Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Can You Do it for 20 Seconds?

After using the bathroom, 95 percent of people fail to wash their hands long enough to kill harmful bacteria, a new study finds.
Researchers also found that only two in three people use soap, while one in 10 skips the sink altogether, and men get much lower marks for hand hygiene than women.

Read more:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Product Review: Potty Cover

A coworker,  shared this product with me the other day. I work as a kitchen designer when I am not reviewing public bathrooms. Her three year old has a habit of leaning against the toilet when he was using the toilet. The solution; the Potty Cover Disposable Toilet Seat Covers - six in a pack. It provides a “waterproof barrier between the toilet and your child”. They are bright and colorful and can be used stand-up or when seated on the toilet.

What do you think 
- a great find?  

$5.99 pkg. 

(each is individually wrapped)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Frothy Monkey Opens in Frankin, TN

Franklin’s newest coffee shop the Frothy Monkey opened last fall in an iconic house that was home to  Waves (a non-profit for developmentally challenged adults). It is the Frothy Monkey’s second location. 

First impression as we entered was warm, and inviting and then I dashed to the bathroom. Overall, was positive as it was spacious, clean and has a few clever elements.

Was a bit dark and the floor tile a 12 x 12 orange, brown and grey tile was not the best choice in keeping with the building's age and character. The bead board paneling contributed to the dark impression. A better choice would have been a small format basket weave pattern shown here.

The toilet paper holder was clever, an inexpensive solution to the challenge of providing the product without the more typical industrial version. Need more - a quick leap to the basket below the drop-leave furniture piece. And employees, don’t forget to was your hands - framed in an inviting way. 

Cute solution to a corner

Love the exposed brick
A perfect solution
Storage for cleaning supplies

A "gentle request"
A huge miss -
Note to the electrician - move the box up

Misses: Flooring tile choice, Beadboard cut (and not very well) around ligth switch
Spot on: Toilet paper holder, corner shelfes, storage piece and the overall appearance.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Al Dente, well done!

I started this blog a few years ago as I was generally dissatisfied with commercial bathrooms, primarily restaurants. They were too small, not clean, even if it was only paper trash and generally seemed to be an afterthought when it comes to the design. Yes, I am a female and when I tell a friend about the content of my blog, I always get an affirmation, and "What a great idea." My theory is that the restrooms are a reflection of a the kitchen’s cleanliness. Owners know restrooms are a necessity, but treat them like an afterthought, as if to say how small can we construct them, and as long as we meet codes we are OK.  Do you agree?

Al Dente
I choose to evaluate Al Dente in Morristown, New Jersey because as I was leaving my job as a kitchen designer, I noticed they were boarding the windows in anticipation of “Sandy” the monster storm heading to South Jersey and surrounding states. 

 Al Dente's interior is well thought out and lot of effort was put into the design not just the floor plan, but the elevations and ceiling. Great architectural detail with the beams and scrollwork panels.

Sloan Faucets
The Ladies room did reflect the character of the dining area and given the seating in the restaurant, a third stall would probably be need during busy times, but codes probably said two was sufficient. The Sloan Solis  faucets, Sloan Solis, work are solar powered by natural or artificial light.

An optional control lever on the side of the one-piece faucet allows restroom visitors to set the faucet to the desired temperature. when your hands are placed close and the hot / cold option was on the right side, somewhat obscure perhaps to maintain the sleek design. The would trim on the tile walls mimicked the restaurant, though I question the pink grout that was used. More than likely the same grout color was used on the floor, but it had darkened over time. The porcelain tile had a “slate” look and is a much better option than natural slate.

I am participating in the Bathroom Blogfest 2012
During the annual Bathroom Blogfest, bloggers from around the globe write about the importance of bathrooms in the customer experience. Their posts come from a wide range of perspectives that include sociology, marketing, research, psychology, environmental, and customer experience. Blogfest 2012

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Private Bathrooms Go Public - Part One

Italianate Villa
Rear entrance to formal center hall.
I am going to try a different approach today and showcase private bathrooms open to the “public”. I feel, given their public status, that they are qualified to be reviewed here.  All of the bathrooms featured were part of this year’s Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County’s 37th Annual Town and Country Tour. I have included a photo of the home’s exterior to give an idea of how the exterior relates to the interior. It was a great line-up of houses, really too many to see in one day as their were five in town and four in Leipers Fork in the southern part of Williamson County. I attended with my friend and partner in design, Kathy Newton Chappell. She was photographing the tour and for Your Community Magazine, a local magazine that promotes life in and around Franklin, Tennessee. It was a great day and the weather was fabulous. 
Of the four homes I visited, three were historic and last one was part of the new Brownstones, 16 homes built to look historic. Franklin located south of Nashville is the go to destination in middle Tennessee for small town shopping, dining and entertainment. The original 15 block downtown dating to the early 1800’s has a mix of Federal, Greek Revival, Victorian, Italianate, Queen Anne, Four Square, Tudor Revival, and my favorite Bungalow.
Kathy and I visited four homes, of which two were owned by music industry people. This is the first and I will follow in the next few days with the other three.

Magnolia Hall 1860, 600 Boyd Mill Avenue, Franklin, Tennessee

The light fixture should have been period.
Magnolia Hall built in 1860 in a Classic Italianate Villa style and was is the jewel in the crown of all of the houses on the tour.  It has been featured in national magazines and has been visited my many famous people including Bob Hope and Slyvester stalone. The current owner was on site and was able to answer any questions. 

The photograph above shows the door that we entered for the tour and was technically the back entrance. The house was designed with a formal center hall that ran  front to back. I just love the architectural detail, cream paint on the walls and Robin egg blue on the ceiling.

This was an extremely small bathroom, the only on the first floor, but it was lovely and was finished with high end materials including marble on the floor and walls. The pattern on the floor worked despite the small size, and I would have only suggested a more period fixture, orignal rather than this big-box fixture. The art on the wall gave the bathroom additional character and draws attention to the marble finishing at the substantial chair rail. High-end materials can make a bathroom feel huge.
The prints added character.
The pedestal sink is the perfect scale for this small bathroom

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jackie O can spice up a restroom.

Casual Dining doesn't have to mean boring decor and that is true for the Restrooms as well. The color scheme and original local art make the difference and when you add Jackie O, you've added the spice. Casual can be cool. 

Each restaurant in the J. Christopher's a chain which is based in Atlanta, Georgia has its on personality accented by local art work. The main restaurant walls are accented with a huge selections of art in all mediums and the restrooms are paced as well. 
The tile on the floors and walls works well and compliments the "spice" paint color, but I noticed the grout used here and in the main restaurant was too dark. The theory is the darker the grout is the less it will show stains, but it eventually looks dirty and it does. The wall tile is capped with a piece of trim finished natural. 

The granite countertop is a great accent and the only complaint and I am assuming the tile was installed first, so why was the countertop installed at that height with 2" of wall tile showing? Think people, or should I say countertop installer. The laminate stall doors were a poor choice in color as they were too light in faux wood grain to complement the medium tone floors and walls. Liked the mum in the vase. As "they" say it's the little things that count.

This is a great feature in a relatively small bathroom, a frosted translucent glass door. You can see someone approaching the door, no surprises. The hall from outside the bathroom is also flanked with original art.