Friday, March 3, 2017

12 Must-Haves for a Designer’s Dream Bathroom

by Yanic Simard


If he had his way — and a rich person’s bank account
— here’s how he’d put together his ideal bathroom space

What does it take to build a dream bathroom? To me, 12 things and a little imagination. These are what I think would make the ideal bathroom escape, and I included some tips for how to bring some of them into your real-life bathroom right now.

1. Elegant tile. One of the best parts of designing a dream bathroom is the chance to use lots of luxurious tile. Whether you love a bold pattern, sumptuous stone or just crisp classic white, floor-to-ceiling tile gives a bathroom a sense of polish and luxury.

My personal dream bathroom would have large-format stone tiles (20 by 30 inches or bigger) to create a virtually seamless effect, as shown in the above photo. However, you can get a lot of impact by applying a coveted tile to just the floor (generally the smallest “wall” in the space) and using plain subway tile elsewhere, as shown here. It’s a beautiful look on a balanced budget.


2. Quality essentials. Let me be clear: My dream bathroom doesn’t just look pretty — it works well and is built to last too. While plumbing essentials like the toilet may not be exciting items to invest in, using good-quality pieces will reduce the risk of messy leaks and will save you the task of having to rebuy in a few years’ time.

For me, the over-the-top high-tech gadgets are unnecessary. I don’t need a toilet that can talk! Simple gleaming white porcelain fixtures with elegant clean lines suit nearly any bathroom and stand the test of time.

3. A statement pendant. Call it a pendant; call it a mini chandelier: A hanging light fixture in a commanding (but not overbearing) size makes a bathroom feel incredibly grand. The scale of such a light always feels so much greater in a relatively small space, such as a bathroom, than in an open-concept dining or living room. This factor makes a statement pendant one of the best ideas to steal on this list, as you can get a lot of impact for just a little splurge.

For a light that feels like a mini chandelier rather than a more modest pendant, go for a diameter of 18 inches or more. For a sizable bathroom, 10 by 10 feet and beyond, start at 24 inches or even 36 inches to suit the scale.


4. A character-rich vanity. This one was definitely a tough choice. I love the simplicity of a streamlined modern vanity, but there’s also something transformative about a furniture-style vanity, especially one with shapely legs or curvy feet in a beautiful wood. It packs a heap of personality and gives a bathroom an unexpected twist — skipping a typical vanity for a vintage furniture piece can be a total design and recycling win-win.

Whichever way you go, the vanity is a very important piece for defining the style of a dream bathroom, so you should put some thought into yours.

5. Layered lighting. Even in my dream bathroom, my statement pendant can’t be expected to do all the heavy lifting — or should I say light lifting? To make your space, and particularly your mirrors, well-lit, you need a good layered lighting scheme. Using lights that glow from beside, above or behind the mirror will light your face properly so you don’t miss a spot during your morning routine.

Don’t forget to add a small, water-safe recessed light or two in the shower to brighten the area and make it feel bigger. Every inch of your dream bathroom deserves to be well-lit and photo-ready.


6. A custom shower stall. Think shower stalls are only for minimalist homes with no space for a bathtub? An elegant shower, sans tub, can be a beautiful, luxurious part of a more traditional or transitional home as well — it all depends on how you style it. You can stick to minimalist lines, or use molding, rich tile and elaborate hardware to bring some traditional grace and strike the right balance for you.

For my dream bathroom, a glass shower door is a must. Sparkling glass keeps sightlines open so the room feels clean, breezy and extra expansive.

7. A luxurious tub. Having a stand-alone shower in my dream bathroom doesn’t mean I can’t have a tub too! Few things say “luxury” more in a bathroom than having a free-standing tub.

Whether you have the square footage for a separate tub and shower or not, you can make your bath feel extra luxurious by adding a small stool to act as a resting place for a book, candle or glass of wine. A perfectly fitted tub tray will keep essentials even closer.

8. Elegant storage. No matter how big your dream bathroom may be, you’ll probably want to squeeze in as much storage as possible. Walls in a bathroom often can be partially opened to work in useful storage niches and medicine cabinets.

Use open shelves to add some storage without closing in a room. Where you do need a closed storage closet, try a mirrored door front to create the illusion of a bigger space while providing a useful full-length mirror.


9. A slab-stone feature wall. Feature walls aren’t made just in living rooms and bedrooms with paint or wallpaper. In a bathroom, a slab-stone wall treatment dramatically calls attention to a tub, vanity or other key detail. The statement of rich mirror-matched stone is absolutely breathtaking, and it contrasts nicely with sleek porcelain.

To make sure all eyes are on your beautiful feature wall (whether it be slab stone, tile or another interesting material), wash the wall with light from a discreet LED strip tucked directly into the ceiling or hidden in a cove and cascading out.

10. A touch of nature. Bathrooms tend to have lots of hard surfaces and shiny finishes, which can sometimes lead to a cold and impersonal feeling — but not my dream bathroom! My perfect bathroom would have an element of natural plant life to maintain a sense of warmth and welcome.

Whether it’s a bouquet of freshly cut flowers, a hardy potted plant (such as a moisture-loving orchid) or a floral motif, a touch of nature helps make the bathroom feel like a truly welcoming part of a home.

11. In-floor heating. Laid underneath the tile or even under the subfloor, in-floor heating trades morning cold feet for a luxurious sense of warmth under the toes.

In-floor heating can actually be fairly practical, as having the heat radiating from below (rather than having so much of it circulating in the empty space over your head) helps a room feel much warmer. You can also selectively apply it to the areas where you tend to stand, such as beside the vanity, to save costs. Plus, it’s completely hidden, so it’s a technology that can work for even the most traditional styles.

12. A beautiful view. Lastly, for my perfect dream bathroom, I really think I need one last thing: a beautiful view to reflect upon while I take a relaxing soak. 

After all, my dream home would have views onto a lush forest or the stunning beaches of Miami; it would be beautifully secluded so no one else could see in. From my dream bath I could gaze out on nature and dream about … well, my next dream room, of course.

Ready to create your dream bathroom? Contact Cabinet-S-Top at 330.239.3630 ~ 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ www.cabinet-s-top.com



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Appliance Inspiration

Looking for inspiration to create your dream home? Here are some of the appliance innovations that inspired us at the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show:

Black is the Next Big Thing
Black stainless steel continues to grow in popularity as kitchen designers and consumers look for an alternative to the dominating stainless steel. Many appliance brands have now developed warmer blacks that look cutting edge yet neutral enough to suit transitional or traditional kitchens.

Growing in Intelligence
There continues to be progress with appliance manufacturers feeling their way into the Internet of Things and smart-home trends. This year at KBIS, we saw a few new options for implementing existing popular technologies such as Amazon Alexa voice commands or added wireless connectivity for remote control. Imagine looking inside your refrigerator without opening the door, being able to use a remote control to monitor your laundry or a dishwasher that reorders detergent before it runs out!

Decreasing in Size
With urban dwelling and smaller-house living on the rise, appliance manufacturers are catering to tighter kitchen footprints by offering more compact versions of some of their popular models.

Our customers will have lots of new choices in appliances and more this year. If you are interested in learning more about the latest trends in kitchen and bath design, please give us a call at 330.239.3630 or visit our showroom at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH 44256.

Friday, February 10, 2017

What's Trending in the Kitchen and Bath World

We just returned from the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), which is our industry's largest trade show, featuring more than 600 companies displaying their latest and greatest.  Here are several of the cabinet and countertop trends that turned our heads and are likely to wow you as well.

You're going to see more color options for faucets and handles in both the kitchen and the bath. We've already seen gold, rose-gold and bronze tones make a comeback in recent years, but more manufacturers are hopping on this train, and some are going in a direction that's a little warmer or less shiny. In addition to these hues, there's a rise in gunmetal and matte-black finishes. The black in particular we saw recently in some of the mid- to high-end European markets, so it's no surprise that the U.S. is catching onto this.


The New Fineline Lavido is an assortment of modular trays storage boxes, dividers, and holders providing enhanced customizable storage.
Innovative storage was a dominant trend we saw at KBIS. Numerous manufacturers are making kitchens more functional and easy to use.  We saw creative wine storage options, drawers in drawers, toe-kick drawers, matching SKUs for door inserts that help organize knives, utensils, cutlery and other kitchen gadgets. There are so many bells and whistles that will expand the functionality of your kitchen space!  


Kitchen cabinet manufacturers understand that many kitchen islands serve multiple purposes.  One of our manufacturers unveiled a floating island that doubles as a home office. The island featured power, USB connectivity, file storage and space for a printer all hidden underneath a movable countertop that can double as an eating area or working desk.  We even saw drawer inserts designed to hold Keurig coffee pods.


Oversized drawers as long as 72 inches lined in leather or accented in leather were featured throughout the show. Use of mixed materials - leather, stone, wood and metals  - is an emerging trend that provides our clients with an almost unlimited array of options to make a distinct design statement in their homes. 


Our customers will have lots of new choices in paint colors this year as many manufacturers are offering some hot new colors not only in cabinets, but also in sinks and faucetry.


Grey is still hot with many cabinet manufacturers. Several were showing different twists and shades of grey at the show.  Many of the new greys had a purplish tint. Use of pops of color with blue/green, mustard tones and brownish reds were quite popular.

Another stand out trend was interior cabinet lighting. It has definitely grown up.
Rectangles were the predominate shape with loads and loads of floating shelves.  Many of the displays incorporated the use of planters within home interiors. 


Not a new trend, but certainly on the rise, LED-integrated mirrors are being offered by most everyone as they allow for a cleaner look in bathrooms. Wall sconces, bath light bars and ceiling fixtures aren't necessarily going away, but people are beginning to consider how impractical overhead, too-high-up or too-far-on-the-sides light placement is for grooming purposes (due to shadows cast on the face).





One of our major countertop partners had a wowing display of new products.  One display featured a customized gas burner that can be integrated directly into the counter without needing a glass or stainless surface. 

We returned from KBIS with many, many ideas that will help you create a dream home.  If you are interested in learning more about the latest trends in kitchen and bath design, please give us a call at 330.239.3630 or give visit our showroom at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH 44256

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Crystal Ball Department: Kitchen Trends for 2017

HGTV’s new series Restored by the Fords features the brother and sister team of Leanne and Steve Ford who renovate older homes in western Pennsylvania. Leanne recently related to us the kitchen design ideas that will be trending in 2017.
No Man Is An Island
Ford sees the continued popularity of open floor plan kitchens, but the latest trend is to bring elements of the living and dining room right into the kitchen. Eschewing the venerable kitchen island, many clients are opting for a rustic wood table instead. Meshing other rooms in the home with the kitchen makes a lot of sense because the kitchen is where most family and friends hang out. It’s a space that goes far beyond meal preparation.
White Is Right
Getting white right can make a unique and special design statement. The challenge of all white kitchens is to avoid making them look sterile. We make white kitchens stand out by using a variety of different textures. This may involve subway tile for a backsplash, wood grains in flooring, wall coverings or accent pieces and use of linen, cotton and other textures that move a room from cold to warm and cozy.
Bye Bye Bar Cart
Bar carts can be beautiful, but are they really necessary? Ford does not think so because regardless of the scope of a beverage collection, there are better means of display that take up less space. Liquor manufacturers adorn their bottles with fantastic looking labels and etchings, and that makes displaying them anywhere easy. Open shelving, bookshelves and atop cabinets are options to consider. Other bonuses of banning the bar cart is that you create more space in your kitchen, and when you display liquor bottles like fine art, they reflect light like mirrors which can brighten up any corner.
Bronze It
Bronze is taking a more prominent role in kitchen design. Bronze is starting to appear on appliances, drawer pulls, light fixtures and door hardware. Bronze accent pieces such as trays and vases can help make a new kitchen pop.
Concrete Ideas
Concrete is a viable alternative to stone that is less costly, extremely durable and has almost unlimited flexibility.
Sink One Then Sink Two
Imagine how much easier your life would be if your kitchen had two separate sinks. Dual sinks allow two people to prepare meals or clean up simultaneously. We often recommend two separate sinks for families that like to cook together and for those who like to entertain. Two sinks make dinner parties that much more fun. You can use one sink for clean up and the fill the other with ice to make it a beverage station.
What Goes Around Comes Around
Retro looks are gaining ground and will continue to trend in 2017. Everything from vintage looking appliances with rounded edges and a taller skinnier profile to rustic tables are finding their way into kitchens of today and tomorrow.
Want to know more about trends that will dominate 2017 kitchen design? Give us a call at 330.239.3630 or visit Cabinet-S-Top's showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256.  www.cabinet-s-top.com

Friday, December 2, 2016

Kitchen Confidential: Painted vs. Stained Cabinets

by Sam Ferris
See the pros and cons of these two popular cabinet finishes

Kitchen cabinets are largely about the finish. Whether you’re buying cabinets for the first time or you’re a seasoned kitchen remodeler, it probably didn’t take you long to realize that stain and paint are two totally different slices of pie. Not sure which one you prefer? Here’s the scoop on the perks and pitfalls of both finishes.

Painted Cabinets

Pro: Paint offers a clean aesthetic. 

Not all roads lead to a crisp kitchen design, but painted cabinetry is one that does. The classic all-white kitchen, for example, wouldn’t be what it is without gleaming white cabinets. However, all paint colors — whites and creams to grays and blues — bring a sleek, clean finish to the table. Paint is perfect for homeowners who aren’t a fan of the character marks common to stained wood cabinets and instead prefer a smooth, flawless finish.


Pro: Paint allows you to get more colorful. 

If you’re thinking of tranquil teal, submarine yellow or lipstick red as cabinet colors, paint is your best bet. Paint sticks to the surface of wood, so it doesn’t get lost in the mix of grains and knots the way a stain does. As a result, paint showcases whichever hue you select and gives you more opportunity to customize the look of your kitchen.


Pro: Paint applies better to MDF.

Choosing medium-density fiberboard (think particle or furniture board) is an effective way to cut cabinet costs. The material also takes paint well. Whether it’s a gray, white or cream color, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between these materials and real wood when they’re painted.

Con: Paint hides character features. 

Paint is thicker than stain, so it doesn’t get absorbed by wood the way stain does. If you want to see grains and knots in plain sight, you probably shouldn’t go with painted cabinets. Though you’ll still see the grain imprints in woods like oak and hickory, they’ll mostly be hidden behind whichever coat of paint you choose. Some homeowners may see this characteristic as a plus (those who want clean and modern cabinetry, for instance). But those who are fond of wood’s natural beauty will chalk this down as a negative.

Con: Paint tends to cost more.

Painted cabinets aren’t exactly budget-friendly. They can be, but if you’re comparing them with stained cabinets, you’ll find that they often carry a steeper price tag. How much higher? The answer ultimately depends on who’s making the cabinets and where you’re buying them from, but typically they cost about 10 to 15 percent more. That’s hundreds or thousands of extra dollars you’re forking over, depending on the size of your kitchen.


Con: Paint is harder to touch up. 

This one may stir up a bit of debate among designers and homeowners. Paint touch-ups can be tricky. For one thing, you may not always know the exact color of your cabinet. If you’re buying semicustom or prefabricated cabinets, paint companies like Sherwin-Williams and Benjamin Moore may not have an exact match. Cabinetmakers and manufacturers may also apply paints by spraying, a method that looks smoother but is hard to replicate with a touch-up kit. Brushed finishes are better for hiding touch-ups.


Stained Cabinets

Pro: Stain showcases more wood features. 

Stain strikes a good balance between color and texture. This is a definitive plus for many homeowners. Unlike paint, stain doesn’t steal the spotlight from your wood’s natural character. Since it’s thinner than paint, it seeps into the surface, which can enhance the natural beauty of your wood. You’ll definitely be able to admire the wood’s distinctive features.

Pro: Stain is easier to touch up. 

Touch-up markers for stains are easier to find, and even if there isn’t an exact match, there’s likely a color out there that closely resembles your stain. Touch-ups also tend to blend better on stained cabinets, especially ones with a lot of grain.


Pro: Stain usually costs less.

Cost ultimately hinges on several factors, like kitchen size, cabinet construction, manufacturer and so forth. But stain tends to keep costs on the lower side, a huge benefit if you’re flipping a house, remodeling a rental unit or simply don’t want to spend a fortune on kitchen cabinets. It generally costs less than paint, though customized options will be more expensive.

Con: Stain doesn’t look as good on MDF. 

Medium-density fiberboard can offer huge savings on cabinets, but it simply doesn’t take stain as well as it takes paint. Whereas paint rarely looks different on MDF exteriors, stains do. It isn’t as authentic of a look as, say, the oak cabinetry pictured here. You’ll have to seek other ways to lower your cabinet cost if you’re set on stained cabinetry.

Con: Stain shows nearly all of wood’s blemishes.

Some say blemishes; others say character. Again, some homeowners see this as nothing but a good thing. On the flip side, many don’t want to see wood’s imperfections, such as uneven grain distributions and color inconsistencies. Stains take a back seat to the wood they’re applied to, which allows every distinct feature to show — for better or worse.

Con: Dark stains and paints don’t hide dust well.

This is a negative for both dark stains and dark paints. While lighter cabinets can chip and stain more easily, they do a good job at hiding dust. Darker stains and paints, not so much. Dust particles stand out more on dark cabinet surfaces, which can require more upkeep.

Stop by Cabinet-S-Top's showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH and meet with one of our award winning designers to help you make the right selection of cabinets for your home.  330.239.3630 ~ www.cabinet-s-top.com



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Tricks to Hide Light Switches, Outlets and Toilet Roll Holders

by Yanic Simard

Embrace camouflage and other design moves
to make these eyesores virtually disappear


Electrical outlets, light switches and toilet paper roll holders are hard to avoid. Often building codes dictate where these can be placed, which can sully otherwise beautiful backsplashes and other features in kitchens and bathrooms. But all hope isn’t lost. If you prefer to preserve the clean lines of a beautiful backsplash, try some of these methods for keeping these eyesores from sticking out.

In Kitchens

Undercabinet mounting. If you’re undertaking a renovation or a new home build, you can often achieve a clean, contemporary look, such as the uncluttered backsplash shown here, with a little thoughtful positioning.

It may seem as if this kitchen has no handy outlets for modern appliances, but don’t let this point of view fool you. If you look carefully you’ll notice that the outlets and switches have been tucked into the underside of the shelf rather than in the walls. They’re easy to reach when needed but out of sight when not in use.



Similarly, the opposite wall of the same compact kitchen includes some hidden essentials built into the base of the upper cabinetry. In this case, a small amount of cabinet space was stolen to hold electrical work, which allowed space for a flush undercabinet LED strip to brighten the kitchen — a win-win.

You can create a similar effect with most stock cabinets by adding a custom built box at the bottom for electrical and using an extra-long door front to cover both the cabinet and the add-on to achieve a flush look.

Vessels and other decor. If renovation isn’t on the table, you cans still effectively hide outlets. Often all you need is one large storage vessel or attractive vase to hide your outlet when not in use.