Tag Archives: Kohler

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Small space kitchen and bath trends

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Small space kitchen and bath trends

Condo dwellers can rejoice that most noteworthy trends seen at the Kitchen and Bath Show in Orlando, Fla. — multi-tasking sink systems, narrow-width and smart-enabled appliances, new and interesting finishes, colourful accessories, and attractive storage units — are all available in small space options.

The Chef Center from Swiss kitchen manufacturer Franke, for example, is a sink system that includes removable glass cutting boards, roll-up mats, compost bins, colanders and a sink grid that quickly and effectively doubles working area.

Liebherr’s 24-inch stainless tower is designed for condominiums, small urban dwellings and galley kitchens. Standout features include LED lighting and a ventilation system the company says extends the shelf life of food as much as three times longer than conventional refrigerators. A small space bonus — it’s also extremely quiet. Bosch’s 24-inch wall oven is one of the many smart appliances now on the market: it’s WiFi connected through an app that allows the user to remotely control the unit and has 11 standard settings to reduce guess work.

Storage for wine, kitchen gear, and accessories continue to draw attention. Designed and manufactured in Canada, Liquid Systems’ wine storage units fit in just about any unused corner of a small kitchen and are available in 12 colours of aluminum held by stainless steel hardware.

Quebec-based Miralis just launched a contemporary glass cabinetry line called Curio that offers highly configurable display space for both curated collections and everyday kitchenware. With cleverly concealed hinges and integrated LED lighting, it’s a sleek and sensible use of space.

Good design is being increasingly applied to historically overlooked accessories. Kohler, for example, will release a line of trash cans with a space-saving slim profile, and which come in matte stainless steel and matte black stainless steel, making them a nice punctuation point to appliances.

Coloured kitchenware is another emerging trend. An easy way to introduce it will be Le Creuset’s individual stoneware cocottes in a floral shape, along with coffee cups and appetizer pates in soft, ombre pastels (coming in April).

DXV’s Modulus collection does for the small-space bath what Franke does for the kitchen counter. The collection of bath fixtures, faucets, furniture (in gorgeous natural oak veneers) and accessories can be endlessly customized to optimize space, with co-ordinating accessory trays that can be stowed in a matching wall-mounted vanity. For a quick bathroom fix, there are any number of easy-to-install, affordable shower heads designed to create a spa-like experience. Delta’s In2ition two-in-one showerhead, for example, delivers great overhead spray and a hand unit, useful for bathing pets and kids and for washing out the shower.

Gold finishes are increasingly being seen in both kitchens and bath. Moen, example, introduced a new brushed gold finish, available in contemporary and traditional designs. Concerned that gold won’t mix with chrome or other finishes? Don’t worry – mixing metals is now not only acceptable, it’s considered downright chic, especially when paired with black or navy!

Follow Vicky Sanderson at Around the House www.aroundthehouse.ca and on Twitter @ATHwithVicky, Instagram @athwithvicky or Facebook www.facebook.com/ATHWithVicky

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Home Finds: Back to the Future

Home Finds: Trend Watch: Back to the Future

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Home Finds: Trend Watch: Back to the Future

by Silvana Longo

Today’s kitchen combines future-forward convenience, stylish customization and a nod to the classic touches that warm up and make this hard-working space, the most inviting in the home.

Kitchen Dress-Up

The culinary accessories are vast and bring enhanced function to this central hub of the home…
it is also an opportunity to add much-needed personality to a kitchen

MATTE + BLACK = CHIC

Designed by Brett Beldock, this traditional dining chair gets a modern upgrade with high-gloss, black-painted rattan and brass detailing.

Rattan & Brass DINING CHAIR, $399

cb2.com

— Sil’s Pick —

Handmade stoneware dinnerware with organic edges and a modern matte-black glaze sets the table for everyday and special occasions alike.

Crisp Matte Black DINNERWARE, $5.95 – $19.95

cb2.com

The SUSSEX single light pendant features a black finish with a metal shade. This fixture comes with an integrated LED that saves energy and lasts a long time. It is perfect for the dining room and a kitchen island. For more impact, a set of two or three, depending on the size, adds more light and symmetry.

Canarm Sussex LED Black PENDANT, $103.95

homedepot.ca

— Em’s Pick —

This tilt-head stand mixer has a five-quart stainlesssteel bowl with handle, and has 10 different speeds to mix, knead and whip ingredients with ease.

KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Tilt-Head Stand MIXER, $599.99

kitchenaid.ca

FLOWER POWER

These compact stoneware flower cocottes are specially designed for individual preparation and presentation, with a beautiful floral shape just right for springtime.

Set of 3 Mini Flower COCOTTES, $79

lecreuset.com

CHALK IT UP

This unique cabinet door doubles as a blackboard surface making it perfect to organize everything from family schedules to weekly dinners, or express yourself by adding an inspirational quote.

Uddevalla DOOR, $40

ikea.ca

DINE IN NATURE

Leafy watercolour herbs grace the creamy interior of this gorgeous ceramic serving bowl, plus the dark exterior provides contrast.

Herb PLATES, Set of 4, $44.95

crateandbarrel.ca

PENCHANT FOR PENDANTS

Want to add a little Middle Eastern influence to your kitchen lighting?
These perforated metal shades in a rich, vintage brass finish will add a global touch and
texture to your decorative lighting options.

LIGHT PENDANTS from the cobistyle Starstruck Collection.

For more information, go to artcraft.com

This pendant adds a bold and edgy look to a kitchen. – Silvana Longo

Featuring a single light pendant, this eclectic lighting piece is made from solid steel, brass, smoked bronze or matte black, with signature knurled-satin metal and matte-rubber detailing. Buster + Punch also offers a range of light bulbs with original styling, including the LED BUSTER Bulb.

Buster + Punch Heavy Metal PENDANT ships worldwide

busterandpunch.us

FABULOUSLY FARMHOUSE

The textures and tones of this kitchen, paired with the enduring Farmstead sink, bring a sense of charm and warmth to the space. When contemporary design meets refreshing farmhouse style, it provides a tranquil atmosphere while adding character to the kitchen.

Farmstead SINK and Tournant FAUCET.

For pricing, contact kohler.ca.

GOLDEN TOUCH

A new brushed-satin finish with rose-gold undertones brings warmth to any kitchen. Purposeful zones help organize the items you use most. The unique pantry-inspired layout and shelving system stores 30 per cent more than other refrigerators in its class. Wi-Fi-enabled with smart features and a mobile app. Comes out in early summer.

Whirlpool® Smart Counter Depth French Door-within-Door REFRIGERATOR in new Fingerprint-Resistant Sunset Bronze, $4,999

whirlpool.ca

FAUCET FINISHES

Tayga Pulldown Faucet, black, $239

homedepot.ca

Taft faucet from Newport Brass.

Available at Dupont Plumbing Supplies

NYVATTNET kitchen faucet in polished brass colour, $149

ikea.ca

WALL CERAMICS WITH A TWIST

The Senio City collection is a chevron wall ceramic that can be installed for kitchen backsplashes or dining room accent walls. A big trend right now is a ‘fade-out’ effect where tiles fade from one colour to another or in the case of the Senio City, fading from a high polished to silky-matte finish. The chevron pattern is a reinvented classic that looks great in both traditional to contemporary spaces.

Senio City 3×10 chevron, 5 colours, matte or polished

for pricing contact ceragres.ca

TAILORMADE TILES

The Crafted tile collection combines the beauty of handcrafted clay, the charm of timeless bricks, and the boldness of turning subway tiles on their sides. The collection is comprised of a number of non-traditional tiles, like the black and white collection, which ranges from hand-drawn horizontal lines to more intricate horizontal and vertical lines.

For pricing and shipping information, hastingstilebath.com.

1 Black and White Collection | 2 Snow and Sage Subway tiles | 3 Handmade Decor Vintage

THE NEW WOOD LOOK

The 300-collection is a glazed porcelain tile suitable for residential and commercial installations. Its superior technical qualities include a slip-resistant factor all while assuring easy maintenance — perfect for a kitchen.

For more information or pricing, ceragres.ca.

SPICE UP YOUR KITCHEN with NEW HARDWARE

Available in gold, silver and black, these handles add the perfect touch in completing your kitchen project.

ENERYDA, $7.99 two in a package

ikea.ca

The Aether collection explores the inner section carvings reminiscent of the Cubist composition. Haute Deco architectural hardware is located in London, U.K. and they ship worldwide.

For pricing & shipping, hautedeco.com.

The Conga collection combines Tiki-style with mid-century minimalism. Available in five finishes.

From $6.60 to $17.40; available at Upper Canada Specialty Hardware


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Product Showcase: Space Saving Solutions

Product Showcase: Space Saving Solutions

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Product Showcase: Space Saving Solutions

by Rise Levy

SLEEK & SEAMLESS

Whether it’s a snug condo powder room or a shower stall with barely enough room to store your bathroom accessories, a small washroom can really cramp your style. Luckily, Kohler Canada has come out with a selection of space-saving products that are sure to make a small bathroom feel bigger, as if by magic!

KOHLER

Kohler.ca

THE SPACE DISCOVERY PEOPLE

Superior Closets is an established, family-owned business, catering to both the public and the designer trade. They specialize in designing and manufacturing custom-made closet organizers and cabinets, wall units and mirror doors. Choose from a variety of styles at prices to suit everyone’s budget; all products are backed by a lifetime warranty. For a free estimate, call or visit their website.

SUPERIOR CLOSETS

superiorclosets.com

LUXURY SPACE MANAGEMENT

For four decades California Closets has built a reputation as a leader in premium and luxury space-management, delivering truly custom products and unparalleled service. They have helped transform spaces and allowed people to get more out of their homes—and do more in their everyday lives.

CALIFORNIA CLOSETS

californiaclosets.ca

UNIQUE & PRACTICAL STORAGE SOLUTIONS

As the premier experts in custom closets and cabinetry for the Greater Toronto Area for over 30 years, Space Age Closets is your number one provider of beautiful and practical storage solutions, offering custom closets and custom built-in wall units for every room to fit all your needs. The professional in-home consultations offered by Space Age Closets are complimentary, and when they’re finished, your storage solutions are just like you: unique!

SPACE AGE CLOSETS

spaceageclosets.com


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Reno Expert: Think Small

Reno Expert: Think Small

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Reno Expert: Think Small

by Jim Caruk

Condo and tiny-home dwellers need to find compact or multi-tasking appliances and furniture

A couple of years ago, I wrote about the growing trend of tiny houses: Residences that are only a few hundred square feet in total, often built on wheels. Cost-effective, yes, but not very practical for most people.

But even with the recent decline in housing prices, the average detached home in Toronto still goes for more than $1-million, and semi-detached homes aren’t far behind. As a result, for many people, condos have become the default starter home.

Another recent trend has been that the condos they build today keep getting smaller than the ones built in the past. While some of Toronto’s older condos have three bedrooms spread across 1,200 sq.ft. or more, most new condos are one-bedroom or bachelor units crammed into half that space, or less.

PRODUCTS THAT MEASURE UP

All of which adds up to having to think compact—or multi-purpose—when renovating small spaces. Luckily, appliance manufacturers have recognized this trend and are making products to fit the bill. And condo-sized doesn’t have to mean no-name, budget offerings. Home-chef favourite, Wolf has 24″-wide ovens and induction cooktops in its lineup, while Bosch boasts an 18″-wide fridge.

Other appliances are true multi-taskers, such as Panasonic’s four-in-one 1.2-cu.ft. stainless-steel oven that combines steam, convection, microwave, and grill cooking all-in-one built-in unit. There are also two-in-one washer-dryers that handle both tasks in one unit.

Even the kitchen sink can be a multi-tasker. Kohler designed its Prolific sink with small spaces specifically in mind. The 33″ x 17¾” basin comes with five accessories, including a bamboo cutting board and a dishwasher-safe colander, all of which you can store right in the sink basin when not in use.

JIM’S PICK

I recently toured Panasonic Canada’s office and showroom to check out their lineup of products. Perfect for a small space and out-of-view storage are these revolving racks that can hold up to 56 pairs of shoes.

https://go.panasonic.ca/storageandorganization.html

 

 

 

CAPTION: photography courtesy of Panasonic

MURPHY MAKES A COMEBACK

Efficient use of space extends beyond the kitchen. People of my generation may remember Murphy beds as a part of the punchline from old black-and-white comedies where someone gets folded up into the wall. But by saving (extremely) valuable floor space during the day, Murphy beds have again become a popular and practical sleeping option.

And it’s not just beds that tuck away. I’ve seen sideboards that fold out into extra serving space, dining tables with extensions that slide away when not in use, and closet organizers that can hold dozens of pairs of shoes in a relatively small space. Finally, don’t forget the space that sliding pocket doors can save.

Designing and furnishing a small space requires careful planning. But if it’s done right, you can really live large.

Jim Caruk, Renovation Editor

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback. Do you have a reno or decor question for our team of experts?

Email editorial@renoanddecor.com


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rc_jan12_2018_fi

Kitchen Planner

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Kitchen Planner

The faucet and sink are the focal point in the hardest working room in any home

The kitchen is the hub of any home, and the sink and faucet are probably the hardest working components in any kitchen. By focusing on those two interrelated components you can generate a lot of business working with clients ranging from budget-conscious, small-space dwellers, to affluent homeowners looking to create the luxurious kitchen of their dreams.

Tight spaces and tight budgets

Many homeowners are looking for a low-budget spruce up, either to refresh a dated but otherwise functional look, or to maximize resale value when putting their home on the market. A new sink and faucet is an affordable upgrade that doesn’t require any structural changes.

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The reality for many is that condos have become the de facto “starter home.” Condo-sized kitchens required condo-sized thinking. The Prolific sink was designed with small spaces specifically in mind. The 33” x 17¾” basin comes with five accessories, including a bamboo cutting board and a dishwasher-safe colander, all of which you can store right in the sink basin when not in use.

Expansive upgrades

If space isn’t an issue, clients will appreciate a large double-basin sink that makes washing and rinsing easy. Kohler’s Whitehaven under-mount sink has a classic farmhouse style apron front that overlaps existing cabinetry. The 24”- to 36”-wide sinks have large- and medium-sized basins, separated by a low divider. Each is available in 16 different colours, from white to “Black Black,” and the durable enamelled cast-iron finish will last the lifetime of the kitchen.

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Other upgrades clients might want to consider include a counter- or wall-mounted pot-filler faucet by the stove, a filtered-water faucet for drinking, and built-in soap dispensers that match the look of the faucet they’ve chosen.

Regardless of kitchen size, homeowners have a plethora of options to choose from. Sinks are available in enamelled cast-iron, stainless steel, and even composite materials, such as the Cairn, made of Kohler Neoroc. For faucets and other fixtures, the range of options expands to include brushed nickel and bronze.

Logistical planning

Large or small, you’ll want to plan the kitchen to maximize space while minimizing wasted effort. Designers often refer to the “work triangle” layout when planning kitchens, with the refrigerator, cooktop, and sink at the three points of the triangle. There are a few “rules” that come with this concept, including that no object – such as a cabinet – should block movement between the three points, household traffic should not flow through the triangle, and no point should be more than nine feet from any other.

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With open-concept designs, owners often picture having their sink – or a secondary one – built into an island. This typically means running additional water and drainage lines. Before committing to a particular design, you’ll want to make sure there’s space to run the lines through the joists, and that you have sufficient slope to the stack to ensure proper drainage.

Visual cues

Even with 3D animations, many clients often find it difficult to visualize how all the components of a project will come together in their renovated space. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but actually being able to see and touch the fixtures before installation can save a lifetime of disappointment with an errant purchase.

Earlier this year, the first Canadian KOHLER Signature Store opened in Vancouver. The 5,000-sq.ft. space features dozens of different kitchen and bath displays and a wall-mounted display of faucets, with many of the fixtures fully functioning. It’s open to the public seven days a week, so you can send your clients to see their options firsthand, at their convenience, prior to making their final decision. (For more information on the KOHLER Signature Store, see the June/July 2017 issue of Renovation Contractor.) Elsewhere, the company has also partnered with dozens of specialty retailers across the country that have Kohler-focussed displays.

If you can’t make it to a Kohler showroom display, contractors and clients alike will appreciate the online Kitchen Planner. Start by perusing one of the many ready made designs, ranging from traditional to eclectic, then create your own custom space by choosing from various sink, faucet, countertop, cabinetry, and wall colour options.

Big budget or small, Kohler’s range of kitchen sinks and fixtures can help you fulfill any client’s needs.

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Product Showcase: Space saving solutions

Product Showcase: Space saving solutions

Latest News


Product Showcase: Space saving solutions

by Rise Levy

The Space Discovery People

Superior Closets is an established, family-owned business catering to both the public and the designer trade. They specialize in designing and manufacturing custom-made closet organizers and cabinets, wall units and mirror doors. Choose from a variety of styles at prices to suit everyone’s budget; all products are backed by a lifetime warranty. For a free estimate, call or visit their website.

SUPERIOR CLOSETS
SuperiorClosets.com

Sleek & Seamless

Whether it’s a snug condo powder room or a shower stall with barely enough room to store your bathroom accessories, a small washroom can really cramp your style. Luckily, Kohler Canada has come out with a selection of space-saving products that are sure to make a small bathroom feel bigger, as if by magic!

KOHLER
Kohler.ca

Unique and Practical Storage Solutions

As the premier experts in custom closets and cabinetry for the Greater Toronto Area for over 30 years, Space Age Closets is your number one provider of beautiful and practical storage solutions, offering custom closets and custom built in wall units for every room to fit all your needs. The professional in-home consultations offered by Space Age Closets are complimentary, and when they’re finished, your storage solutions are just like you: unique!

SPACE AGE CLOSETS
SpaceAgeClosets.com



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Reno Expert: Re-Imagining Home

Reno Expert: Re-Imagining Home

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Reno Expert: Re-Imagining Home

by Jim Caruk

Renovation ideas to treat yourself and to turn your house into a home sweet home

They say that home is where the heart is. It’s also where we spend most of our time (granted, much of that time we’re fast asleep). But, still, shouldn’t your home be a place you love to be in?

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

I can’t tell you how many times in my career I’ve gone to meet with new clients, and moments after I’ve walked through the door, one of them is telling me how much “we hate our kitchen.” The space is either too small, poorly laid out, dated or all of the above.

One very common option is to remove the wall that separates the kitchen from the dining room to create an open cooking and dining space. With an island in the middle you gain valuable workspace for preparing meals, and a handy spot where guests can sit and chat with the hosts as they prep. Removing load-bearing walls, of course, requires a lot of careful planning to determine the size and location of the beam that will support things once the wall is removed.

THE RIGHT FIT

Once you’ve opened up the area, rather than some off-the-shelf cabinetry from the local building supply store, I’d recommend custom cabinets if you can work them into the budget. For one, they won’t look cookie cutter. Plus, since everything is built to order, you can fully maximize the use of your space. Finally, you’ll feel difference in quality every time you open a cabinet or drawer.

BATHING IN LUXURY

Kohler's Numi toilet
Kohler’s Numi toilet

If having a spa-like bathroom is your focus, you’ll definitely want to look into the different options for rain showerheads and body spray jets in the shower. Stand-alone soaker tubs add a stylish focal point to the room. And if you’ve got an extra 10 grand in the budget, consider installing Kohler’s Numi toilet. From the motion-activated lid and heated seat foot rests, to the programmable lighting display and built-in sound system, this unit truly is a throne.

Schluter Systems’ Ditra-Heat

A more affordable option for adding a layer of luxury is to install a heated flooring system in the bathroom. Schluter Systems’ Ditra-Heat, for example, is an easy-to-install electric heating option that comes with a thermostat so you can set the ideal temperature for your toes.

THE HEARTH OF THE MATTER

If you’d rather spend your budget on communal living areas, you can’t go wrong building a living room around a fireplace. There is a wide range of styles of gas fireplaces on the market, from traditional to ultra modern. Other options include the realistic-looking electric fireplaces that Dimplex is producing. I also recently learned about a very old-fashioned wood-burning fireplace design that’s coming back into style. The so-called Rumford fireplace was designed in the 1700s by a physicist. The tall, shallow firebox maximizes the amount of heat radiating into a room, and the angled sidewalls direct all the smoke up the chimney. It was state-of-the-art technology at the time, but labour intensive to install, so had fallen out of fashion.

RIGHT OUTSIDE YOUR DOOR

Finally, don’t overlook the great outdoors. Sure, it’s buried in snow most of the winter, but when spring rolls around, we love to expand our lives into our outdoor living space.

As I’ve written before, I love the fact that I can retreat to my own piece of paradise—complete with in-ground pool—without having to deal with bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way to cottage country.

COOKING AL FRESCO

While a pool’s not for everyone, an exterior seating area built around a gas fireplace or fire pit continues to be a trendy choice. Taking it up a notch, many homeowners are adding fully functional second kitchens to their backyards, complete with cooktops, fridges, prep counters, and running water for cleaning up.

Finally, if you invest in household versions of the patio heaters used by bars and restaurants, you can start enjoying your outdoor space from early spring until late into the fall.

Jim Caruk, Renovation Editor

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback. Do you have a reno or decor question for our team of experts?

Email editorial@renoanddecor.com



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rc_oct17_2017_fi

Let it rain: Kohler’s new Real Rain™ showerhead lives up to its name

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Let it rain: Kohler’s new Real Rain™ showerhead lives up to its name

Rain falling inside a house usually means the contractor has done something very wrong. But in the case of Kohler’s new Real Rain™ showerhead, the downpour is precisely what your clients will want.

“It all started with the notion of creating a ‘rain’ showerhead,” says Rafael Rexach, Kohler’s Lead Industrial Designer Emerging Technologies, who developed the system. “What we wanted to do is emulate nature, and nature is random,” says Rexach.

The oversized 19” x 19” (48.3 cm x 48.3 cm) square head has an unprecedented 775 individual nozzles, providing complete emersion at 2 gpm while standing under it, except for a 6” diameter area in the middle to keep water off your face. Rather than a steady stream of water, Real Rain™ relies on gravity to allow three different-sized droplets to fall in a random pattern.

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Like an actual rainstorm, this showerhead features a “Deluge” function. By pressing a button on the wall-mounted keypad the user empties a 0.5-gallon (1.9-litre) reservoir in a sustained eight-second burst, for a thorough rinse at the end of the shower.

These features recently earned Real Rain™ the prestigious Red Dot Award: Product Design, with the jury panel saying,
“The sophisticated construction of the showerhead provides a unique and, at the same time, luxurious spa experience, which finds its model in nature.”

Installing the unit is a fairly straightforward, one-person job. Installation starts with mounting a diverter valve in the wall cavity. A drop ceiling is required in the shower to accommodate the overhead unit. The printed instructions include various options for framing the space to mount the support bracket.

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It’s worth noting that in addition to the installation guides that ship with all their products, Kohler has a complete library of resources online, including installation videos. To see the eight-minute installation overview, search for “Installing Real Rain” on YouTube.

The showerhead itself is available in white or grey, with seven different finishes for the trim including polished chrome, brushed nickel, matte black, and the new Vibrant Titanium. The deluge button ships with round or square faceplates.

“Seeing people’s reaction to it really gives you a sense of accomplishment that you did create something pretty special,” says Rexach. Installing a Kohler Real Rain™ shower will help you make a special splash with your clients.

rc_oct17_2017_3

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Cover Story: Modern Art

Cover Story: Modern Art

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Cover Story: Modern Art

Writen by Vicky Sanderson
Photography by Valerie Wilcox

A spa-like, contemporary ensuite design balances cool, clean lines with organic elements

From the first time designer Natalie Venalainen met with clients about expanding the third floor of their home to include a master bedroom and ensuite bath, it was clear they knew what they wanted—a clean-lined, light-filled, modern space.

“They are both artistic—he’s a writer and she’s in film. They knew very decisively that they wanted a contemporary look,” says Venalainen, an in-house designer with Toronto-based design-build firm Men at Work.

A STRIKING BALANCE

The challenge, she explains, was to combine the industrial- inspired surfaces and soothing neutral tones that define modernism, without making the space too antiseptic or dull. That’s achieved, she adds, by layering interesting finishes, restrained graphic elements and sleek but highly functional materials—and then tempering it all with warm woods and burnished metals.

“Incorporating wood can be key,” says Venalainen. “If everything is done in a flat matte finish, it can be cold. Wood softens a space—not just because it’s a natural material, but because the hues are warm.”

In this case, a floating vanity of flat-cut walnut in which double sinks are set anchors the room. The counter is Caesarstone’s Fresh Concrete quartz composite with a matte finish that perfectly mimics the real thing.

Sources: BATHROOM: CUSTOM VANITY & LINEN TOWER: Allwood Carpentry Manufacturing; PLUMBING FIXTURES: Watermarks Bath Boutique; FIXTURES: Jason Wu for Brizo; FLOOR TILE: Saltillo tile; SHOWER FLOOR TILE: Tycos Tile; WALL TILE: Ciot; ACCESSORIES: Wayfair. com; MIRROR: Crate & Barrel; SCONCES: Cedar & Moss; PENDANT LIGHT: Design Within Reach; CONCRETE STOOL: Home Sense; TOWELS: Linen Chest; ART: Aleysa Young
Sources: BATHROOM: CUSTOM VANITY & LINEN TOWER: Allwood Carpentry Manufacturing; PLUMBING FIXTURES: Watermarks Bath Boutique; FIXTURES: Jason Wu for Brizo; FLOOR TILE: Saltillo tile; SHOWER FLOOR TILE: Tycos Tile; WALL TILE: Ciot; ACCESSORIES: Wayfair. com; MIRROR: Crate & Barrel; SCONCES: Cedar & Moss; PENDANT LIGHT: Design Within Reach; CONCRETE STOOL: Home Sense; TOWELS: Linen Chest; ART: Aleysa Young

HIGH STYLE, HIGH FUNCTION FEATURES

Venalainen points out, however, that the manmade surface has important advantages in a bathroom. “It’s non-porous, so you don’t have to worry about the absorption and chipping issues you would have with concrete,” she explains.

The generously-sized horizontal, oblong mirror is flanked by sconces, whose curving lines echo the circular patterns of the floor tile, rounded vanity faucets, and an hour-glass stool placed beside the shower.

Above the mirror, a transom window takes advantage of natural light captured by a skylight in the adjoining hallway. An overhead fixture, and pot lights in the shower and the toilet provide more illumination.

The star of this bath is the bold floor of encaustic cement tiles with a striking geometric pattern which, because it's executed in classic monochromatic tones, is more timeless than trendy.
The star of this bath is the bold floor of encaustic cement tiles with a striking geometric pattern which, because it’s executed in classic monochromatic tones, is more timeless than trendy.

A tall, vertical storage unit sits snug against the vanity, but leaves ample room for the door to swing. It does not interfere, notes Venalainen, with the placement of light switches, a pet peeve for the designer.

“People will often tuck a linen closet beside a door in a design and later realize they have eliminated the space needed for a switch.” As for switches located outside a room, Venalainen has just one word. “Bad!”

Quartz countertops in a concrete finish telegraph the cool modernism the homeowners wanted to see in this ensuite bath design.
Quartz countertops in a concrete finish telegraph the cool modernism the homeowners wanted to see in this ensuite bath design.

BLACK IS BACK

Venalainen approved of her clients’ desire for a graphic floor, knowing that it would provide subtle yet assertive visual interest. She did, however, steer them away from more highly-coloured options to a black-and-white tonal pattern.

“I think a monochromatic scheme is timeless and works really well in a modern setting,” she explains. “And I notice that while lots of clients right now might entertain the thought of more colour in the floor, in the end they shy away (from it). Most people feel more comfortable in their homes with a neutral colour scheme.”

Sources: BEDROOM: WOOD FLOORING: Wood floors by JBW; WINDOWS: Dundas Wood Windows & Specialties Inc.; BED & NIGHT TABLES: Objets Mecaniques, Montreal; NIGHT TABLE WALL SCONCES: Cedar & Moss; AREA RUG & BEDDING: Elte MKT
Sources: BEDROOM: WOOD FLOORING: Wood floors by JBW; WINDOWS: Dundas Wood Windows & Specialties Inc.; BED & NIGHT TABLES: Objets Mecaniques, Montreal; NIGHT TABLE WALL SCONCES: Cedar & Moss; AREA RUG & BEDDING: Elte MKT

FIXTURES & FINISHES

Black is repeated in flat-finish faucets, sconces, hardware and accessories, while small hits of on-trend brassy golds add a touch of sophisticated glamour. A mauve-tinted print above the door complements the natural orange hues of the walnut cabinetry.

Large-format black porcelain tiles, which make a dramatic statement in the shower enclosure, are as practical as they are pretty. “They don’t have to be sealed. And we used them with a linear drain, which means you can almost disguise the drain,” says Venalainen.

Two-by six-inch subway tiles were wrapped seamlessly across the wall beyond the shower stall. “It makes the space look bigger because there is no visual interruption,” explains Venalainen. They were laid in a horizontal grid pattern, which the designer thinks produces a more contemporary feel than a conventional brick configuration. Inside the shower, a niche offers space-saving perches for shampoo, soap and other accessories.

PRO DESIGN-BUILD

For her clients, the renovation process proved to be as uncomplicated as the finished design, says Venalainen. That, she insists, is one of the benefits of the design-build model, which sees a project though from start to finish.

“It’s a big advantage,” she says. “There are always things that come up during a reno. But I think in the design-build model, issues get identified faster. And there’s no finger pointing— all the focus is on problem-solving as part of a team.”


NOW TRENDING

CLASSIC BLACK

The crisp black of Delta’s Zura faucet is softened by its gentle curves.

deltafaucet.ca

SEXY SINKS

Graphic designs, so popular in floor treatments, are also showing up in sinks. Here, Kohler’s finely detailed Caravan Persia pattern on its Conical Bell vessel bathroom sink.

kohler.ca

TONE AND TEXTURE

Stand-alone tubs act as architectural elements in larger, luxurious bathrooms. Here, DXV’s free-standing soaking tub and bridge, shown with the tub filler faucet from its Modulus collection, which launches this fall, is framed by a textured wall. Design by Michele Alfano.

dxv.com

PRETTY PATTERNS

Lava is a curvy geometric pattern from Walker Zanger’s Stardust collection, which pays homage to 1970s interior design and is made from glazed basalt, or lava stone, a core element of the earth.

walkerzanger.com

SOPHISTICATED WATER FEATURES

A flush-mounted pendant rain-can showerhead from Brizo’s Litze collection includes four shower arm lengths—measuring four-, six-, eight-, and 10- inches—that can be adjusted during installation.

brizo.com


Vicky Sanderson, our resident Better Living Expert, freelance columnist on all things home, is a self-professed opinionista with an impressive portfolio of publications from coast to coast. Follow her on Twitter: @ATHwithVicky Instagram: @athwithvicky. For more information aroundthehouse.ca.



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Spa day: High-end bathroom renos can require some extra planning work

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Spa day: High-end bathroom renos can require some extra planning work

For many contractors, bathroom renovations are their bread and butter. For one, as people’s tastes change over time if you do a good job the first time, you could end up with repeat business every five or 10 years. Often, the work is a simple touch-up, swapping out some dated fixtures and tiles, and repainting the walls.

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But some clients want a complete spa-like experience at home and are willing to take over dens and smaller bedrooms to achieve their goals. While potentially lucrative, these larger bathroom renovations require some careful planning.

For starters, you’ll likely need to extend or run new water supply lines to the new fixtures and connect the drain for each to the stack.

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Many modern fixtures also often require electrical power supply. Kohler’s DTV+ system, for example, uses a waterproof touchscreen to control the showerhead, body sprays, steam settings, and built-in audio. The interface connects to a controller via a supplied 25’ cable that should be hung with a drip loop. The controller itself plugs into a standard outlet.

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An in-home sauna is another luxurious option. Once framed, you’ll want to insulate the walls, floor, and ceiling around the sauna and cover it with foil vapour barrier to reflect the heat back inwards. In addition to framing the room itself, you’ll need power supply for the lights, thermostat, exhaust fan, and heating cable (or natural gas if you’re going that route). You’ll also need dedicated ductwork for the exhaust.

While long-popular overseas, bidets are slowly but surely making inroads here in Canada. Kohler’s C3 units are retrofit seats that can convert an existing toilet into a working bidet, complete with heated seat and warm-air fan for drying. The unit plugs into a dedicated GFCI receptacle. If one doesn’t exist within 12” of the basin, you’ll need to add an outlet.

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Mirrors and vanities may also require wiring. Kohler’s lighted Verdera medicine cabinet has built-in LED lighting that can be connected to a dimmer switch. There are also two electrical outlets on the inside for small appliances such as electric razors and toothbrushes. The company’s Tailored Vanity series includes an optional three-plug outlet that mounts inside the cabinet.

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To maximize space and add a stylish look, one increasingly popular option is a wall-mounted toilet such as Kohler’s Veil. The nice thing about this model is that the tank mounts on an adjustable bracket that fits between the wall studs. If your client is considering a Veil toilet, keep this in mind when running your other plumbing, wiring, and ductwork in the wall cavity.

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If you are tearing out walls to combine existing rooms, you may need to reroute some of the ductwork so you don’t end up with hot and cold pockets in the newly configured room. Also keep in mind that adding additional fixtures and opening up walls may mean the existing exhaust fan is undersized. Check the unit’s CFM rating to see if you need to upgrade it.

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Finally, if they’re going to go to all this trouble, your client will likely also want heated floors. Heated mats hardwired in place directly below the tiles are the simplest option. But for long-term savings, homeowners might want to consider a hydronic system.

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