite, you don’t have to seal it annually to prevent stains.
5. Invest in LEDs
Ribbons of LEDs are showing up in the weirdest — and most wonderful — kitchen places: Along toe kicks as nightlights; on the inside of cabinet doors to show off grandma’s china; concealed in crown molding to wash ceilings with light.
LED rope or cove lights are gaining in popularity because:
- LEDs come in a rainbow of colors, from bright to soft white, red, blue, and green.
- You can get creative about where you install them.
- LEDs emit virtually no heat, so you can keep them on forever without burning cabinets or walls.
- LEDs are energy efficient, lasting 50,000 hours on average — five times longer than CFLs.
6. Rethink Your Fridge
Refrigeration is no longer limited to a single, hulking unit. Homeowners are customizing their cooling needs with “point of use” refrigeration, adding cool where they need it.
That could mean adding a counter-height produce fridge in your prep island, next to a wine cooler for the adults, and a juice/soda fridge for the kids.
7. Install a Touch-Activated Faucet
Touch-activated faucets are bursting out the fad category into the kitchen must-have column. In fact, in 2013 their popularity jumped to 30% from 20% the year before.
On the face of it, touch-activated seems a little gimmicky, and with prices starting around $350, it’s certainly a lot of money. But it’s great for those times when you’ve got dirty, chicken-goopy hands, and for those in your household who refuse to turn water on and off between tasks because it’s too much hassle. And as water becomes scarcer, anything that saves gallons will have value — and save you on your water bills.
8. Stick with Transitional Design
More than 60% of NKBA designers say contemporary, with its sleek simplicity, is the fastest-growing kitchen style. Fussy doodads and decorative and distressed glazes are out.
Contemporary looks sleek and clean, but can also come across as cold. The design encourages a non-cluttered look, which can be hard to maintain in a busy home. So it’s better to hedge your bets with transitional design, which combines contemporary and traditional to exploit the best parts of each.
9. Embrace Accessibility Because It’ll Make Your Life Easier
Three here-to-stay trends:
1. Side-opening ovens at counter height: You don’t have to reach up or bend down to fetch your turkey, just comfortably slide it out. It’s one of those slap-your-forehead tweaks that make cooking so much more ergonomic and accessible for everyone.
2. Drawers with deep pockets: Base cabinets have evolved from back-bending storage for pots and pans to deep drawer space — typically 24 inches deep — that can hold just about everything in your kitchen.
Continuing that evolution — heck, let’s call a revolution — are deep drawer organizers, ranging from $7 to more than $200, that make sure everything stays in its place, rather than rumble around in chaos. You can customize drawers with:
- Slots to hold plates and store knives
- Dividers to keep your water bottles separate from your vinegar collection
- Stackable trays that keep utensils away from flatware
- Removable boxes that let you reorganize the drawers at will
3. Microwave drawers: Just like the side-opening oven, by installing the microwave below counter height in a drawer, it’s easier for everyone to use. Just open it up put your food inside, close, and start it. That’s better than above-oven height, which has been the typical location for many years.
Visit http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/kitchens/9-kitchen-trends-that-cant-go-wrong/ for more information.
Posted on June 17, 2015
Introducing the "Red Dot Design Award" winning "Artesso" Faucet from Brizo!
"The esteemed recognition from Red Dot confirms the Brizo brand's commitment to living fashion through high-quality, world-class products." - Sarah Schlifke
Designed for style and function
"The Artesso collection was inspired by everything from factories and forged metal to farming tools and inventions of the time," said Seth Fritz, Brizo product lead industrial designer. "We wanted this design to work in a contemporary kitchen or a tradition kitchen, living as a statement piece in both environments."