K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for Bath Design

Feb 26 2015

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How to Select the Right Toilet for Your Client

Mansfield - Pic - Quantum 1.28

When renovating a bathroom, replacing the toilet can improve performance and use less water, which will obviously save your client on water bills and provide for a more efficient home.

Saving Water = Saving Dollars

Adrianna Miller, product manager with Mansfield Plumbing, recommends starting the search by looking for toilets marked with the WaterSense label. WaterSense is a partnership program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering suggestions for using less water with water-efficient products. Toilets earning the WaterSense label have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance.

A Water Savings Calculator can help determine how much savings a family can gain by investing in different types of toilets. For example, a family of five can potentially save 20,257 gallons of water a year using a 1.28 GPF toilet, which can equate to an estimated $80 savings in water bills.

The Right Height

When replacing a toilet, consider the height from the floor to the top of the toilet seat. The standard toilet height is anywhere from 14-3/4 to 15-1/2 inches, but there are other versions available that provide more comfortable access for users.

“As we age, it’s more difficult to get up and down from a low-height toilet,” said Miller. “Taller toilets are easier to use for many people, including those who are taller themselves or have physical challenges.” 

Style Counts

Another important consideration for toilet selection is style of the toilet itself. There are both one- and two-piece toilet options, with choices of round or elongated shaped bowls. Different locations for the flushing handle (which can be on the front, side or top of the tank) should be considered, along with colors choices, which traditionally include white, bone and biscuit.

Finally, look at the styles of toilets with both exposed and concealed trapways. The trap performs the important function of removing waste from the toilet bowl during the flushing system. In some toilets you can see the outline of where this plumbing feature occurs at the base and back of the toilet, whereas in others the design completely covers the trapway.

“Selecting a new toilet is all about personal choices that work best for you and your family,” said Miller. “There are sleek-looking designs for contemporary spaces along with more traditional designs. Whether you’re looking for clean, classic lines or soft curves, there’s the ideal toilet for everyone.”

- Courtesy of Mansfield Plumbing

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Feb 19 2015

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To Bill or Not to Bill for Your Time

Image by phasinphoto, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image by phasinphoto, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In our K+BB Designers Network LinkedIn Group, Cindy Sherman, a kitchen & bath designer in Fort Morgan, Colo., asked the following questions: Do you charge for your “shopping” time, whether online, thumbing catalogs or meeting with local contacts? If I take the time to do all of the selections and they don’t purchase them through me, I have wasted valuable time. How do you all handle this?

We want to share the responses with you.

Kristi Wyndham, CKD, Lead Designer at Beaches Woodcrafts

As a 35-year veteran in the kitchen industry, I have ALWAYS charged for my time. If you don’t put a value on your time, no one else will. I use it as a qualifier; if they are not willing to put down a design retainer, they are probably not in my market. I do give every client one free hour of consultation to sell myself and my services. This is a verbal consultation and a few pencil sketches…by the time we are 30 minutes into the meeting, they are signing the retainer check. Many of those who have walked away after the hour send their friends to me because they learned the hard way that my fee is worth every dime.

Laura Vlaming, CKD, Certified Kitchen Designer at Arkiteriors

I charge an hourly rate for all design services, period, but no markup on products, since pricing can be found on the Internet. I tell my customers they are paying for my time and my service. If possible, I have the customer pay the vendor directly, telling the vendor I am passing on my discount. My customers are happy about getting the discount, and I’m happy I can get my value in services provided. The caveat is that many times I don’t charge for all the time I actually spend searching for that perfect light fixture or knob.

When it comes to the plumbing fixtures, depending on the project scope, I often have the plumber order the products per my specifications. The plumbers I work with give the customer a good price so they can have control over all the parts required. This works well, so 1) The plumber is responsible for coordinating pick up/deliveries & possible returns or missing parts (time). 2) When the plumber is passing on discounted pricing, it discourages clients from purchasing on the Internet, possibly ordering wrong (or omitting parts required), leading to job delays.

Anne-Marie Harvey, AKBD, Designer/Owner/Author at Fresh Kitchen and Bath Design, LLC

I also charge for all of my time. It says right on my website that clients receive one hour of complimentary time where we discuss the project in detail, but no work begins until I receive the project initiation fee. I also have a four-hour minimum charge, so if someone doesn’t want plans drawn up, for example, just needs help with selections, they must pay an invoice for four hours of my time before we begin.

I often end up spending a bit more time than I bill for, but if you are spending time on someone’s project, you should be paid. I am only designing at this point, so I am not making money on selling products. I know some designers who sell product will return some of the design fee or give a reduced rate if the client buys through them.

Cindy Sherman, K&B Designer in Fort Morgan. Colo.

Thank you for the insights, it seems we all struggle with similar issues – spending more time than we bill for. I have trade accounts with some companies that complement my business, as well as a local showroom. If the client is interested in a particular sink and faucet, it’s easy for me to find one through my resources. To compensate, I can either bill for selection time or add a margin to the product (which is minimal because I still pass along a discount). I guess it’s a way to control that the correct products/specifications/dimensions are selected and make sure they are on site when needed.

 

 

 

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Feb 03 2015

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Modenus Talks Tackles Power of Design

Brands, Design Pros, Media and VIPs Convene for Idea Exchange to Kick Off Their Design & Construction Week Experience

The Modenus Talks event at the Las Vegas Market brought 75 participants together from all areas of the interior design and kitchen & bath design industry on Jan. 19 – just before KBIS and IBS opened for business. The day revolved around the important topic of “The Power of Design: How Does Great Design Impact the Way We Live & Work?”

Lively Q&A sessions followed ASID CEO Randy Fiser’s keynote and color expert, Amy Wax’s, presentation at the sold-out Modenus Talks event.

Lively Q&A sessions followed ASID CEO Randy Fiser’s keynote and color expert, Amy Wax’s, presentation at the sold-out Modenus Talks event. All photos by Chasen West Photography.

Keynote Randy Fiser, CEO of ASID, spoke on the “Power of Design,” followed by Color911 founder Amy Wax’s presentation on the “Impact of Color.” A group brainstorming session, mirrored online as a Twitter Chat, yielded important elements that can and should be considered by design professionals when developing a design concept for a client. Solutions and ideas brought forth in this dynamic session covered everything from the psychological impact of color, sound and smell to the physical impact of well-thought-out space plans, sustainable material selections and lighting design – to name a few.

NKBAU Professional of the Year Rhonda Knoche, CMKBD, and Molly Switzer, AKBD, present their team’s outdoor living concept.

NKBAU Professional of the Year Rhonda Knoche, CMKBD, and Molly Switzer, AKBD, present their team’s outdoor living concept.

During the afternoon session, the audience divided into eight groups to create design concept using a minimum of three of the elements that had been identified during the brainstorming session. Teams presented the projects at the end of the day with results that produced an urban oasis; a universal-design restaurant concept; a colorful modular group office; an interactive, healthy day care; a feature-rich micro home, as well as kitchen, bath and loft challenges.

Interior designers Holly Hollingsworth Phillips, (left) and Pamela Copeman, review their three key terms of wellness in design as it relates to their bathroom/spa concept.

Interior designers Holly Hollingsworth Phillips, (left) and Pamela Copeman, review their three key terms of wellness in design as it relates to their bathroom/spa concept.

“Seminars and learning sessions are crucial to stay relevant in our industry, but the format may not fit everyone in the room. Individuals have their own experiences and knowledge to share.” said Veronika Miller, CEO of Modenus. “We created Modenus Talks to bring brands, design pros, media, showroom owners and others together through conversation, sharing of ideas, skills and experience.”

Judges Brian Pagel, vice president, Kitchen Bath Group, Emerald Expositions; Chelsie Butler, executive editor K+BB Magazine; and Laurie March, designer and HGTV/DIY Network personality, gave top honors to the universally-design restaurant concept created by Designers Mitzi Beach, Robin Siegerman and Anne Edwards, color expert Amy Wax and sponsor Thermador’s Director of Brand Marketing Zack Elkin. Other event sponsors included Mr. Steam, Blanco, Cosentino and KBIS.

Awarding the winners of the Modenus Talk Design Challenge: Judges Brian Pagel, vice president, Kitchen Bath Group, Emerald Expositions; Chelsie Butler, executive editor K+BB Magazine; and Laurie March, designer and HGTV/DIY Network personality.

Awarding the winners of the Modenus Talk Design Challenge: Judges Brian Pagel, vice president, Kitchen Bath Group, Emerald Expositions; Chelsie Butler, executive editor K+BB Magazine; and Laurie March, designer and HGTV/DIY Network personality.

Modenus Talks, produced by Modenus.com, is a series of one-day events, as well as smaller, showroom-based events that leverage Modenus’ design network locally and regionally.

Leanne Wood Newman,  principal, Flying Camel

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Jan 30 2015

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Twitter Chat Community Builds Buzz for KBIS

What started as a small group of kitchen and bath pros getting together on Twitter each Wednesday afternoon has grown into a significant vehicle for industry information and KBIS communications. A KBIS hosted pre-show chat on January 14 had 244 participants, 2,770 tweets about the show and an estimated reach of more than 700,000 twitter users in the week prior to and including the one-hour chat.

The progressive KBTRIBECHAT at KBIS 2015 kicked off in the Wellborn Cabinet booth.

The Progressive KBTRIBECHAT at KBIS 2015 kicked off in the Wellborn Cabinet booth.

On the first day of the show, KBIS 2015 and Stacy Garcia, founder of the #KBTRIBECHAT, hosted a progressive show floor chat sponsored by Wellborn Cabinet Inc., TOTO USA and Cambria. A large group of social influencers toured the three exhibitor booths learning about new product, new initiatives and tweeting their findings and favorite products to the larger social community.

Cambria presented the #KBTRIBECHAT community with new products and celebrity guest Mariel Hemingway.

Cambria presented the #KBTRIBECHAT community with new products and celebrity guest Mariel Hemingway.

Highlights included smart design, automation and customization from Wellborn; water-saving technologies and people-first innovation from TOTO USA; and textures, design possibilities and advanced fabrication techniques from Cambria.

Renée Lyn, 
marketing communications & social content coordinator for TOTO USA, reviews new eco washlet options during the Progressive #KBTRIBECHAT.

Renée Lyn, 
marketing communications & social content coordinator for TOTO USA, reviews new eco washlet options during the Progressive #KBTRIBECHAT.

During the usual Wednesday time slot on January 21, Formica held an in-booth #KBTribeChat that supported the show with topics that covered top products, color trends, technology finds and must-see booths at KBIS 2015.

#KBTRIBECHAT founder Stacy Garcia (center) oversees the tribe at the Formica booth for a KBIS top picks and trends chat.

#KBTRIBECHAT founder Stacy Garcia (center) oversees the tribe at the Formica booth for a KBIS top picks and trends chat.

      – KBIS Social Media Team

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