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Sensational Sanctuaries
Trendsetting Kitchens & Bathrooms

By Judy Penz Sheluk

We all know that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. But what are consumers looking for? Here are a few of our favourite things:

Kitchens: get in the zone
"Gone are the days when Mom slaved over a hot stove while the rest of the family watched television," says Joy Myers Piske, owner of LIFESPACE - Myers Piske Interior Design in Winnipeg. "Today the kitchen really is the heart of the home, and homeowners are looking for open plans with a 'high end' feel. Islands, cook tops, built-ins - it's all about specific zones so the whole family can get into the act and share the experience."

Cook tops and grills
The MATRIX collection (above) by Küppersbusch is made up of cooking surfaces, which vary in size and function and include gas, electric, and induction elements. Each component of the MATRIX collection was created as an independent element that can stand alone or interact with the complete collection.

Location, location, location
Traditionally, kitchen sinks were placed under the window and, while that still works, so do other areas. Corner sinks are becoming more popular, as are island sinks. Placing a sink in an entertainment centre, outside the main work triangle, is another option. A second utility sink is ideal for clean up, as is an "out of sight" recycling area for paper and plastics. Pull-out faucets are also recommended.

Coffee break
Canadians love their coffee! The totally automated, self-cleaning built-in all-stainless-steel Profi-Coffee Center by Küppersbusch will satisfy the most discerning caffeine consumer. An on-board computer featuring Touch-Me® technology provides an assortment of user-friendly programs.

Stainless steel, horizontal grain veneers, working islands and built-ins - Artika by Pedini USA(right) provides effective use of work space and offers a Euro-contemporary update to the traditional island.

A concrete idea
Concrete is becoming a popular choice for countertops today, replacing marble, granite and slate. With options such as draining boards and leaf impressions, concrete can also offer more than natural stone, allowing clients to individualise their projects.
The concrete is treated with a long-life penetrating sealer and is FDA-approved for food contact. The highly tactile, hand-finished surface develops a rich patina with use. Maintenance is as simple as wiping and waxing.

Bathrooms: a yen for Zen
"Today's multitasking homeowner is definitely looking for that 'spa' feeling at home," says Ramsin Khachi, owner of the Oakville, Ontario-based Khachi Design Group Ltd. "The bathroom has become much more than a place to shower and shave; it's a place to unwind, relax and meditate after a stressful day."

A tropical rainforest
Transform an ordinary shower into a tropical rainforest with the restorative power of a Raindance AIR showerhead by Hansgrohe. Featuring air injection technology, the AIR showerhead is available in several sizes, starting at seven inches, right up to a ceiling flush-mount 24-inch model, which features 358 no-clog spray channels and three-whirl massage.

Bye-bye bidet
Imagine: an odourless, tankless, virtually self-cleaning toilet that acts as a bidet, remembers to flush and automatically puts the (heated) seat and lid down!
TOTO's NEOREST's lid automatically opens whenever an individual approaches; it automatically flushes when they leave. A cyclone siphon jet flush engine scours the redesigned concave rim, efficiently removes waste, then scours the rim again; its auto-flush feature engages three seconds after the user leaves the sensor zone; 90 seconds later, the lid automatically closes.
The NEOREST also features a Power Catalytic Air Purifier function, and a gentle front-and back-aerated warm water spray followed by a warm air dryer.

That warm and fuzzy feeling
Nothing adds luxury like a warm towel after a shower or bath. WarmlyYours towel warmers are manufactured from superior quality high-carbon steel with electrostatic coatings, and are hand finished for durability and long lasting beauty. Because they are heated by embedded double grounded warming cable for faster warm-ups, they also consume only a fraction of the power of comparable liquid filled models, are lighter in weight and easier to install.

Sinks don't have to be oval, and faucets don't have to be two handles and a spout, as evidenced by this vast array of products. However, it's important to match the product to the homeowner's lifestyle. Vessel sinks and glass basins are best left to guest powder rooms. For day-to-day living, size and storage still matter; oversized trough sinks are becoming extremely popular.

Shower power
Kohler's new Digital Thermostatic Valve System (DTV) delivers the ultimate showering experience: with the push of a button, DTV is able to customize the shower to each person's specific needs, whether it's invigorating, rejuvenating or massaging. Utilizing multiple strategically placed showerheads, hand showers and body sprays, the DTV is easy to operate and pre-programmed shower configurations can be accessed with the turn of a dial and the push of a button.

Give it a whirl
What better way to renew body and spirit than with a relaxing spa tub? Whirlpool baths offer a targeted hydro-massage via a recirculating mixture of air and water powered by a pump. Higher-end whirlpool models include effervescence, neckjets, backjets and/or chromatherapy.
Air baths, such as Kohler's BubbleMassage™, offer a full-body hydro-massage via 120 to 122 airjets, powered by a blower that adjusts massage intensity from relaxing to invigorating.

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