February 23rd, 2010 § 10 Comments
2010 has started out on a positive note. Finger to the wind, I detected business was steadily increasing as I already had more appointments booked in January than I did in the last quarter of ’09. So, I was a little worried that taking time off of work and accepting an invitation from Brizo*, the luxe faucet line from Delta, to attend the 2010 Jason Wu Fall Collection at Fashion Week in New York City was an extravagance I don’t have time for when business is picking up. I slept on it. The next morning I said to myself, “What, are you crazy? Work will be there when you come back as I stared at a hand written note from a colleague I have kept on my bulletin board for years. It reads:
Dare to challenge yourself, dare to reinvent yourself, and celebrate success.”
shown above: RSVP Collection.
As Judd Lord said in our Product Training Session, “At Brizo, “We are aiming to create a statement just like the fashion industry would do and that means seeking out every nuance we can find, which almost never includes anything to do with plumbing fixtures!”
Design Inspiration is all around us. The design team at Brizo has the good fortune of being able to travel the world and translate their design ideas into faucets that you would want to have in your kitchen and bath.
Here is a small sampling of where Brizo designers find their inspiration.
Baliza effortlessly combines the timeless and the modern. Wrapped around its classical form is cutting-edge innovation, including a four-function pull-out wand that attaches with new MagneDock® Technology. Baliza is the first pull-out or pull-down kitchen faucet to allow water volume to be controlled from the wand.
from Blue Bell flowers…
…and from ideas inspired by colors and shapes found in fashion. Ideas can start from a quick jot of an idea on the back of a cocktail napkin, as is the case of the Venuto Collection (shown below) which was inspired by hair pins worn by Japanese woman. Read the story told by Judd Lord at Kitchen and Residential Design.
The trip was a dream, Brizo style! I came, I was inspired, and grateful for the experience to bring back and share my experience with you. Look for new product releases from Brizo in spring.
The ethereal dream like photography images from Brizo’s ad campaigns are the work of photographer Howard Schatz. It was interesting to know these images were created underwater. How perfect is that? Check out this video below to see how they did it.
November 30th, 2009 § 5 Comments
I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend! Long weekends are so wonderful, it’s like getting a little mini vacation.
Today, I helped my brother ( I read the instructions) install a new Pilar Touch 2O kitchen faucet by Delta. I’ll blog more about this week with tips and comments. Bottom line: We love it! It’s terrific. Look ma, no more chicken hands on the faucet.
We got it in and it works great, but I certainly see why plumbers get paid the big bucks. It’s not just the process of installing a new item, it’s dealing with cruddy old parts, rusted angle stops and other detritus that they are prepared to deal with that a novice is not. So anyhow, it’s a beautiful thing to complete a project from start to finish even though it took us all day while a plumber would have done it within a couple of hours.
September 16th, 2009 § 4 Comments
The Kitchen Designer: Hello, this is Laurie. How may I help you?
This is a hypothetical story, of course, using a very funny cat video submitted on line by Kim Tasky at You Tube. (She is neither a client nor the person in the above scenario.) I use this very amusing cat story to make a “tongue in cheek” point about a universal problem regarding the client-designer relationship.
The point is this:
There are some clients working under the impression that Kitchen Designers should spend time on your project researching, sourcing, evaluating, planning the best possible options to incorporate a client’s every last desire on the wish list before paying for services. There are no professions that work for free. So why do people expect to be dazzled with a design before paying for it?
You can call a plumber for a service call and he will charge you $75.00 just for the trip charge before he pulls out his plumber’s wrench.
Kitchen Designers receive a myriad of special requests for a remodel project. Some details more complex then the next to specify and execute. And most every time, the client is on a deadline because they did not budget the time to allow for the design details to be fleshed out. All projects, no matter the size, require thought and research before recommendations can be made. Here in lies the problem. How do you value your designer’s time?
Solving Design Problems: What is this service worth to you?
There is a perception problem about what a design is worth to the client. Here is the issue Designers are continually facing: a prospective client has a design problem they want their Kitchen Designer to solve for them. Designers expect a prospective client to interview with two or three designers before making a final selection. Qualified designers expect to be interviewed and are able and ready to prove their qualifications to prospective clients. But ask a Designer to pull out the “dog and pony show” for you and you may get a polite response declining your request. Internally the dialogue going through that Designer’s head may be something to the effect of “I have been doing this for 30 years, I don’t need any more practice to prove I can design.”
Ask a Kitchen Designer their opinion about “HGTV” type shows where three designers are trotted out for the client to compare three fully detailed designs and you will get very opinionated answers.
Home improvement shows have done a disservice to the design community and have built up unrealistic expectations for clients. You would be surprised to know that a majority of potential clients expect that several design options be presented in detail before paying a retainer to contract for design services. It happens at all ends of the spectrum from the high end client to the budget minded client.
A fully detailed dimensioned design plan with elevations and renderings, before a retainer is paid is just not a workable business model for designers as it involves time without money, and giving ideas away with the ‘hope’ of getting the business is just bad business.
Hiring your Kitchen Designer should be based on several factors, creativity being one if them. Secondly, the ability to complete projects in a timely manner and within budget. Third, the ability to communicate with you, your architect, your engineer, your GC or subs throughout the job as needed. Fourth, the ability to manage obstacles as they arise, and lastly the ability to see a project to it’s completion.
May 15th, 2009 § 4 Comments
Choosing a kitchen or bathroom faucet spells unlimited possibilities! What’s not to love about selecting new faucets. It is the jewelry feature in a bathroom or kitchen. Faucet manufacturers are delivering new and beautiful ways to deliver water.
To open up my new segment called Faucet Friday, today we will examine some of my favorite faucet designs from Cifial, (pronounced See-FEE-al).
With a timeless quality, the Hexa Collection by Cifial, adds a modern twist to Art Deco. Notice the sleek high arch as the water flows elegantly with a twist into the basin. Measures over 9″ high and offers two handle styles to select from.
Exclusively engineered by renowned Portuguese designer Carlos Aguiar, the Techno M3 series by Cifial combines flawless lines with a modern twist to create an unrivaled look to any home.
The entire collection is available in a choice of four finishes including polished chrome, satin nickel, polished nickel and weathered. Awarded the 2008 ADEX Platinum Award for Design Excellence for it’s superior product design and quality.
The Design Journal’s Award for Design Excellence (ADEX), which recognizes outstanding furniture and fixtures product design, is one of the industry’s most prestigious awards competitions.
Well suited for universal design , the crown lever handles of the Spout Series are easily turned on and off with minimal effort for limited range of motion or suffering from arthritis. The Brookhaven collection was awarded the Adex Silver Design Award in 2007.
Brookhaven shown in finish R15, Rough Bronze.
Brookhaven shown in finish 721, Polished Nickel
Note about this design, and other faucets designed for vessel sinks,
they do not include a pop up control.
(that’s the skinny plunger piece that is usually found at the back of a faucet).
Specify a sink drain with touch pop up to open and close drain. (Shown above at right).
Stands 13 5/8″ tall. Reach 8 5/8″ centerline from base to center of spray head.
Cifial Faucets are IAPMO Certified.