Traditionally, growing older is associated with hospitals, nursing homes, or institutionalized equipment for those who choose to continue living at home. However, this is 2014! Forget everything you think you know about disability-friendly bathrooms. There are many more options these days for people who want to live comfortably in their home as they age.
Modernized equipment allows for a seamless look in the home. Just because we grow old doesn’t mean our house has to reflect it! One of these great advancements is a ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant tub from Kohler. Typical walk-in tubs can take up to 15 minutes to fill and drain. That’s a long time to be just sitting in the shower, waiting for a warm bath! The new Elevance series in the Kohler collection solves this problem stylishly and efficiently. Instead of the swinging door that most walk-in tubs use, these tubs have a rising side wall that is pulled up once you are seated on the wheelchair height bench. While this setup allows you to get out of the tub much quicker, they also went to the added conveniences of a dual draining system and heated seating. Bonus- it doesn’t look ugly! Check out this beautiful bathroom full of Kohler appliances:
One last cool new gadget that can be useful for refrigerated medicine is the M Series Cold Storage medicine cabinet from Robern. Now you can keep all of your medication together instead of making the long trek to the kitchen! This cabinet is a trendy solution for bathrooms. It fits seamlessly into the overall look of the room.
Accessories finish out any room! Check out these photos of grab bars (and more!) from Moen:
The bathroom has evolved from a simple place to take care of business to a place expected to be serene and relaxing, much like a spa. People love to spend hours lounging in the tub or singing in the shower. As the demand for these luxury spaces increases, the variety of options explodes to meet the wants of the people.
Many people are already aware of the hydrotherapy options that are available, including bubbles or jets in whirlpool baths. Another less well known (but equally relaxing) option in tubs is heat. Several companies have combined these two therapies to create a bath that is even more luxurious. Most recently, music therapy has been integrated into bathing systems. Kohler has a new tub in their VibrAcoustic collection that uses Bluetooth technology to take advantage of the relaxation caused by music. Through the Bluetooth integrated into the bath system, your smart phone hooks up to the tub, allowing you to create a giant speaker out of the empty basin, or fill the bath and allow the vibrations to soothe your body. Lastly, there in an increased use of chromatherapy, added lighting in the bath to make the mood. With the wide variety of therapies available through tubs, you can choose your favorites and let the stress float away.
Kohler VibrAcoustics TubMore trendy features that can help create a spa-like environment in your bathroom are bamboo backsplash tiling, large, heated tile flooring, natural paint colors, frameless glass showers, and polished nickel features.
Having a clean, spa-like bathroom can positively affect your health and attitude. You will feel like you can relax, slow down, and enjoy the time your spend in your personal oasis.
Written by Cristie Schlosser
As I draw close to the completion of my own project, it has never been clearer to me how the industry and disciplines fit together. The past two years, I’ve been both the client and the Interior Designer. Of course, my husband Rodney is the real client, but I’ve chosen to play that role as well. My goal, when Rodney suggested we “build,” was to put together a “team” that could collaborate to design the home we plan to live in for the next phase of our lives together. Not only would this “team” collaborate, but also to have others to bounce my thoughts and ideas off of and get professional feedback was critical. I’ve enjoyed the process. I’m anxious for the completion and the results. I believe my shortcomings have challenged me to change the way I work, to improve my process, and to rise to a new level of expertise. I have come a long way, but have much further to go. I am a perfectionist to some degree – always thinking I can do better.
The blurred lines became apparent to me in multiple ways. Not only am I am the client and the interior designer, but I usually work on behalf of the homeowner to manage the contractor. I am also the project manager placing orders and following up on deliveries – in new construction this in normally done by the contractor. I am used to working with my own trades, many of which in this case our contractor uses. Funny thing is I had no prior experience with the architects or the contractor. In some ways, the blurred lines worked to our advantage. In other ways, it has been more difficult for the architects, the contractor, and me; but most importantly, I really enjoyed designing with this team. Putting all typical home building frustrations aside, I know we will be pleased with the outcome.
For as long as the industry has existed, there have been blurred lines between registered Architects (RA) and registered Interior Designers (RID). Both are creative and have vision. Both create design drawings and stamp drawings for construction purposes. RAs and RIDs can create lighting, plumbing, and electrical plans.
They can space plan and layout the flow and interior non-load barring walls of a structure. Both can specify finish materials, cabinet details, and interior millwork. Both can complete a built space with furniture and decoration.
So what’s the difference? Each discipline specializes in their specific area of expertise, which requires rigorous education, apprentice work, and intensive board testing. An architect’s area of expertise is the building systems and how the structure is melded into the environment. An interior designer’s area of expertise is a psychological examination of human nature and needs as they are affected by the built environment.
So where do contractors and designers (non-registered) fit into the picture? Contractors execute the design vision as it pertains to construction, and designers adorn and beautify spaces that require no building modifications. There is no education requirement, licensing, or maintenance of continuing education. There is no ruling body mandating regulations. There are great contractors who are very responsible and run impressive operations. Generally, these contractors are members of organizations that require CEUs and have certified programs. NARI is an example of such an organization. Some contractors are as naturally talented as some RAs and RIDs. Decorators who call themselves interior designers don’t quite understand the meaning of the term. They aren’t trying to mislead; they simply don’t realize what the big deal is. There are plenty of non-qualified talented designers whose experience counts. However, there are plenty that don’t know what the codes are, or how to resolve construction complications. Their role is to make selections that beautify the interiors. That’s just plain decorating.
So you get the idea now; there are plenty of people vying for your business. How do you know whom to choose? It certainly depends on your project, but the best results come from a collaborative effort. Respect between the disciplines and working together to create your dream home or office. Starting with your design team will lead you down the right path and through the process that flushes out the options and creates a unique space for you.
What is stronger than Kevlar, more rare than a four leaf clover, and shines like an Olympic gold medal? A textile made entirely of spider silk. On display at the American Museum of Natural History, this incredible piece took four years and over one million spiders to create. Although the title of “largest textile made of spider silk” now belongs to an embroidered cape, this cloth measures 11’ by 4’, not something to laugh at!
So, if this material is so strong, why don’t we use it for everything? Well, the reason the production took four years is because one spider can only produce a certain amount of silk at one time!
But…What if it could be created synthetically? It’s not out of the question; nylon was developed as a substitute for silk. All that needs to happen is for one person to have an idea.
That’s where Randy Lewis comes in. This professor transplanted a gene from the silk-producing spiders into several goats. A mutation of sorts is created, and the milk taken from the goats contains an extra protein. The protein is extracted from the milk through a several processes, one of which involves taking the fat out of the milk. Eventually, the protein is concentrated enough that it can be used to create spider silk. The liquid protein is then slowly injected into alcohol, causing the protein to solidify and form silk.
The big question now would be: “Is the process worth it?” Right now, one quart of milk creates a vial of the protein that can make a silk strand 2-3 meters long. Those aren’t fabulous stats, but Mr. Lewis hopes that as the goats keep reproducing, the protein content of the milk will jump from 2% to 10%. Who knows, perhaps in the future we will be able to afford textiles created from these special spider-goats.
For more on the spider silk, follow the link below.
Written by Amy Tran
At SDG, we are ecstatic over the refreshing yet rebellious color palette for this spring. In 2014, there is a powerful balance between vivid and fearless hues paired with subdued and calming pastels. Normally these colors are not paired together. They are defying convention, and we are in love.
Objects of Our Affection:
From our pals at Sherwin Williams, we used to Color Visualizer to make these Fun Scenes:
Here is a sample of these new color palettes at play featuring recently designed rooms we just completed for one of our clients. The girls loved their “new looks”!
This is not your grandmother’s Chantilly; this season lace is a staple. Bedding, wall covering, and rug patterns to dresses, shoes and nail design, retailers are a huge fan in both home décor and women’s apparel. Lace in black or dark colors creates a demure and sultry vibe; white or beige gives lace a crisp innocence that everyone can appreciate.
Written by Guest Blogger Kayla Harvey
Now that you know these tips, get on out there and enjoy your summer!
Written By Guest Blogger: Kayla Harvey