Sunday, December 16, 2018

2019 Pantone Color of the Year

The interiors and fashion worlds wait expectantly every year for Pantone’s color announcement. Pantone announced their 2019 Color of the Year as Living Coral. This color embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.

Described as vibrant yet mellow, Living Coral communicates warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment. The engaging nature of the color welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity and embodies our desire for playful expression. It is also a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and displays a lively presence within social media.

 “Color is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities and this is particularly true for Living Coral. With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord.” – Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute.

I’ve always wondered who gets the interesting job of choosing names for paint colors and who actually has the authority to choose the Color of the Year for the world. The entire world of fashion, automobiles and interiors takes their cue from this company. They don’t take their job lightly. The color of the year is a symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude. Thousands of hours of research and filtering are done to determine what the color of the year will be. Pantone has been the world's color authority for nearly 50 years, providing design professionals with products and services for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity. They are the provider of professional color standards for the design industries. Always a source for color inspiration, Pantone also offers paint and designer-inspired products and services for consumers.

What do you think of this color selection? Do you already have some of this shade in your home or closet? If not, will you try to incorporate it somehow? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Send me an email at

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Accessible Bathrooms

One topic we frequently discuss with clients remodeling their bathroom revolves around the issue of accessibility. It is no secret that we are all getting older. What things can we include or measures we can take to ensure that our bathing experience is accident free and easy to use? Regardless of our age, we all need to think about this. What if you broke your foot? Would your current tub or shower be able to be used? Do you have a bad back or just hate bending over? Do you have small children or dogs that you wash in your bathroom? What items do you need to think about?

1.      Additional shower heads or a hand held sprayer. We almost always add a separate handheld sprayer on an adjustable grab bar to the shower space. Normally positioned near the bench, someone can use it when they are sitting on the bench. This sprayer also comes in handy when cleaning the shower.

2.      A bench-this can be a straight or corner bench or a wall mounted fold down bench. This is always a great addition. At the very least, a small foot prop for shaving your legs or cleaning your feet is a great addition.

3.      Zero threshold showers-Have you ever stumbled into your shower late at night or early in the morning? It can be dangerous if you don’t pick up your feet enough to step over the curb. No raised curb on the shower will allow you to easily step into the shower or, if need be, roll a wheelchair or walker into the space.  It also makes cleaning the shower easier.

4.      Grab bars-I know, these guys get a bad rap. But they are helpful and manufacturers have wizened up and made them more attractive. They really are a great addition, regardless of your age.

Have you made any changes to your bathroom that are helpful? Have any questions? Email me at

Sunday, November 18, 2018

International Woodworking Fair

The International Woodworking Fair was recently held in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center. This event draws attendees and manufacturers from around the world. There are networking opportunities, continuing education classes and the trade show floor. We always make a point to attend this trade show. It is a great opportunity to learn about new products, hardware, finishes and equipment. A couple of things that caught my eye this year were:

1.      Electronic locks for cabinets-keypad or finger activated, this is a great option for securing valuables or important papers
2.      Hardware-great looking new styles and finishes. So many options!
3.      Finishes-technology has brought wood finishing a long way and there are a lot of paint and stain options now.
4.      Feet-Osborne Wood Products has some great new acrylic and metal feet options. I can’t wait to use these on some upcoming projects.

These were the items that stood out to me but there was sooooo much to look at and see. It can be overwhelming but we’ve learned what we need to see over the years of attending this trade show and the best way to take it all in. Can’t wait for the show in 2020! Have any questions? Email me at

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Kohler Factory Fire

On January 24, 2018, a fire broke out in the cast iron foundry at Kohler Company. Seven fire departments responded to the fire and all the employees were safely evacuated. Kohler is a manufacturer of kitchen and bath plumbing faucets, tubs, sinks and toilets, tile, small engines and generators. This fire has disrupted the plumbing world and caused major backorders and long lead times in order to get cast iron sinks and tubs. One of Kohler’s most popular items is their Whitehaven apron front sink. We use these sinks in about every 1 out of 3 kitchens. If you want to use this sink, it is important that you go ahead and get the sink in hand before proceeding with your project because their backorder situation is so unreliable right now.

Speaking from personal experience, business fires are always devastating and costly. While it is frustrating to not be able to get a sink for 3 months, I know that the company is working as hard and fast as they can to get the factory up and running and make their clients happy. Just a heads up if you are wanting to use a Kohler product, plan ahead and be willing to wait for the product that really works best for you. Kohler, we are rooting for you to get your factory back up and running! Have any questions? Email me at

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sub-Zero & Wolf

 I recently had the opportunity to visit the Sub-Zero & Wolf factories and headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin with a group of designers from the Southeast and wanted to share my experience about what I learned and saw with you. First, who is Sub-Zero & Wolf? They are a family owned, American company that designs and manufactures luxury cooking and refrigeration appliances. Westye Bakke founded the company in 1945 and invented the technology to store foods at below freezing temperatures. That’s where their refrigeration company gets the name, Sub-Zero. They are known throughout the industry for their innovation and quality. It is not unusual to find a 20 year old refrigerator still running well in kitchens around the world. It’s difficult to get most refrigerators to last 5 years these days let alone 20 years! They then added the Wolf brand to the company with cooking appliances and have just launched their dishwasher brand, Cove.

During my visit to the factory, we got to see first hand the production of cooktops, ranges and refrigerators. The factory floor was so clean and organized. Their turnover rate of employees is very low and they have many second generation employees working there. That’s a testament to the excellent work environment and benefits that the company provides. We also visited the testing and research and development departments. It was incredible to see the very in depth testing and quality checks that each appliance goes through to ensure that a quality product is shipped to each client.

We also had the opportunity to cook on all of the appliances in their fully functional on site kitchen. That was great fun! It was nice to have hands on experience with each of the appliances to fully see how they work and what some of the best applications are. We learned in depth about induction cooking and steam ovens.

It was great connecting with other designers but also learning about these great appliances and all the options they offer for our clients and different applications. Oh, and they had lots of great food for us to enjoy! Have any questions? Email me at

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Polished Nickel vs. Polished Chrome

One question that often comes up when selecting plumbing fixtures, cabinet hardware or light fixtures is should we use a polished chrome finish or a polished nickel finish? Today we will explore the differences and when you should choose one over the other.

Polished chrome is generally less expensive than polished nickel. It used to be easier to find, but today most things are also available in polished nickel. Polished chrome has more of a grey, cool undertone while polished nickel has more of a gold, warm undertone.  Generally when using cool grey paint colors and white Carrera marble, you would want to use a polished chrome finish. If you are using warmer cream toned paint and Calcutta gold marble, polished nickel would work better.

Do you need to match every finish in a space? That’s a big question for another day, but no, your cabinet hardware, faucets and light fixtures don’t all have to match. You can easily combine a polished chrome faucet with brushed nickel hardware or polished nickel with other oil rubbed bronze accents. I love the look of a bright and shiny faucet. There’s something just so clean and fresh about it.

So before you select polished nickel over polished chrome, take a moment to evaluate the other colors and finishes in the space. You may find that polished chrome works best…and you can save a couple of bucks. Questions? Email me at I’m always happy to answer questions or give you further information.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Tiny Houses

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Tiny House Competition in Sacramento, California sponsored by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. It was an amazing experience and the creativity displayed by all of the teams was mind boggling and inspiring.

"The Tiny House Competition – Build Small and Win Big" is a new competition in the Sacramento region, challenging collegiate teams to design and build net-zero, tiny solar houses.
The event was open to all colleges and universities in California. Participation promoted an interest in energy conservation, energy efficiency and green building and solar technologies.

This event was modeled after the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon. An educator or other school administrator mentored each team. During the two years leading up to the event, students designed and built energy-efficient houses. A stipend between $3,000 - $8,000 was  provided or students had to get donations from local businesses.

During the competition, students exhibited their houses to the public, judges and the media. The categories of the competition included architectural design, livability, communication, affordability, energy efficiency and balance, appliance load, technology/electrical and mechanical systems, transportation, sustainability and documentation. Teams were awarded trophies and monetary prizes.

There were food trucks, games and other booths to enjoy during the beautiful fall day. The lines of people to get in to tour each tiny house was very long, showing the amount of interest in this subject. If you get the chance to attend an event like this, I highly recommend it. Questions? Email me at