Volume 40,   Issue 3                             March  2005


The 2005 IBS Provided Many Glassy Ways to Dress Up the Home
by Ellen Girard Chilcoat

Offering up everything, including the kitchen sink, the International Builders Show took place January 13-16 in Orlando, Fla. Nearly 105,000 attendees walked more than 1.5 million square feet of space viewing the wares of 1,600 exhibitors. From windows and doors to washers and dryers, decking, floors, paints and so much more, IBS is a playground of excitement for builders, remodelers and homeowners. 

Two rooms in the house that seem to be a favorite for renovations and upgrades are the bathroom and the kitchen (see sidebar page 50 to read more about bathroom trends). Just walking the aisles of the Builders Show, it seemed every few booths had something for these rooms from appliances, to faucets to showerheads. Hardware themes seemed to be a common trend among exhibitors. Builders could can choose a faucet, handles, towel racks, showerheads and more to match an array of tastes, from classic elegance to modern sheik. 

Color was another visible trend. Kohler launched Vapour™ colors for cast iron kitchen sinks, lavatories and baths. Colors include blue, indigo, pink, green and orange.

Shower enclosures were another way to dress up the bathroom. Cast glass, heavy glass and patterned glass were available from a number of companies. 

The Kohler Way 
For many builders, when it comes to dressing up the bathroom one company says it all—Kohler. The Kohler, Wis.-based company occupied 16,000 square feet of space during the Builders Show and enjoyed a constant crowd. One of its new products was the neo-angle shower, which goes well in small bathrooms, allowing for the optimal use of space in tight corners. The new Memoirs Suite line has a 42-inch neo-angle receptor base, wall set and coordinating door. It also comes with three glass options—crystal clear, frosted and Intrex™ glass, which is a translucent, textured surface that is tinted for privacy.

Though a simple, porcelain sink may be common for many bathrooms, Kohler has a wealth of options to make the sink a work of art, including its new launch, the Moxie™. This wall-mount, cast-iron sink features cascading glass and metal detailing. The base of the sink is the company’s Tableau™ cast iron lavatory; the design element includes etched stainless steel tiles with a black nickel finish and inset glass beads.

Robern, a Kohler subsidiary located in Bristol, Pa., offered something new for the bathroom with its mirrored and apothecary cabinets. 

The new S Series mirrored cabinet is a 14- by 18-inch cabinet that can be incorporated into return walls in vanity alcoves. It includes a new door-construction concept and a new shelf-mounting design. It also comes with either a non-beveled or ½-inch beveled mirror on the front of the door. Standard features include a mirror on the back of the door as well as three adjustable shelves. 

The Fairhaven™ apothecary cabinet, is also new from Robern, and features a two-door cabinet with glass lites. The 42 ¼-inch by 34-inch cabinet comes with either ribbed or clear glass, and, according to information from the company, was inspired by New England summer communities and seaside cottages.

Also part of the Fairhaven collection is the full-length cabinet that measures 26 1/8 inch by 73 3/8 inch by 9 5/8 inch, and the Fairhaven mirrored cabinet.

Sterling, another Kohler company, introduced three new glass textures for its bath and shower doors. 

“Texture continues to be a buzz word in home décor, and glass is an ideal material for interpreting this trend in fresh and different ways,” says Jennifer Jelinek, senior product manager for shower doors.

The new textures are Moraine™, Solstice™ and Naturalist™. Both Moraine and Naturalist are available on framed pivot, by-pass and neo-angle bath and shower door designs in the company’s Classics™ line. Naturalist is also available on the Classics corner-entry shower door. The Solstice texture is available on the company’s Exclusives™ line of framed and frameless bath and shower doors.
www.kohler.com or call 800/456-4537.
www.robern.com or call 215/826-9800.
www.sterlingplumbing.com or call 920/457-4441.

Hands Clean, Hands Warm
Engineered Glass Products (EGP) of Chicago announced that it had earned UL approval for its new line of glass towel warmers.

The new Hot Glass™ towel warmers were designed for a New York hotel, and the company is hoping to expand the product’s market to include upscale hotels and homes nationwide. The Hot Glass product uses thin film conductors to provide all-over heating.

“Consumers have been limited to a traditional radiator design when looking for the comfort towel warmers offer,” says Mike Hobbs, chief executive officer. “Now they have a beautiful alternative that also performs exceptionally well.”
EGP is also planning to bring its Hot Glass technology to additional markets, including radiant heated glass windows, appliances and furniture.

www.egpglass.com or call 312/326-4710.

Creative Thinking
Creative Specialties International, a division of Moen Inc. headquartered in North Olmstead, Ohio, also displayed a variety of products. 

Now part of both the Highland™ and Sage™ collections are glass shelves.. The Sage collection also offers an oval-shaped, tilting mirror that has smooth, rounded edges.
www.csi.moen.com or call 800/882-0116.

Staying Afloat
While stainless steel has been the hot trend in kitchen designs in recent years, Jenn-Air of Newton, Iowa, has created a new way for homeowners to add a shine to the kitchen. The company has launched a line of glass-panel appliances.
According to information from the company, the series is inspired by the art-deco look. Smooth, opaque glass has been incorporated into refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, warming drawers, cook tops and more.

“Many home gourmets are looking to make bold statements with their kitchen appliances,” said Susan Fisher, vice president. “The new glass suite from Jenn-Air gives consumers a design choice unlike any other—one that offers a departure from the ordinary and, we believe, will set a new trend.”

The complete line of glass-panel appliances will be available in April at premium appliance dealers nationwide.

Trendy Bathrooms
The bathroom is a hot room for remodeling and decorating. Here’s a look at some big trends when it comes to bathrooms. 
1. More space. As homes get larger and larger, so too do the bathrooms. And with some bathrooms often the size of a master bedroom, there is more wall space to fill, meaning more opportunities for glass products, including mirrors and large shower enclosures.
2. Trendy fixtures. Companies such as Kohler and Creative Specialties International offer a variety of fixtures with pizzazz that link the entire room together, from faucets and handles, towel racks and bars to showerheads.
3. Relax and unwind. It’s no secret, we all spend a lot of time in the bathroom; it’s a room where we can relax and escape. One of the new products for the “bathroom sanctuary” is the television mirror—an LCD television incorporated into the bathroom mirror.
4. Material selection: With more space to fill, homeowners and designers are finding ways to incorporate a combination of materials, such as glass and tile, into the bathroom scheme. 
5. Color, color, color: The days of simple, white bathrooms are on their way out, and color is on its way in. With companies offering a variety of color products, such as sinks and tubs, as well as decorative, colorful laminated glass products, homeowners have increasing options to brighten up the bathroom, aside from those vinyl shower curtains. 

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