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Blog for amazing home improvement and remodeling projects in the Philadelphia area. | December 13, 2017

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Shower Systems For an At-Home Spa

October 24, 2016 |

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:

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-11-19-04-pm bathroom-marble-ceramic-tile

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.

Handheld Shower

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.

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-12-16-19-am spa_1 spa_2

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.

img_2210 img_2214 pic-3

Feeling Overwhelmed?

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?

Convenient and Stylish Shower Storage Solutions for Any Modern Bathroom

October 21, 2016 |

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.

Metal Edges on a Niche

Metal Edges on a Niche

Bullnose tile

Bullnose Tile

 

Recessed niches can also span to large widths such as:

master_bath_remodel_-24-of-54

Wide Niche

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Niche

Wire Baskets

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.

 

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Wire Baskets

shower-caddies

Wire Basket

Corner Shelves

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.

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Pie Shelf

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Shower Corner

Shower Benches

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.

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Stone Shower Bench

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Teak Wood

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Wall Mount Teak Seat

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!

Perfect-Kitchen-Design-Guidelines

February 21, 2013 |
Kitchen Design | Code
Source: NKBA Guidelines + Design

Door Guidelines

Door Entry

Recommended: The clear opening of a doorway should be at least 34 inches wide. This would require a minimum 2-foot 10-inch door.

Door Interference

Recommended: No entry door should interfere with the safe operation of appliances, nor should appliance doors interfere with one another.

Traffic Area Guidelines

Distance Between Work Centers

Recommended: In a kitchen with three work centers*, the sum of the three traveled distances should equal no more than 26 feet with no single leg of the triangle measuring less than 4 feet nor more than 9 feet.

Work Triangle Traffic

Recommended: No major traffic patterns should cross through the basic work triangle.

Work Aisle

Recommended: The width of a work aisle should be at least 42 inches for one cook and at least 48 inches for multiple cooks. Measure between the counter frontage, tall cabinets, and/or appliances.

Walkway

Recommended: The width of a walkway should be at least 36 inches.

Traffic Clearance at Seating

Recommended: In a seating area where no traffic passes behind a seated diner, allow 32 inches of clearance from the counter/table edge to any wall or other obstruction behind the seating area.

Seating Clearance

Recommended: Kitchen seating areas should incorporate at least the following clearances:

  • 30 inches for high tables/counters with a 24-inch-wide by 18-inch-deep counter space for each seated diner.
  • 36-inch-high counters with a 24-inch-wide by 15-inch-deep counter space for each seated diner and at least 15 inches of clear knee space.
  • 42-inch-high counters with a 24-inch-wide by 12-inch-deep counter space for each seated diner and 12 inches of clear knee space.

Sink/Cleanup Guidelines

Cleanup/Prep Sink Placement

Recommended: If a kitchen has only one sink, locate it adjacent to or across from the cooking surface and refrigerator.

Cleanup/Prep Sink Landing Area

Recommended: Include at least a 24-inch-wide landing area* to one side of the sink and at least an 18-inch-wide landing area on the other side.

Dishwasher Placement

Recommended: Locate nearest edge of the primary dishwasher within 36 inches of the nearest edge of a cleanup/prep sink. Provide at least 21 inches* of standing space between the edge of the dishwasher and countertop frontage, appliances, and/or cabinets, which are placed at a right angle to the dishwasher.

Waste Receptacles

Recommended: Include at least two waste receptacles. Locate one near each of the cleanup/prep sink(s) and a second for recycling either in the kitchen or nearby.

Landing Area Guidelines

Refrigerator Landing Area

Recommended: Include at least:

  • 15 inches of landing area on the handle side of the refrigerator, or
  • 15 inches of landing area on either side of a side-by-side refrigerator, or
  • 15 inches of landing area that is no more than 48 inches across from the front of the refrigerator, or
  • 15 inches of landing area above or adjacent to any undercounter-style refrigeration appliance.
Cooking Surface Landing Area

Recommended: Include a minimum of 12 inches of landing area on one side of a cooking surface and 15 inches on the other side.

Microwave Landing Area

Recommended: Provide at least a 15-inch landing area above, below, or adjacent to the handle side of a microwave oven.

Oven Landing Area

Recommended: Include at least a 15-inch landing area next to or above the oven. At least a 15-inch landing area that is not more than 48 inches across from the oven is acceptable if the appliance does not open into a walkway.

Cooking Surface Guidelines

Cooking Surface Clearance

Recommended: Allow 24 inches of clearance between the cooking surface and a protected noncombustible surface above it.

Cooking Surface Ventilation

Recommended: Provide a correctly sized, ducted ventilation system for all cooking surface appliances. The recommended minimum is 150 CFM.

Code Requirement:
  • Manufacturers’ specifications must be followed.
  • The minimum required exhaust rate for a ducted hood is 100 CFM, and it must be ducted to the outside.
  • Make-up air, fresh air brought inside to replace exhausted air, may need to be provided. Refer to local codes.
Cooking Surface Safety

Recommended:

  • Do not locate the cooking surface under an operable window.
  • Window treatments above the cooking surface should not use flammable materials.
  • A fire extinguisher should be located near the exit of the kitchen away from cooking equipment.

Microwave Oven Guidelines

Microwave Oven Placement

Recommended: Locate the microwave oven after considering the user’s height and abilities. The ideal location for the bottom of the microwave is 3 inches below the principle user’s shoulder, but no more than 54 inches above the floor.
If the microwave oven is placed below the countertop, the oven bottom must be at least 15 inches off the finished floor.

Countertop Guidelines

Countertop Space

Recommended: A total of 158 inches of countertop frontage, 24 inches deep, with at least 15 inches of clearance above, is needed to accommodate all uses, including landing area, preparation/work area, and storage.

Built-in appliance garages extending to the countertop can be counted towards the total countertop frontage recommendation, but they may interfere with the landing areas.

Express Yourself: Define Your Remodeling Wants & Needs

March 21, 2012 |

Here is a great solution to help define your remodeling hopes and dreams to express them clearly to your contractor/ designer. Remodeling is not just fixing the bad and broken.  It is a total upgrade; a renovation of tired materials, old technologies, and dated design. Think of remodeling as you would a new car purchase. You consider the reliability and warranty when shopping for your new vehicle you.  While these are seriously important, you also consider the comfort, desirable accessories, beauty, and color. Let’s simplify this idea down to three main considerations:  lifestyle essentials, aesthetic desire, and resale value.

Lifestyle essentials – Research Your Daily Needs

What do you do in your space? How does it help you complete daily tasks? Is that basement space perfect for the kids, or maybe it will be an adult retreat?  Does your kitchen need a breakfast space for you and your family? For example, let’s say you have a love for baking.  Your kitchen should be a reflection of this passion. Marble slabs to prep tasty treats, ample oven space to bake all your delectable desserts, and counter space aplenty to cool cookies. These are all essential design elements in creating a space tailored to a life full of sweet creations.  So, get started by taking mental notes of your daily rituals and needs within your project space.  Keep in mind contractors/designers do not know your personal needs.   A clear understanding of how you live in your space allows you to pass along this knowledge to your remodeling team.

 Aesthetic Desire – Find Your Style

How do you want your new space to look and feel? Cozy and warm? Rusty and rural? Clean and modern?  Sleek and urban? Find terms that express your style and taste. To provide yourself and your contractor/designer with a clear definition of the stylistic direction of your project, create a small collection of images representing your desired taste, color palate, and atmosphere. To get started, check out the website HOUZZ.  The site provides a tool to surf their vast database of remodels and collect your favorite images to create a virtual idea bank.

Resale Value- Make It Timeless

Always consider the permanence of your decisions. Keep all investments such as cabinetry, tile work, countertops, and technology neutral.  And let’s get one thing clear… beige isn’t the only neutral, so don’t fear.  You still have many options!  Going neutral doesn’t mean you should avoid color or eclectic elements, but always incorporate your personal touches and vibrant accents to applications easily swapped out. This will allow your tastes and your space to evolve together and become a reflection of you. If in the future you decide to sell, neutral spaces become an asset to your home’s market appeal.

Bring this approach into all remodeling projects as a guide in your decision making process.  The end result will be a successful space that fulfills your needs and your dreams. Speak up about your needs. Speak up about your style. And be smart about your investments. Contractors/ designers can’t read your mind, so tell us what you want. Insist on what you need. Get started!

Be sure to contact the dRemodeling team if you have questions or ideas about your next remodeling project. 

The Importance of Kitchen Design

September 26, 2011 |

The kitchen is a special place.

It is more than just another room in the house. It is where gatherings happen, where food is prepared, and where memories are made. It is where families often spend quality time, where individuals can define their personal style through space, and where sophistication has an unparalleled opportunity to interact with functionality

So many important activities happen within the kitchen; a strong design facilitates true function and ease of movement. Kitchen remodeling is a wonderful way to achieve this; to increase the quality and life within the space and to greatly increase the value of your home.

Perhaps you aren’t thinking of putting your home on the market anytime soon. However, looking into the future marketability of your home is always a wise decision. A solid kitchen remodel can allow you to reap the benefits of an excellently crafted space while guaranteeing strong marketability of your home in the long run.

In today’s widely varying kitchen design trends, there are nearly endless possibilities for homeowners to create ideally personalized spaces. Making a decision about aesthetic and construction in your own home can be a difficult one to make. There are a few key things to think about when approaching a kitchen remodeling in your home.

Space

Issues, ideas, or problems regarding space (or lack thereof) is one of the most important things to bring to the drawing table when beginning to think about the remodeling of your kitchen. Small kitchens typically do not possess the opportunity to add more storage, so the existing space must be utilized intelligently. Work with a designer if possible to help maximize tight space. Enhance the use of lines and increase your accessibility to frequently used items to prevent clutter from building up. The more clear space you have in a small kitchen, the bigger it will inherently feel.

To the Max: Utilize small spaces in your kitchen in innovative ways to maximize your options when your space is at a minimum. [image: www.Ikea.com]

Up Against the Wall: Use your walls! Allow the walls in your kitchen to offer you a helping hand. Wall mounted storage can add a fresh,

contemporary look to your kitchen and will provide a plethora of storage options for optimized function.

Color + Texture

Color and texture is a critical piece to any interior design, architecture, or complete renovation project. Often set aside as an afterthought, color can have an incredibly strong impact on the human psyche and can have much to do with how we react and respond within our spaces. Consider color as a doorway through which you can enter a world of redefining your kitchen: turn a space that hosts most of your chore work into a space that fosters creativity and relaxation with family. Alter how you feel about cooking by making your kitchen a more inviting, energizing place. These changes frequently are dismissed as impossible, when really they could be ignited by a simple change of color. Color can change a level of visual perception as well. Try utilizing light, airy colors to make spaces appear larger. Minimize parts of a large, open kitchen to create a cozier atmosphere by introducing dark, rich colors.

Count on Color: Your kitchen isn’t any less important than any other space in your home. Don’t be afraid to add color, patterns,

and texture to your kitchen to add life and energy.  You spend a lot of time in the kitchen: make sure it is a space that is enjoyable to live in.

Linear Love Affair: Horizontal emphasis and strong linear patterning in any kitchen will help to expand the space visually and exaggerate the size of the room.

Innovation

We are at such an incredible point in time that we have amazing technology at our fingertips. Use remodeling as an opportunity to explore innovative trends in design when possible. Lighting, energy efficient appliances, innovative materials…they are all available to the average person and can add an even higher level of sophistication, meaning, and value to your kitchen.

Whatever you choose, allow it to speak to you. Happiness in the end user and a notable level of functionality are testaments to strong design. Small or large renovation shifts to a space such as the kitchen will ultimately provide a positive change to your entire home.


Have ideas for your kitchen? Make them a reality!

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