By Joshua Ayers, Senior Editor
With a growing awareness of the impact design can have on leasing efforts, savvy apartment owners are looking to stay ahead of the trends. Even when budgets are stretched, developers can build distinctive multi-housing brands by adding cutting- edge design touches to kitchen and bath spaces in common areas and by selecting products made with recycled content and sustainability in mind. Water conservation and reduced water bills go hand in hand with design-conscious choices that will make a lasting impression on prospective renters.
bazzèo: Want contemporary? Want green? Want American-made? Look no further than NY Loft’s bazzèo brand. bazzèo prides itself on the use of 100 percent recycled and recyclable materials with recycled material accounting for 85 percent of its core products. But bazzèo doesn’t stop there. The brand includes seven modern kitchen collections and three bathroom collections that feature a clean, avant-garde design with a variety of material and color options. All of the products are manufactured at the company’s plant in Secaucus, N.J. (www.bazzeo.com).
The new Monolith Tank and Carrier System for floor-mount toilets from Geberit (pictured with a specially designed Duravit toilet bowl by Philippe Starck) provides the clean and modern aesthetic of a wall-mounted toilet without the expense of a full bathroom renovation. As a slim and attractive alternative to a typical toilet tank, Monolith connects to existing drainage and water supply connections, so no structural modifications are ordinarily required. Clad in elegant, highly polished safety glass, the Monolith housing hides the toilet tank, as well as the fill and flush valves, for a bold design statement. A dual-flush mechanism offers two water-saving flush choices: 1.6 GPF (6 LPF) for solid waste and 0.8 GPF
(3 LPF) for liquid waste (www.geberit.us).
Axor Starck Organic collection’s bathroom curvy bathroom faucet features a less-than-1-inch, 90-spray outlet aerator, which nearly doubles the industry average of 40-50 outlets, and has a water-saving 0.9 gallons per minute setting as well as a 1.3 gallons per minute setting for a more voluminous experience. The company’s research and development team designed the product to receive the metal hose at the cartridge spout to allow for nickel-free water delivery and also for less brass to be used in the manufacturing process (www.hansgrohe-usa.com).
Snaidero USA has a 35-year history in the U.S. and specializes in bringing high-end, Italian-designed elements into U.S. kitchens. Since 1992, Snaidero has been tapped to provide kitchens for more than 120 multifamily projects that account for more than 18,000 units for major industry players such as Trump, AEG, CMC and the Related Group. Kitchen designs range from a more traditional look, as seen in the company’s Certosa, Gioconda collections, to the futuristic look of the Pininfarina-designed OLa20 collection (pictured below), which garnered the interest of actor Brad Pitt, who purchased the kitchen for his Los Angeles home in 2012 (www.snaidero-usa.com).
Effeti has introduced its new BK1, BK2 and BK3 kitchen collections designed by renowned Millan-based architects Gabriele and Oscar Buratti. All three feature a contemporary straight-line design approach to kitchens, with each collection offering unique and complementary materials. The BK1 collection features a warmer, tactile approach, utilizing thermo-treated wood—oak and chestnut options—to garner a traditional feel and a White Hanex countertop to add modern flair. BK2 includes the Hanex countertop included in BK1. BK3’s minimalistic approach features a small, round oil-rubbed hand-pull for its cabinetry, unlike the horizontal pulls available in the BK1 and BK2. BK3 integrates a single piece of stainless steel as its countertop, which is incorporated with a sink and backsplash (www.effetiusa.com).
Niagara Conservation offers a host of eco-friendly products for its customers, but the company has commanded the attention of the green community with its high-efficiency toilets and water-saving kitchen and bath fixtures. The company recently unveiled its Stealth Ultra-High Efficiency Toilet featuring a two-flush option that uses less than a gallon for full and half flushes at .95 gallons per flush and 0.5 gallons per flush, respectively. The product vaunts the potential to conserve more than 15,600 gallons annually when compared to non-efficient 3.5 gallons-per-flush models (www.niagaraconservation.com).
Kohler made (sound) waves at the 2013 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, taking KBIS Gold in the Best of Bath category of the National Kitchen and Bath Association-organized event for its Moxie showerhead + wireless speaker product. Kohler’s design incorporates a Bluetooth-capable speaker that mounts directly into a shower head by way of magnets. Users can sync their smart phones with the speakers for a music-laden bathing experience. The showerhead component of the system offers 60 angled nodules that deliver a satisfying spray and comes in models with flow rates of 2 gallons per minute and 2.5 gallons per minute, while the speaker is easily removed for charging and has a Bluetooth range of about 32 feet. The speaker can also be purchased individually (www.us.kohler.com).