Monday, January 28, 2013

Shower Lights Bathe Bathrooms in Brightness

by John Whipple
Lighting in colors as dazzling or soothing as you choose can bring a whole new dimension to your shower routine
Shower lighting generally gets little attention compared with lighting in the rest of the house. But don't make this mistake — even the simplest lights can add such enjoyment and sparkle to your daily routine. The right light can make or break a bathroom, and all too often the subject is given no more thought than an extra downlight and weatherproof trim.

Lighting should be worked out from the very start, since the right lighting systems need to be designed ahead so they can be installed, waterproofed and serviced whenever necessary. Take a look at a few of my favorite shower lighting photos and learn some of the key points you should consider for your shower's lighting.
Here is a great example of an intense colored light and its effect on the water spray; steam and water come to life with the incorporation of colored lighting. Four LED pool lights installed on the ceiling of this steam shower create this look.

Tip: Red, green and blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can be installed to create any combination of colorful or white lights. It's important to make sure the lights are all installed in the same direction so that the pattern and reflection of red, green and blue is consistent.
 
 
There are so many shower fixtures available, and many feature built-in lights. The look is impressive. Consider fixtures that are controllable — many are a fixed color or show blue, green and red.

Tip: Take care in the framing and construction of these shower ceilings. Some of these lights can weigh more than 20 pounds.
 
 
 
A backlit art piece like this one is a great way to add something special to a new shower. The lighting is remote controlled and can cycle through all the colors of the rainbow.

With the right installer, anything is possible!
 
 
 
 
 
This shower is a work of art. The backlit slab on the back wall casts all sorts of great lighting around and serves as only one source of light for this shower. Something like this needs special planning with an electrician and a tile setter.

The underbench light would make a perfect nightlight for this bathroom.

Tip: Keep light features on separate switches so you can layer the lights as you like.
 
Any shower light should be on a dimmer. Taking a long steam shower at the day's end will be more enjoyable in low light.

This shower features a center rain head, so two shower lights were installed to give a lot of light, even when they're dimmed.

Tip: There are many different types of shower lighting, and the proper dimmer needs to be purchased for each. For example, low-voltage LED lighting often requires a special electronic dimmer. These can cost a pretty penny to install, so be sure to consult a professional before choosing this option.
 If you love sparkle, then consider choosing tile with a little shimmer. Many types of mosaic tile have iridescent properties, which really take light well. The small mosaic on the back wall here will glimmer and sparkle with the right lighting levels.

Tip: If you or your spouse suffers from migraine headaches, consider a colored lighting system. A soothing bath and a long steam with just the right color might make things a little better when those pounding migraines kick in.
 
 
 
 
This shower drain has its own LED battery pack, which activates when the shower turns on. When water enters the drain, the LED light comes on. The designer incorporated the light so the clients would have more illumination and a way to orient themselves in the shower.

This can be a handy feature if you find you have trouble seeing when things steam up in the shower.
 
This shower uses the light to accent the back wall. The down lighting showcases the rough texture of the natural slate tile. Be careful with this type of setup on a regular tiled wall, since lighting can showcase tile lip page and make a great installation look sloppy.

Tip: Try to keep lights as far from walls as possible to reduce highlighting on tile lip page.
 
 
 
This custom MTI air tub (or "bubbler") has wonderful built-in lighting. If you have the option, choose four LED lights in a tub over two. The grid lighting on the back wall is made of individual fiber optic strands set into an installation of stacked slate ledge stone.

Tip: Source your LED lights from a reliable store. Place the LED color driver (the driver is what changes the color of the lights — many are remote controlled) somewhere out of the way. Many can generate a little noise and a little heat, so a proper electrical box is key to a safe installation.
 
 
 
At Cabinet-S-Top, our designers can help you create a dazzling bathroom that will bring enjoyment for years to come.   Located at 1977  Medina Road, Medina, OH - 330.239.3630   www.cabinet-s-top.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Trend Alert!: 9 Reasons to Remodel this Year!

by Sarah Latta

With the start of another calendar year, why not make a resolution for your home? Investing in an upgrade for where you live will not only result in an increased resale value, but the final product (despite the daunting upfront cost) will leave you feeling happier and more fulfilled for the long-term. If you make one upgrade on your house this year, let it be your kitchen. After all, it’s the most important—not to mention most popular—room in the home, and it offers the biggest bang for your remodel buck.  

Need more incentive? Here are 9 reasons we think you should consider remodeling your kitchen this year.

Recent Design Trends – Since the “Kitchen Triangle” theory of the 1940s, a lot has changed in the world of kitchen design. New kitchen design ideas that better serve homeowners are popping up like apps in an iTunes store. Innovations include undercounter refrigerators so children can serve themselves, specialty accommodations for aging-in-place seniors, and enhanced communal areas (example: barstools that disappear into a kitchen island). If your kitchen feels like rush hour around meal times, then chances are it’s time you consider a few of these tricks.

It’s Worth Your Money – According to the National Association of Realtors, a kitchen remodel has the biggest return on investment when it comes to selling your home—even more than a two-story addition!

You’re Not Moving – With the housing market still being more favorable to buyers, it’s safe to say that, if you have the choice, you aren’t selling your house for a few more years.  Even if you plan to move, why not fix up your kitchen now so that you can enjoy it for a few more years?  If you do end up selling it later, you’ll score a better sale.

A Lower Energy Bill—It comes with an upfront cost, but Earth-friendly products and appliances are the way of the future. Adding skylights, for example, brings in ample sunshine, reducing the need for artificial light. Energy-efficient appliances and solar water heaters cut down the utility bill and place less stress on the environment. A new refrigerator with an Energy Star label, for example, uses 40 percent less energy than conventional models sold in 2001.

A Plan for Your Future – In September of 2010, the government published the updated Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) design standards—and it was the first time they have been updated in almost 20 years. Compliance with these rules were then made required just last March. Although the new codes are fairly rigorous, if you plan to stay in your home as you age, you'd be wise to incorporate some of the codes into your kitchen design.

You Have Options – Committing to a kitchen remodel doesn’t mean you have to go the whole nine yards. If a full kitchen remodel isn’t in your budget, try a partial or a simple update. With conservative consumer spending still on path for 2013, design professionals will be more inclined to work with your financial situation.

Current Appliance Advancements – Appliance manufacturers are spending lots of money to discover technologies that make cooking easier and healthier. Miele and Sub-Zero &Wolf, for example, sell a steam oven that, in addition to veggies and fish, prepares entire meals like meats, poultry, cakes and breads—all simultaneously. The increasingly popular induction cooktop speeds up cooking and makes it safer for kids and pets too.

Financial Incentives You’re likely to see financial incentives pop up again this year, including sales at home improvement centers, cash rebates for trading in outdated appliances, remodeling grants and low- or no-interest loans.

It's Fun! Yes, you're spending money (which isn't fun), but it's also a chance for you to express your unique personality and tastes. Kitchen design is more innovative, creative, and robust than ever, and you'll truly enjoy sifting through trends and materials to find the combo that speaks to you most. The result? A room that is inherently "you," with the added benefits of better function and form.
 
Are you ready to move forward?  Let Cabinet-S-Top help you make the right choices and get the biggest bang for your buck in remodeling your kitchen.  We are located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 / 330-239.3630 / www.cabinet-s-top.com
 

Monday, January 14, 2013

14 Great Ways to Design Corners in the Bathroom

by Becky Harris

Don't let your bathroom corners be a washout. Shelves, fixtures and even furniture can help them realize their full potential

Bathroom space is tight for most of us. Maximize your bathroom's function and style by looking at the corners in new ways. Whether you need additional storage, a way to squeeze in the sink, the best shower stall placement or a striking accent piece, make sure you look at all the angles.
 

A shower bench. A micro-corner in the shower is a good spot for a shower bench that is within reach of the sprayers but won't get in the way when you're standing. This is great for universal design, leg shaving and within-reach storage of shampoos and other products.
 
 

A shower stall. Pony walls around a corner shower stall enclose sink areas and provide a backsplash. Using clear glass to enclose the stall keeps a more open feeling and makes the space feel larger.







 
 
 
 
 
A freestanding bathtub. It can cut the corner and break up rectilinear lines.
 







Display shelves or a niche. This recessed shelf provides space for all of those luxurious products for the bath.












The sink. A corner sink is a great space saver in a powder room or small bathroom; it allows clearance from a door that opens inward.






This designer has treated the furniture and fixture layout the same way as in any other room. Most of the fixtures in a bathroom usually have to be shoved up against walls for plumbing purposes; angling the corner wall keeps this interesting.
 







Here is a much different take on corner sink placement. Note the way the narrow angled accent wall accentuates this contemporary sink. It's also a good lesson in scale; the height of the wall and mirror as well as the placement of the sconces stand up to the high ceilings.






A shower accent. Small mosaic tiles have a big presence on both sides of this shower stall's corner.















Shower shelves. Like the angled shower bench we saw earlier, corner shower shelves keep products handy yet out of the way.

Tip: Remember to look at your tallest bottles when planning out the height of your shelves.





An upper cabinet. Sometimes the spot where two counters meet can be awkward. This angled cabinet marries the two arched mirrors and the vanities.









A medicine cabinet. This vintage door conceals the tall corner storage cabinet in a unique way.









A dressing table. A corner is a great spot for nestling in a dressing table vanity — it makes the vanity area feel like its own distinct space.







A plant. An orchid, freshly cut flowers, a palm or another plant can breathe fresh life into a bathroom corner.









Windows. A set of windows that round the bend will double the view you enjoy while taking a soak.








The commode. The way this unit is angled gives more room on either side in this semiprivate stall.











Shelves. These floating shelves add attractive storage in a spot that would otherwise be wasted space.







At Cabinet-S-Top, we have designers on staff that can help you discover the full potential of your bathroom.  Give us a call 330-239-3630 or stop by our showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256.   www.cabinet-s-top.com


 
 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Trend Alert: 7 Intriguing Kitchen Predictions for 2013



by Susan Serra, Courtesy of Cultivate
The new year has arrived, and with it comes a wave of exciting, new home trends for 2013. While the march in recent years has clearly moved toward kitchen designs with smooth lines and a simple sophistication, we're predicting a new, more collaborative twist this year. After all, putting your own decorative spin adds a personal, one-of-a-kind dimension to any kitchen design. The result? A cooking space that's a melting pot of creativity, giving birth to fresh interpretations for modern, country, traditional, professional and other familiar styles. Read on for seven intriguing kitchen trends we think will gain even more popularity in 2013.
 
1. Modernizing classic styles. A good example of a new interpretation of a classic kitchen style is the new country kitchen. Gone are the days of duck-themed borders paired with terra cotta floors. Instead, the new country kitchen includes modern design elements in natural finishes, such as slate or matte engineered stone, bringing nature's authentic look into the space. Still too modern and austere? The addition of antiques in small collections, larger pieces or a touch of an urban/industrial vibe here and there softens and warms the modern edge. In short, there are many fresh ways to nudge a kitchen toward any style via a balancing act of modern design paired with other looks, which is exactly where the excitement resides for 2013.
2. Combining unexpected finishes. We'll also see more surface combinations in 2013. Think: a herringbone brick floor as a backdrop to add a rich, natural texture and a glossy backsplash made of glass with light gray-washed oak cabinetry in a simple framed door style. Wood flooring (or the fabulous new ceramic wood look-alike tiles) with interesting grain patterns will also serve as a style contrast to simple, clean cabinetry while still sending a clear message of a classic home. Extra-large format flooring tiles with minimal grout lines in rustic textures speak both a modern and rustic language, while traditional Mediterranean-style tiles are refreshed with a modern vibe.
 
3. Creating comfort zones. The social kitchen has become more popular each and every year, and 2013 will be no different. With renewed attention to adequate and comfortable seating, super comfy banquettes and settees have become must-have items in many new kitchens, especially ones with smaller dining areas. And with new extra-large cushions for added comfort, kitchen banquettes can replicate the most plush sofa, but at the right height to accommodate not just dining, but lounging, long conversations and projects as well. Comfort in the kitchen of 2013 will also be experienced in ample task, accent, and general lighting, as well as a much wider use of sensor lighting to illuminate deep, dark cabinetry, and the inside of pantries.
4. Expanding small spaces. Bucking the tradition of large, sprawling spaces, increased attention will be given to expanding smaller kitchens in 2013. Visual tricks will be actively incorporated to create a more open feeling. For example, we'll see backsplashes that are more simple in design than ever before, such as single sheets of glass (a hot material), engineered stone or other seamless surfaces, such as stainless steel. The reason this works: A seamless backsplash has a huge effect on a kitchen's "visual clutter", is a natural complement to the modern kitchen and a practical solution for small kitchens where appliances are in close proximity to surfaces. Large windows, a highly desired building product in 2013, allow the eye to travel, and interesting nooks and crannies decoratively illuminated in the kitchen can create new focal points as well as adding a spacious look.
5. Keeping cabinet color light. White cabinetry is still the darling for 2013. Whites and off whites are the most desired foundation for other design elements in the kitchen, and they also help to make a space feel larger by reflecting light. Other popular finishes for 2013: gray wood and painted finishes. As we do more living in the kitchen, the true social center of the home, new, lighter natural wood finishes are an alternative and fresh look for 2013, reflecting our casual lifestyle. Color makes its appearance in the decorative layer, while neutral colors for the big ticket items are a safer investment for the long term.
6. Hiding appliances. Important items in any kitchen design, appliances will largely disappear from view in 2013, allowing even high-end, chef's style appliances to be seamlessly incorporated into any kitchen space. Sophisticated ovens with glass doors, glass handles, choices of metal finishes and enameled colors help homeowners express their aesthetic at a higher level, continuing the visual interest in personal design expression. Precision cooking, restaurant style, is the trend for appliances and technological add-ons become the sous chef.
 
 
7. Designing for green and universal-design appeal. Appliances, lighting, countertops, flooring—even special vintage pieces, are all woven into kitchen design, each having their own version of green properties backed by a sustainable philosophy. Another popular design philosophy for 2013: To build within the footprint of the existing kitchen, if possible, rather than going through an expensive addition, which will also leave a larger footprint on the Earth. This means that a good design is paramount to achieve the best solution for the family's present and future lifestyle. Universal design principles only become more important in the new year as homeowners are designing for the long term. Efficient cabinet access will be given a close second look in 2013 due to universal design issues.
 


Cabinet-S-Top is a kitchen and bath remodeling company located in Medina, OH.  Keeping up on the latest trends is what makes Cabinet-S-Top a wise choice for design, product selections and installation services.  Check out our showroom located at  1977 Medina Road. Medina, OH  44256.  330.239.3630  www.cabinet-s-top.com