Kitchen & Bath
often lend their talents to the design of consumer goods. Just
as often, those goods end up costing an arm and a leg. At
prices ranging between $100 and $300, the Michael Graves
Collection provides a striking line of bathroom fittings within
reach of the average consumer. The bath suites include shower
valve and head, tub filler, and vanity faucets, as well as a
towel bar and ring, soap dish, bud vase, toothbrush holder, and
tissue holder. Finishes include chrome, matte chrome, and
stainless steel, with solid, colored glass, and metal handles
in ergonomic egg and star shapes.
Delta Faucet, 317/848-1812,
One of these
racks can transform an ordinary shower into a highly functional
business unit. Not that you can't still have fun in there. The
Aviva Dispenser Plus Shower Basket is one among many models
made to dispense liquid soaps and shampoos in measured amounts,
and look good doing it. Give one to clients as a parting gift;
it's a lot better than a magnet. The basket version costs $40;
other prices vary by model.
Better Living Products, 800/487-3300,
Two Heads Are Better.
manufacturer of this shower head proclaims it "difficult to
categorize." Hmm... how about "way cool"? The Freehander
All-in-One Shower System abandons traditional styling in favor
of unlimited adjustability. Both heads rotate a full 360
degrees on an arm that pivots 180 degrees. A tension system
allows readjustments without having to loosen or tighten
anything. The unit requires no special plumbing and can be
either bracket-mounted or installed at the end of a hand shower
hose, as either a new or replacement installation. A retail
price of $395 is suggested.
Talk to your
plumber about those 1/2-inch supply lines. This tub filler has
a ceramic valve said to be capable of a thundering 17-gpm rate
at 60 psi. The faucet is designed for 3/4-inch fittings but
ships with 1/2-inch npt adapters for bathers in less of a
hurry. The deceptively graceful lines of the Plymouth Roman Tub
Faucet come in several metallic finishes, starting at $318. The
top-of-the-line finish shown, brushed nickel and polished
brass, costs $382.
lamps provide brilliant illumination but burn dangerously hot.
Xenon-filled lamps deliver close to the same light without
generating as much heat. And while the oily touch of a human
hand means early death to a halogen lamp, xenon lamps are not
so fussy. Fully dimmable Xenon Low Voltage Light Strips are a
good choice for undercabinet, overcabinet, interior cabinet,
task, and cove lighting. Standard socket spacing is 3, 4, or 6
inches on-center; custom spacing is also possible by ordering
strip cable and lamp sockets separately. Strips are ordered in
whole-foot lengths only, may be shortened in the field, and
cost $5.65 per foot with sockets 4 inches apart, $7.10 with
sockets 3 inches apart.
Pegasus Associates, 412/269-0773,
What do you call
a light fixture that matches the bathroom trim? Suite. Single-,
two-, and three-light bar fixtures are available in the same
two design themes — star and egg — and three
metallic finishes of Delta Faucet's Michael Graves Collection.
Single-light fixtures start at $75; triple-lights top out at
Progress Lighting, 864/599-6000,
Watt's the Difference.
grandma hated it, but this isn't your grandma's fluorescent.
The 79033-98E Four-Light Fluorescent ceiling fixture uses four
13-watt, instant-start bulbs to crank out an aggregate 3,440
lumens for bright, ambient illumination. And if this model
isn't suitable, there are many other styles in this
energy-saving line. This one carries a $218 suggested list
Sea Gull Lighting, 800/347-5483,
Lower the Low-Volt Lighting.
Counterbalanced adjustable pendant lights provide versatility
above a kitchen island or so-called workstation. Lowered for
prep work or raised for a social buffet, the light is always
right. The Glass Companions line includes a choice of 11 glass
shades in various shapes and colors, and metallic finishes
include platinum, nickel, chrome, and brass. All fixtures in
the line have integral 12-volt transformers and use 50-watt
xenon lamps. The model AP-3RE shown lists for $575.
WAC Lighting, 800/526-2588,