Category: Bathroom Design

Coming Clean: Planning A New Bathroom Design

 Javier Sandoval, Branch Manager at the Blackman showroom located at 85 Fifth Avenue in New York City, shared his thoughts about planning a new bathroom in the space-challenged apartments his clients are renovating. With all the choices to be made, he said there is one design element that is key to defining the aesthetic of this room.

“Typically when designing a bathroom with a client, the first thing I like to do is ask them to pick out their sink faucets. Most manufacturers, if not all, make full suites based around a faucet design. With the faucet, you see the handles that will carry over into your shower control design and you will see the spout,” Javier said.  “If a client looks at the shower designs first, they may like the handles, but when the client looks at the spout, he or she may not like the design.”

After the faucet is chosen, the other design elements usually fall into place easily. “Once a client falls in love with a faucet design, the client will allow us to select the matching shower components along with it. At that point we can get down to details as to what they are looking for in a shower.  Whether they want a rain shower head or a normal shower head, if they want hand-held shower or not. Those are the easy decisions since the design is already decided prior with the faucet,” he added.

Sizes are important to know when selecting fixtures like bath tubs, vanities and toilets, especially in New York City where every square inch is important, Javier said. “If clients have a tub/shower combo then they have a 60-by-30 inch tub.  At that point, they only need to select whether they want cast iron or acrylic and we can help you.”  For sink vanities, sizing is important; just because a bath can accommodate a certain size, the maximum size shouldn’t always be used.  “Some bathrooms just aren’t sized for larger vanities even though they may fit,” Javier explained. “Having some openness in the bathroom may be more beneficial than having wall-to-wall cabinetry which can look heavy in a small space.”

He said the same theory applies for medicine cabinets. “Medicine cabinets should be centered over the sink vanity in either the same width or slightly smaller. Some clients think because they have the wall space to do more than that they should, but unless you are going to recess the cabinets into the wall, it can look very heavy and distract from the tile design you may have done on the wall.”

In New York City, toilet sizes are important once again due to limited space, Javier said. “Most toilets are designed for use across the United States, but in cities such as New York, you need a slightly smaller back-to-front measurement than the rest of the country. A typical two-piece toilet, while it may be less expensive, will cost you at least two inches more than a one-piece design. That could make a difference in being able to open a door or in your leg room. We always recommend one-piece designs for New York City. Not only do they look better, but they are space savers.”

Shower doors come toward the end of the bathroom design, Javier said.  “For tub/shower combos we suggest either a sliding door, shower curtain or fixed glass panel. We try to avoid doing a pivot door on a bathtub as it can limit access to the controls or be too large of a swing for the door to open properly.”  It’s not unusual for shower doors to be custom-ordered since so many bath spaces are unique. “Clear doors are the most popular and all you would need to do is select your hardware and our glass door partners will take care of the rest,” Javier added.

Posted in Bathroom Design

Award-Winning Grid Collection from KALLISTA

 Bold, beautiful fixtures employ a modern twist

By Stephanie Ames

Grid by KALLISTA won Best of Show at the 2018 Kitchen Bath and Industry Show, the annual competition that showcases the best of the kitchen and bath industry. Form, function and scale are well-represented in this new collection which features a sink faucet, wall-hung console, lighting and accessories.

The Grid faucet’s minimalist design is a testament to the pared-down quality of De Stijl (which means simply “the style” in Dutch) that embraced the utopian vision of art and its transformative potential in the post-World War I years of the early 1900s. “Intrigued by the fundamentals found in the De Stijl movement and how it embraced the de-massing of a design has always sparked my imagination as to how it all comes together,” explained Bill McKeone, Design Studio Manager at KALLISTA. “The same curiosity is behind my work on the Grid spout design, which became a reality through 3D technology. I was challenged to design the ideal faucet. What makes it work? As a designer, the challenges that Grid created led me to see things through a different lens and explore the possibilities. I could not be more pleased with the result.”

Grid’s daring stylistic approach pays homage to the architects, designers and artists that stepped away from 19th century design norms, setting off an artistic revolution that literally took the world by storm. It was this shift from ornamentation and pomp toward the look of spare, restrained forms that began a new genre in design. It represented a trend that continued to grow throughout the 20th century.

The faucet employs 3D printing, resulting in Grid’s unique design elements which defy the standard requirements of external housing to incorporate internal components. Through this process, KALLISTA can achieve the faucet’s open form and discreet interior channels that allow the water to flow easily through the base. The cube handles, understated and perfect open squares that are scaled appropriately to comfortably conform to the hand, are created by employing the investment cast process, a technique that allows for masterful recreation of intricate designs with precision.

Another outstanding aspect of the Grid Collection is its chic matte black finish. This statement-making shade can take center stage within a room or create a neutral backdrop to support larger interior design statements. Currently exclusive to the Grid Collection, matte black is a powder-coated finish that has been renowned within the high-end outdoor furniture industry due to its resilience and durability against the elements that naturally break standard finishes down over time. KALLISTA matte black is gently textured, making it sensuous to the touch. Its composition provides a hardworking finish that withstands the daily rigors of use, resisting water spots and fingerprints.

Each element of the Grid Collection resonates with tailored elegance and harnesses the visual impact negative space can command by stripping away the confines of traditional design. The intrinsic beauty of simplicity and bold lines characterizes the aesthetic of this modernist line of bath products.

The Grid faucet is now available at Blackman Plumbing Supply Showrooms. Click here to find a location.

Posted in Bathroom Design

Loud & Clear: Voice Technology Available In KOHLER Konnect Bath Mirror

Written By: Gwen Donovan

Ashley Pantel is Associate Channel Manager for Cross Channel Strategies at Kohler, a position that focuses on Styling Space categories. One of the newest products her company is offering combines Smart Home technology with pure performance in the bath.

“KOHLER Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror with Amazon Alexa is the first mirror in the industry to feature voice control technology,” Ashley said. “With Amazon Alexa built into the mirror, it saves valuable counter space and is able to serve the same functions as an Amazon Echo, meaning it can activate over 20,000 Alexa skills.”

As a result, this mirror is a major multi-tasker, Ashley added. “It improves the comfort and functionality of time spent in the bathroom to be hands-free, seamless and more convenient, and it will also be able to interact with other connected products in your Wi-Fi network using KOHLER Konnect.”

Customers report that the mirror has been a game changer when it comes starting your day on a positive note. “Imagine a morning routine where it’s entirely hands-free. Well, this mirror enables that. A user can improve their morning experience by listening to weather or traffic info while putting on their makeup with the right lighting. They can also easily add lipstick or shaving cream to the shopping list with a simple voice command. And instead of fumbling for the light switch, the motion activated nightlight makes it easy to navigate the bathroom in the dark.”

Day or night, the KOHLER Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror is an innovative product that is quickly gaining popularity among consumers based on its ability to streamline daily tasks, Ashley said. “Some voice commands include adjusting the lighting, playing your favorite music, checking the news, adding items to your shopping cart… and many more!”

Additional KOHLER Konnect bath products present the same voice-enabled technology for the shower, bathtub and faucet. The cutting-edge line includes the Sensate Faucet, DTV+ Shower, Touchless Response Toilet, Numi Toilet and Perfect Fill option for the bathtub which assures the perfect depth and temperature for an indulgent—and personalized—soak in the tub.

Posted in Bathroom Design, Trends

Which Toilet Should I Choose?

Written By: Gwen Donovan

Today’s commode toilet offer a wide variety of styles, sizes and features. We spoke with Monica A. Flynn in Showroom Sales at Blackman’s Mahwah location, and she shared her insights about which are most popular and how to narrow down your choices. “We offer many types of toilets. The first two things that I like to ask my clients are who will be using the toilet and where will it be located in the house,” Monica said.

“The reason I like to know where it will be going is that a powder room is usually where we do a little more of a special look,” she explained. “Wall-hung toilets are fabulous and provide a clean look because the tank is hidden in the wall. For this specific type of toilet we sell a lot of Geberit systems. This type of toilet bowl is offered by many companies. The 6600 u1 model from Villeroy & Boch is a great well-priced wall-hung toilet.”

For those seeking a modern, streamlined look, Monica said a one-piece skirted toilet is beautiful and easy to clean. “Nooks and crannies in toilets are not a positive when children are using it,” she said. When budgets are a consideration, Monica suggests a two-piece style. “A two-piece toilet is sometimes easier to install because it is easier to carry two pieces compared to one. They are also less expensive if you are looking at the same style between a one-piece and a two-piece.”

When customers are shopping for bidets, Monica said there are several options. “We have Toto Neorest, which is a toilet with a bidet combined into one. Kohler offers a washlet toilet seat, which has a wand under the seat that rinses you with warm water that goes onto an existing Kohler toilet. This makes it easier because you do not have to replace a perfectly fine working toilet. Washlets are becoming more popular due to their versatile cleaning ability, but I would not put them into a powder room.”

Another factor to think about is the height of a commode, Monica noted. “Comfort height toilets have become the new norm due to the fact that they are higher than older styles.” Even the shape of the bowl varies, she added. “The only reason you would want a rounded front toilet is because of a space issue, an elongated front is preferred.”

While the decision-making process can be involved, Monica said a trip to Blackman often saves the day, “The best advice I can give is to visit a showroom and speak to a professional. They pick out toilets all day long, and are knowledgeable about the different needs and wants concerning their customers.”

Join Blackman for the American Standard Remodeling Experience! Visit the Mahwah Showroom on March 10th from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM for refreshments and fun while you explore new American Standard displays. At 1:00 PM we will host a discussion on the latest trends for the bathroom space. Enter to win free American Standard product

Posted in Bathroom Design, Trends

Whether visiting a Blackman showroom alone, with a contractor, or with an interior designer, you'll find the inspiration and designer products to make your project a success.

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