Are tubs going the way of horse & buggy?

For more than a century, almost every master and secondary bathroom in North American homes was outfitted with a tub shower. That’s not the case as we approach the third decade of the 21st century. Who wants to step over a tub to take a shower? That’s a question many hotel developers are answering by eliminating tubs altogether. Hilton’s Canopy brand has replaced the tub with a barrier-free, walk-in shower. Marriott also is foregoing tubs for walk-in showers at properties that are part of the brand’s Autograph Collection. Both hoteliers are not eliminating tubs completely, however. They are outfitting their suites with tubs to evoke a more luxurious feel and look to the space.

Do you need or want a tub? That’s a question we almost always ask our clients when they are renovating their bathrooms. When designing a bath, the overall goal is creating a room that offers the greatest amount of enjoyment in the least amount of space. Often my clients want to include a tub in their master bath because they think it’s necessary for resale.  It’s common in the older homes of New England that the master bathrooms are on the small size so having a tub sometimes means having a relatively small shower.  I always suggest to my clients that they consider skipping the tub to make room for a larger shower.  Most chose this option because they realize the tub will sit mostly unused whereas the shower is part of their daily routine.   

If there is room for a separate tub and a decent sized shower today’s free-standing tubs resemble works of sculpture that give a room a sense of luxury and good taste. Form is only one of the distinguishing features of today’s tubs. Tubs today can be equipped with spa-like jets and air systems or both that offer warm, circulating water to relax tired muscles, relieve aches and pains from overexertion, improve circulation and remove unhealthy toxins from your body. Additionally, properly designed hydro-massage systems provide a personalized 

massage that invites repetitive use that enhances your health and well-being. You can outfit your tub with light therapy and aroma therapy that helps to recharge your batteries and reduce stress.

If resale is of concern, many of our clients elect to place tubs only in secondary baths in their home. There is a large slice of the population that want to see a free-standing or system bath in the master bath as well. Consider a tub in your master or secondary bath as comparable to a dining room or fireplace. They are great to have, but are not necessarily used every day.

Designing a dream bathroom that is a spa-like oasis that offers easy-to-use functionality involves choosing materials and finishes that create a warm feel and comfort to a room. Tubs often contribute to that aura. Do you want or need a tub in your master bath? Give us a call at 781-749-6777 and we can help you answer that question and create the bathroom of your dreams.

Ideas to Improve the Efficiency of Your Bathroom

A well-designed bathroom should have the right kinds of storage to make the occupants’ lives easier.  Because bathroom space is often limited, there is a greater premium on organizational tools.  In master and secondary baths and even powder rooms, the vanity often does the heavy lifting for storage, and thanks to recent innovations, storage options have increased significantly.

When storage space is at a premium, vanities with open shelves create storage space for towels and baskets around drains, traps and other plumbing components. Open shelving is an extremely attractive option that can provide a visual focal point.  Just keep in mind you’ll want to keep it styled which might take some work.

Shelves and roll out drawers maximize the space under and around plumbing in vanities with doors. Roll out drawers can hold baskets or be equipped with dividers for cosmetics, towels, brushes, etc.  We can customize vanities with drawers and pull-out shelves that help to minimize loss of storage space caused by plumbing that flows through the vanity to the sink and faucets. We can also wire vanity drawers with outlets so your hair dryer or flat iron can be stored in a drawer and easily plugged in and ready to use. 

And, let’s not forget about the handy storage in a medicine cabinet!  The best ones are recessed into the wall between the studs and not mounted on the surface of the wall.  I encourage my clients who are gutting their bathrooms to have the framing reworked while the walls are open.  You never know when the need for storage might change and it’s cost prohibitive to add one in after the fact. 

There are many kitchen storage solutions that can be adapted to the bath. For example, vertical pull outs are commonly used in kitchens for spices and can also be used to effectively store bath items in small slivers of space.

Toe kicks can make space along the floor functional for storing less commonly used items such as back up rolls of toilet tissue. Tip out trays behind the drawer head in front of the sink are handy. They can be used for storing tooth brushes, tooth paste, dental floss and other small items.


Outfitting drawers and storage space with adjustable compartments, reconfigurable bins, vertical dividers and spice racks (think small medicine bottles) provide endless opportunities to get great functionality out of a beautiful looking new bathroom.

We’d love to learn about your bath project!  Give us a call at 781-749-6777 to make an appointment.



What’s Trending In Kitchen Design


I wasn’t surprised to hear that the most popular kitchen layout among U.S. homeowners undertaking a renovation is L-shaped. According to a recent survey, nearly 50 percent of homeowners changed or plan to change the layout of their kitchen as part of their remodeling plan. U-shaped kitchens were the second most popular layout followed by a galley layout.  As a kitchen designer it’s tempting to always start with the L-shape but I always prefer considering first if there’s any way to do something different to improve the storage, counter space and clearances for my clients.  I must admit however that the L-shape or U-shape usually turns out to be the most efficient.

The Houzz survey also revealed that open floor plan kitchens are another significant trend among homeowners remodeling their kitchens. I definitely see this with pretty much every client I encounter.  In fact, I don’t recall anyone coming in and saying, “Can you make my kitchen more closed off and isolated from the rest of the house?”  The women on my team and I all agree that to open up the kitchen space to other parts of the home is our client’s most coveted design detail.  The Houzz survey confirms this: more than 50 percent of homeowners opt for opening the kitchen to other living areas, while 18 percent choose to open their kitchen space to outdoor spaces.

The average size of a kitchen remodel was 230 square feet. A reported 40 percent of homeowners opted to increase the size of their kitchen as part of their remodel. The top priority among homeowners in the survey and among our clientele is to create a kitchen that is both stylish and beautiful. In addition, our clients want a look that is timeless and neutral and stands the test of time.  That’s the number one reason why our clients depend on our decades of experience and our close connection to what’s trending and what works best. We know how to ask the right questions to determine wants, needs and dreams. And we really listen, take notes and implement what we hear into our design. 

A well-designed kitchen is an organized kitchen. The greatest source of buyer’s remorse among our clients is overlooking storage and accessories that make the kitchen easier to use and more beautiful. The top built-in and specialty storage amenities specified for American kitchens according to the survey are as follows:

  • Pullout waste or recycling cabinets (67 percent)
  • Cookie sheet/tray organizers (55 percent)
  • Deep drawer organizers (45 percent)
  • Pull/swing out trays/shelves (44 percent)
  • Lazy Susans (44 percent)
  • Spice organizers (42 percent)
  • Cutlery organizers (40 percent)
  • Utensil organizers (35 percent)
  • Pots and pan organizers (34 percent)
  • Small appliance garage/drawers (24 percent)
  • Wine and/or bar cabinets (20 percent)
  • Pull out corner drawers (19 percent)
  • Dish organizers (18 percent)

And last, but definitely not least, the survey found that the most popular style of a new kitchen renovation was transitional, followed by contemporary and farmhouse

We would love to meet you and hear about your dream kitchen! Give us a call at 781-749-6777 or email us at

What’s Trending In Kitchen Faucets: Incomparable Design with Unmatched Functionality

The kitchen faucet is the most used appliance in the home, and too often it does not get the attention it deserves during a kitchen renovation. All faucets are not created equally. New advances in technology provide greater functionality and make today’s kitchen faucets not only extremely durable and functionable, but also fashionable. One of the dominate trends in kitchen faucetry is the addition of color. You can add personality to your new kitchens with faucets that come in a vast array of new finishes, ranging from rose gold to matte black and almost everything in between.

The size of the faucet is contingent on the amount of space in the kitchen. We often recommend high arc faucets because they provide additional functionality to sinks that can accommodate stock pots and other large pots and pans. High arc faucets also add visual appeal. But if space is at a premium around the sink, we will often suggest a smaller profile faucet.

Modern and contemporary motifs continue to trend on the upside in today’s homes, and faucet manufacturers have responded with new models that favor soft, minimalist shapes whose focal points are created by finishes instead of details. Polished chrome, stainless steel and satin nickel finishes never go out of style, however, today’s homeowners have been impressed by new color finish options that include matte black, a range of gold tones, copper, bronze and two-toned finishes that can feature matte black and brass or gold. There are stunning combinations that enable you to make a personal design statement and customize your faucet to match and complement other surfaces in your kitchen and home.

Advanced features that make cooking and clean up easier include touch and touchless activation that is perfect to start the water flow when your hands may be caked in dough, pull down and pull out spouts that make it easier to reach all sections of your kitchen sink and magnetic docking stations that keep your spout in the right place all of the time. There’s even foot controls that you can use to start and stop water flow and environmentally efficient models that help to conserve water.

We think you deserve the perfect solution for the most used appliance in your home and we’re here to help.  Give us a call at 781-749-6777 and let us know when it’s convenient for you to visit us! 


Light Up Your Kitchen; Light Up Your Life

Lighting sets the tone for a new kitchen. It affects how the room “feels” when you enter and spend time there. In fact, if the kitchen is not properly lit, the entire design can be compromised because your work surfaces, appliances, cabinets, flooring, back splashes, etc. can look drab. As a result, the appearance of your new kitchen will not provide the look you want.

The manner in which light interacts with the form and texture of objects and materials in your kitchen will produce different effects. That’s one reason why light needs to be layered to create a balance and avoid overly bright or dark areas. You can’t layer light relying on a single fixture located in the center of the kitchen ceiling. Layers are created by surrounding the perimeter of your kitchen with recessed lights and employ pendants, suspended lights, chandeliers and fixtures used to perform tasks under cabinets and above the sink and range or cooktop. Accent lights are typically placed in cabinets, drawers or on walls.

Pendants can be statement-making and serve as functional focal points for specific tasks. Pendants are a natural choice over an island. LED lighting technology has not only brought down the cost, it also has provided tremendous flexibility. LED lights last almost forever, use less energy and are friendlier to the environment.

Lighting makes the appearance of the kitchen special. Lighting can help make smaller spaces appear larger by focusing lights to illuminate vertical surfaces. Using ambient light on the ceilings promotes spaciousness and can draw attention to architectural details such as exposed beams or a statement-making range hood.

Lighting controls are essential to change the feel and look of the kitchen. Dimmers and motion sensors add flexibility and wow factors. Other factors that affect the look and feel of a kitchen are color schemes, materials choices, finishes, paint types and the amount of natural light among other factors. Light will bounce off light color schemes more so than darker ones. Smooth shiny materials will reflect more light than textured matte surfaces. Polished marble will reflect more light than honed black slate. More light is required in spaces with dark or textured finishes.

Good lighting does not draw attention to itself but highlights the other design elements and fixtures in the space. Different light layers may be activated depending on purpose or time of day. For example, during the day, pendants over the island may not be needed at all, but when you start to prepare dinner in the evening all the layers providing ambient, task and accent lighting become necessary.

If you want a new kitchen with all the right lighting, give us a call at 781-749-6777. We’d love to hear about your project!