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Archive for Bath Design

Feb 12 2018

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11 Ways to Add Value to the Bathroom

By Leneiva Head

As the principal broker/owner of a real estate firm, part of my job is to give homeowners and designers tips on preparing a home to sell.  So here I am with data and statistics to support my input on proposed modifications.

The National Association of Realtors’ “2017 Remodeling Impact Report” shows that a renovated bathroom was second-most appealing to buyers and second-most likely to add resale value to the home. Unlike other rooms in a house, the bathroom is pretty much what it’s going to be. You have a sink, toilet, bathtub and possibly a separate shower. What adds value is the presentation, the perception and the experience.

Change how you view the bathroom. This is where you go to start and end the day.  Think for a moment: what comes to mind when you say bathroom? Now, say spa. Admit it, thoughts of serenity and an entirely different set of images came to mind, right? Now, let’s add value!

1. Create a Theme. What images help you relax? Is it the beach, Paris or New York? Bring on the pictures and accent pieces like towels, shelving, candles, a small book or a magazine rack with books.

2. Add Color: Gray is the new white. The hue is trending toward charcoal this year, but be sure to choose a calming shade that doesn’t make the room feel tiny.

3. Make Lighting Fun! Overhead pendant lights at the vanity would be a true showstopper. Because full lighting is not always needed and ambiance matters, add dimmers.

4. Update the Fixtures. People absolutely love pretty faucets. How about a square vanity sink vs. round? Better yet, make it a work of art and install an above-counter unit.

5. Install a Rain Shower. Be sure it comes with a handheld head as well.

6. Update the Vanity. This can be as simple as re-staining or painting the existing cabinetry and updating the knobs/drawer pulls.

7. Feel the Flooring: Luxury vinyl tile is amazing. You can create the illusion of hardwood floors while enjoying the freedom of choosing different colors and textures.

8. Tout the Toilet. Install a tall, elongated toilet with the push-button flushing mechanism. Top it off with a quiet-close seat.

9. Include Seating. One mini chaise or a small chair with a throw changes everything. The toilet need not be the only seat in the room.

10. Add Sound. Bluetooth technology abounds, and music changes the atmosphere of any space. Your transformation will be incomplete without it.

I mentioned that bathroom renovations are second-most appealing to buyers. The kicker is, you only recoup half of your remodeling investment; it adds more value for the existing owner. So, create an amazing spa for personal enjoyment and enjoy it!

Leneiva Head owns Nashville’s top-performing real estate management company, Welcome Home Realty. After her nightmare first-home buying experience, she  was inspired to create her own real estate solution to help first-time homeowners into the home of their dreams and guide them every step of the way.

Dec 04 2017

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Designing in San Francisco


This past week I had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco for the grand opening of a unique showroom concept. While there was not enough time for me to explore the city myself, I was able to speak with the design team behind an award-winning kitchen in the Pacific Heights section of San Francisco.

This historic mansion had lots of overall square footage, but the kitchen was an awkward combination of spaces that had been rearranged over the years. Designers Jennifer Howard of Rye, N.Y.-based JWH Design & Cabinetry and San Francisco-based Jon de la Cruz of De La Cruz Architecture + Design worked in the eight-week time frame to give the homeowners – a family with eight children – a more beautiful and functional space.


The Look. For a twist on the traditional San Francisco kitchen, the design team chose a mixture of concrete-look countertops and two cabinetry finishes: weathered-white oak for the island and modern white perimeter cabinets. The vent hood, designed by de la Cruz, is zinc with a blackened finish, which complements the glossy black backsplash tiles. All of these gray, white and black colors are reminiscent of the fog and clouds rolling in from the water in the city.

Challenges. The new 36-in. column refrigerator and freezer, as well as the 60-in. steam oven, were good sizes for the big family, but they did not fit where originally intended. The solution was closing off the window from the inside, while maintaining the exterior appearance, and putting the appliances on that wall.


“Since this was not one of the windows that overlooked the beautiful San Francisco skyline, the solution was accepted and worked out really well,” said Howard. “The result was a dramatic look with the 36-in. units on either end of the wall, and there was still room left over for cabinetry storage.”


Functionality for the Family. Practical additions include double trash units, cutlery dividers, stainless door protectors on the sink and trash cabinets. An appliance garage also reduces countertop clutter. These all will make a difference in the usability and durability of this family kitchen.

Nov 20 2017

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A Showhouse for a Cause

The proceeds from this year’s Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse are going to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The 8,800-sq.-ft. home, which is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays until Dec. 10, showcases the work of 20 of Atlanta’s top designers. It was built by Sheehan Built Homes and was designed by architectural firm Harrison Design. The cabinets throughout the home were designed by Bell Cabinetry & Design. Photo above by David Christensen

The kitchen, which features shades of white, gray and black, was designed by Meredith McBrearty of Meredith McBrearty Interiors. The quartzite countertops are from Levantina. Photo by David Christensen

A mudroom off the laundry space provides a seating area to take off shoes when entering the house. Plenty of storage was incorporated into this project, which was designed by Lauren Davenport Imber of Davenport Designs Ltd.

A bar off the living space designed by Robert Brown of Robert Brown Interior Design features a countertop in Striato Onyx by Levantina. Gold fixtures and hardware complement the rich, brown cabinetry. Photo by David Christensen

This enclosed shower area designed by Alice Cramer of Alice Cramer Interiors features a cotton white bench and curb in LG Viatera quartz.

The second-floor master bath designed by Patricia McLean of Patricia McClean Interiors features his-and-hers vanities, a tub from MTI Baths and LV Viatera quartz countertops.

The children’s bathroom designed by Mallory Mathison Glenn and Elizabeth Graves features a bold blue paint with splashes of red detail and a quartz countertop.

A freestanding soaking tub from MTI Baths takes center stage in the master bath on the home’s main floor, which was designed by Cathy Rhodes of Cathy Rhodes Interiors.

The ground floor powder room – our favorite room in the house – features marble countertops, DXV plumbing fixtures and whimsical wallpaper. The space was designed by Clary Bosbyshell of Margaux Interiors Limited. Photo by David Christensen

Oct 11 2017

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Design for Everyone

The National Kitchen & Bath Association recently hosted a webinar titled “Top Tips for Implementing Universal Design Strategies” with Dani Polidor, CKD, CBD, owner of Suite Artistry, in Rochester, N.Y. She is NCIDQ and CAPS certified and has been a Design for a Difference ambassador since 2014.

According to cohousing.org, universal design/build presents a shift in the approach to residential design and construction. Comfort and convenience, regardless of age, stature or ability, is the hallmark of inclusive design.

Why Was CAPS Created? 

  • – Americans prefer to remain in their homes as they age rather than to seek assisted living or other arrangements.
  • – Older consumers want a reliable means to identify the professionals they can trust to remodel their homes. Help facilitate the evolution of the home as needs arise.

Polidor identified the seven principles of universal design:

  • – Flexibility in Use
  • – Simple & Intuitive Use
  • – Equitable Use
  • – Tolerance for Error
  • – Perceptible Information
  • – Low Physical Effort
  • – Size and Space for Approach and Use

And she identified the different groups of people who could benefit from universal design:

  • – People with height restrictions
  • – Those who speak different languages
  • – The elderly
  • – Individuals who are disabled
  • – Even those without disabilities

She also shared real-life examples to identify solutions for designing for clients with various needs.

  • Hearing Impaired. Visual, motion and auditory assistive technology
  • Mobility & Accessibility Issues. Ramps, elevators, chair lifts; lever handles and electronic controls; occupancy sensors and rocker switches; drawers and open shelves; lowered cooking surfaces and drawer-style appliances; wall-mounted lavatories and comfort-height toilets; thermostatic or pressure-balanced shower controls; tubs that fir the size, shape and ability of the user; grab bars and benches in showers
  • Sight Impaired/Sensitive. Window films, remote-controlled shades; contrasting floor patterns and colors; large display screens