Hancock St – e6 Associates

Justin of e6 Associates in Philadelphia contacted us about his new high quality new construction home with luxurious finishes, but said he was missing his final touch. That cherry on top, was a custom drain cover to give the house that final stroke of the paintbrush. Among the many builder upgrades the home is in a prime Northern Liberties location.

The builder spared no expense with this 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 1 car garage, 3000 square feet, stone backyard, finished basement, 9-12ft ceilings, Pella energy star aluminum casement windows and huge fiberglass roof deck with 360 degree view of the city and bridges.

Builder upgrades include a 6ft wide his & her master shower suite with 3 shower heads and a 5ft tall custom niche all located inside of the stunning wall to wall tiled bathrooms.

A 48′ gas fireplace with custom built mantle, 8ft tall solid mahogany front door, 42′ shaker kitchen cabinets, recessed surround sound, security cameras, Honeywell wifi thermostats, epoxy garage floor coating and many more modern upgrades.

Add Value To Your Home in 2018 – Curb Appeal

You should always keep the outside of your house looking nice if you want to sell it. There’s no point of making changes to the interior if the exterior looks a mess because the buyers will be instantly put off. You should get Harford County Pressure Washing in to help clean the exterior of the house and once that is done, you should look to see whether your door is good enough. One of the first things about a house that a guest or home buyer notices is the front door. If you want to make a statement, upgrading or revamping your front door is a smart move that isn’t all that expensive. According to Realtor.com, it’s the second best return-on-your-investment renovation. Other ways to improve curb appeal include repainting, adding more features to your garden, adding outdoor home security cameras and repaving your driveway.

Ready to get inspired? Here’s a collection of the latest front door ideas and trends you may want to steal to improve your home’s curb appeal.

1. Front door paint color ideas

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Red will forever be one of the most popular front door colors, regardless of architectural style. Image: Faust Construction

One of the quickest fixes to upgrade your front door is to simply paint it. Choose an exterior paint designed for the door type; there are paints and primers for steel, fiberglass and wood door surfaces. About one quart of paint should do for an average door.

Gloss or semigloss are the most durable; the sheen holds up better against nicks and scratches and tends to show bolder colors better. It’s easy:

  • Although you can paint your mounted door, removing the door and all of the hardware will give you a better finish.
  • Sand the door lightly to get rid of old paint drips, nicks and dents.
  • Apply a primer; wait for it to dry.
  • Protect your door while it dries so dirt particles don’t stick to it.

When it comes to color options, nearly anything goes. According to Benjamin Moore, contrast is key. Choose a bold paint color that stands out from the rest of the home, like these door paint color ideas:

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A vintage aqua front door color is perfect for a mid-century modern house. Image: Levitt Architects

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front door paint color ideas - freshome.com

Give a two-tone paint color a try when mulling over front door ideas. The turquoise and white add pop to the home’s charcoal gray exterior color. Image: Stephanie Wiley

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When in doubt, a classic red front door will freshen up the look of just about any entrance. Image: Benjamin Moore

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Orange is a great door paint color choice to highlight contemporary architecture. Image: Mak Design and Build

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midcentury modern door ideas - freshome.com

A bright lime green door color works with both wood and concrete home surroundings. Image: Dotter Sofjeld Architects

2. Metal front door ideas

For an artisanal look that’s both warm and contemporary, consider a metal front door. With the industrial trend going strong, black steel is popular although copper and stainless steel front doors will always be fashionable. Steel will always be in fashion so here is our mild steel collection to check out where you can buy some steel from, if you fancy DIYing!
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Distressed black steel adds a custom look. The bronze door pull highlights the mixed metals trend that’s popular in interior design. Image: JPR Architects

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Copper and stainless steel metal front door ideas. Images from left: Michael Fullen Design, Hartman Baldwin and Rocky Mountain Hardware.

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Wood and steel can work with nearly any home style, ranging from rustic to country to modern to craftsman to contemporary. Image: AppWood Doors

3. Glass front doors featuring glass side panels

One of the freshest door trends takes the existing double door design and converts it into a standard front door size with a glass side panel. This modern front door idea allows more light into the entryway and saves you money on having to purchase a larger or double front door.

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A simple glass front door is surrounded by glass on the sides and top. Image: Marvin

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A mirrored glass side panel next to the modern wood door adds privacy and convenience. The homeowner can see out but passersby can’t see inside. Image: b.Confer Architecture

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The entrance of this home appears larger thanks to the door and matching side panels. Frosted glass was used to diffuse light while obscuring what goes on outside and inside. Image: Friehauf Architects

4. Steel atrium doors

Looking for an industrial-chic door that’s less run of the mill? The steel atrium door is one of the latest trends. The black steel grid and glass works to update nearly any style.

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For the ultimate flexibility, install a steel atrium pivot door that can glide back and forth on a track. Image: PPDS Design

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Go with a custom curved atrium front door that offsets the sharp, angular lines of a contemporary home. Image: Ryan Street and Associates

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To create a grand entrance, enhance the scale of your front door by surrounding it with glass panels on the sides and top. Image: Green Belt Construction

5. Pivot doors

One of the best door trends is the modern pivot door. The look features a large-scale, floor-to-ceiling door that pivots on an axis instead of opening and closing from a wall-mounted hinge. The pivot front door is perfect in a location where a door jamb may not be possible or if the door is very heavy. Or simply because it’s so cool.

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A frosted glass and steel frame pivot door takes the latest front door ideas and combines them beautifully. Image: Seven Custom Homes

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A walnut wood, steel and glass pivot front door opens effortlessly in this Austin home. Image: Leicht USA

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The designer of this wood pivot door frosted the glass side panel windows but left a clear strip of glass on the pivot door for better viewing. Image: Aleck Wilson Architects

6. Wood and glass panel front doors

For a contemporary look that enhances your home’s architecture and lets plenty of light into the interior, look for a modern wood and glass panel front door. Worried about privacy? Choose a glass that’s frosted, etched or has some type of design that obscures what’s going on inside.

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The glass panels in this darkly stained front door allow plenty of light to illuminate the interior. Image: Jodie Rosen Design

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A custom glass pattern adds privacy and beautiful texture to this custom wood door. Image: Bramco Builders

Like the latest trends and front door ideas? Share yours with us here or on Facebook with the hashtag #frontdoorideas

Source: The Latest Front Door Ideas That Add Curb Appeal, Value to Your Home – Freshome.com

Branding Hardware : Sheehan Tile Works.

Your Brand Is Your Promise To Your Customers!

The effectiveness of a brand isn’t just before the purchase, but it is about the life of the brand & the experience it gives a consumer.

Did the product or service perform as expected? Was the quality as good as promised or better? How was the service experience? If you can get positive answers to these questions, you’ve created a loyal customer.  

A brand not only creates loyal customers, but it creates loyal employees, because your brand gives them something to believe in, something to stand behind.  It helps them understand the purpose of the organization or the business.  

Which is why we teamed up with Sheehan Tile Works out of Gilford, New Hampshire to help add a branding element to every project they finish. 

“Sheehan Tileworks has over 15 years experience with tile and stone ranging from a simple bathroom or kitchen floor to a one-of-a-kind custom steam shower. Sheehan Tileworks has the knowledge and experience to help you with your project for material selection through completion. With a full service showroom available featuring everything from basic porcelain tile to one of a kind custom projects.” 

 

From CONCEPT to REALITY.

Step 1 – We received their logo in illustrator file.

 

Step 2. Garret wanted to go without the name, and just the “S”

 

Step 3 : Garret sent us a prelim drawing.

 

Step 4. More detailed drawing.

 

Step 5. Rendering of concept drawing.

 

Step 6. Final product in Polished Brass.

 

Step 7. Side by side comparison of Sheehan branded drain cover vs Schluter stock cover.

 

When you partner with Designer Drains, you are fully supported every step of the way as we work together in developing the right design for you.

Upload your logo and let us take your business to the next level!

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View their website at sheehantile.com or showroom at 43 Gilford East Drive Gilford, NH

Designer Feature : Phyllis Harbinger & DCI Studio

Bathroom & Bedroom Transformed | Ritz Carlton Residence

A comprehensive approach allows Design Concepts Interiors to work with clients at various stages of the process to align with project goals and aspirations. DCI Studio will be there to guide and collaborate with you from concept through completion. Below are a couple of some of the amazing transformation pictures from a private bathroom conversion and also the award winning interior at The Ritz Carlton Residence.

Private Bathroom

Our Client had an 1867 Victorian home overlooking the Hudson River. The client wanted to combine a vintage hall bathroom complete with yellow tiles and annex an adjacent small guest room to create a wonderful spa bathroom for her two daughters.

We incorporated a free standing tub with chroma therapy, a large shower with bench and new privacy window, allowing natural light to enter the space. A private WC with a frosted glass enclosure and a double vanity were in order, allowing both girls to get ready simultaneously and in style!

There are thee passage points in to the bath which we mainted including a terrace at the back of the home for private mediation.

Floor Plan Before

Floor Plan After

Ritz Carlton Residence – Model Apartment

We were hired by the developer to design a 3 bedroom/3 bath model apartment. Our design concept focused on attracting multiple buyers with a sophisticated palette of neutrals and a variety to textures. Grey, white, burnished silver and lucite juxtapose a dark walnut floor and a crisp white kitchen.

Shagreen sheaths a bar cabinet and silk dresses the windows while a Possini bubble chandelier illuminates the table for dining.The design was so successful that the model sold within the first month.  All of the furnishings and artwork were then moved to another model apartment which sold fully furnished, making this a double hit for the developer.We also won first place in the ASID Design Excellence Awards for our work on this project.

Contact DCI Studio:

8 Devonshire Court
Cortlandt  Manor, NY 10567
914.734.1383
info@dcistudio.com

Complete Guide To Walk-in Showers

A Complete Guide To Walk-in Showers

Do you ever feel stressed when walking into your bathroom? Space planning inside your bathroom must be handled carefully to allow that lighter feeling to breeze through the room each time you walk in. A bathroom is supposed to be the place where one gets in to refresh after a long day and get exactly that.

walk in shower luxury bathroom shower combo

In today’s world, walk-in showers are becoming a popular home improvement feature. Gone are the days where you had to open and close a couple of doors before finally having access to your shower. Walk-in showers are built to give your bathroom a great visual and can maximize your space by making it feel light and larger. To do this properly, you need to hire an experienced fitter. Some people will insist on DIY services, which will be OK only if you know exactly what you are doing and get the best DIY supplies for the job. You might also want to make sure that you have something like these shower filter for hard water as these can really help you with your showering experience.

Walk in shower good for you?

  1. It requires minimum maintenance

Walk-in showers are built to allow maximum use of space, which means fewer items to maintain and replace in the future. The usage of tiles for the finishing allows you the freedom to choose from bright colors to dull ones, which can still give your room a unique feel but drastically reduce maintenance costs. Bright colors show worn out signs faster than dull ones.

  1. No doors or curbs

The absence of the door comes with three advantages. It saves you money from buying the extra glass, it reduces more cleaning work from the absent extra glass portion and these shower glass panels give you easy access to the shower. Couples could have a nice chat whilst one is in the tub without having to shout at the top of their voices to break through the glass walls. Curbs are also thing of a past. No more borders between your shower and the rest of your bathroom. A linear drainage system also helps in providing an easy access to the water that needs to be flashed out of the entire walk-in shower or your wet room. Linear shower drain reviews can provide even more info.

walk in shower steamed door combo

  1. Freedom to make your bathroom look beautiful

A walk-in shower allows you to have a giant bathroom where at a single glance, you are able to see the whole room, including the shower space, toilet seat, and the tub. This offers an opportunity to unify the whole room with a beautiful blend of colors. It is a good thing that you can also see the walls in the shower through the glass walls of the walk-in shower.

4.Easy to clean

Walk in showers are easy to clean. The absent door reduces cleaning space and allows for fresh air to breeze through the shower all the time, eliminating long wet spells which attract stains and dirt spots. However, the glass walls can be a nightmare to clean out all the stains. It is always wise to apply a special coating to the glass walls and reduce stains and thus minimizing the cleaning effort that might be required with no coat on the glass.

  1. Freedom to choose your preferred design

With walk-in showers, you can choose to use the wet room style shower or the common walk-in shower. More so, with the common walk-in shower, you have the freedom to choose between the level entry design and no or low-level entry designs. This should entirely be based on your taste, but it is also good to consider how you would want your glass walls to the shower to be installed before deciding on the entry design.

walk in shower with linear drain and tub
How does a Wet Room differ from a Walk-in shower?

A walk-in shower is built in the same room as the bathroom and on the shower cubicle, whereas a wet room is where a shower is open and set behind a standing wall. Both the wet room and a walk-in shower have a separate drying area which allows you to comfortably dry yourself without having to step out of the shower, wetting the whole floor area on your way to the towels! We would recommend having a look at the Ynet Centre to get some more inspiration and help to decide the right shower for you.

The mention of the wet room brings into mind how important it is to consider proper waterproofing and drainage system when putting in place and shower area.

Waterproofing

Waterproofing ensures that no water drops filter through into unwanted areas such as the inner walls and the underneath of the floor itself. This is a very important aspect when putting in place a wet room or walk-in shower. It is important for installation to be done by a professional because if it is not done properly and there is poor waterproofing, the part of the house where the shower is could be damaged, hence affecting the entire house structure. More so, when making the shower space, try to use the overhead shower head to minimize splashing. This will ensure a prolonged use of your shower without having to repair most parts of the wall and floor for waterproofing.

To ensure tight waterproofing in your walk-in shower, ensure that the joints between the tiles do not leak by rightfully applying proper adhesives when joining the tiles. Follow proper guidelines as well during construction, for example allowing adhesives to dry within the stipulated time. In a wet room shower, you must make sure that the surface is flat and the joints between the floor and the walls are sealed using the rightful adhesives. Always apply two layers special floor cement to the floor before finishing off with the tiles, this eliminates the risk of water leaking through to the floor.

Drainage system

In the wet room shower, allow for the drain on the floor to be centrally placed to eliminate waterlogging. Waterlogging is dangerous both to the health of the user and the shower room itself as this attracts disease-causing germs and weakens the structure of the floor tiles. When making your walk-in shower or wet room, make sure to follow proper drainage guidelines and leave no room for back-flow which could result in the ruining of the whole building structure.

Always make sure to use slippery tiles on the floor because they are efficient in allowing the water to run smoothly down the drainage hole. The bathroom must always be kept dry, clean and free of disease.

Remember,…..

You might also want to keep your drainage system stylish by applying a designer drains using stainless steel matched to your wall and tiles. Also, make sure your shower drain has filters to avoid hair and other blocking substances from causing water-logging.

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Kitchen Remodel Tips From Top Interior Designers

We hope you like the products we recommend. Just so you are aware, Freshome may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

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Kitchen remodel tips

Use remodeling tips from interior designers to transform your kitchen. Image: Pickell Architecture

Shop a similar look: Stools | Pendants | Cake Stand

It’s not hard to see why undertaking a kitchen remodel is one of the most discussed topics in interior design. These projects—while worth it in the end—can get to be a little costly and time-consuming. It goes without saying that, if you’re going to do it, you want to do it the right way. It’s not even just the interior of your house that you need to consider, you need to also think about the exterior as the windows will affect what the interior is like inside. This is why it might be worthwhile to check out someone like MWT Windows company to give you the design that you want.

With that in mind, we decided to take this topic to the experts. We asked interior designers to share their favorite kitchen remodel tips. Read on to see their no-holds-barred answers. With any luck, their experiences can help you redo your kitchen with ease.

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Know your kitchen

Pay close attention to how you use the space without making changes. Image: R.P. Morrison Builders, Inc.

Shop a similar look: Knobs | Stools | Pendants | Wall Mount Potfiller

1. Know How You Use Your Kitchen

“The first step in remodeling is to know what is important to you when cooking. Are high-end appliances a requirement? Do you prefer gas or electric? Do you cook lots of curries or other items that use strong spices and want a hood for ventilation? Would you like your knives to be on your left or right while you cook? Do you bake a lot and need to keep that equipment close to the oven?” – Sara Chiarilli, owner of Artful Conceptions, an interior design firm in Tampa, FL
 Before starting the renovation, make sure you have a solid plan in place to ensure that your new kitchen will meet your needs. As you cook, walk yourself through your routine while asking questions like the ones Sara offered above. Make note of any favorite details or annoyances that you have about your current space and include any necessary changes into your design plan.

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existing layout

Whenever possible, leave the existing layout. Images: Alinda Morris Interior Design LLC

Shop a similar look: Stools | Pendant | Serving Bowl

2. Consider Leaving the Layout As-Is

“Keep the appliances and plumbing where they are. A good rule of thumb is to add $5,000 each time you move a section of plumbing or any appliances. If my clients are on a tight budget, I tell them to work with the current layout whenever they can.” – Justin M. Riordan, LEED AP, the founder of Spade and Archer Design Agency, which has multiple locations in California and Washington

Home improvement show fans can attest to the fact that TV magic makes it seem like changing you kitchen layout is a breeze. In reality, that’s definitely not the case. Out of dozens of submissions for this article, this was the most frequently mentioned tip. Obviously, your budget will dictate how creative you can get with the layout, but if you’re trying to save, do not underestimate this cost. Make sure you meet with multiple designers such as www.hindleyandco.com.au and get quotes so that you can go into your remodel with a realistic idea of the final cost.

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Contrasting colors

Choose contrasting colors for a huge punch of visual interest. Image: Smith & Smith Kitchens

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3. Incorporate Contrasting Colors

“Using contrasting colors on walls, counters and floors helps with depth perception and provides a clear line of sight when navigating throughout the kitchen, especially in working areas.” – Wanda E. Gozdz, B.S., A.S., founder of Golden Age Living, LLC in Hutchinson Island, FL

Choosing contrasting colors—or at least tones, if you’re not into the monochromatic look—will help you add a huge amount of visual interest to the kitchen. When you’re putting together the color palette, go with either one neutral shade and one bold color or choose a warm and cool shade. Additionally, focus either on the contrast on a single item, such as an island, or allow an element to continue throughout the entire space.

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backsplash focal point

Let your backsplash make a statement. Image: Evelyn Eshun Interior Design

Shop a similar look: Stools | Dining Chairs | Backsplash Tile

4. Invest in Your Backsplash

“Take the backsplash tile to the ceiling, especially when they are only 8 feet. This is common in a lot of older homes. Taking the tile up creates visual height and an especially polished look because you don’t have a break where tile meets drywall (particularly around a window). It’s a great look for minimal cost compared to the whole project.” – Brad Little, of Case Design/Remodeling in Charlotte, NC

The second unspoken bonus for this tip? A dramatic backsplash will draw the eye with ease and make an excellent focal point. Consider this one if you’re searing for a way to truly make a dramatic impact.

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fresh accessories

Fresh accessories can give the room a totally different look. Image: MGM Builders

Shop a similar look: Canisters | Vintage Scale | Kettle

5. Sometimes Small Changes Matter Most

“Sometimes it’s not about doing a total remodel. I updated my own kitchen last year by simply swapping out breakfast bar stools and pendant lights, and replacing a cabinet with open shelving. I was inspired by the BoHo trend, so I gave my contemporary kitchen some organic touches that make it feel warmer and more alive.” – Natasha Jansz, founder of Natasha Jansz Design in Los Angeles, CA

If you’re debating whether you need to go ahead with a full remodel or if you can get away with a quick update, ask yourself this question: Am I concerned with function or aesthetics?

When function is the issue, a kitchen remodel is usually in the cards. However, if it’s just the look that needs a refresher, you can probably get away with swapping out a few design elements with trendier picks. As usual, look for things like accessories, textiles and wall art to revamp your style. These items will have a huge visual impact at a relatively low price point.

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Kitchen remodel tips

Keep these tips in mind when you tackle your remodel. Image: Keith Wing Custom Builders

Shop a similar look: Stools | Hood | Stag Wall Decor

Every design aficionado knows the value of a well-done kitchen. The only issue is that it’s often challenging to pull off this project the right way. In an effort to give you all the tools you need to create the kitchen of your dreams, we asked interior designers to share their best kitchen remodel tips. Keep this post close at hand. Whether you’re starting tomorrow or won’t be ready for a couple years, you’ll want the benefit of their experience.

What do you think of these kitchen remodel tips? Do you have any of your own to share? Tell us in the comments below.

Source: 5 Kitchen Remodel Tips That Even Top Interior Designers Love

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2017’s Best Last Minute Halloween Decor

SPOOKTACULAR LAST-MINUTE HALLOWEEN DECOR!

Black motif embossments give this bat doormat a touch of style while preparing your guests for the ghoulish home you’ve prepared. 

BUY NOW: $34, pier1.com

The Frankenstein Light Switch Plate will bring out the mad scientist in you every time you switch the light on.

BUY NOW: Frankenstein Light Switch Plate is available for $9.99

 

 

Don’t forget about your kitchen’s decor, this kitchen sink stopper is sure to be the talk of your Halloween party. Available in various finishes, it adds a special touch to your kitchen sink. A one size fits all design, allows you to gift or keep for yourself.

BUY NOW: Trick or Treat Kitchen Sink Stopper is available for $22.50

 

A stylish lace tablecloth that welcomes in your favorite web crawlers to dinner.

BUY NOW: $46, wayfair.com

Nothing really says you love your guests and Halloween like serving up some poison juice! Leave it on your bar cart, or near the party and let your guest help themselves to a drink!

BUY NOW: Pretend Bottle of Poison is available for $18 on amazon.com

 

For when the party makes it’s way outside, keep your guests warm by burning skulls.. skulls made of wood silly!

BUY NOW: Myard Fireproof Human Fire Pit Skull Gas Log ($70, amazon.com)

What’s The Right Outdoor Fireplace For You? Find out today!

Share more of your favorite Halloween decor items by leaving your comments below!

Indigenous People Day | Kokopelli The Southwest Native Americans Humpbacked Flute Player

indigenous peoples day designer drains kokopelli

Kokopelli

The Southwest Indians’ Humpbacked Flute Player

By Jay W. Sharp

The Southwest Indians’ Humpbacked Flute Player, commonly known by the Hopi word “Kokopelli,” usually appears on stone or ceramics or plaster as part of a galaxy of ancient characters and symbols. On a steep canyon wall above the Little Colorado river north of Springerville, Arizona, however, a Kokopelli pecked into a basaltic boulder appears in absolute isolation.

 
 

Against the black rock surface formed by primal forces, this strange and lonely figure, with its apparent mal-formed back and long flute, seems to drift through the infinite vastness of space, transcending time and place, sending his plaintive music across the universe. There is a sense of omnipresence, of the eternal. The early artist – probably a shaman, or medicine man, seeking an entranceway to the spirit world – may have understood a profound truth, and he may have intentionally used the surface to express the universality of that truth. Of course, he may have simply used the boulder’s surface as a convenient place to peck a Kokopelli figure.

There is no way to know with certainty what the artist had in mind, but his work can set your imagination churning.
Kokopelli has stirred imaginations for a long time. Of the lexicon of characters featured in the age-old religions, rituals, folk tales, ceramics, rock art and murals of Southwestern Indians, there are few more enduring than Kokopelli. He is so irresistibly charismatic that he had been reinvented time and again for well over 1000 years by southwestern artists, craftsmen and storytellers. The process continues to this day.
In the modern genre, he usually wears a kilt and sash and a feathered headdress. Back arced forward like a rainbow, he plays his ancient instrument. He dances solemnly. He graces paintings, sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, textiles and books in galleries and festivals in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and western Texas. He is an icon of the region.

In earlier times, Kokopelli was far more than an icon. There is, in fact, considerable evidence that he was an important deity to Southwestern Indians. His images are among the most widely distributed of any in the prehistoric and historic Indian sites of the Southwest. Kokopelli may have been as important to the Southwestern Indians as Abraham is to Jews or Paul, to Christians.

Ubiquitous as the figure is, the origins of Kokopelli as a deity and the evolution of his role in Southwestern Indian life are difficult if not impossible to reconstruct. It is like trying to assemble an immense and mysterious jigsaw puzzle made up of a jumble of a few distinguishable pieces, many indistinguishable pieces, innumerable missing pieces, and numerous possibly unrelated pieces.

In classic form, a silhouetted and sometimes phallic Kokopelli appears to either suffer a humped back or to carry a bulging pack. He plays his flute like a New Orleans jazz musician plays a clarinet. He may be depicted as walking to some now unknown destination, lying on his back, sitting with crossed legs, dancing to a prehistoric beat, making love to a woman, even perching on the head of another figure

 

He appears in many forms. In Galisteo Basin rock art in New Mexico, for instance, he takes on the guise of a humpbacked rabbit. At Sand Island, Utah, he appears as a flute-playing mountain sheep. In rock art on West Mesa, near Albuquerque, Kokopelli wears a headdress, necklaces and a kilt. On rock art south of Holbrook, Arizona, he wears a kilt and sash. On a prehistoric bowl from the Zuni reservation, he appears as an insect, possibly the locust which led the Pueblo people’s mythological emergence from the underworld onto the surface of the earth. On rock art in the Arizona’s Petrified Forest and Canyon de Chelly and near Moab, Utah, Kokopelli turns up with a bird for a head.

He is also represented in many styles. Unmistakable Kokopelli images in rock art, for example, range from stick figures in Chaco Canyon to spare, abstract stylizations in Colorado’s San Canyon to simple outlines near Arizona’s Hardscrabble Wash to solid figures near Velarde, New Mexico. Elegant Kokopelli images painted on ceramics ten centuries ago by the Hohokam, a southern Arizona Pueblo culture, have become the prototype for modern portrayals.

As indicated by his images, Kokopelli seems to have played a featured role in numerous defining moments of Southwestern Native American life. He leads processions of people, perhaps on migrations. He participates with costumed shaman figures in tribal rituals. He plays his flute for dances in tribal ceremonies. He joins with other figures to illustrate tribal myths. In hunting-magic scenes, he seeks to ensure success for men carrying bows and, sometimes, lances. He impregnates women. He participates in birthing scenes. Among ancient rain and water symbols, he plays his flute to plead for moisture sufficient for his tribe’s corn, beans and squash to grow.

On occasions, multiple Humpbacked Flute Players appear in a single scene, perhaps seeking to redouble chances for fertility and prosperity.

Kokopelli’s guises, styles and roles have mystified scholars for decades. They have prompted divergent lines of research, given rise to diverse theories, and led to some downright silly speculation. Yet another layer of mystery about Kokopelli’s origin and evolution lies in possible forerunners and derivatives.

One possible forerunner could have been simply flute players, lacking hump or phallus, such as those which appear in Canyon de Chelly rock art dating approximately 600 AD.

Another possible related figures includes a humpbacked, phallic figure which is shown carrying a staff rather than playing a flute. One such example was painted on a bowl fashioned by the Mimbres Indians of Southwestern New Mexico some 900 to 1000 years ago.

Yet another possible forerunner includes humpbacked, phallic figures which carry bows rather than play flutes. Such figures are painted on the wall of Fire Temple in Mesa Verde National Park in Southwestern Colorado.

One of the more elaborate figures which could be a Kokopelli-type derivative was pecked by an 18th century Navajo shaman into a canyon wall at a sacred site in Northwestern New Mexico’s Largo drainage system. Surrounded by other symbols chiseled into the rock, this regal figure stands on muscled legs, wears a headdress and decorated kilt, and is depicted holding a staff rather than playing a flute. He bears, not a hump, but rather a rainbow-outlined pack adorned with feathers and filled with seeds.

This site, like other rock art sites in the Largo Canyon complex, is still revered by traditional Navajos. Vandals have defaced it in some areas, an act akin to desecrating a church, a synagogue or a mosque.

The relationships, if any, between Kokopelli and those figures which feature only a hump or just a flute is not clear and may never be clear.

The pieces of the jigsaw puzzle which are available to us have produced endless and sometimes emotional conjecture about Kokopelli’s origin and meaning.

One possibility is that Kokopelli could have been an actual misshapen person who was widely venerated for his power and wisdom. He could have been a young man, burdened with a pack, traveling among pueblos, seeking a wife; he played his flute to announce his mission. He could be a great leader, like Moses, who guided his people in a migration to a new homeland. He could have been a pochteca, a early bearer of gifts from central Mexico.

One of the more exotic theories was mentioned by southwestern Colorado authority Michael Claypool during a discussion several years ago at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He thinks that origins of the figure could eventually be traced all the way to Peru, where native traders carrying packs have long used flutes to announce their arrival at native villages. An archaeologist friend who has worked in Latin America tells me that Kokopelli-like figures are common icons in prehistoric sites of Southern Mexico and Central America.

While we may never know the origin or the full meaning of Kokopelli, it is clear that he held high importance as a deity in the arid American Southwest. His roles in scenes representing human reproduction, crop growth and water suggest that the Southwestern Indians associated him universally with fertility and prosperity. His roles in hunting scenes, processions, rituals and ceremonies suggest that the Indians connected him universally to their physical and spiritual well being.

It is clear, too that the magic of Kokopelli is enduring. A few summers ago, my wife and I came upon a dancing Kokopelli figure pecked high on the sandstone canyon wall above the Chaco Canyon ruin known as Kin Kletso. A thunderstorm rumbled threateningly overhead. You could almost hear a plaintive and simple melody in the wind as Kokopelli played his flute resolutely to plead for rain from the sky above and to encourage the growth of crops of a long-vanished people in the canyon bottom below.

Delicately crafted Kokopelli silver pendant displays this ancient icon of good luck, prosperity and fertility. Earrings

There are many places to see Kokopelli figures in rock art. Examples include West Mesa, across the Rio Grande from Albuquerque; Canyon del Chelly, in northeastern Arizona; Chaco Canyon, in northwestern New Mexico; and above the Little Colorado River, near the Raven Site Ruin north of Springerville, Arizona. Kokopelli figures appear occasionally on Indian pottery in Southwestern Indian museums.

Dennis Slifer and James Duffield present the best overview of the Humpbacked Flute Player and locations in their book Kokopelli. Polly Schaafsma provides a good review of Southwestern rock art, with various reference to Kokopelli, in her book Indian Rock Art of the Southwest. Stephen W. Hill, author, and Robert B. Montoya, illustrator, give a brief overview combined with excellent Kokopelli-inspired illustrations in the book Kokopelli Ceremonies.

More

The Magic Of The Flute
Desert Music and The Composers

Source : DesertUSA

One of A Kind Mega-Mansion | 1 Bel Air

Currently, the most expensive home for sale in the U.S. is a 38,000-square-foot Bel Air spec spread developed by QVC handbag tycoon Bruce Makowsky. The $250 million, 21-bath, three-kitchen compound comes loaded with a helipad, $30 million worth of cars, and a seven-person staff for two years.

Opus.

Opus.

Photo: Jim Bartsch

Far from an overpriced developer’s pipe dream, however, these types of over-the-top mega-estates typically sell for asking price, says real-estate agent David Parnes. “There is unprecedented action in this market. There’s a lot of money chasing very few products, and the special properties command these premium prices. They sell quickly,” says the Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles star, whose current projects include a 14,000-square-foot Bel Air spec estate poised to hit the market this summer. Designed by South Africa–based SAOTA Architecture, the home will include multiple master suites, a solarium, a cigar bar, a full spa, and a screening room. It will be listed at nearly $50 million.

924 Bel Air Road.

924 Bel Air Road.

Photo: Courtesy of Berlyn Photography

Few developers have ridden the spec-home wave with more success than Nile Niami. A former movie producer, Niami started developing hyper-contemporary, high-gloss homes 16 years ago and has completed 23 homes since. Buyers have included everyone from Sean Combs to the Winklevoss twins. His latest creation is a 20,000-square-foot compound currently on the market for $100 million. Called Opus, it includes a gold Lamborghini Roadster, a gold Rolls-Royce Dawn, three original Damien Hirst artworks, Roberto Cavalli floors, and a Cristal Champagne room worth $250,000.

Opus.

Opus.

Photo: Jim Bartsch

If that sounds extravagant, it turns out it may pale in comparison with Niami’s next project, which is currently under construction. Called the One, the Bel Air home has earned the moniker of “giga-mansion” for its mind-boggling 100,000-square-foot size and features that will include a 5,000-square-foot master suite, a 30-car gallery, a four-lane bowling alley, and a 45-seat IMAX theater that “rivals any commercial theater,” says Niami. And then there’s the jellyfish room. Niami is creating a lounge area where “jellyfish swim around you and surround you.” The home will also feature a moat that “surrounds the entire property so it feels like the mansion is floating on water,” he says.

924 Bel Air Road.

924 Bel Air Road.

Photo: Courtesy of Berlyn Photography

To realize the mega-dream, Niami conscripted architect Paul McClean, with whom he’s worked on almost all of his latest homes. “These projects are designed to bring everything you’d find in a city to the home—restaurant-grade kitchens, salons, theaters. Wellness spas are really big right now—steam rooms, saunas, hammams, salt rooms, which are entire rooms made out of salt—it’s supposed to be beneficial.”

Opus.

Opus.

Photo: Jim Bartsch

The One’s most jaw-dropping feature, however, may be its proposed price tag of $500 million. But will anyone actually pay that much for a home, even if it is located down the street from Jennifer Aniston? “The market size requirement is one buyer,” says Paul Habibi, professor of real estate at UCLA. “This is not a logical thing. There’s a lot of offshore money looking for a safe haven. Putting it in U.S. real estate is a way to park those extra funds.”

924 Bel Air Road.

924 Bel Air Road.

Photo: Courtesy of Berlyn Photography

As for the future of the L.A. spec-home market, many wonder if it’s reaching critical mass. “I don’t know if this is going to go on forever,” says McClean. “There is pushback on these large homes in both neighborhoods and cities,” referring to recently passed building ordinances aimed to limit square footage in places like West Hollywood and Beverly Hills.

JIM BARTSCH

Ironically, that may end up being one of the One’s biggest selling points, according to Niami. “I’ve set a new bar, and this is the only bar that will ever be set because they will never allow a home of this size to be built. They changed the hillside ordinance rules so a home of this size on this much land will not be allowed to be built in L.A. again.”

Source : Architectural Digest

Iconic Homes in Los Angeles : Hugh Hefners Playboy Mansion.

Playboy Mansion. Photo Courtesy: Michael Tran/FilmMagic
Playboy Mansion. Photo Courtesy: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Hugh Hefner’s Playboy mansion, like most iconic houses in the world—think Elvis Presley’s Graceland or Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, comes with its own set of certifiable facts and urban legends.

In what was touted to be the biggest real estate deal in LA at the time, the Playboy mansion, located on the super posh Holmby Hills in Los Angeles, was sold for a whopping $100 million to Hefner’s neighbour, Daren Metropoulos, who described the house as a “masterpiece in design”.

Hugh Hefner poses for photographs at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, February 26, 2009. Photo by Ann Johansson/Corbis via Getty Images
Hugh Hefner poses for photographs at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles, February 26, 2009. Photo by Ann Johansson/Corbis via Getty Images

The Architect Behind the Playboy Mansion

The Gothic Tudor mansion was built in 1927 for department store magnate/real estate mogul Arthur Letts Jr. It was designed by Arthur R. Kelly, an American architect who specialized in designing residences in the Spanish Colonial Revival style and Tudor Revival style. You could say this home is rather eclectic. Ultimately, aren’t we all quite eclectic in our own right, which makes it only right that we endeavour to find a home that reflects this. Thankfully, this is what William Pitt realty have been trying to do for people for a long time.

Playboy Enterprises bought the mansion in 1971 for $1.05 million—which makes it sale in 2016 an almost 100 fold increase—from renowned chess player and space engineer Louis D. Statham.

Architect Ron Dirsmith, a fellow in architecture at the American Academy in Rome and New York’s National Academy of Design, is credited with the redesign of the mansion, including the famous grotto, a witness to some of the most “colourful” poolside parties thrown by Playboy.

A lawn at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. Photo Courtesy: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
A lawn at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. Photo Courtesy: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Size Does Matter

The 21,987-sqaure-foot mansion sits on 5.3 acres and comprises 29 rooms! A house this big sports all the exclusive, customized rooms that only a millionaire playboy businessman like Hugh could appreciate: catering kitchen with walk-in fridge and freezer, a wine cellar that can be accessed through a secret Prohibition Era door, theater with built-in pipe organ, gym, tennis court, six bedrooms (including a two-level master bedroom), six full bathrooms, two half-bathrooms, a great hall with 22-foot ceilings, and four offices.

Hugh Hefner Mixed Business with Play

The game house is toward the right of the main entrance and features a pool table in the centre. This room has vintage and modern arcade games, pinball machines, player piano, Wurlitzer jukebox with jazz recordings, television, stereo, and couch.

The game house has two wings. Left is a room with a soft cushioned floor, mirrors all around, television. There is a restroom with a shower. The right wing of the game house has a smaller restroom, and entrance to a bedroom. This bedroom is connected to another, which has an exit to the rear backyard of the game house. The game house has a backyard with lounge chairs, and gates on either side.

The swimming pool at the Playboy Mansion on in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. Photo Courtesy: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images
The swimming pool at the Playboy Mansion on in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California. Photo Courtesy: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

A Fantasy Outdoors

Imagine having a wishing well on the external courtyard of your house! The Playboy mansion has a beautiful fountain placed right outside the main entrance as well as a wishing well. Landscaping includes a large koi pond with artificial stream that requires its own pond maintenance service, a small citrus orchard and two lush forests for tree ferns and redwoods. There’s an outdoor kitchen and bar, and a bathhouse with changing rooms, sauna, gym, and tanning area.

Playboy Mansion with a Private Zoo

What’s missing in a mansion this lavish and colourful? Nothing, not even a licensed zoo! The Playboy mansion is one of a select few private residences in Los Angeles with a zoo license. Birds such as peacocks, macaws, flamingos, toucans, and ducks roam the grounds and we hear the squirrel monkeys complete the ensemble cast.

In the book “The Bungalow: America’s Arts & Crafts Home” (New York, Penguin Studio, 1995), actor Peter O’Toole, in response to being asked about the Playboy mansion, said: “What God would have done if He’d had the money”. Do we see you nodding your head in agreement?

Take a virtual tour of the Playboy Mansion, courtesy Hugh Hefner’s son Cooper Heffner

Luxury Living At Its Finest : San Juan Del Sur | Hospitality Design

LUXURY LIVING AT ITS BEST, THE MOST INTERESTING INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY IN NICARAGUA

Between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea lies a life of luxury that many only dream of living. Here in Nicaragua, amid the beauty of sand-covered beaches, soaring mountains and breathtaking scenery, lies a place unlike any other. It is upscale luxury at its best. The fishing village of San Juan del Sur isn’t just a small port on a horseshoe shaped blue-water bay. It’s the most visited beach town on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast and it’s easy to see why. Brimming with culture and tradition, it is home to a wide variety of shops, restaurants, bars and cafes along with a population of warm and welcoming people. Tucked away from the congestion of the big city, San Juan del Sur is just over an hour away from Managua, the capital of Nicaragua and it’s international airport. And with a temperate climate that ranges from tropical in the lowlands to cooler in the mountains, the weather is relatively pleasant all year long. 

That’s what draws vacationers, retirees, surfers and investors to this Central American country. What keeps many here is its unspoiled beauty and easy-going lifestyle. For tourists looking to settle in for some fishing, hiking, surfing or exploring, there’s no better place than La Santa Maria, the first Luxury Real Estate Development in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. 

This upscale gated community is a great investment opportunity for people looking for an amazing lifestyle in a safe, nurturing location with spectacular views of the village and ocean. Here you can own a rent-ready, fully-furnished two or three bedroom apartment, with two baths, a fully-equipped kitchen, an oceanfront terrace and even a private pool. If you prefer more exclusivity, you can get on the list to have the opportunity to buy one of eight 4 bedroom villas, or one of only five, 7 bedroom homes. And if that is not enough, there are also six extremely exclusive 5 bedroom Penthouses and limited 3 to 4 bedroom Junior Penthouses.

All residences have spectacular views and come equipped with high-end appliances, a washer and dryer, air conditioning, water heater and even a power generator, all included in the price of ownership.

Outside your new home, you will find 24-hour gated security, a property manager, a club house, gym and a gourmet plaza along with covered parking, a private storage area and a complete rental program that will help you maximize your investment in case you want to get rental income from this investment. 

It will be a full service community that will include the option to have daily cleaning services and if you prefer to go even more upscale, you can arrange for a butler or an in-house cook for an additional fee.

Such luxury accommodations and breathtaking surroundings may make you rethink your entire lifestyle once you get a look at this amazing gated community overlooking the azure waters of San Juan del Sur’s bay. Built on a high summit, La Santa Maria is located where the acclaimed Barlovento Hotel once stood more than 40 years ago. During it’s heyday, the hotel was host to a number of celebrities who visited Nicaragua for fishing tournaments, meetings and celebrations. Today, that same location pays tribute to its luxurious past with the upscale homes at La Santa Maria. 

So, if you’re thinking of retiring to Nicaragua or planning to buy a second home there, La Santa Maria is the place to be. Located within walking distance to town, this more than 200,000 square foot community offers residences with upscale interiors designed with the latest global trends and nature in mind. Its clean, modern and elegant architecture, built with a Mediterranean flair, giving owners everything they could ask for in a Real Luxury Real Estate Development. Find Your Perfect Getaway

As if all that isn’t enough to convince you that it’s time to invest in Nicaragua, La Santa Maria is offering pre-construction sale pricing and developer financing. Act soon because this deal won’t last forever. The first phase of the residences, which range from 2,000 square feet to over 6,000 square feet, are scheduled to be completed and ready to move in on November 2017. The entire development will be ready by 2019.

 

Find out how La Santa Maria is gaining a competitive edge in the hospitality industry. Read More

Branding In the Hospitality Industry

Gain A Competitive Edge In The Hospitality Design Industry

Luxury, as we know, is about selling a dream. That is why the truly successful luxury brands also focus on the story. The narrative, a magical fairy tale, creates the desire. What is your hotel’s story? It may be based on the location or on the founder, for example. But it must be authentic – based in truth – and then built upon to create the dream and aspiration upon which luxury brands are built.

Your brand is more than a logo, tagline, product or service. Branding is about the promise of a distinct memorable experience, what differentiates you in the marketplace. When customers recognize and back your brand, it helps lend a competitive edge to your company. You could even get NGP IMC services to help you with this. A strong brand identity creates customer loyalty which is an investment that will continue to pay back on itself, for years to come. Of course branding alone cannot replace good quality.

With so much attention to detail placed on the bathroom, the shower drain is the most overlooked item, but one that guests interact with daily. A valuable missed piece of design, the shower drain is no longer an afterthought, but instead now a crucial piece of design that pulls all the décor elements together. We will help achieve this cooperatively by weaving together a bold design with striking detail, influenced by your projects surrounding area or logo. Together we will create a piece of art that will leave a long lasting impact to the guest long after their stay.

Brand Your Next Project | Click Here

Download Hospitality Brand Awareness PDF

Maintaining Your Zen Gardens Water Source

Zen Garden : Tips for Maintaining The Water Source

Are you looking to add some water to your zen garden? Why not invest in a
drain for your pond or water fountain? Many people overlook a drain in their
gardens because they see it as an unnecessary cost. However, a drain in any
garden water source can limit the amount of time needed to clean the garden
and help keep it looking consistently beautiful. Here are some do-it- yourself
tips to installing your water feature in a zen garden.

Adding a Drain to A Pond

Adding a pond can invite zen into your garden. However, to maximize the
performance and minimalize the maintenance of your pond, you will want to
install a bottom drain at the deepest and lowest part of the pond. This will
create a slope and ensure all the dirty waste gets sent to the drain. It will
minimize the amount of time it takes to clean the pond, and keep it beautiful
during all times of the year. Also, if you want to put fish in your pond, a drain
will help to clean the water and ultimately keep the fish healthy.
One of the most common mistakes new pond builders make though is to put
rocks or gravel at the bottom of their pond. Although they are aesthetically
pleasing, the rocks and gravel prevent fish waste from getting to the drain. It
will also trap leaves and other debris at the bottom of your pond which will
give the pond a brownish color.

Installing a Water Fountain

An easier way to add water to your garden is through a water fountain. You
can install a water fountain that comes with a drain plug, or add one to the
fountain yourself. This will allow you to easily drain the water for cleaning
purposes and allow you to easily change the water in the fountain.
To add a drain to a water fountain, you will want to create a drain hole if the
fountain doesn’t already have one. Then place a drain plug inside the hole
and seal with silicone sealant or putty. When you want to empty or change the
water in your fountain, you can unplug the drain plug and siphon the water
with tubing to where you want.
Water is highly important in life as well as in your zen garden. These drain
ideas will help you add water to your garden in a way that will keep your
garden beautiful and easy to maintain.

By : Sally

Plumbers Share Ten Important Plumbing Tips « CBS Los Angeles

By Michelle Guilbeau

At some point in life, there is usually a need to call the plumber and frankly, plumbers take on tasks that many of us would never consider doing. A plumber can save the day and for that, we are thankful. However, there are tips that plumbers share which can help alleviate some of those plumbing problems and issues. Here are 10 plumbing tips to consider from the experts themselves.

1. Do Not Commit Garbage Disposal Abuse

The garbage disposal may seem like a garbage can, however the disposal is not as forgiving. Not all food items can go down a garbage disposal—for example, egg shells and grease are a big no no. Abusing a garbage disposal by overloading it is one of the quickest ways to break it. So be mindful of the items that are going down the disposal and also run cool water on high down the disposal as you are operating it.

2. Not Everyone Is An Expert In Soldering

Think anyone can solder pipes? Think again…soldering takes experience and skill. One of the quickest ways to cause water damage is by improperly soldering pipes. A water leak can easily happen if the pipes are not soldered to perfection. If you are not experienced in soldering, do not attempt this on your own. The best bet is to call a professional plumber who is skilled in soldering and can get it done correctly the first time around.

3. Know The Location Of The Main Water Valve

Knowing where your main water valve is located in your home is essential. In a time of crisis such as a pipe burst, it is important to know where to go in your home quickly so that you can turn off all the water and keep water damage to as minimal as possible. It is also a good idea to place a visible label near the valve, in case some one else is at your home and you are not available.

4. Use A Bathroom Drain Hair Stopper

One of the quickest ways a bathtub drain gets clogged up is with hair, but it is one of the easiest plumbing issues to fix for a homeowner. A bathroom drain hair stopper can be purchased at any big box retailer or home improvement store, and they are very low cost. Simply placing a drain hair stopper at the base of the drain will help to prevent hair from going down the pipes and causing a clog. The drain hair stopper can be easily lifted off the drain, cleaned out and placed back on the drain.

5. Do Not Flush Female Hygiene Products In Septic System

Female hygiene products do not degrade in a septic system, so these items should never be flushed. Instead, throw these items in the garbage. Tampons can be flushed down a regular toilet, but as most individuals know, never flush pads down the toilet.

6. Do Not Flush Dead Fish in Septic System

Many of us have dealt with a child’s fish dying and conducting an official burial by toilet. Flushing Goldie the goldfish down the regular toilet is okay, but do not flush Goldie into a septic system, as the bacteria from the fish can contaminate your system.

7. Regularly Check Water Hoses

A consistent schedule for checking water hoses and connections on the washing machine and water dispenser on the refrigerator is always a smart preventative measure. Those particular hoses are not in plain sight, so a leak left unchecked behind the washing machine and refrigerator could cause great damage.

8. Know Where The Toilet Water Valve Is Located

One of the best ways to stop a toilet from overflowing after plunging it is by turning off the water to the toilet. Shutting the water valve off on the toilet is a quick and easy way to help prevent the toilet from making a mess all over the bathroom floor and possibly causing serious water damage.

9. Maintain Your Water Heater

Maintenance procedures should be done on a regular basis to help prevent issues and extend the life of your water heater, however many homeowners forget about the importance of taking care of the water heater.  he owner’s guide should offer simple maintenance instructions in which a homeowner can perform. Preventative maintenance can save a lot of money in the long run.

10. Chemicals Are Not Always The Best Solution For Clogged Drains

Chemicals tend to be the choice method to unclog a drain, however these chemicals are usually rough and can be damaging to your plumbing. Instead, consider a zip it or snake, which costs only a couple dollars at the store and are very simple to use. The plastic tool slips down the drain and, with a bit of wiggling and maneuvering, will unclog most issues.

Source: Ten Important Plumbing Tips Plumbers Want To Share « CBS Los Angeles

 

Important Questions to Ask Before Beginning a Bathroom Renovation

Bathroom Renovation : Questions To Ask Before You Start.

While updating a bathroom ranks at the top of many a homeowner’s wish list, complete renovations can be pricey—to the tune of $18,000 or more, depending on the bathroom size and choice of fixtures.

“The bathroom may be the smallest room in the house, but remodeling can be as expensive as remodeling a kitchen,” says Joe Maykut, Product Manager for Sears Home Services. “Consumers can go over budget if they’re not careful.”

To get the most for your remodeling dollar, analyze your needs and wants first to make informed decisions. These five key questions can help homeowners ward off renovation regret—or, worse, do-overs. Want to get it right the first time around? Keep reading to find out what you should consider before leaping into your bathroom project.

What’s the best flooring for my bathroom?
Above all else, take safety into account when selecting a new floor for your bathroom. Sometimes, safety means ignoring the inspirational images shared in high-end home magazines, which often showcase impractical marble floors. “Stepping out of a tub with wet feet onto a polished marble floor is a recipe for disaster,” Maykut says.

His suggestion? Slip-resistant ceramic tile. Look for ones that showcase a coefficient of friction (COF) rating right on the box, which indicates that the tile is safer to walk on when it’s wet than other types of tile. Homeowners often don’t factor traction differences between tiles into their renovation plans, but support from Sears Home Services means that this important detail will never be overlooked. In a bathroom design process with Sears, their knowledgeable professionals help narrow down design choices to the most appropriate possibilities.

And, if you’re thinking about carpeting your bathroom, don’t. “Carpet is completely unsuitable for the bathroom,” Maykut says. “It soaks up water, develops bad odors, and increases the risk of mold and mildew growth.”

Likewise, real wood and laminate flooring are unsuitable for the bathroom because they can eventually warp or delaminate from exposure to water.

“If consumers don’t want ceramic tile, they still have plenty of designs to choose from in vinyl flooring,” Maykut offers. Today’s vinyl flooring has come a long way, and it can closely mimic the look of real wood, brick, slate, or stone, but it’s much more affordable.

Bathroom Remodel Idea - Wall Mounts

Photo: istockphoto.com

How can I create enough storage?
Most bathrooms have less square footage than other rooms in the house, yet they have to store plenty of essentials, from shampoo to toilet cleaner, and from mouthwash to guest towels. While there may not be enough space in a bathroom to accommodate a full linen closet, you can increase storage by thinking creatively. Opt for an enclosed vanity instead of a pedestal sink to provide under-sink storage for less-than-pretty cleaners and scrub brushes. Plan to install plenty of towel bars or hooks, and use stackable bins in cabinets. An upper cabinet above the toilet is also a great way to put unused space to work.

Before you build in a bunch of storage solutions, think about what to put where—and prioritize making everyday-use items like bathing products accessible where you need them most.

Maykut suggests choosing showers that are outfitted with little niches “to keep from having to put shampoo and conditioner bottles in a caddy on the shower floor, where they’re hard to reach and pose a tripping hazard.” The same goes for bathtubs: A wide, flat rim around the tub that can securely hold body wash, soap, or washcloths will go a long way toward creating a better bathing experience.

Do I need a shower or just a tub?
“If a homeowner has the luxury of having more than one bathroom in the house, it’s a good idea to install a walk-in shower in at least one of them,” Maykut advises. Already have a shower elsewhere in the house? Then just a tub is probably fine in the current renovation. Otherwise, you should include a walk-in shower, if only as an investment in the future.

“Accidents can happen that make it challenging getting in and out of a tub.” With either age or reduced mobility, stepping in and out over the wall of a slick, wet tub becomes a safety issue; shower stalls provide less opportunity to slip and fall and can offer space for a bench, if necessary.

How important is ventilation?
Bathrooms are notoriously humid. Just as long, hot showers leave mirrors steamed up, that same moisture also coats the walls and woodwork—even if you don’t see it. The damp environment can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew, unless you take measures to dry out the space.

Most local building codes require a ventilation fan in any bathroom without a window that opens to the outside, but Maykut recommends installing a ventilation fan, period: “No one wants to get out of the shower and open the window when it’s freezing outside.”

A good fan effectively removes steam from the bathroom and vents it outside of the house. Better yet, today’s bathroom vent fans work much more quietly than their predecessors, scarcely making more than a faint hum. Whether you opt for a plain vent fan, fan/light combo, or a model with a built-in heater (perfect for warming the bathroom during chilly winter months), consider this installation a must-do.

Designer Drains Bathroom Shower Remodel

Photo: istockphoto.com

What should I look for in new bathroom fixtures?
Homeowners have a wealth of options to choose from when redesigning the bathroom, including fixtures that offer a combination of great design, comfort, and high efficiency. However, fixture costs add up quickly, with fancy amenities like heated toilet seats and high-end showers equipped with multiple shower heads.

Putting the biggest emphasis on efficient features can help you recoup costs in your monthly utility bills while also benefiting the planet.

“Everyone in the country should be concerned about conserving water—not wasting it,” Maykut says. He suggests installing WaterSense-labeled toilets that use less than two gallons of water per flush. Additionally, high-efficiency shower heads can also provide “the feel of having 100 gallons of water spraying on you while it’s really much less, and you’ll never notice the difference.”

Next, consider comfort. Comfort-height toilets are the new kids on the block, and for many consumers they’re a welcome change from standard toilets with low 15-inch-high rims. The higher, 17-inch to 19-inch-high rims make getting on and off the toilet more comfortable for most adults, especially the elderly and the disabled.

Even after narrowing your search to fixtures with features that meet your biggest needs, you won’t feel limited on style. Sears Home Services makes it easy for homeowners to plan an entire renovation from the comfort of their own home.

“It’s like bringing a bathroom showroom right to your door,” Maykut says. Once the design and fixtures are selected, Sears Home Services handles everything from ordering fixtures to scheduling reputable contractors. “It’s the best way to guarantee that customers get a bathroom they’ll be happy with for a long time,” he says.

This post has been brought to you by Sears Home Services. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

 

Source: 5 Questions to Ask Before Beginning a Bathroom Renovation – Bob Vila