For the Media
Kitchen and Bath Super Models
Go Beyond Good Looks
By Barbara Schmidt
We’ve turned the corner on a new era in home remodeling. Now, homeowners are remodeling “to beautify their house,” according to the 2005 Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI). In fact, the study lists updating décor as a top reason homeowners remodel both kitchens and bathrooms. Also high on the list is replacing old, worn-out materials.
This means that how a bath or kitchen fixture looks will often make or break a homeowner’s final decision to bring it home. What’s more, research shows that nearly 80 percent of women are responsible for selecting the style and color of the material for their bathroom and kitchen remodels. In other words, it is a woman who will most likely be making this final decision.
Judging a Book By Its Cover
So how do you stay ahead of the trends with bathroom and kitchen fixtures? There are some rules of thumb in the interior design world. Designs that are classic, like retro or vintage, are always a safe solution.
But currently, interiors have moved toward the modern and contemporary, even in retro settings, such as a Victorian home. Therefore, we’re seeing interior design trends that involve a blend of retro charm and contemporary features like glass tile and brushed stainless faucets. Thankfully, many retro designs have been reintroduced with higher functionality. Remember that blending styles from different eras is what gives a space fresh, eclectic appeal.
Homeowners, often without the involvement of a builder or designer, are looking for products that have it all – beautiful design and superior functionality. When a product has the best of both worlds I call them “super models,” fixtures that are very good looking and have features that make them easier to use. With “super models,” you don’t have to worry about quality because it is built into the product. And the best part? You feel smart for buying them because they help simplify your busy lifestyle.
The American Standard Reliant+™ EasyTouch™ Faucet is one of those super models. The faucet is designed with a new WhisperGlide nylon spray hose that doesn’t get stuck or clang into position like metal hoses. It also has an oversized spray button that is color matched for a more refined look. It’s easy to install, it comes with a lifetime warranty and it has a very sleek, minimalist design.
When shopping for new fixtures, it is important to acknowledge the good looks but then to go beyond the visual to the tactile. Turn knobs and pull out sprays to see if you like how they feel as well as how they look. The Reliant+ operates with the nudge of a finger, or elbow, whatever is available in your hectic daily routine.
These days, major manufacturers have dealers that can let you test-drive actual product in their showroom. When you are going to operate a fixture at least a couple of times a day for decades, it’s a good idea to try it out first.
No More Buyer’s Remorse
Did you ever buy a product only to realize later that the maintenance really was a big deal? How about all of us with older stainless appliances that have to be wiped off every day? They look great, but who has time to wipe down each kitchen or bathroom fixture every time we use it?
Enter another super model: American Standard bathroom sinks with Scotchgard™ Protector by 3M. Toothpaste and soap scum no longer stay in the basin! One less surface to wipe down is nothing short of pure freedom.
A variety of bathroom sink models are available now, and more will be offered throughout the next years, so there is a beautiful option to fit any décor. These sinks don’t just look great, they almost clean themselves, and that’s truly superior functionality.
Consumers are telling us that looks may be slightly more important than functionality, which in itself is a buying trend. After all, we consumers are bombarded with kitchen and bathroom fixture designs every day – from retailers, dealers and home shows, to magazines, newspapers, TV and the Internet. Even so, buying shouldn’t be about just finding something different; it should be about sifting through all the eye candy and weighing in on a smarter purchase that will add value to your home and your lifestyle in the long run.
To help the growing number of do-it-yourselfers and homeowners, American Standard has created a free guide called Refresh: For Women Only that includes kitchen and bath planning, designing, remodeling and plumbing tips. To receive a free copy of Refresh, consumers can call 800-899-2614, ext. 1887, or complete a simple application on www.americanstandard-us.com.