No doubt you’ve seen elements of the latest design trend in stores, magazines, and perhaps even your own home, but you may not have known exactly what to label it.
When my fiancé and I were hunting for the perfect wedding venue, we trucked to and fro touring many spaces, much to his detriment. We had our, “eureka” moment, much to his relief, in a former factory and immediately snagged the space.
At the Cork Factory Hotel, we were greeted by a sprawling, brick building complete with too many windows to possibly attempt to count and an old factory stack loomed overhead. The history of the building lingered in the air. We were sold. But we had a difficult time explaining the style to our family and friends. It wasn’t a traditional country club, grand hotel, rustic barn or garden party soiree. A style that has no name? Our design team here at dRemodeling had no trouble classifying the style and have been seeing it slowly spread from former factories into everyday homes: Vintage Industrial.
Turns out, the Vintage Industrial style hearkens back to the hustle and bustle of the Industrial Revolution, when the factories were full and efficiency was king. These buildings were constructed with a unique utilitarianism largely dictated by safety concerns and the lack of newfangled technology like electricity. A plethora of uncovered windows flooded the space with abundant natural light, perfect to complete their tasks. The fear of fire led to open floor plans, flat roofs, simple decor and a raw space consisting of exposed brick, ductwork, beams and piping.
Fast forward to the early 20th century when engineers and inventors merged artistic and scientific values. This, “intelligent furniture” was comprised of items from their original resources. These pieces were stripped of everything superfluous, thus only leaving raw elements as the building blocks of furniture, fixtures, and overall design aesthetics. The style then made the jump from warehouse to office space due to its economical practicality.
In more recent times, long-abandoned factories and warehouses were finally given new purposes and new life. Former factories and warehouses in urban areas converted to hip, loft-style condos led to the rise of, “industrial chic” design. It’s no surprise that this no frills, edgy look slowly trickled into both commercial and residential spaces. The look is simple and clean with a focus on function, which is a reflection of the olden workday life and the machinery used.
But how can you incorporate this urban style into your own home? The designers have some quick tips to take your space:
- Unmask The Illusion
Your foundation IS the foundation of this style. To achieve this behind-the-scenes look, consider exposing wood beams, piping, ductwork and brick in your space.
- Reinvent The Wheel
Think outside the box and make creative use of materials. Try using vintage lockers to solve storage problems or old piping and wood scraps to create custom, DIY shelving.
- Go With The Flow
Create an open floor plan. Need more definition? Let industrial pieces define the
purpose of each space.
- Keep It In neutral
Fill the space with subdued and muted tones that let the materials in the space speak for themselves.
- Mix It Up
Combine equal parts cold concrete, textured brick, weathered wood, and lustrous metal. Stir well.
As for me, now that I know more about Vintage Industrial style, I’m thinking about incorporating some elements here and there in our own home. How about you?
In the meantime, check out these great industrial pieces for kitchen and bath:
Our design team takes you on a tour from the rolling hills of Virginia and Maryland, to the rolling assembly lines of the Waypoint parts and assembly factories.
As designers, we strive to stay up-to-date not only in the world of interior design, but also in sales, marketing, new products, and new technological innovations for our industry. We are driven by the desire to create and are constantly searching for new outlets of inspiration.
So when the dRemodeling design team was invited to the Waypoint Living Spaces training and factory tour, we became driven to create the desire for our office manager to approve of the 3-day trip across Winchester, Virginia; Columbus, Maryland; and Allegheny, Maryland. Waypoint is a premiere cabinet manufacturer line that dRemodeling carries here in our showroom. Where better to achieve inspiration and advance our technical knowledge than to be immersed in the rolling hills of Virginia and Maryland and the rolling assembly lines of the Waypoint parts and assembly factories?
We shared this trip and learning experience with other designers and dealers from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Going into the experience, we were unsure of exactly what to expect. We were hoping that we would have the opportunity to finally meet some of the Partner Team face-to-face and also get a better understanding of their management process.
But we were most excited to see how all of the cabinetry pieces come together as we toured the facilities including the 1 – Winchester, Virginia headquarters where all of the orders were processed, 2 – Cumberland, Maryland factory where the unfinished wood pieces were profiled, constructed, and finished into the doors and face frames that would then be shipped to the 3 – Allegheny, Maryland factory where those pieces were assembled into the cabinetry boxes and shipped out to the consumer.
Hello To Headquarters
We started off our trip at their Customer Service hub in Winchester, Virginia – a 3.5 hour drive from Philadelphia. We were introduced to the key members of the Partner Team and were finally able to put a face to the names that we contact almost daily to inquire about the status of our cabinet orders. The team was so welcoming!
They started with an icebreaker to get the conversation flowing, which throughout the trip could have included anything from a history of apples in Winchester via a PPT presentation, to a casual discussion of a local rock climbing spot in Cumberland called Seneca Rocks – truly fascinating stories – look it up if you are interested, but we digress. Understanding how they are able to manage and handle 350 +/- calls and 750 +/- emails a day provided me with a new perspective and appreciation for the short hold time (Goal of <60 seconds), and email response (Goal of < 4 hours). All of the calls and emails were monitored on a digitally projected screen, so everyone on the floor could track and monitor them.
They walked us through the building, explaining each department’s role. Walking through the sea of cubicle-like desks all personalized and decorated with photos, plants, etc., you could tell everyone was working hard and genuinely enjoyed their job. But what impressed us the most was their commitment to great employee interactions. The team of employees at Waypoint were not only coworkers, they were family!
From there, we reviewed the Waypoint Website, Ordering System, and Marketing. A Specialist from the Partner Team introduced us to Waypoint’s Online Style Quiz and Cabinet Visualizer. This is a fun and interactive tool that helps us narrow down a client’s design style. It is definitely a great tool we will start incorporating while working with our clients.
Under Construction In Cumberland
The second day, we visited the door and face frame assembly factory in Cumberland, MD. The sheer scale of the building was a marvel in itself, covering 9 acres under roof, let alone all the processes that were in place to maintain cleanliness and organization. In fact, our feet were killing us by then end of the tour, even with comfy shoes on!
The organization was beyond compare. Everything had a place, and was clearly marked with color-coordinated (for lack of better descriptor) chalk outlines on the floor. Oh yeah – that orange trash can is supposed to go in that orange, trash-can-shaped outline of the floor. This walking tour gave us a once-in-a-lifetime view as if we were on the, “How It’s Made” show on the Science and Discovery channel.
We saw the process for profiling, constructing and finishing the doors and the face frame of the cabinets first-hand. The finishing process for paint and stain was also fascinating to watch – all done mechanically by undulating and rotating machines for a “factory finish.” We ended the night at a new location, the beautiful Rocky Gap Resort located on the Rocky Gap State Park. Getting to marvel at the neighboring mountains and lakes enveloped in fall foliage was an unexpected perk on our Waypoint journey.
Assembling In Allegheny
We watched a quick safety video and we were off to the 2nd tour! Upon entering the doors, we walked through some of the plant’s inventory (would you believe only a 3-day supply of cabinetry is stored here) and on through to their assembly lines. From this point on, our jaws never ceased to close.This facility took all of those parts and pieces and assembled, packaged and shipped to the consumer. It was pure amazement to watch these employees construct a full-blown cabinet under 10 seconds while handling 400 degree adhesive glue!
Amidst immense rack aisles of finished doors, employees were offloading the packed doors in a seemingly unorganized fashion. However, we later learned that this was a thought out system – each door had a scannable tag that was recorded into a numbered and coded slot, allowing all of the doorstyle and finishes to be loaded into the most available slot.
This detailed system allowed the pickers (picking doors for an assembly) to be guided by an audible system to the oldest available door in the racks, while not being crowded together in the same area. After the cabinets were assembled, they were boxed and loaded into the trucks guided by labels indicating their load order and stackable location in the truck – finally they are shipped!
Shipping Back To Philly
Overall, we were very impressed by the facilities and management of the Waypoint Living Spaces brand. This trip was definitely an eye-opening experience. Throughout the process we were able to see first-hand the commitment of all of the employees to the quality of both their service and products. We think that the personal face-to-face communication with the Waypoint Partners has given us the insight to better communicate our ideas and issues with them for our clients, and getting the firsthand look into the construction process will allow us to better educate our clients. Waypoint strives for quality, their goal is for value. They offer a limited selection of products, but the products that they do produce, they have down to a science.
Visit us in our Showroom at 4229 Ridge Avenue or give us a call at (215) 848-4444 for more info on Waypoint cabinets or remodeling your home!
Who doesn’t want to end their day at a spa, relaxing their worries from the day away? What would happen if we told you that we can bring the spa to your home? There are a number of different shower systems that can provide you with the same relaxing, peaceful feeling as if you just ventured out to the spa!
Shower Heads for Anyone
In looking at shower heads and systems, there are a number of different types: standard wall-mount, top mount, sliding bar, and handheld.
- A standard wall mounted is directly mounted to a wall in the shower and is typically installed at a height specific to the client’s preference to allow for ease of use while showering. A shower head can range from simple design to elaborate.
- A top-mount shower head is affixed to the ceiling in the shower and usually best accompanies a rainhead shower to give the full access of bathing in a rainforest!
- A sliding-bar shower head allows for each user to adjust the shower head height based on their personal preference along a wall-mounted base.
- A handheld shower can be in addition to the wall-mounted shower head, where it can be removed or stationary depending on client preference as well.
In terms of finishes, typically all shower systems are available in polished chrome, satin nickel, and antique bronze.
Wall-Mounted Shower Head
In the simplest form, a shower can contain a wall-mounted shower head and temperature valve as pictured:
This allows for a shower head to distribute water and a temperature gauge to have the user turn the dial to the desired temperature and water pressure.
A tier above a simple shower head and temperature gauge, an additional item can be added for better utilization from the user, a handheld shower. A handheld shower can be installed in addition to a shower head. This handheld shower can be of great use to clients with children, pets, or just for easier use of water distribution. A handheld shower can exist on either a bar where it has the option to move vertically or can be affixed to a stationary bracket, respectively.
A popular option for the handheld shower is to have this affixed to the wall with either a stationary or moveable bracket and have an overhead rain head shower:
Alternate Nozzles and Sprays
In further upgrading your bathroom getaway, a shower can have alternate nozzles and sprays for steam and alternate water distribution.
We understand choosing the right shower experience can be overwhelming with all of the different options available, so here are a few items to think about to help narrow down the options:
- Think about your dream shower/bath experience and make it come to life!
- Adjustability to all users of the shower is key, so if you are on the fence about choosing between a stationary or removable handheld shower, go for the adjustable option so each user is able to customize their spa-like experience
- If you see a product that breaks your budget, try to narrow down what specific features you like about that fixture and look for those features in alternate models below your budget
Overall, coming home after a hard day’s work is most rewarding if your bathroom space helps you to relax and separate yourself from daily life. So why not have the spa treatment in your own home?
Storage space is hard to come by in a bathroom. Even with a recessed medicine cabinet, a linen closet, and vanity space, I still have trouble storing items for daily use. More storage solutions are hidden right in front of your eyes! Focusing on just one area, the shower/tub, we can already point out 4 points of added storage space: recessed shower niche, in shower bench seating, wire baskets, and corner shelving. Check out how you can maximize your bathroom storage below!
Recessed Storage Niches
Recessed storage niches can maximize storage greatly. While updating your walk-in shower and/or tub in your bathroom, we get so excited over the new finish material opportunities but often neglect to design specified storage within the shower for ease of use. Niches are great at accommodating small and large shampoo bottles, soaps, and anything else one needs in the shower. Compared to any other storage solution in a shower, niches do not take up any additional space. A typical recessed niche is 12” W x 24” H. The 12” width allows the recessed niche to fit between vertical studs behind the wall which are typically 16” apart. The typical depth of a recessed niche is 3.5”, which is the width of a wood stud. Niches can range in width and height but should be discussed prior to starting so as to make sure any plumbing or electrical wires are not in the way as well as supporting of cut stud if make larger in width.
Recessed niches should be installed in interior walls compared to exterior walls. Materiality for these niches have to be taken into consideration as well. Niches can be tiled and can be framed with different edges to retrieve a different look. For example:
Metal edges on a niche vs. bullnose tile.
Recessed niches can also span to large widths such as:
Wire baskets can be installed to either corner of the shower. These are meant to provide secured storage for soaps and shampoo/conditioner bottles without them slipping and falling off shelving. This is an alternative to recessed storage niches and pie shelves. These items are typically finished to be rust resistant. The wire baskets allow for moisture to completely escape, allowing for no moisture build up. Wire baskets provide a more contemporary/modern aesthetic to any shower.
Corner shower shelves are an additional alternative to recessed storage niches and fixed wire basket storage. Pie shelves are meant to be installed in the corner of showers and tubs. Unlike the wire basket storage, pie shelves come in a few different materials such as marble, glass, and stone.
Shower corner shelving can come in the shape of a 1/4 pie and triangle size. Typically more 2-3 corner shelves are installed in a shower to allow for ample storage space for multiple users in the shower. A corner shelf can even be installed as a seat and/or foot rest for shaving. Heights for installation of pie shelves are based on their specific users. If you are designing for clients that are shorter or taller than average, it is recommended you install based on the needs of your client. As a point of reference, the corner shelves should be installed within minimum and maximum reach distance for the user, 36”-60” off the finished floor.
Shower benches can become another means of storage within a shower. Typically they need 15” in depth to allow adequate enough space while the seat comes 17”-19” in height from the finished floor. Corner benches are typically installed out of the spray area from the shower head, anchored at 18” from the ground so that feet can be tucked underneath. At this height, this bench can be utilized at a foot rest for shaving or lowered storage for shampoo/conditioner bottles.
Typical materials utilized for shower benches ranges from stone to wood, specifically teak. Shower benches can opt to fold for storage while showering and while not in use can store itself for added space in the shower.
With all these storage solutions possible in just the shower/tub area alone, how can you just choose one? Each offers their own unique solution. When choosing some of these solutions for your bath remodel, don’t forget to consider what you seem to be missing in your current space and what can appeal to all users of the new space!
The logic behind procrastinating when it comes to signing a home improvement company on to remodel your bathroom goes a bit like this: “I’d like to remodel, sure, but is it really necessary at this particular point in time?”