Tag: Home Improvement

Exploring the Infinite Possibilities of Infinity Drain

Exploring the Infinite Possibilities of Infinity Drain: An Outdoor Project Feature

When compared to that of a more traditional drainage system, homeowners and designers alike are quick to appreciate the elevated aesthetic and functionally offered by Infinity Drain. Their products, ranging from shower stalls to pool surrounds, can be as prominent or concealed as the space calls for.  This versatility allows designers and plumbers to make a collective decision on product type and placement.

To investigate the versatility of the Infinity Drain product, we visited a Hampton’s property undergoing a driveway renovation. “The vision for our driveway, which will be completely blacktop, was to introduce enhanced functionally and design. For the longest time, it was an overlooked facet of the property. By incorporating 5 rows of Infinity Drain systems, surrounded by 4 rows of brickwork, our 300ft blacktopped driveway will have a much more inviting look,” said the homeowner/ designer.

Typically, an outdoor Infinity Drain system is comprised of materials manufactured specifically for the project. However, the unique needs of this design called for the use of materials traditionally made for indoor use. By installing 3 S-AS 65 drains per row, making up a total of 5 rows, the drains were easily connected and look as if they are one solid piece. To ensure proper drainage, each system will also function as its own entity with one S-50 outlet per drain section.

This innovative design concept further exemplifies the versatility and functionality of the product. Infinity Drain, which proudly sources all materials and manufactures in the U.S., provides a fashion-forward and functional alternative to a traditional drainage system. These factors allow both home and commercial building owners to explore the infinite possibilities of water drainage.

To learn more about Infinty Drain, visit your local Blackman Trade Counter or Showrooom today!

Posted in Trade, Trends

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Trend Watch: Outdoor Living

Our Favorite Outdoor Living Trends!

By Francesca Messina

With the weather heating up we are enjoying the great outdoors! Here are our favorite trends to enhance your outdoor living space this summer.

Inside Out: Indoor Design Elements Used Outside

Break all the rules about outdoor living this summer and consider using items usually reserved for indoor spaces. This is an approach that truly blurs the lines between the inside and outside. Resulting in looks that will make you wish the summer season would last forever!

Think classic wall sconces, elegant chandeliers, textured rugs and even breezy curtains to create your own Secret Garden atmosphere, where a sense of intimacy is also part of the great outdoors.

Who couldn’t use a little hideaway now and then? Re-imagine your outdoor spaces with a pile of vibrantly-patterned cushions or an entire outdoor room featuring put-up-your feet ottomans and durable yet stylish coffee tables.

An Explosion of Color: Keep it Bright

Bright, cheerful, saturated color is what this season is all about, and so is adding fresh tints to unexpected places. Whimsical wall-mounted mailboxes recall a jar full of rainbow sprinkles as they lend a welcoming note to your front door.

Relax on stackable garden chairs and bench seating in a textural mesh finish, an on-trend look that stows away easily. Choose fabrics in delicious shades like melon, mango and peach. Furthermore, opt for a shimmering beaded chandelier finished in a deep royal blue.

Lively accents set the stage for backyard barbecues and impromptu get-togethers, adding a burst of color to the everyday occasions that make summer so memorable.

Sunny and 80: Outdoor Cooking

Whether you favor industrial style or something more fanciful for your backyard get-togethers, there are so many ways to create an enduring impression. Outdoor cooks will be drawn to an array of professional-grade grills and pizza ovens rendered in tactile combinations of stone and metal.

Graphic-printed melamine tableware in vibrant patterns is elegant enough to be used by candlelight, yet these sturdy pieces work equally well while sitting poolside or for use by your youngest guests. Stylish and practical, it’s a winning combination right in line with summertime’s expansive mood.

Botanical Beauty: Inspired by Nature

One of the best ways to enjoy your garden is to supply generous seating; it encourages a quiet moment or hosts an al fresco luncheon. Choices range from benches rendered in clean, modern lines or seating that embraces authentic Adirondack style using branch-like forms.

Rest a pale turquoise pitcher on a side table, just the right touch for a refreshing beverage, adult or otherwise. Highlight your garden with unique concrete planters in towering shapes capped by a bit of greenery, or try an inventive mannequin figure reminiscent of an ancient artifact.

Last Word:

Take a cue from nature as you fall completely under summer’s magical spell with outdoor living.  Visit a Blackman Showroom to learn more about the outdoor living products we sell.

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

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Interior Designer Spotlight: Amy Hill Designs

Amy Hill: Home is Where The Heart Is

Amy Hill owns and operates Amy Hill Designs, a full-service residential interior design firm serving clients in Manhattan, Palm Beach, and the Hamptons. From fabrics, furniture and floor plans to windows, walls, and accessories, she works closely with clients to create interiors that reflect their individual tastes and lifestyle.

How would you describe your design style?

It’s a little bit of everything, but casual elegance sums it up.

How does that style translate into the design elements you choose?

Since some of the areas I work in are near the beach, I like to integrate that beachy feeling but not in a kitschy way. I like more organic pieces paired with refined pieces, like a beautiful oversized teak coffee table with an elegant chandelier. About 90% of my Amy Hill Designs clients have second and third homes; they are sophisticated, well-traveled and very intelligent. They also have kids, guests and pets, so they want something that’s not fussy yet still chic and elegant.

What is the best part of your job as a designer?

I am absolutely so fortunate to have the most amazing clients who are fun to work with and down-to-earth. We have become great friends, so I feel very fortunate. I wake up every morning and love to go to work. Whether I am meeting with a builder, advising my clients, or going to a Blackman showroom, I am passionate about my job.

What is your professional background?

I have a master’s degree in psychology and had a private practice. Furthermore, I went on to get my real estate license and later worked with builders staging houses. I eventually moved to the interior design field about six years ago and started Amy Hill Designs.

How do you continue to be inspired when it comes to designing interior spaces?

I can be inspired by walking on the beach or walking down a block in the Hamptons and looking in the shop windows. I like to travel, visit amazing resorts and figure out what gives you that welcome feeling of being home. That’s the most important part of my job, identifying what feels like home for my clients and giving that to them.

Is there anything else you’d like share about Amy Hill Designs?

I am very passionate about what I do. I tend to go above and beyond for my clients. Once I set a Thanksgiving table for a client, I like to take their breath away. A lot of people call me up crying because they are so happy with their home. I try to go that extra step. Once I had a client whose son had to be gluten-free. Before they came home, I set up a table with a gluten-free food section, flowers, food, and even something for their dog. I want all my clients to feel like they’re at home, since your home equals your escape.

To connect with Amy Hill of Amy Hill Designs visit her website.

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Bathroom Remodeling Made Simple

U By Moen Shower

Bathroom Remodeling Made Simple

By Gwen Donovan and Francesca Messina

Thinking about remodeling your bathroom? After watching countless home renovation programs on HGTV, leafing through home magazines, and scanning Pinterest for inspiration, you know your bathroom needs an upgrade! We have the resources to get your bathroom remodeling project underway. Whether it’s a simple fix like a new bathroom vanity with stylish hardware or a complete bath overhaul, our design consultants are ready to work with you.

Blackman bathroom remodeling showrooms have everything you need. We display the latest floor and wall tiles, vanities, tubs, showers, toilets, faucets, lighting, mirrors and more. Our friendly design consultants will assist you in your bathroom remodeling project every step of the way.

Ask yourself the following questions before you get started:

What Do I Want?

There are many different styles and design options to choose from when remodeling your bathroom. Traditional, urban, industrial, rustic chic, ultra-modern, transitional; to name a few. It’s all a reflection of your taste, there is no wrong choice. Remember to consider the size of your bathroom. Many of our customers are opting to remove a bathtub in favor of a roomy walk-in shower, while others are choosing graceful stand-alone tubs and steam showers enclosed by frameless clear glass. Vanities range from space-saving and modern to expansive double sink styles. When you select the design elements of your bathroom remodeling project that feel right to you, your bathroom will become be a relaxing retreat. It is important to think about what works and what doesn’t work in your current bathroom to ensure a successful outcome.

What Is My Budget?

Having a dollar amount in mind for your bathroom remodeling project is smart. But, determining that number can be tricky. Visit us to learn about price ranges, product lines, and installation costs. We have products at every price point. Your design consultant will help meet your budget needs. Some of our customers create a spreadsheet to compare costs. Others make a simple list, noting their favorite design elements and price points. Knowledge is power, so make sure your dream bath budget is an amount you are comfortable with.

What Is My Time Frame?

Yes, it only takes 30 minutes for a bathroom to be renovated entirely on television. In the real world, things move at a slower pace. Simple jobs like a new sink or toilet replacement typically take a few hours. A full bathroom remodeling project from the floor up is likely to take a month. Plan accordingly and remember that the bathroom will be out of commission for a period of time, although the results will be worth the inconvenience!

Start your Project!

Start your new bathroom remodeling project today by visiting a Blackman Remodeling Showroom. Our design consultants are ready to help. Our amazing displays will inspire you. Your result, the bathroom of your dreams turned into a beautiful new reality.

Get a FREE Consultation

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5 High-Efficiency Plumbing Products

Energy Efficient Kohler Toilet

By Gwen Donovan and Francesca Messina

Starting new construction or a remodeling project? Here is a roundup of our favorite energy efficient plumbing products. From a new app aligned with Smart Home technology to on-demand tankless water heaters; consider these high-efficiency plumbing products for your home.

The Taco SmartPlug

Jimmy Frey, Manufactures Representative from Taco, revealed how their new SmartPlug ups the efficiency of a water heater. “The Taco SmartPlug is a high-efficiency plumbing product designed to upgrade any hot water recirculation system.”  The Taco SmartPlug replaces inefficient timers and aquastats typically used in recirculation systems. With the SmartPlug, homeowners can learn when hot water is used in their home. The Smart Plug uses technology to determine a household’s ongoing hot water needs. The pipe-mounted temperature sensor records daily hot water usage patterns during the course of a week. Recorded data is used to automatically run the circulator at the same times the following week, resulting in hot water available when needed. If usage pattern changes, the SmartPlug adjusts automatically, no programming required.

All Things Navien!

Navien is considered the leader in high-efficiency condensing technology,” said Gregg D. Chambers, a manufacturer’s representative for Navien. The NPE series of tankless water heaters have an unsurpassed efficiency rating of up to 99% with a turndown ratio of 10 to 1, meaning modulating input rates from 19,900 to 199,900 BTUs. They provide continuous flow rates of up to 5.1 gallons per minute at a 77-degree rise. Multiple units can be cascaded and manifold together to create up to nearly 3.2 million BTUs of input if more hot water is needed. All units are field convertible from natural gas and are approved for both residential and commercial applications. Most importantly they offer up to a 15-year warranty.

Another innovative product from Navien combines hot water and residential heating in one unit. The NCB-E tankless combi-boilers provides continuous hot water at up to 4.5 gallons per minute at a 77-degree rise. It also provides up to 112,000 BTUs for home heating needs, all at 95% efficiency. The NCB-E is rated for single-family, residential use only. They have an amazing 10-year warranty resulting in a no-brainer for any homeowner!

Kohler Konnect: “Alexa tell Kohler to turn on my kitchen faucet.”

Kohler is introducing a new app that fine-tunes everyday experiences in the home: KOHLER Konnect.The new app uses voice commands, hands-free control and personalized presets on its app. Options include operating a kitchen faucet, controlling the features of an intelligent toilet, adjusting the lighting embedded in a bathroom mirror, running a post-workout shower, and automatically filling a bath to a desired depth and temperature, all by using simple voice commands.

“Voice services and connected devices have become integrated into every facet of the home –with the notable exception of the bathroom– until now,” said David Kohler, President, and CEO of Kohler Co. “We provide thoughtful design and technologies that offer convenience and functionality to enrich your personalized experiences, making them easier, more comfortable, and more enjoyable. Whether you are getting ready for work, helping your children through their evening bedtime routine or simply in need of some personal relaxation, KOHLER Konnect is the next evolution of our leading-edge kitchen and bathroom innovations that help make these everyday moments better.” KOHLER Konnect offers support in select products for Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit to bring technology into the bathroom in meaningful ways.

Conserve H2O with Dual Flush by American Standard

The American Standard Elongated Right Height Dual-flush Toilet is a great choice for the energy efficient family. This toilet is rated best (4 out of 5) in flush power.  This high-efficiency plumbing product saves water and provides power. The dual-flush feature maximizes water savings resulting in a savings of both water and money. Its sleek, clean design works well in a variety of bathroom décor styles. This toilet is EPA WaterSense-certified toilet, it uses 1.6-gallons per flush, without sacrificing performance. The partial flush option uses 37.5% less water than a conventional toilet. Additionally, the toilet is fabricated in American Standard’s EverClean finish, which inhibits the growth of stains and odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew on the surface. Most importantly, American Standard offers a high-efficiency plumbing product that will work in any home.

Recirculate Water with Grundfos

A typical family of three wastes 16 thousand gallons of water a year. They also spend a whopping 24 hours a year waiting for hot water at a faucet! The Grundfos Comfort PM AutoAdapt high-efficiency plumbing product provides access to instant hot water. It efficiently reduces the annual waste of your home’s water, and reduces power consumption. With a hot water recirculation system, you can guarantee your family the luxury of instant hot water therfore saving water each day. Water is an increasingly scarce resource, save water with recirculation and enjoy the added benefits of instant hot water.

Visit a Blackman Remodeling Showroom to purchase these and other high-efficiency plumbing products for your home.

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Watermark Designs: The Heart and Soul of Brooklyn

Watermark

By Michele Keith

What is Watermark Designs?

There are companies that are “in” a location, and then there are companies that are “of” a location. Watermark Designs is the Brooklyn-based manufacturer of plumbing fixtures. They create bathroom accessories, lighting and elegant hardware for luxury commercial and residential markets. As president and third-generation owner Avi Abel relates, “Brooklyn is as much a fiber of our being as our products.”

Why Brooklyn?

What has kept Watermark in Brooklyn since it began nearly 40 years ago? “We’re very close to the highest concentration of architects and designers in North America,” says Abel. “This helps us keep our finger on the pulse of new trends and designs. We also have access to skilled artisans from around the world. They come to this country for a better life, bringing with them skill sets that are hard to find elsewhere.”

Most Watermark employees are local Brooklynites, with many walking to work, Abel says, though quickly adding with a laugh, “Living here is not a pre-requisite for working here! We encourage a family atmosphere, celebrate our different cultures and enjoy a warm, safe environment.” Working at Watermark is nearly a rite of passage for many since it helps new arrivals assimilate into the community at large.

Watermark Designs is always searching for new ways to reach out to neighborhood residents.  They post job openings at local colleges. They encourage graduates with engineering degrees to consider them for a career. In addition, the company liaises with nearby employment centers, features a dedicated email for resumes on its website, and is an active member of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and East New York Development Center.

Abel believes strongly in staying local, saying, “We source as many of our raw materials here as possible—I actually do get my brass from a business down the street—and we manufacture each and every product here.” It’s a point of pride for the company that is expressed in big and small ways, like the tape used for sealing boxes which boldly states: “Made in Brooklyn.”

“We prove again and again that manufacturing in the USA, and Brooklyn in particular, is a thriving and worthwhile endeavor.” Spoken like a proud New Yorker indeed!

www.watermark-designs.com
Watermark is available at all Blackman Plumbing Supply Showrooms.
Find a showroom near you.

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Blackman Joins The IFDA Florida Chapter

Get to Know the IFDA

Blackman Joins the IFDA Florida Chapter

Written By: Gwen Donovan

We are proud to announce that we have joined the Florida Chapter of the IFDA. IFDA stands for – International Furnishings and Design Association. This organization is a worldwide professional alliance of leaders from the residential and commercial furnishings and design fields. We were happy to meet several Florida Chapter members at our March 8 Blackman at Home magazine launch party held in our West Palm Beach showroom.

The launch party welcomed the IFDA Florida Chapter President Marsha Koch as well as Florida Chapter members Beverly Stewart, Lynn Sciarrone, Vicki Kirsner, Mike Peterson and Sylvia Wallace.

This professional network is a great way to meet other like-minded people in the design world. “I have found IFDA and its members to be welcoming and supportive,” Chapter President Marsha Koch said. “The connections I have made are invaluable, and members are my greatest resources. In the past year, I have done business with at least 12 of our chapter sponsors and members. I refer business to them at every opportunity.” Marsha’s firm, Picture Pretty Interiors, is located in Boca Raton.

Who is the IDFA Florida Chapter?

The Florida Chapter of IFDA is a community of professionals representing all facets of the furnishings and design industries.  They provide opportunities for members to achieve their goals through education, collaboration, philanthropy and connections.  Members say it’s about the support they receive and relationships they build.

“In serving on the Chapter Board of Directors in various positions, and currently serving as President, my personal and professional skills have grown, and my connections have strengthened and expanded beyond expectations,” Marsha added. “Being part of this community has been an amazing experience.”

Founded in 1947, IFDA members are executives of companies that manufacture, distribute, design, write about or sell floor coverings, lighting, decorative fabrics, accessories and building products. Others are engaged in graphic, residential and contract design, education, publishing, licensing, marketing and communications. Through the IFDA Educational Foundation, this organization offers scholarships to students. They also offer grants to members as professionals working in the trade.  Student members are a vital part of the membership as well.

“We believe together we are better,” is the unofficial motto of the Florida Chapter, and that is right in line with Marsha’s feelings about membership: “I take advantage of our many educational, networking and community events we offer as often as possible. Every event is an opportunity!”

Vicki Kirsner, an interior designer with Infinity Designs LLC in West Palm Beach, is thrilled that Blackman has joined the Florida Chapter, saying “Blackman is a first class organization and we are so happy to be affiliated with you!”

What do Members Say?

Members who were asked to sum up the organization in one word described it as Approachable, Connected, Supportive, Collaborative, Welcoming, Warm, Fun and Inclusive. For more information about the IFDA’s National and Chapter websites, visit ifda.com and ifdaflorida.com.  You can also check out their social media sites on Facebook and Instagram.

IFDA Mission Statement:

The International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA) is one of the only all-industry associations whose members provide services and products to the furnishings and design industry. IFDA is the driving force, through its programs and services, to enhance the professionalism and stature of the industry worldwide.

IFDA Core Values

The IFDA promotes open sharing, mutual respect, community service, education, industry partnerships, and ethical practices. They have Chapters from coast to coast and in Japan.  Last year a delegation of members was hosted by members of the Japan Chapter. Next year the Japanese members will be visiting New York.

 

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

Voice Technology Available In KOHLER Konnect

Written By: Gwen Donovan

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

“The 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. It 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. 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. It 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.

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Blackman AD Field Marketing Summit 2018

Blackman Field Marketing Summit 2018: Recap

In an effort to facilitate exceptional sales practices and brand representation among their various locations, Blackman hosted a Field Marketing Summit. An event dedicated to the education and training of Blackman employees provided by top industry brands.  “In order to properly sell and represent the outstanding brands our organization carries, we must educate the members of our Blackman community on the latest industry news and product availability,” said Blackman Marketing Manager, Francesca Messina.

The  event was held from Monday, February 12th to Tuesday, February 13th. It was hosted at the Piermont in Babylon, NY. It included presentations from brands such as Fujitsu, Taco, Uphonor, HC, Bradford White, Mueller, Oatey, Charlotte Pipe, Moen, Honeywell, Diversified and Ruud. Each vendor presentation featured exciting product announcements and demonstrations as well as industry trend projections and brand specific selling tips.

With both Vendors and Blackman representatives in the same room, the Field Marketing Summit allowed for the opportunity to share ideas, ask compelling questions and foster strong working relationships. Eessential pieces for a successful vendor-seller relationship.

Both Vendors and Blackman Team members found the event greatly beneficial. Blackman looks forward to hosting the event again next year.

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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. We would LOVE to see you on Saturday. No need to make an appointment.

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