K+BB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Archive for March, 2015

Mar 31 2015

Posted by
Comments off

Blending Artificial Light and Daylighting in the Bath

The very best illumination for a bathroom, hands down, is daylight. It is natural, full-spectrum, powerful (sometimes too powerful) and best of all, free for the taking. It is not, unfortunately, available 24 hours a day, but the times it is roughly coincide with our workdays.

Here are two “landlocked” bathrooms with our lighting and daylighting solutions.

Bathing in Light Copy Small

Dramatic Spa Bath
Two ordinary 1970s baths were gutted and combined into one grand his-and-her bath in Denver’s Country Club neighborhood. Since the neighbor was just 10 feet away from the outside shower wall, a decision was made to forgo windows and instead create a gabled “roof monitor” that penetrates the flat roof above, which pours daylight into the center of the bath (with a soaking tub) below. The client enjoys total privacy and says she “feels like she’s taking a bath outside.”

"Spa" bath before

“Spa” bath before

A single MR16 lamp illuminates the tub, while recessed downlights provide ambient light. Tall fluorescent sconces on either side of the his-and-her vanities provide makeup lighting. Each person has his/her own water closet compartment as well, while they share the generous curbless shower, which features his-and-her showerheads and controls at either end. A light color palette featuring limestone and glass tile assures that no footcandle is wasted.

Inside Bath After - Copy

Suburban Inside Bath
This 1970s bath was landlocked in the very middle of a 3,300-sq.-ft. ranch home in Westminster, Colo., and was shared by two sisters. By reaching for the sky and installing a tubular daylight device (TDD) up through the roof, daylight reached this bath for the first time since it was framed up and before the roof trusses went on!

Inside bath before

Inside bath before

Reconstruction Experts, the contractor for this extensive remodel, took care to wrap the TDD in insulation to block a common source of heat loss into the attic from the room below. Suddenly, one didn’t need to flip a switch to make a quick visit – unless they were applying makeup or visiting at night. Decorative sconces to either side of the vessel sink provide flattering light for makeup, while dedicated recessed spot lighting at the tub and toilet make sure there is ample lighting for each task.

– By Doug Walter, AIA, senior architect, Godden/Sudik Architects, Centennial, Colo., www.goddensudik.com.

Mar 26 2015

Posted by
Comments off

Make a Seat…So You May Take a Seat

home-seating-areas-A-296x370

Many readers know me as a contributing writer to WestSound Home & Garden Magazine. I am also a residential designer, remodeling contractor and an avid tennis player. Ten years ago, I had a mishap on the courts and seriously injured my left ankle.

At that time, the shower in our master bathroom was a 32-in. by-32-in. stall type. Needless to say, I had a dickens of a time showering in this confined space with no grab bar or seat.

A year later when my husband and I commenced a rebuild of our home, I vowed to make sure there was a multitude of places to sit down in our new home – and boy, am I glad that I did. Recently, I had an identical accident but this time my right ankle was injured.

When planning your next home build or remodel project, remember to incorporate seating opportunities throughout your home. A bench at the back and/or front door for removing shoes, a seat in the shower, a chair or storage bench in a walk-in closet, a chair or storage bench in a bathroom, a window seat at the landing of a set of stairs, a banquette or eating bar in the kitchen are just a few ideas to consider.

As inconvenient as my injury is, at least this time around I can navigate our home with ease and safety. A seat in the shower allows me to sit and bathe with the handheld shower and under average circumstances, it provides the ultimate in relaxation as the water cascades over me and all the stress of the day runs down the drain.

The chair in the bathroom is used for trimming and polishing toenails, dressing, as well as removing an ankle boot. (I will let you in on a secret; I sometimes pull the chair up to the bathtub and stream movies while soaking.)

home-seating-areas-B-370x271

The cedar chest in the closet (a garage sale find from my college days) is a great place for putting on socks and shoes (and ankle boots), setting a suitcase for travel packing, as well as sitting and contemplating what I want to wear for the day. Warning: Chairs and benches in a closet often become a receptacle for clothes that need to be returned to a hanging rod or dresser drawer. Take this into consideration when selecting the size of the bench or chair.

With a little forethought and planning, you can make your home safe and comfortable and subdue whatever curve (tennis) balls life throws your way. Remember – make a seat, so you may take a seat.

– By Molly Erin McCabe, ADBD, CGP, CAPS. Reprinted with permission from WestSound Home & Garden Magazine.

 

Mar 23 2015

Posted by
Comments off

A Guide to Kitchen Countertop Options

A kitchen countertop is more than just a surface in a home – it’s the place kids do their homework and where people gather with friends and family over home-cooked meals. Choosing a new kitchen countertop is an important part of any kitchen renovation, and different homes will have different needs that a kitchen countertop will have to fill. Here’s your guide to choosing the right traditional kitchen countertop for your client’s home.

Print

Granite

  • Cost: Varies on type and availability of the specific stone
  • Durability: Medium to high
  • Heat Resistance: High
  • Food Safe: Easily cleaned if properly sealed

If you want a versatile kitchen countertop, granite is the right choice; it’s available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and it can fit in any style of home – from traditional to contemporary.

Print

Marble

  • Cost: Medium to high
  • Durability: Low (susceptible to staining, etching and scratching)
  • Heat Resistance: High
  • Food Safe: Medium

Used mostly in traditional designs, marble should be properly sealed to reduce staining, and trivets or mats should be used to avoid scratching. Marble is easily cleaned with stone cleaner, water, or mild soap and water.

Print

Quartzite

  • Cost: Medium to high
  • Durability: Medium
  • Heat Resistance: High
  • Food Safe: High (less porous than some stone surfaces)

Although quartzite is an extremely hard stone, it’s susceptible to chipping. It’s also highly versatile with a variety of colors, and quartzite requires proper maintenance and care. Quartzite is easy to maintain with stone cleaners or soap and water.

Print

Quartz

  • Cost: Medium
  • Durability: High
  • Heat Resistance: High
  • Food Safe: High

For an ecofriendly option, consider quartz, which requires less maintenance and is a greener alternative to natural stone. Clean quartz with soap and water or Windex – you don’t even need to seal it.

Print

Soapstone

  • Cost: Medium to high
  • Durability: Medium (liable to chip, scratch and flake)
  • Heat Resistance: High
  • Food Safe: High

Since soapstone is naturally dense with low liquid absorption, it’s relatively food safe; however, it’s also soft and prone to damage. Soapstone’s aesthetic fits well with traditional designs, and it’s more often used on smaller countertops.

Print

Natural Wood

  • Cost: Medium to high
  • Durability: Low
  • Heat Resistance: Low
  • Food Safe: High

Over time, wood will show nicks and wear, which actually add a charming, unique look to the countertop. Anti-bacterial enzymes found in trees keep natural wood food safe, and wood is easy to clean with a mixture of vinegar and water. Natural wood is most commonly found in transitional and traditional designs, but it can also add warmth to modern designs.

Print

Glass

  • Cost: Medium to high
  • Durability: Medium
  • Heat Resistance: Medium to high
  • Food Safe: High

A non-porous surface, glass is easy to clean and maintain, as long as the proper care is taken to prevent scratches and chips. With varying colors and thicknesses, glass offers homeowners a vast amount of design options to complement any kitchen.

– Information from Drury Design’s Kitchen Countertop Surfaces Comparison and Care Guide, www.drurydesigns.com/blog/kitchen-countertop-guide.  

 

 

 

 

Mar 23 2015

Posted by
Comments off

Dads Gain More Respect with Regard to Home Design

Image from marin, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image from marin, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Steve Kleber of Kleber and Associates, an Atlanta-based home brands specialist and marketing data company, says it just makes good business sense to pay attention to how homes and families are depicted in advertising, in pop culture, in the movies and on TV. His company conducts studies and plumbs research to more effectively market home-related products. Its data found that men are more involved than ever in home design and making appliance choices.

This renewed respect for and spotlight on fathers has ramifications for all areas of the home. The more casual, active lifestyles of families today have dad not only grilling outdoors, but also in the kitchen. With workout spaces in the home becoming more prevalent, men are also making design decisions for the bathroom, favoring multi-head showers and other high-tech features.

According to a study by the NPD Group, a retail and marketing data company, not only is the number of men involved in cooking and cuisine at a historical high, but today’s men “covet mixers, toasters and gourmet appliances just as much as navigation systems, mobile phones and audio components.”

Men are no longer relegated to man caves – the dark recesses of the basement (unless it’s converted into a world-class home theater) – but are actively enjoying the whole house. The modern dad also finds time to coach his child’s soccer or softball team, attend parent-teacher conferences, carve out a space for a home office and install a fully equipped outdoor kitchen with fireplace on the terrace – all with one hand tied behind his back. Just kidding; one project at a time.

The message is clear: Men matter – whether married or single, with or without children. Their decisions include all facets of lifestyle products and services for the entire home.

Hold on…it’s Manwich time!