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Design Inspirations







Entries in Kohler (5)


KBIS goes Green

Straight from Chicago’s KBIS---- This year’s Kitchen and Bath Show featured more Green product than I remember in recent history! MANY manufacturers have realized that not all consumers are made of money and that there is a big market for ‘affordable’ remodeling options.

Kohler came out with a new product called the ‘Hydro Rail shower column’  which looks like a hand shower bar, but is actually a ‘plumbing bar’  that allows you to select any shower head and add it to the top of the bar and any hand shower and add it to the bar, without having to re plumb your shower wall.  In other words, you do not have to remove the old valves and add new valves just because you want to change your shower head and/or want to add a hand shower.

Another super cool solution to the hand shower re plumbing issue is solved by Delta .In2ition features a detachable handshower, which can run separately from or simultaneously with the showerhead.  It comes with its’ own diverter allowing you to select the shower head and hand shower, showerhead only or handshower only. The handshower ‘docks’ inside the shower head and is held in place with magnetic force.  There is a pause function to save water while you are lathering as well as the super impressive stretchable hose!

Finally, another great remodeling product is the new flexible drain pipe from Kohler.  PureFlo features a flexible overflow ell as well as a drain ell for easy installation to fit various bath angles.  In laymens terms, it reduces plumbing costs by not having to move the tub drain.   It offers standard 1 ½” OD flexible tubing and you can choose from a number of tub drains and overflow trims to finish off your remodel!

 Keeping Green,



The Urban Spa

The private Urban Spa is the most recent of trends in our community.  Whether it is a reaction to the stress that we experience exponentially, or our desire to pamper ourselves, we are seeking relaxation opportunities for our lives.  Many of us are creating private 'spas' in our homes to fulfill those needs.  Remodeling a bathroom into your private urban spa is not necessarily more expensive than a normal bathroom remodel.  You just need a few key items to ensure your relaxation.   Here are some basics:

To create a peaceful, relaxing area you should a) select natural materials for the flooring, walls and counters b)  allow the textures from the natural materials create pattern and interest c)  select colors that are soothing (no fire engine reds) d) select fixtures that have simple lines (no ornateness)

Options for your home spa:  a)  heated towel warmer (this can double as the towel rack) b) steam shower (steam shower fixtures are available through Kohler) c) heated flooring d) music (sound system) e) tubs with heat, jets or bubbles f)  large open showers with body sprays, rain shower heads and hand showers g) bench to lay down on both in the steam shower and outside the shower  h) sauna  i) foot massager  j) foot baths (yes they exist! see MTI's foot bath) k) specialty shower enclosures l) aroma therapy & light therapy (available through most tub & shower manufacturers - see Kohler DTV electronic interface

As with any remodel, the key to success is planning. Call me and we can create your eternal relaxation spa!  Chiao!


Water Conservation in the Wet Northwest

As my relatives in Minot North Dakota are being flooded out of their homes, I feel sadly blessed that we have been spared the wrath of natural disasters that have hit the world this year.   Who was it that said, 'take care of nature or nature will take care of you?' Actually, I think it was me.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a fanatic about water conservation.  I hit several brick walls in my efforts to implement conservation programs over a large population base, mainly because the cost of water to us is so low.  We do not have an economic incentive to conserve water.  We conserve water only when/because we want to do the 'right thing.'

Recently I received a couple publications from Seattle Public Utilities that gave me a glimmer of hope.  The first was the Drinking Water Quality Report which reported that our drinking water was very clean, that it costs us LESS than a Penny a Gallon to have water delivered to our taps, and that we have one of the best drinking water systems in the nation.  Quite impressive.  In the very last paragraph, however,  SPU noted that elevated levels of lead and copper are often found in our drinking water due to corroded plumbing systems.  ALERT!  SPU is working hard to get clean water to you, but if you actually want to drink or cook with clean water you need to confirm that you do not have corroded plumbing.  In a city that is mainly compromised of older homes, I would guess that there lots of households that have not replaced the plumbing in their homes.  Health Tip of the Day: When you remodel a kitchen or bath, due yourself a healthy favor and replace as much of the old plumbing that you can afford to.

The second flyer had a section on a new program that was MY IDEA (thank god someone is implementing it!)  Qualified customers in Seattle can get a FREE water-efficient toilet and have it installed by a licensed plumber for FREE if they meet income guidelines.  (My program did not offer the toilet nor the installation for free, so this is actually a better program) Household income for 2 people can be up to $3,273 a month to qualify. PLUS, the picture that is in the flyer is the stylish Kohler Persuade toilet.  I am hoping this is the toilet being given away, but even if not, it indicates that it is probably a Kohler toilet and that is a good thing.  American made, family owned company in Kohler, Wisconsin, Kohler has made an effort to meet and beat the WaterSense guidelines for water conservation and have a large array of HET's available.  HET is tech talk for High Efficiency Toilets.  Who said I wasn't a techy?  Ciao!


Not your ordinary kitchen sink

Are you familiar with apron front sinks?  They are usually installed in traditional kitchens, country kitchens and summer homes.  This year, APRON FRONT SINKS ARE BACK with zest!  And they are significantly different than the existing styles.  Some apron front sinks require custom made cabinets that can support 200 pounds!  Hand made sinks can have enough variance in dimensions that you have to wait until the sink arrives to start building the custom cabinet. NOT THESE NEW SINKS. 

Straight from KBIS (annual Kitchen and Bath show), is the new Apron-Front sink from Kohler; the Whitehaven self trimming under mount sink.  Kohler is smart;  they made this sink for both new construction and for remodelers.  This new, clean lined sink is available with both a 9" and a 7"  front that can fit into an existing 36" sink cabinet.  Available in all the standard colors it comes with a counter top cutout template for "perfect, predictable  installation results." 


I am REALLY excited about the new Vault sink.  This is a Contemporary Apron-Front Sink. Isn't that an oxymoron?  This sink is sweet, clean lined, under mount and contemporary.  PLUS, if one of your objections to apron-front sinks is the single basin feature, wait no more.  Kohler is smart again, they have a version of the Vault that has a low divide, providing division, but still retaining the apron-front sink look.   Even sweeter, they come with a metal bottom basin rack at no extra charge!  I'm sold!

For more information on the Vault sink visit our 'Featured Products' page on this website. 

I look forward to hearing your comments and responses to these products.  Please email, call or respond to this blog! 206.517.4424   Ciao!


Bathing in Style in a 60x32

I have found that people either love to take baths or really don't like or use bathtubs.  For those who love to take baths, it is often a therapeutic, ritualistic experience.  Steamy hot water, bath oils or salts, scented candles, music, a good book...There are thousands of wonderful bathing options that help you achieve this experience, but when limited to a 60" x 32" area (the typical size of an existing bathtub), those options become limited.  Here are some ways to create the Personal Spa Experience that you have dreamed of in your 60x32  space.

Select a tub that allows you to personalize your options.   MTI Whirlpool tubs (left, Andrea 6) allow you to select water jets, air bubbles, heated (inline heaters), aromatherapy, chromatherapy, pillows, factory installed hand held showers, non slip bottom, integral grab bars in many finishes, stereo speakers, integral arm rests and a removable teak seat to use with the arm rests.  The teak seat is great if you are like me and like to sit slighting above the tub floor.  MTI also offers a teak seat that is attached to the wall and can fold down. 

 If you recall my foot surgery experience, you'll remember my new found appreciation of bathroom fixtures that use 'universal' design concepts.  This means designing for people of all ages and abilities.  In my case, I asked 'how do I safely get in and out of the bathtub while standing on one foot?'  The first option is a seat or bench that acts as a 'transfer' area. (The drop down teak bench is a good example)  It is a bench that is easy to sit on (because it is at chair height), allowing you to swing your legs around into the tub.  This is the safe way to enter the tub, from a seated position.  The next step in the transfer solution is to sit down into the tub.  Since the tub is presumably filled with water, it can be very slippery so a carefully placed grab bar is the safe solution.

While there are tubs made specifically to 'walk in,' (SafetyTub), that fit within our 60x32 space, they look fairly institutional and you still have to 'walk' in, stepping over the curb, through a fairly skinny opening to sit down on the seat.  The plus side of this tub is that it has a ONE MINUTE drain feature.  Which means you will be shivering for only one minute while the hot water drains.  It also features all the bells and whistles as options, aromatherapy, different hydro massage options, etc. 

There is a new third option available.  It is the Kohler Elevance Rising Wall Bath.  Basically, the bottom of the tub is at chair height, the side of the tub slides down, allowing you to easily transfer and sit in the tub.  You swing your legs into the tub, raise the 'wall' and voila! You are in the tub and seated safely.  The tub has a nice design and offers a bubble massage and integral hand shower option.  The grab bars are integral to the tub, and Kohler boasts that the tub will drain in under two minutes. Upside, it provides a safe way to bathe.  Downside, it is only offered in white, it is 33.5" wide and we lost most of our hydrotherapy, chromatherapy and aromatherapy options. 

These are the latest bathing options for your bathroom remodel that stays within your existing space and layout.  Talk to you soon - I am going to take a long, hot bath!