Ann Sacks new mosaic products (back to KBIS review)

Ann Sacks showed 3 new tile collections at KBIS, all of them fantabulous.  Perennial, Beau Monde, and Robert Kuo carved stone collections are viewable at:

The rose mosaic pattern in Beau Monde can be customized to any color palette (as long as the natural stone exists) and is truly beautiful.  All of the patterns in these collections take tile into a different dimension- they are art, worthy of standing alone.  But think about using them in your bath!

Real estate market and remodeling

Littlerock Construction - our renovation consuliting process

The real estate market is in a much different place than it was a couple of years ago- Kim Wong of @ Properties ( says some people are trying to figure out if the market has bottomed.  I’m not a realtor but I think that trying to time the market is very tricky- difficult or impossible, with stocks or real estate. 

I’ve always been an advocate of buying a place with potential and adding value through remodeling- and with this strategy it doesn’t matter if the market is at its very bottom.   Because you add value, (strategically, of course, where the future buyer wants the improvements and so is willing pay you for them) getting the property at the very bottom isn’t as critical- the price when you sell will be higher. 

The bonus is that you get to live in a home remodeling the way you want it- and you can sell faster, too. 

KBIS notes- 5/7/08

More looks from the show:

Walker Zanger’s booth was a knockout, with global traditions, updated with a modern aesthetic:  “Sonja” made me and my client stop, ooh, and aah.  It’s being made in Tunesia, is from a traditional design, and immaculately executed.  It looks like a million bucks, and listing at $400 per square foot, it should- but again, WOW!

Lasco Bathware has developed an audio product- speakers mounted to the unseen side of their acrylic tubs and showers, make the bathware itself transmit the sound.  Even with your head under water, the sound is clear.

 On a similar vein, Kohler has Sound Tiles, which are chrome squares the size of tiles (4-1/4″) delivering, not water, but sound!  Of course, Kohler also has products are available in that same line to deliver body sprays, etc, allowing a fully matched shower.  Sound delivery is especially important in steam showers- since the shower door is vapor proof, which prevents sound getting in there.   Something I overlooked at my house- don’t make the same mistake!

KBIS 2008- a client’s reactions

A client walked much of the floor with me, and here are some of the items he liked a lot:

-stainless steel sink in farmhouse style- an update of the classic

-different colored cabinetry in the same kitchen- one designer room had 7!  and, the furniture style cabinets are still prominent

-“one room borrowing from the next”- vignettes where the colors or materials trended into the adjacent room, creating flow

-stacked dishwashers, with one drawer on top of the other

 -Elkay’s matte finish on some of their stainless products

-matte finish on some of the synthetic surfaces

-stainless steel tambour style door in wall, like appliance garage but full height and very cool looking

-Kohler’s Belay handrail, K1846-SHP,  a less institutional approach to incorporating a handrail in the shower, where the lower part of the shower is built out 4″; the handrail also serves as a shelf, of sorts, for shampoo, etc.  It’s more of a stealth handrail, so you prepare for the future but don’t look like it.

Kitchen and Bath show notes

KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath show was in Chicago this year, and as always it was an amazing array of new products and perennial favorites for your home.  

I will be posting notes from my visit here, but in the meantime, HGTV will be airing “Kitchens and Baths 2008, a tour of the show, at the following times:

April 27, 8pm ET/PT

April 28, 12am ET/PT

May 3, 12pm ET/PT

Check it out- I’m going to.