A Kitchen Mart bath redesign brings beauty, function

By Diane Krieger Spivak

 

If a kitchen is the heart of the home, the bathroom is the soul.

Kitchen Mart has been redesigning “souls” for 38 years, making old, outdated bathrooms beautiful and more functional than ever.

According to Cynthia Shull, who’s been designing bathrooms for Kitchen Mart for 15 years, an innovative trend in bathroom design that Kitchen Mart has incorporated into its bathroom remodeling services is universal design.

“Bathroom designing for universal design means that the bathroom is set up for anyone, whether young or old, or if they have moderate physical limitations,” Shull said. “It started out more as designing for the elderly or disabled, but as people started staying in their homes longer, universal design became a common term for all of that. More elderly are moving back in with their children, too, and more houses are becoming multi-generational homes.

“Universal design brings in little hidden amenities – safety products that are hiding, but there if anybody needs them,” Shull said. A toilet paper holder in the wall, for instance, can also be a grab bar. Others include easy-to-grasp sink faucets and specially designed mirrors that tilt down for shorter people and children, and up for taller folks. Recessed lighting can hide exhaust fans to keep a bathroom safe from mold and mildew.

Universal design makes a bathroom comfortable, safe and functional, Shull said, adding, “Then I bring in the most unusual twist. I make it beautiful, too.”

Kitchen Mart also utilizes colors to set the mood in a bathroom.

“They can be soothing or exciting – anything that works for a client,” Shull said. “Sometimes it’s just an accent piece like a pretty frame around a mirror above the sink. Accessories can be a beautiful part of a soothing bathroom. Faucets are gorgeous now, and toilets still look like toilets but they are much more efficient. Flooring has changed, too. We have one – Luxury Wood Plank – that’s meant for a bathroom. It’s not wood but it has the high-end look of wood and it’s made to handle splashing and water dribbling.”

Innovative tile and slab materials such as Corian, cultured marble (which has improved drastically over the years) and Piedrafina can make a dramatic statement in a bathroom. Piedrafina, a crushed marble embedded in resin, comes in slabs and can go equally well on a shower wall or a countertop, Shull explained.

“It’s unique and interesting and fun,” said Shull. “It’s one of our most cost-effective materials.”

Before taking on a bath remodel homeowners should first do their homework. That’s where Kitchen Mart has proven over and over to be a valuable asset.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there, so it really pays to talk to a person who’s been in the industry a long time – a mom-and-pop dedicated company that knows products and why new products are as good as or not as good as previous products,” Shull said. “At Kitchen Mart we guide our clients through the process from beginning to end. That really makes a difference in a remodeling project.”