Incorporating aging in place design in your bathroom creates a functional and safe space to start and end each day. Installing grab bars, slip resistant tile, and taller height toilets isn’t just for the elderly.
Last week we looked a little at kitchen and bath trends geared towards Millennials. On the other end of the spectrum, we have Baby Boomers. Both demographic groups are the largest in the United States at the moment, so it’s only natural that all industries have geared their products towards each individually.
Today we will look at trends that Baby Boomers seem to love. Don’t worry, this isn’t another “aging in place, we get it, we’re old” article. This is a “let’s kick it up a notch and love where we live” article.
It’s Not All About Aging In Place
We have already covered aging in place, so we won’t really talk about it much here. But this is something that everyone should consider when remodeling or building, especially boomers.
What Boomers Want
According to Professional Builder and Kitchen and Bath Design News, Baby Boomers like a few things that are different from Millennials and a few that are similar. A lot of boomers want to make life easier with technology and open spaces, while some are also looking for that top of the line style. It just depends on the person and their taste.
- Large Windows: Large windows give an open indoor and outdoor feel. It makes spaces seem more spacious and well-lit by letting in natural light.
- Wide Doorways, Hard Floors, and Accessible Yet Attractive Showers: This touches back on the aging in place concept, but also just makes the home appear more roomy. Hard floors also make it easier to move things around and clean.
- Low or No-Maintenance Materials: Again, aging in place may come to mind, but there are other reasons this is trendy. For one, who wants to spend time cleaning when you can spend time traveling, visiting family or just generally having fun? I don’t.
- Open Plan and Private Space Balance: Millennials did not fall far from their baby boomer parents and grandparents… we all love to entertain, but we also need our personal space. Finding the perfect balance is key for both groups.
- Technology: Surprise surprise.. boomers actually want MORE technology in their homes. Why? It makes life easier! It saves money. Technology is key for boomers and millennials alike.
- Trendy and Contemporary: A lot of baby boomers out there are looking to be at the cutting edge of interior design trends, and so they want the latest and greatest.
Are you a boomer? What do you think? What do you want to see in your home if you could have ANY remodel?
The bathrooms are important to the value of a home. We pay a lot of attention to details and keep them current. But, redecorating your bathroom can be costly. Experts agree the wise homeowner chooses a color scheme and style that never goes out of style. It is a great investment that saves you money and increases your resale values.
Have you ever walked into a bathroom and immediately felt the home was dated? This is what happens when we design our bathroom with colors that fade with time. Lime green, peach colors, and some darker hues of blue and green are pretty and were popular for bathrooms at one time. But that time has passed and now the homeowners are faced with remodeling their bathroom and all the expenses that includes.
Black and white never go out of style. Black and white are the easiest colors to work with. You can make a small bathroom look larger, and a large bathroom looks sleek. Black and white are colors of elegance.
You have the color scheme, and now you must choose features that are of high quality, beautiful enough to enhance your bathroom and accomplish the look you are seeking, and that will last for many years. Here are some things to remember:
- The sink is the focal point in the bathroom. It is the first thing seen when the room is entered. A beautiful designer sink with modern faucets will give you a look of classic elegance.
- Black and white are contrasting colors, and they can be combined or used separately. Decide on the look you want before you begin.
- The tub is another wow factor for a bathroom. Of course, the shower is important but it is the bathtub that draws the eye and gives the room the right ambiance or feel. Depending on your design plan, you can choose a modern tub with a matching designer sink, or a vintage bathtub.
Designs that are always in style
- Completely white
- White walls, ceiling, vanity, sink and tub
- Inlaid floors with a black and white pattern
- Accent the floor by matching chandeliers or light fixtures in black
- Large windows with white blinds
- Shower curtains are easily changed, consider zebra print, florals, or with black polka dots
This is perfect for the small bathroom. It gives the look of wide and airy space. The look is big, fresh and elegant.
- White marble with a generous, black design for floors and as a backsplash behind the sink area. The marble around the shower wall adds to the overall design.
- Black designer sink
- Silver faucets and matching lighting
The classic look of white marble with shades of black is beautiful for the bathroom that is long with a step-in shower. Use the marble on the floor, shower walls, and create a backsplash behind the sink. Accent pieces are black, white, and silver. Use plants for a splash of color.
- Reverse marble
- Black marble throughout (contrast color in marble, thin lines of white)
- Walls, floor, and vanity
- White designer sink
- Vintage tub (white inside with outside of tub painted black)
- Black marble throughout (contrast color in marble, thin lines of white)
This elegant bathroom design is perfect for the large bathroom. The vintage tub and bright sink create the look of French charm.
- Ranch Style
- Vintage, rustic bathtub
- White tile on walls
- White vanity
- Designer sink in black
- Black and white large tile floor
The ranch style bath is always a favorite. The rustic look is charming and easily decorated with accent pieces. Consider repurposed shelves, towel hooks, and a wrap-around shower curtain. Use silver for the faucets and white lighting covers.
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What is Aging in Place?
While we all wish we could stay young forever, unfortunately we can’t. Aging in place is the concept of building, remodeling or updating your home to fit the future needs of a baby boomer or someone who is elderly and would like to remain at hom. This concept also works for people with disabilities or injuries. Basically the idea of aging in place uses the most easy to use design options that create better accessibility in your home… and you now what? You don’t even need to be old to appreciate it.
Let’s Start with the Bathroom…
In your bathroom, you have many things to think about as you design around accessibility: the shower, the toilet, the sink, the faucet, the cabinetry, etc. Nearly every single item you can put into a bathroom can be ADA compliant and provide better accessibility for that aging in place design concept.
A lot of projects begin with cabinetry designs. There are actually ways to design your cabinetry to be more accessible for wheel chairs. The panels can go in deeper from the edge of the counter top to provide a space for a wheel chair to slide underneath. The counter tops can be at a lower height. You can even funnel outlets through the cabinetry so they are on the edge of the counter instead of possibly out of reach on the wall
Your sink, believe it or not, can also be more accessible! We just talked about how you can lower the height of the counters, so that would make your sink lower if you chose a conventional sink. However, Toto also makes accessible sinks. These sinks are specifically designed with a wheel chair user in mind. Toto actually has a wide range of ADA compliant items.
Then you also have the option of technology in your faucet which will make life easier for everyone. If you want to go with a touch-less faucet, Delta has a faucet for the kitchen and bathroom with Touch20 Technology. Moen also produces a Motionsense faucet. Information on both of those products can be found on our blog post, New Faucet Technology, earlier in March.
As much as they are laughed at, walk-in bath tubs are amazing. You don’t even have to be aging to appreciate the concept of having a personal spa in your bathroom. You can get them fully loaded with heated seats and back, hydrotherapy (water jets), air massage therapy (air jets), chromotherapy (color changing lights), and aromatherapy (essential oil diffuser). I’m only in my 20’s, but sign me up for that. At Inspire Kitchen and Bath we carry BathAid secure spa walk-in tubs. You’d have to try one out to believe just how awesome it is.
ADA showers are made by a wide range of companies. These showers are usually acrylic and come with optional seats, grab bars and more. ADA showers have a lower threshold so they are easier to step into. In your shower you may want to also consider a hand held shower head so that the user has more control over the water flow. This makes it easier when someone is sitting to control their shower.
Accessible and easy to use toilets are not hard to find! They are usually lower to the ground and optimized for anyone with any kind of disability. Toto even makes a high tech toilet called Neorest. This toilet comes with a remote control and a sensor so you have an automatic seat cover and flushing mechanism, heated seat with temperature control, cleaning jets to clean out the bowl, front and rear warm water washing jets with temperature and pressure controls, air deodorizer, night light, dryer and more. This is the ultimate toilet. It does literally everything for you.
The Lesson of the Day…
Aging in place is not just for the elderly. Technology that makes life easier is good for everyone, it just happens to make life easier as life gets harder and we get older. A complete list for all rooms of Aging in Place remodeling can be found on the National Association of Home Builders website.
Schedule your appointment with Inspire Kitchen and Bath to discuss your plans to remodel for aging in place!
It seems nothing goes without a technological innovation these days, and faucets are no exception. The best thing about getting a new faucet is that you don’t even have to remodel or change anything else… unless you want to. A new sink might be nice too, right?
When it comes to faucet technology there are a few options out there: touchless and touch. Inspire Kitchen and Bath carries Moen and Delta products, two brands which have come out with new faucet technology recently.
Moen’s latest faucet technology is Motionsense. Basically you don’t have to touch the faucet at all. It has sensors on the top and side for varying needs. To turn the water on, wave your hand in front of the sensor. To turn it off, wave your hand back over it one more time.
Delta’s Touch20® is relatively self explanatory. All you need to do to turn it on is touch it, and barely. The faucet actually picks up the static electricity of your skin, so you almost don’t need to touch it at all. And to turn it off, simply touch the faucet one more time.
So What do you Choose?
Choosing a type of faucet, as always, is up to your preferences. Touchless or touch technology might not be as important as the finishes and styles these faucets are available in. Prioritize your choice. Do you care more about look or function? What functionality do you want? Motionsense or Touch20?
There are many things to consider. Your best option is to discuss your desires with a local expert.
Have anything to add? Leave us a comment below!
Granite and quartz make for very similar and very different counter tops all at once. Most homeowners discussing stone counter tops think only of granite or marble because they have been around the longest. Natural stone came before man-made stone. Even after quartz was released as a counter top material, it took a while for quartz counter tops for to become a popular product in the United States (source).
Any homeowner’s decision between the two would depend upon what they want to achieve with their counter top. Think about what benefits, features and the overall look you are striving for. Below is a list of the features, benefits, pros and cons of granite and quartz counter tops.
Granite is natural stone. This means that the stone is porous and imperfect. There may be small cracks, etc. On one hand, this provides for a completely unique counter top. On the other, crevices create space for bacteria to live in. It also gives room for harmful agents, such as red wine or bleach, to stain your stone. It is recommended to seal granite counter tops periodically. This prevents the buildup of bacteria, stains, etc.
So in summary, with a granite counter top you are looking at more maintenance for a more unique look.
Quartz counter tops are man-made. This product is made by binding quartz stone together with resins, which also give it color. That process leads to a product that is not porous. No pores means no cracks and crevices for bacteria to lodge itself into. It also means there is no seal required. Quartz counter tops generally require less maintenance than granite counter tops.
Quartz has traditionally had a more uniform look to it since it is a man-made product. But recently newer colors and patterns made to look more similar to granite have become more popular. So you have more control over the look and color of your counter top with this option.
Which Do You Choose?
As we highlighted in the beginning, which product you choose will depend entirely on your preferences. On a tit for tat level, the price between the two materials is very close. Level 1 granite is closely priced to level 1 quartz. Usually quartz is slightly more expensive, but not always. So price is not a major difference here.
The biggest difference is going to be the maintenance and look. Which look are you going for and how much effort are you willing to put into maintenance?
If you have any questions or comments, please leave us your thoughts in the comments below!
When planning your remodel, whatever room in the house, color plays a huge role. The 2017 color trends we’ve compiled here for you are meant to facilitate the color choice process. If you need help choosing a color, we’re always happy to help!
Elle Decor colors to look for:
- Confident Colors
- Dusky Blue
- Blue Green
- Sunshine Yellow
- Composed Colors
- Mineral Gray
- Light Blue Green
- Earthy Green and Taupe Beige
- Comfortable Colors
- Powdery Blue
- Pastel Pink
- Dusted Yellow
House Beautiful Color Trends 2017:
- “Inner Glow”
- Sunny yellows are used to make rooms pop.
- “Courtyard Green”
- Emerald greens are a classic that is just not going out of style anytime soon.
- “Oval Room Blue”
- A powdery blue that feels sophisticated enough for a presidential space.
- Pantone’s color of the year is an acidic green, which looks more appealing than it sounds.
- A toned down sophistication of the color green great for trim and millwork.
- “Stone White”
- Not every room needs a color, white can also make a room stand out.
- The new go-to neutral.
- A dusky blue is not quite as scary as it sounds.
- “Black Chiffon”
- From a sophisticated built-in bookshelf to decorating a man’s den, black can say a lot.
- “Poised Taupe”
- Sherwin William’s Color of the year this year gives taupe a comeback.
- A shadowy plum color, that quite honestly is my favorite, brings a feeling of luxury to any home.
- The newest spin on classic white on every surface brings the ultimate sophistication.
Have anything to add? What colors are catching your eye right now? Let us know in the comments section below.
Winter is coming, and along with it come cold temperatures and potential plumbing problems.
Below are some simple tips to get your home ready for winter.
Inside your home:
- Make sure pipes are well-insulated; close vents to your crawl space and insulate the openings
- If your laundry room or a bathroom is right next to the garage, keep the garage door closed to retain heat
- If your bathroom vanity or kitchen sink is along an outside wall, keep the cabinet doors open to allow more heat inside around the pipes.
- Always leave your heat set at least 55 degrees F while you’re gone
Outside your home:
- Disconnect your garden hoses
- Turn off the water supply to, and drain irrigation and sprinkler systems
- As a preventative measure, make sure you know where your main water shut-off is. After a pipe burst and your house is flooding is a bad time to realize you don’t know where to turn the water.
What to do if you do have a frozen pipe:
- Call a professional plumber
- Do NOT use a blowtorch to thaw a pipe. Many people have inadvertently set their house on fire!
Following these simple tips to get your home ready for winter can minimize the risk of a burst pipe and the consequences of a water leak.
Inspire Kitchen and Bath will be closed the following days in observance of Christmas and New Years:
- Saturday, December 24
- Monday, December 26
- Saturday, December 31
- Monday, January 2
Thank you for your business, and please enjoy a safe holiday season!
The Toto Universal Flapper is here!
There is now a universal flapper that fits ALL Toto toilets with a 3″ trap way!
To learn how to replace a Toto universal flapper, watch the video below:
- Turn water off to the toilet at the angle stop on the water supply line.
- Carefully remove toilet tank top, and place in a safe location to prevent breakage.
- Flush toilet and hold the handle down until water stops flowing out of the tank and into the bowl.
- Disconnect flapper chain from trip lever arm (note which hole the chain is connected to).
- Gently slide the arms of the flapper off the plastic pegs on the flush valve assembly.
- Remove old flapper from the tank.
- To install new flapper, gently slide flapper arms over pegs on flush valve assembly.
- Connect the chain to the trip lever arm, and move the clip on the chain so it has a little slack in it when the flapper is in the closed position. Use same hole on the trip lever arm as old flapper was connected to. Note: depending on the flapper for your model toilet, the clip my look slightly different than this photo.
- Turn water back on and when tank is full, test flush the toilet to make sure flapper operates correctly.
In need of a Toto universal flapper? Call Inspire Kitchen and Bath!
Inspire Kitchen & Bath, a company by May Supply, proudly provides kitchen and bath design for real life in West Central Virginia, with locations in Harrisonburg and Ruckersville.
Inspire Kitchen & Bath By May Supply 1775B Erickson Avenue Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540.437.1485 (local) 540.437.1623 (fax) Monday-Friday: 8am to 5pm Saturday: 8am to 12 Noon