By Barbara Ballinger, Architecture Coach columnist
Cash-conscious consumers continue to seek value, whether they purchase a $10,000 bathtub with jets, chromatherapy, and soothing sounds, or a $25 gallon of low- or no-VOC paint in chic fashion-forward hues.
Part of building in value is having the ability to make selections, then change them affordably as lifestyles change. A host of products at were showcased at the the annual National Kitchen & Bath Association show in Chicago in April. They demonstrated how flexible and cost-effective kitchen and bathroom products have become. Some innovative designs on view:
Rev-a-Shelf’s space-saving interior systems now include glass-lined shelves that can be adjusted up and down or left to right, depending on a cabinet’s shape and size and what’s stored. One pull-out “basket” turns 360 degrees to provide complete access. The glass is finished to prevent items from sliding.
- Giani TM, a paint kit that transforms laminate countertops or backsplashes into granite look-alikes, lets homeowner’s redesign rooms quickly and stylishly at a fraction of the price of costly remodelings, whether for their own enjoyment or to attract sellers. The $49.95 kit offers a choice of six patterns and colors and requires just five steps.
- With counter space at a premium, sinks are no longer just sinks. Kohler’s “Poise” features a removable cutting board, wine glass rack for glasses to dry upside down, and basin to protect the sink base. The company’s “Stages” sink has a removable cutting board and prep trays and serving bowls. Blanco offers similar solutions with its 20-inch-round “Ronis” sink with cutting board and tray with colander and solid basket.
- Saving space means greater design flexibility, and Geberit’s concealed tank and carrier system frees up 2 square feet of floor space per toilet. The design also makes it easier to clean underneath the bowl.
Liebherr wine and humidor
- Liebherr’s fully-integrated wine and humidor equipment take up no counter or floor space since they’re designed to be built into walls. The humidor fits 15 to 16 dozen cigars; the wine cellars keeps 18 bottles at a range of temperatures.
- Kichler’s energy-efficient LED lighting strips can be installed in a variety of lengths and in any place--from along toe kicks at cabinet bases to underneath countertops and inside ceiling coves at the top of a room.