My two sons were excited for the start of the school year!
Now that Labor Day Weekend has passed and pumpkin spice season has arrived, we’re ready to dive into fall! My sons started first and third grades last week. It’s crazy how they always seem to grow older on the first day of school.
As the kids return to their academic endeavors and a new routine, you may have more peace and quiet at home to consider renovations or improvements. Have you ever struggled with the process of compromising with your partner on design styles? This common conundrum led us to coordinate an event with speakers who will dig into this spicy topic.
On September 29, we’re excited to partner with New England Home Magazine to host a Boston Design Week panel presentation about exactly this at our Watertown showroom (and via Facebook Live if you’d like to attend virtually) — A Marriage of Styles. The line-up features power couple Jenny Johnson and Robert Cocuzzo and esteemed interior designer Kate Maloney Albiani (this month’s guest blogger) for a fun and informative talk on all things home.
Johnson (TV host) and Cocuzzo (author and editor) recently renovated and decorated their new home, collaborating with Maloney Albiani on the design details. Hear their insights on how they combined “his and her” tastes to create an inviting and on-trend home for their growing family. The panel will be moderated by New England Home’s Editor at Large Clinton Smith, and the lively discussion is sure to entertain and inspire you.
If you feel like coming in person, the event is free and open to the public at our showroom in Watertown. We are asking everyone to register in advance here and directions for accessing the event virtually will be sent to all registered attendees
And now, on to our guest blogger of the month (and host of our panel on September 29!): Kate Maloney Albiani, Principal and Lead Designer at Kate Maloney Interior Design (KMID).
Kate believes that good design is an organic process between the designer and the clients who know what they love.
Kate has mastered the art of combining antique and modern pieces with wonderfully unexpected details. After practicing interior design in New England for over a decade, Kate is known for her textural interiors and her ability to handily balance form with function. Her goal is to design rooms that are just as beautiful to look at, as they are comfortable to live in.
Below are Kate’s picks from our showrooms — we can’t wait to hear more of her insights at our event on September 29.
Generally speaking, with our projects, we try to weigh the architecture of the house we’re working in with the personal style of the family who lives there. Our job is to bridge the gap between the two.
I think about bathrooms as a selection of timeless classics. For example, details like paint, light fixtures, and art can change with your taste — but I find plumbing fixtures and vanities, items that are going to have longer lifespans in your home, need to match the architecture of the house and fall on the more classic and timeliness end of the scale.
STONE FOREST CALMA BATHTUB
This one is a show-stopper. When I walked into the showroom, it immediately took my breath away — I couldn’t get my hands on it fast enough. It is just SO beautiful. I love the sense of nature that it brings to the idea of bathing — so organic and grounding.
THE FURNITURE GUILD HAYDEN VANITY IN CERUSED OAK
To me, this is one of the strongest vanity pieces on the floor at the showroom. It strikes a nice balance between traditional/classic and the hardware injecting a little bit of glamour. It hits a lot of notes: organic quality with the finish, traditional leg, and glamourous hardware.
CALIFORNIA FAUCETS DESCANSO PULL-DOWN KITCHEN FAUCET WITH SQUEEZE HANDLE SPRAYER IN POLISHED BRASS
This one was cool — it was really a beautiful thing. I love a plumbing fixture where you can really appreciate how it works. The handle has a great texture. I love the bolt-looking connection piece between the neck and the arm. I felt there was a sturdy sense to the sprayer. It’s a little more modern than I usually lean, but something about this felt elevated.
PERRIN & ROWE EDWARDIAN THERMOSTATIC SHOWER PACKAGE IN POLISHED NICKEL
I’m a sucker for an old school plumbing fixture. I think there’s such a beautiful sensibility to seeing how these pieces come together. I love an exposed shower system like this. There’s something so traditional and beautiful and also new and clean at the same time. I love that it hits all those notes so successfully.
STONE FOREST BORDEAUX VANITY TOP
This is such a grounded, classic, traditional piece. I think it would be a beautiful statement piece in a bathroom or powder room. It feels so high-end and so timeless that I was attracted to it immediately when I saw it.
Jason and his dad Ralph proudly display the special citation they received from the Governor’s Office in honor of the company’s 75th anniversary last year.
As crazy as it sounds, this first week of August marks 76 years of Designer Bath and Salem Plumbing Supply. I wonder how many bathroom transformations we’ve been a part of in 76 years — probably too many to count. I hope we’ve made our customers smile over the years whenever they look at their new fixtures.
This past weekend I was thinking about how we had a big 75-year anniversary party planned for August 2020. Obviously, that didn’t happen. But what happened instead was almost more special: we learned to adapt. We offered virtual options and expanded the ways we connect and communicate. As homes became more important than ever, we were still able to be there for our customers. We made it work, 76 years later, during a global pandemic.
As I carry on the legacy of my father and grandfather before him to bring our family-owned business into this new era, I’m so proud of our resilience. I’m beyond grateful for the Designer Bath staff and clients, our extended family, who got us to where we are today. The future is looking bright.
When we talk about adaptability, I think about how even as things return more to “normal” this fall, many companies have reevaluated their priorities. We see the hybrid work model taking shape, which lands most of us in our homes more often than we used to be. We are evaluating the spaces in our homes, especially our bathrooms and kitchens, and transforming them into little pockets of calm and serenity. These rooms are so valuable and are used so often we almost take them for granted. They should be our sanctuaries, our escapes. They should make us happy every day.
And now, on to our guest blogger of the month: Laura Burnes, Director of Project Planning at Adams + Beasley Associates.
After opening the interior design branch of Vanecko Ltd. in 2006, Laura Burnes ventured out on her own to start LB Custom Projects, four years later. She’s always loved the collaboration between clients, architects, builders and other designers to make someone’s dream a reality. After a solo stint of six years, she was ready to expand, and a partnership at Adams + Beasley came at just the right time. Laura is now Director of Project Planning, working directly with clients and industry partners at the intersection of design and craft — and she’s excited to see where this path takes her next.
We love Laura’s picks from our showrooms — let us know if you agree.
MTI JULIET 222 FREESTANDING TUB IN MATTE WHITE
Freestanding tubs are such a great opportunity for a piece of art in your bathroom. I’m a tub person, so I love the functionality of a tub. What I love about MTI is they’ve created impeccable product lines that perfectly blend functional technology with elegant shapes.
NATIVE TRAILS NIPOMO NATIVE STONE SINK IN SLATE
Powder rooms are places you visit for short periods of time throughout the day. What I love to do when I design them is create a moment of discovery every time you visit the room — something almost unexpectedly special and beautiful. That’s what this Native Trails Nipomo Stone Sink does; it’s a little bit unexpected and beautiful and fun.
DORNBRACHT TARA ULTRA PULL-DOWN FAUCET + HOT & COLD WATER DISPENSER IN POLISHED CHROME
The tall arch of the Dornbracht Tara Ultra faucet is such an elegant form. It also feels good in your hand when you use it. It functions effectively and efficiently and sits nicely on the sink. It sets itself apart with stylish details, but doesn’t call attention to itself. It’s the same thing with the side faucet; functional, complementary hot/cold faucets are hard to find. The way this one mirrors the handle of the main faucet — they nailed it!
FRANZ VIEGENER EDGE CROSS WIDESPREAD FAUCET IN ROSE GOLD
Talk about a piece of art on your sink countertop. It’s stunning. I used it in a project in Boston this past year and it’s amazing to see water come out of something so unexpected (because it’s very thin and linear). This piece by Franz Viegener is
JACLO STORM SHOWERHEAD IN POLISHED CHROME
For my finale — you just can’t beat the Jaclo Storm Showerhead! It has the perfect pressure, it is a really simple mechanism (not an overabundance of plastic), and it’s super functional. It gives you an excellent shower every time. Again, it’s that simple form — not trying to call attention to itself. This is my go-to. I start with this showerhead with every one of my clients.
Jason recently took time off to go camping with his family.
Life at home is starting to feel more normal and my heart is full of hope. This summer, I’ve been planning adventures and get-aways to help recover from our year of isolation and solitude. A few weeks ago, my family and I escaped from our “to-do list” to enjoy some starry nights, s’mores, and other outdoor activities at a local campground. We’re excited to continue spending time together this summer, especially celebrating the 2021 Summer Olympics.
Last but not least, we would like to express our appreciation for the patience and understanding that our customers have shown as we work hard to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic. It’s a time like we’ve never seen before in the construction industry and we are working diligently to keep all the balls in the air. We’re proud of all we’ve been able to accomplish with our industry partners during this wild time. Thank you for your continued support!
In this month’s Showroom Favorites, we’re excited to share picks from our July guest blogger, Justine Sterling. Headquartered in Melrose, Justine Sterling has always had a passion for finding structure and order in chaos. She launched Justine Sterling Design in 2008, after working in innovative and prestigious hospitality and commercial interiors and architectural firms in Cape Town, Johannesburg, and Boston. We connected a few years ago when I had the opportunity to take a trip to South Africa and she recommended some of her favorite hometown destinations.
Justine Sterling Design specializes in full-service residential interior design — taking their clients on a journey of “Discovering Home” during their step-by-step design process. Her firm effectively handles conceptual design through construction administration, furniture installation, and lastly the all-important styling elements placement. She’s been featured in many publications such as New England Home magazine, Modern Luxury Interiors Boston,The Boston Globe, Boston Home magazine, and the Interior Design Best of Residential book.
Take a peek below at some of this much-acclaimed designer’s selections from the Designer Bath showroom in Watertown.
BRIZO SOLNA SINGLE HANDLE KITCHEN FAUCET
The modern, utilitarian vibe of this articulating faucet instantly drew me in.
BRIZO KINTSU WIDESPREAD LAVATORY FAUCET WITH ANGLED SPOUT
I love this new addition to the Brizo collection. This handle option has no inlay, allowing it to be fully exposed to show the modern curved design detail. Lastly, the brilliance luxe gold finish is beautiful: it defines elegant luxury with its timeless, brushed, low luster gold tone.
WALL MOUNT/ABOVE COUNTER LAVATORY WITH OVERFLOW & AQUAGRANDE CONSOLE
Not too long ago, I used this Lacava counter sink and console on an indoor pool project for the changing room. We customized it in length, height and depth, and added a metal shelf to the console for baskets that provided extra towel storage. The functionality of the wide width sink in this vanity was perfect for our project.
JULIET 2 MTI WHIRLPOOLS
I climbed into a few freestanding tubs in the Watertown showroom to see how comfy they were and this MTI one felt like a cocoon. The curved organic-shaped design is dreamy from a design perspective as well.
I would suggest a tall side table near it (which most freestanding tubs need) to offer a place for soap, shampoo, etc. I’d love to try it filled with water for the full whirlpool effect!
SQUARE FLUSH MOUNT RAIN MACHINE
This Jaclo large rain head machine gets mounted flush into a shower ceiling creating a clean and contemporary design overhead. I loved the simplicity of the design, with the function of spreading a large shower of water. I would pair it with a wall shower head too (or two if you have room for a dual shower).
The renovation is almost complete at our Beverly showroom. Photo Credit: Born Imagery
Father’s Day is right around the corner, which always makes me pause and reflect on my feeling that being a dad of two boys has been the most important job of my life. To all the dads out there, I want to wish you an amazing day. Our company’s success and growth over more than three-quarters of a century is a tribute to the work of my dad before me and his dad before him. I am proud to carry on our family tradition and want to extend a special Happy Father’s Day to my dad. He’s been an incredible role model and I’m thankful for all the opportunities he has given me.
Many of our loyal long-term customers know that our Annual Sale is normally in June and typically begins the day before Father’s Day. Even though Covid 19 restrictions have been relaxed, we have made the choice not to host the big in-person sale this year. We encourage you to visit our website to learn more about major product discounts, from bathtubs to kitchen sinks. Please call or email us with any questions you may have.
Throughout the last fifteen months, we are proud to say that our Designer Bath showrooms and Salem Plumbing Supply wholesale outlets have remained open and have avoided lay-offs. Our staff is what makes us great and we have tried to support them in a myriad of ways throughout this ordeal. We are grateful to all of our employees for going above and beyond to keep the business afloat. We’re also appreciative of the customers who have continued to use Designer Bath when building and updating their homes. Our business has survived and thrived over the last year, and we’re excited to move forward as life gets closer to returning to normal.
Without further ado, we’d like to introduce you to this month’s Showroom Favorites Blogger, Meghan McNamara. She is the first blogger who has been able to select items at our newly renovated Beverly showroom. We are glad we have finally completed this extensive project!
With a Masters of Architecture from the University of Michigan, Meghan began her career working on large-scale complex university buildings. She has since found her way to a practice more closely connected to her roots. Coming from a long line of artists and builders, Meghan now operates at the intersection of design, craft, and construction. As the head of the design services at Pomeroy & Co, Meghan works with clients to reimagine their living spaces to suit their tastes and lifestyles. The full-service nature of the design-build company gives her the opportunity to work closely with the millwork and construction departments, executing projects that celebrate craftsmanship and attention to detail.
ROHL SHAKER SINGLE BOWL FARMHOUSE APRON FRONT FIRECLAY KITCHEN SINK
I love that this sink bridges a traditional feel with a modern vibe. It is a versatile piece and will maintain its appearance for years to come. The handcrafted fireclay sink is resistant to scratches, thermal shock, alkaline and acids, promising durability, and lasting beauty. My favorite feature? I admire the clean lines and how they complement a variety of cabinet styles.
DXV AMERICAN STANDARD OAK HILL WALL MOUNT BATHROOM FAUCET
Plumbing fixtures like this Oak Hill Wall Mount Faucet offer the opportunity to express functionality in an elegant form. The industrial nature of the faucet paired with the attention to detail and craft give this piece a unique quality that can become a signature feature in any design.
STONE FOREST SALUS POTTING SINK
This Stone Forest sink is made from solid time-tested materials and can add great function and beauty to your home. Made with natural stone, this sink has an impactful presence in whatever room it is installed in — it’s the perfect contemporary accent piece.
CROSSWATER WALDORF THREE-HOLE DOUBLE BASIN
Blending style, quality and function with beautiful European design, this modern Crosswater sink will transform any bathroom. It’s an elegant piece that also plays well into a traditional style.
I like the clean lines and generous depth of this tub. The versatility of being able to install it with an exposed end lends itself to more open configurations for a bathroom. Personally, I think this tub could play well with bold wall and floor tile selections!