Keys to a Successful Master Bath

Small touches create a great master bathroom

With a large percentage of homeowners the Upper Valley spending most of their days at home, demand to make their homes more beautiful and functional is at an all-time high. Master baths are at the top of the list of most desired renovation projects. If you would like to renovate your master bath, consider the following:

How long do you plan to live in your home?
Who would be the primary users of the bath?
What functionality is most important?
What aesthetic do you want to achieve?


Many homeowners the Upper Valley plan to remain in their homes for many years and want improvements that will enable them to age-in-place easily, safely and with dignity. Let your designer know your long-term plans for your home. It will influence both the design and the budget for your project.

Identify the primary users of the bath, their ages and how and how often they use the bath. There are many homeowners who only shower and then there are a large group that can’t live without a tub.

Functionality

Creating in-home spas for homeowners the Upper Valley is not difficult. A spa-like space that will enable you and other family members to have a few moments all to yourself, devoid of texts, tweets and other interruptions where you can wash away the stresses of the day and recharge your batteries. Both showers and tubs offer hydrotherapies that can relax tired muscles, ease arthritic pains, rejuvenate skin tone, improve respiratory function and generally make you feel better.

If you and your family don’t use the tub, you may want to opt for a multifunctional curbless shower that gives you the ability to create open-floor plan bath that does not require a glass enclosure. The benefits of steam systems have been known for centuries. More recently, light therapy, aroma therapy and hydrotherapy systems provide the wow and technical functionality that make dreams come true.

Smart technologies for the bath can also enhance the overall experience. There are technologically advanced toilets that feature:

  • Self-cleaning
  • Lids that open automatically as users approach
  • Hands-free flushing
  • Illuminated seats
  • Remote control operation
  • Personal cleansing/bidet functions
  • Temperature controlled heated seats
  • Ability to play music
  • Seats that automatically close softly (soft close)
  • Digital assistant connectivity

Smart mirrors and medicine cabinets can feature:

  • Integrated lighting that eliminates shadows and offers comparable benefits to natural light
  • Monitor human health and provide notice of problems remotely
  • Control other fixtures and components in the room or connect to personal digital assistants, smart phones, tablets and other Bluetooth enabled devices
  • Electrical and smart device charging capabilities
  • Infinite design options to meet any style preference
  • Storage is another key component of a bath renovation because a well-designed bath produces an organized bath. Determine how much storage space you want and need by inventorying all items that you want in your bath from towels and robes to cosmetics and hair care products and everything in between.

Aesthetic

Function without form can compromise the look and feel of a new bath and your enjoyment of the space. Ask yourself how you want your bath to feel every time you step into your tub or take as shower. The aesthetic tone for most master baths is set by the faucetry selected. Your designer can help you identify faucets, shapes, sizes, color schemes, floor and wall covering that meet reflect your style and the vibe you want in your new master bath.

What will it take to convert your master bath into an in-home spa that will allow you and your family a place to wash away the stresses of the day? Give us a call at 603-448-9700 or make an appointment to visit us virtually or in person at our showroom located at 105 Hanover Street, Lebanon, NH.

A Slab in the Back (Splash)

How can we create a luxurious look without spending a fortune is a question that homeowners the Upper Valley often ask as they are planning a dream kitchen. An advantage of relying on a professional kitchen and bath showroom is that experienced and savvy designers know how to stretch budget dollars. The backsplash is one area where homeowners the Upper Valley don’t have to compromise the look, feel and luxuriousness of their dream kitchen because of budget.

Solid surface material, quartz, stone, glass and ceramics offer the ability to produce single slab backsplashes that span the length and width of a wall from the countertop to the base of the cabinets and even beyond. Pairing a solid slab backsplash in the same material as countertops can create a dramatic and bold look in a dream kitchen. Solid slab backsplashes are especially appropriate for homeowners the Upper Valley who gravitate to contemporary, modern and even transitional design motifs.

Technological advances provide homeowners the Upper Valley an ideal solution for a fashion forward high-performing backsplash without having to spend a fortune. Slab backsplashes offer a modern aesthetic and perfect functionality found in custom kitchens but with an extremely attractive price point. There are slabs that check all the right boxes: anti-fingerprint, heat resistant, water repellent, mold resistant, hygienic, easy to clean and resistant to the solvents and reagents typically used for household cleaning.

If you would like to discuss how a slab backsplash can give you the look of luxury at an extremely attractive price or how to budget effectively for a kitchen renovation of your dreams, give us a call at 603-448-9700 or make an appointment to visit our showroom in person or virtually at 105 Hanover Street, Lebanon, NH.

The New Meaning of Home

It’s been a year since COVID-19 confined many homeowners the Upper Valley to their homes and changed the way homes function, feel and act. Many of our clients homes operate 24/7, blurring the lines between rest, family life and work. Homes have been transformed with many spaces transformed to uses that were never previously imagined. Guest bedrooms have become offices, backyards fitness centers, basements daycare centers and dining room tables desks. We’ve heard from clients the Upper Valley that they are tired of their homes and their homes are tired of them. It’s been a time of awakening and an opportunity for change.

Many of our clients the Upper Valley have realized that their tired homes need a shot of adrenalin. They don’t particularly want to share with their coworkers images of their bedrooms. We’ve created more than a few smiles by showing homeowners how they can repurpose space to serve multiple functions and to create private areas out of space that previously serve little purpose. More importantly, we have helped homeowners the Upper Valley create spaces for themselves, designing and building in-home spas that allow a few minutes devoid of texts, emails and family demands to wash away the stresses of the day and recharge batteries.

Kitchens also have been repurposed with homeowners the Upper Valley gaining new appreciation and desire for storage solutions and organizational tools that allow for multiple activities to take place without overwhelming or cluttering the space. Never before in recent memory has more meal preparation taken place, giving new meaning and importance to the functionality of countertops, appliances and workflow.

The home has been transformed forever. If you want to give your home the shot of adrenalin it deserves by creating the kitchen and/or bath of your dreams, give us a call at 603-448-9700 or make an appointment to visit us either in person or virtually at 105 Hanover Street, Lebanon, NH.

Thinking Outside the Cabinet Box

During the past year many homeowners the Upper Valley realized that they want their homes to look and perform much better in response to the changing dynamic and role that a home plays. Due to COVID-19 homes have been transformed to serve as offices, classrooms, playgrounds, gyms, theaters, spas, campsites and a host of other purposes. Many of our clients the Upper Valley are looking for solutions to make their homes better places to work, live, entertain, exercise and relax.

The expertise that a professional showroom offers to design dream kitchens and baths extend to other rooms in the home. Cabinetry is extremely flexible. It can help bring order to a chaotic mudroom. The same principles used to create space where none may currently exist and organize kitchens, can be applied to entry halls, closets, laundry rooms, dens, living rooms and mud rooms to name a few that enable homeowners the Upper Valley to declutter or simply to better organize boots, shoes, coats, umbrellas and other items that might be stuffed into a hall closet or deposited on the floor.

Master bedroom and other closet spaces also can be greatly enhanced by using cabinet design principles and products. If you are tired of waking up to a mountain of clothes in the middle of your or your children’s closet, let us work our magic into your home by proposing closet organizing systems and designs that will find a place for everything and put everything you want in a place that you want it.

Another underused room in the home that can provide superb functionality combined with a powerful aesthetic is the garage. Shelving and storage systems for garage space can help assure a clean floor and avoid the possibility of damage to tools and other items that typically site on the floor from water damaged.

Design expertise that improves the functionality of small kitchens is equally applicable to other rooms in the home. Our team knows how to make the most out of smaller spaces. How can you better organize rooms in your home to improve not only how they look, but also how they function? Give us a call at 603-448-9700 or make an appointment to visit our showroom at 105 Hanover Street, Lebanon, NH.

Guidelines for Interviewing and Selecting a Showroom That’s the Perfect Fit for Your New Dream Kitchen

Many of our clients the Upper Valley have inherited the kitchen that they currently use when they purchased their homes. Now that many homeowners the Upper Valley are spending much more time in their homes, they have discovered their kitchens (and many other rooms as well) are not meeting their needs, wants or desires. They want their kitchen to perform better, to look better and to feel better. That’s where a professional kitchen and bath showroom comes into play. We understand what’s wrong with most kitchens and the features and performance shortcomings that frustrate homeowners. We also recognize that homeowners the Upper Valley have lots of options when it comes to designing and building a kitchen of their dreams. Many of our clients have heard horror stories from neighbors and family of projects that have run off the rails, are plagued with problems and experience expensive cost and delivery overruns.

How do you find the showroom and designer that is the perfect fit for your new dream kitchen? Obtain references from friends, neighbors and family who have recently renovated kitchens or other rooms in their home or ask for references from showrooms and designers you are considering who have recently renovated a kitchen similar to your kitchen and with the same scope as your desired renovation. More importantly, consider the approach the designer and showroom take during your initial conversations. In order to build the kitchen of your dreams, a good designer needs to know about your lifestyle, your style, who will use the kitchen, how often it will be used, what currently works in your kitchen and what you would like to improve. Your kitchen should be all about you and your family. If a designer does not understand or attempt to learn about your tastes, style preferences and lifestyle, chances are that showroom is not a good fit for your project.

During your interviews, pay careful attention to the questions that you are asked. Because kitchen design is what we specialize in for homeowners and builders the Upper Valley, we understand the common problems with existing kitchens that range from insufficient storage to poorly navigated traffic flow. A good designer knows how to maximize the value of space, use lighting to create a look and feel of joy and efficiency every time you cross the threshold, help you establish realistic budget and timeline expectations, thereby avoiding unpleasant and unanticipated surprises and troubleshoot problems should they occur.

There are other sources of assistance that homeowners the Upper Valley may consider to help design and build a dream kitchen. Our experience and the experiences of your neighbors the Upper Valley find that you will receive the most attention and a complete service from a professional kitchen and bath showroom and designer who understands what you want and knows how to meet your needs and exceed your wildest dreams.

To discuss how you can create a dream kitchen for you and your family in your home, please give us a call at 603-448-9700 or make an appointment to visit our showroom in person or virtually at 105 Hanover Street, Lebanon, NH.

Creating Multifunctional Spaces

Almost 12 months have passed since the Upper Valley have spent most of the time in their homes. This new normal has shined a bright spotlight on the functionality of homes the Upper Valley and demands for improved performance. Homeowners the Upper Valley want and need spaces that are multifunctional, flexible and that offer increased privacy. We’ve know that guests rooms have been converted into home offices. Basements double as fitness facilities and there are needs for spaces where kids to kick back and be kids.

Kitchens and bathrooms remain the most important rooms in the home and spaces that offer the potential to serve multiple functions. A regret of more than 50% of homeowners nationwide last year who renovated their kitchens was not spending enough on the renovation to truly make the space not only beautiful but multifunctional. We firmly believe that a well-designed kitchen is an organized kitchen. Professional kitchen designers have a broad range of tools at their disposal to design a place for everything and to ensure everything a homeowner the Upper Valley wants in their new dream kitchen has a place. Not investing in sufficient storage solutions and incorporating multifunctional capabilities into the design, we suspect, are primary reasons for buyers’ remorse among those who recently renovated their kitchens.

The need for effective storage solutions are not confined to kitchens. They also are welcomed for home offices, laundry rooms, mud rooms, bathrooms, closets and kids spaces, among other rooms in a home. Professional kitchen and bath showrooms have a unique expertise in cabinetry and how it can be used to create storage solutions for kitchens and baths that easily translate to other rooms in the home. We know how to create space where none currently exists; how to make small spaces appear larger and how to make a home more functional, organized and beautiful. We hear from many homeowners the Upper Valley that they are tired of looking at stuff scattered throughout almost every room in their home and want spaces that are not messy. That’s where cabinetry can be a perfect solution.

A place is escape is another desire resulting from homeowners the Upper Valley spending most of their time in their homes. That’s one reason we have seen demand for bathroom renovations skyrocket in the last year. Many of our clients relish the opportunity to create an in-home spa where they can spend a few minutes of the day just to themselves and have the opportunity to wash away the stresses that result from the blurred lines between work and home.

The desire for increased functionality has extended outdoors that enable homeowners to create news spaces that connect to nature and also serve as classrooms, recreational areas and places to relax. Outdoor kitchens in particular have become increasingly popular.

How can you make your existing space more functional and beautiful? How can you create an in-home spa that will promotes the health and wellbeing for family members? Let us show you how you can have multifunctional space that meets the new requirements of working and schooling from home by giving us a call at 603-448-9700 or making an appointment to visit our showroom 105 Hanover Street, Lebanon, NH either in person or virtually.

New Products that Wowed at KBIS

The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is the largest and considered one of the most important annual event for the kitchen and bath industry in North America. At KBIS, manufacturers introduce new products and kitchen and bath showrooms rely upon the show to spot trends and find new innovations for homeowners the Upper Valley.  

The 2021 KBIS was held virtually. Nonetheless, more than a few manufacturers stepped up and introduced new products that will help homeowners, remodelers and builders the Upper Valley create new kitchens that will be the envy of their neighborhoods.  Here are a few of the products that wowed at 2021 KBIS.

Engineered countertops and backsplashes trended toward lighter colors responding to consumer demand for uplifting tones that provide a sense of optimism and cleanliness. New quartz and engineered countertops offer homeowners a range of warm, whites and marble looks.

Concrete-looking engineered countertops were another KBIS trend that responds to the industrial motif that is extremely popular.  

Touchless faucets will turn more than a few heads of customers the Upper Valley. And not a moment too soon as many homeowners recognize that handling raw meat, chicken and fish in a kitchen can easily transmit bacteria and germs from surface to surface.  Several of the new touchless faucets integrate with personal digital assistants and can be activate through apps with voice commands. 

Two tone finishes and two texture faucets also trended at the 2021 KBIS. A number of new introductions featured a balance of rough and smooth textures, matte and polished finishes and warm and cool tones integrated into the same products. We saw faucets with matte black finishes and brass lever handles.  

Manufacturers are upping the ante on storage and organization systems.  Rarely could you open a drawer or cabinet door and not find inserts, rollouts, pullouts, dedicated dividers and in-cabinet lighting that enables homeowners the Upper Valley to effectively organize all of their kitchen items effectively.  

If you want to know how the new product introductions featured at KBIS can help you create the kitchen of your dreams, please call us at 603-448-9700 or make an appointment to visit our showroom in person or virtually at 105 Hanover Street, Lebanon, NH.

Kitchen Cabinet Trends: What’s Hot Right Now

Kitchen and bath remodeling activity the Upper Valley is top of mind because many of our clients are spending almost all of their time in their homes. Many homeowners in the Upper Valley are making decisions to improve the quality of their kitchens, baths and other rooms in their homes to respond to the paradigm shift in the way they want and need their homes to function and perform.

The big trends we see include upgrading of kitchen cabinetry that occurs with almost every kitchen remodel. Our experience is indicative of national trends found by Houzz.com which reflect that 94% of kitchen remodels include cabinet upgrades. The need and desire for improved and enhanced storage are driving kitchen cabinet upgrades simply because homeowners in the Upper Valley are spending more time in their kitchens preparing meals, eating, cleaning up, working, schooling and performing numerous other tasks. They simply need their kitchens to function and perform much better without necessarily having to increase the size of the kitchen.

Not surprisingly, we are seeing greater demand for storage solutions and pantries that include walk-in, free standing, pull out, built-in and wall pantries among others. Many homeowners the Upper Valley are pleasant shocked when we show them how they can create pantry space in their new kitchens without having to change the size or footprint.

Another trend is a movement toward enclosed kitchens versus open floor plans that flow into other rooms in the home. Houzz’s national trend survey found that open-concept floor plans fell 10% from 2018 to 2020. With children schooling from home and parents working from home, having an enclosed spaces that provide privacy and sound proofing are features that many homeowners the Upper Valley find extremely attractive.

White shaker cabinets continue to be the most popular choices for homeowners the Upper Valley. Neutral tone cabinets, countertops and wall coverings are most popular in our region. Gray, white and beige wall coverings are the most popular colors. However, there are many homeowners who favor a splash of color in their new kitchens. Blue and green tones are particularly popular for walls, countertops, backsplashes and even appliances. Black stainless appliances continue to gain in popularity as they off provide a wonderful contrast to white cabinets. Many of our clients also are selecting different cabinet colors for their islands that complement their cabinets, countertops, backsplashes. Blue and gray are among the more popular contrasting colors.

What trends will work best for your new dream kitchen or bath? Give us a call at 603-448-9700 or make an appointment to visit our showroom either in-person or virtually at 105 Hanover Street, Lebanon, NH.

A Trip to the Islands

Almost two out of every three kitchens renovated in the U.S. include an island, and that percentage holds true in the Upper Valley. And for good reasons. Islands are multifunctional. Islands provide extra storage areas, serve as classrooms for children who are schooling remotely and provide additional seating for dining and entertaining. Islands improve the kitchens’ functionality by often including prep sinks, cooking spaces, refrigerated drawers, indoor grills, microwave or steam ovens, dishwashers and cooktops. Islands increase countertop space that can be used for preparing meals and many other purposes. Plus, islands often serve as a focal point for a kitchen enabling homeowners in the Upper Valley to make distinct and personal design statements.

Storage is the number one consideration for homeowners in the Upper Valley opting for an island in their new kitchens. Most homeowners include cabinets and/or drawers for storage; however, we also have seen an increase in open shelving as a storage option for islands.

The most common island shape in the Upper Valley is square or rectangular, usually between six or seven feet long. Depending on the kitchen’s size and shape, islands can be L-shaped or U-shaped. For smaller kitchens, we often recommend a peninsula. Peninsulas are three-sided. The fourth side is attached to a wall.

Approximately 40% of homeowners in the Upper Valley choose a color scheme to complement main cabinets. According to a recent Houzz.com survey, the most popular colors are blue, gray and white. Another technique to create a stunning visual is the choice of countertop materials and colors. Houzz found that the most popular colors for island countertops are white, medium wood tone, gray or light or dark wood. Some homeowners in the Upper Valley select different materials for their island countertop than tops placed on cabinets. Popular choices include butcher block, granite, quartz and marble.

Lighting can make or break the look, feel and functionality of a countertop. Pendants, recessed lights, chandeliers, and natural light can provide general illumination, task lighting for meal preparation and cooking or highlight a particular focal point on the island.

What island size, shape, color and functionality is perfect for your new kitchen? Give us a call at 603-448-9700 or make an appointment to visit our showroom either in person at 105 Hanover Street Lebanon, NH or virtually, and let us show you how your kitchen and island dreams can become a reality.

What’s Hot for 2021

With many homeowners in the Upper Valley continuing to spend most of their time in their homes, they have realized that they want them, especially their kitchens, to be better. Working and schooling from home have shined a bright spotlight on kitchen storage capabilities, due in part to the fact that more homeowners in the Upper Valley are cooking more often and using their kitchen for multiple purposes.

Increasing the number of cabinets and enhancing their storage capabilities addresses homeowners’ needs in the Upper Valley without necessarily having to increase the kitchen’s size. That’s one reason we start the product selection process with cabinets and evaluate homeowners’ performance requirements for their new dream kitchen.

Homeowners in the Upper Valley have gravitated to walk-in pantries as another tool to increase storage space. If there is no room for a walk-in pantry, pantry cabinets can often meet storage needs.

One trend we expect to continue is the movement away from open concept kitchen spaces that flow automatically into other rooms. For families where two adults are working from home and children are attending school virtually, the need for private spaces has become evident. Another trend that will continue in 2021 is to connect the kitchen to outdoor living spaces.

White remains the number one color choice for cabinets, specified by 41% of homeowners renovating their kitchen, according to a recent Houzz.com survey. Medium tones and gray were the next most popular cabinet colors. The palate for new kitchens is trending toward neutral paint colors with gray, white and beige leading the way.

Our showroom clients in the Upper Valley are using pops of color in their backsplashes, appliances and walls. The Houzz.com survey found that black stainless appliances are specified in 10% of kitchen remodels, and an additional 6% of homeowners are selecting black appliances in other materials.

Color is also increasingly popular for islands. 41% of homeowners in the Houzz.com survey choose an island color to contrast with their new cabinets. The most popular colors are blue and gray. Only 13% of renovations featured islands with the same color as cabinets.

What trends will work best for your new dream kitchen? Give us a call at 603-448-9700 or make an appointment to visit our showroom at 105 Hanover Street Lebanon, NH either in person or virtually.