KBB - June/July 2009 - (Page 46)

Access Raising the Bar Grab bars evolve into decorative “wall candy” “I would rather slip and fall than have my friends think I have a grab bar,” an elder friend of Abbie Sladick, CGR, CAPS, ASID, once told her several years ago. These words inspired Sladick to create Great Grabz, a company that offers stylish grab bars. Viewed as institutional-looking devices for the elderly and the infirm, grab bars have evolved into highly stylish accessories for the bath in a variety of finishes and designs. “No one wants to be reminded of their inabilities,” said Sladick, “yet safety is for all ages, and these products should be for everyone.” The market seems to agree. Today’s biggest consumer-driven trend in bath accessories is the demand for high-style, decorative grab bars. “I tell my older clients that their master baths should feel like a resort spa, not a rehab hospital room,” said Jamie Goldberg, AKBD, CAPS, of Jamie Goldberg Kitchen and Bath Design in Tampa, FL. “I believe the primary factor driving this evolution toward safety with style is the graying of America and Europe. As the baby boomers move toward and beyond retirement, their physical needs change. Savvy manufacturers are picking up on this trend.” Plumbing manufacturers, such as Jaclo, Kohler and Moen, each offer a full decorative slate of luxury grab bars for those who elect to remain in their homes as they grow older. Influenced by high-end hospitality design and baths featured on TV design shows, aging homeowners are looking to enhance their living environments. “Baby boomers, especially those in the female demographic, are looking for a designer look,” noted Rosemarie Rossetti, PH.D, president of the Universal Design Living Laboratory. HealthCraft’s Invisia Collection features a corner shelf with an integrated support rail (left). Jaclo offers the Luxury Grab Bar Collection (far left) in a variety of finishes, such as satin chrome, pewter and antique copper. The Splash line from Great Grabz boasts a series of decorative grab bars in different colors, textures and ergonomic shapes, including the wave bar (above.) stand-alone evil,” explained Goldberg. Another noteworthy feature, she noted, is the ability to mount grab bars without blocking, which is ideal for homeowners who may not want them installed now, but can add them later without destroying tile. NEW HEIGHTS Even with a number of finishes and designs to choose from, luxury grab bars are expected to continue evolving as savvy baby boomers age in style. “Whether it’s someone with a disability or someone who is aging in place, we want them to have a comfortable space,” Sladick said. “We’re going to see grab bars become more important factors in people’s designs.” Among the innovations to look for in the future are grab bars that are more integral to the bath in look and function. Sladick foresees that while current selections are conveniently offered in 18-, 24-, 36- and 42in. lengths, rail systems, placed around the bathroom, could provide users the ability to move safely from area to area. Grab bars that serve multiple functions in the bath, such as holding toiletry items or towels, are also expected to be the wave of the future, noted Rossetti. Companies that specialize in safety products have also begun responding to the demand for stylish grab bars, but safety remains the most stylish feature. “One slip and fall on a wet surface could be devastating, especially when a hip breaks or a head hits the floor,” said Rossetti. “We take for granted what one grab bar can do for us.” s —Matthew Marin UP FOR GRABS As part of that, today’s grab bars come in not only generic brushed aluminum and stainless-steel finishes, but also more popular options such as satin nickel, chrome and polished nickel, which make them suitable for modern and/or traditional spaces. “They’re so beautiful, just like jewelry,” said Rossetti. “Companies can also provide custom colors and finishes.” Additionally, more manufacturers are adding coordinating grab bars to their new bath suites. Nevertheless, such is the variety that “even grab bars that aren’t part of a suite can work with your design as wall candy,” Goldberg added. Grab bars are also being offered with a variety of details that facilitate their installation. Concealed flanges, for example, help integrate them more seamlessly into the bath’s overall design. “They can now become another standout element in the project, not an ugly 46 + K BB June/July 2009 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of K/BIS www.kbis.com http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - June/July 2009

KBB - June/July 2009
Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Editorial
Focus
Trends
Products
Profile
Options
Design
Diplomatic Function
Grand Master
Green
Access
Practice
Education
Opinion
Editorial Index
Ad Index
Favorites

KBB - June/July 2009

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