Sneak Peek: Victorian Bath Features William Morris Wallpaper and more…

A previous client called us to renovate a bath in her Waltham Highlands home. The house has a storied history. Built in 1900, the home was originally part of a farm near the Central Mass Railroad. There is still an old train station nearby. The house is closest to a Victorian Shingle  – popular in the United States from 1840 to 1900. Although the goal was to update the bathroom, the homeowner still wanted to keep a period feel in the space. We worked with her to choose components that reflect the period but with all the modern conveniences in today’s homes. Read more…

Mother’s Day Celebrations

happy mothers dayTime again for Mother’s Day Celebrations and making the mom in your life feel special. In past blog posts we’ve written about items for moms who love being in the kitchen. We’ve featured spa-like baths that provide an escape for mom to relax on the one day devoted to Motherhood. Today we’re offering suggestions for entertaining at home. And where does everyone gather during a party? The kitchen, of course! Read more…

Feinmann Finds…Mother’s Day Ideas do you spell Mother’s Day? R-E-L-A-X-A-T-I-O-N! This Mother’s Day, if you can’t bring the spa to the mom in your life, bring your mom to the spa. We like the Bella Sante day spas in Lexington, Wellesley and on Newbury Street in Boston.

However, it isn’t difficult to create a spa-like atmosphere in your own home. A basket of plush towels rolled up, bath salts, a tropical scented lotion and some candles channels the spa experience. Don’t forget the fluffy robe and slippers.

“I think of Mother’s Day as a day for mothers to take a break, relax,” says Feinmann designer Kate Yurgelun. “I’ve given my mother gifts of spa treatments and bubble bath… I wish I could give her a Jacuzzi tub or steam shower instead.”

Nothing beats a luxurious bathroom where mom can escape into the bathtub or shower fitted with state-of-the-art showerheads and sprayers. Planning a renovation soon? Make up a gift certificate for your own home spa, grand opening next Mother’s Day!

If your mom is an interior design fan, give her a subscription to one of her favorite shelter magazines like Design New England or Dwell. Or maybe an iPad with the Houzz app. She’ll find beautiful and inspiring photos of home design projects. Travel magazines and books make great gifts as well. We love Travel & Leisure and Afar.

Of course you can’t go wrong with the traditional stand-bys of flowers, homemade cards and macaroni necklaces.


NKBA Reveals Top Kitchen & Bath Trends for 2012

It’s a little bit like Fashion Week to those of us in the Kitchen and Bath remodeling world: the week that the National Kitchen and Bath Association reveals their top trends for the year.

More than 350 National Kitchen & Bath Association member designers took part in the 2012 NKBA Design Trends Survey to cite the materials, product types, and styles that they’ve incorporated into their kitchen and bath designs over the final three months of 2011. While broad trends won’t be evident in every local market, the following are the top overall trends for kitchens and baths across the United States and Canada.

This Feinmann Design|Build kitchen remodel in Weston, MA shows off the 2012 NKBA trend of incorporating brown with white tones in the kitchen.


Listed below are some of the top trends:

• Cherry wood cabinetry is declining in popularity, and no single wood species is rising to take its place. Lesser-known woods such as oak, walnut and hickory are gaining market share. Demand for bamboo has doubled from 5% in 2010 to 10% in 2011. White alder holds 27% of the market, down from 40% two years ago. Dark natural finishes lead the pack at 53%, up from 48% two years ago. But medium natural finishes stand at 55%, and light natural finishes at 30%. Among painted cabinetry, white is the most popular options (59%) but the distressed look is making a comeback. Read more…

Room to Grow: Multiple Bath Renovations in a Victorian Home

A growing family and the need for more space brought the homeowners of this Arlington, MA home to Feinmann Design|Build. As was common with Victorian homes, a shared bathroom was located centrally on the second floor. Professionals with a young and growing family, our clients had reached a point where they recognized the need for a Master Bathroom for themselves and a more practical family bath for the children.

Family bath before renovation

Master bath before renovation

The design challenge for our team was how to find a way to create both a Master Bath and a Family Bath out of the existing Family Bath, Master Bath and adjacent closet. The solution had to consider how to shrink the Family Bath as small as possible, to allow for more room in the master bath, without compromising functionality. Furthermore, the team needed to create a space that had the sensibility and sophistication to match the contemporary Master Suite with the limited space remaining.

Working with the homes original floor plans from 1886, our skilled design team reconfigured the space to achieve the desired solution. The Master Bath design included cabinetry and arched doorways that create the sense of separate and distinct rooms for the toilet, shower and sink area, while maintaining openness to create the feeling of a larger space. The sink cabinetry was designed as a free-standing furniture piece which also enhances the sense of openness and larger scale.

Master bath after renovation


Master bath view #2 after renovation

In the new Family Bath, painted walls and woodwork keep the space bright while the Anne Sacks marble mosaic tile pattern referenced throughout creates a continuity of color, form, and scale. Design elements such as the vanity and the mirrors give a more contemporary twist to the period style of these elements of the otherwise small basic box-shaped room thus contributing to the visual interest of the space.

Family hall bath after renovation

Current Kitchen and Bath Trends

The National Kitchen Bath Association (NKBA) recently surveyed many of its members to identify recent trends in kitchen remodeling.The survey noted dark natural finishes have overtaken natural and white painted as the most specified type of finish. Appliances still top people’s list for new ideas in their kitchens. Kitchen buyers are asking for wine refrigerators to meet the overall increase in wine drinking and one of the new hot appliances that ends up on people’s request list is the Induction Cooktop. Not surprisingly, the NKBA are seeing a decline in people’s use of incandescent lighting while people are asking more about LED lighting. One would expect to see an increase in the use of Compact Flourescent Lighting (CFLs) but designers don’t love CFLs due to the perception of the quality of light they produce. And consistent with people’s desire to recycle, more and more people are asking for cabinets that will handle not only their garbage but all of their recycling.

Kitchens and Baths are the most popular rooms of the house to remodel and there are some new trends in both areas.  In Bathrooms, the NKBA is seeing a move away from granite in the bathroom and an increase in Quartz as an alternative to the ever popular stone surfaces. It has taken some time, but people are getting more comfortable with these new man made materials. Undermount sinks continue to be very popular but we are seeing more requests for the very hot Vessel sink. People are also asking for Satin Nickel finishes on the bathroom fixtures from the more recently requested Brushed Nickel finishes.

A recent Feinmann bathroom remodel with Vessel sinks

When it comes to overall design and space layout, the NKBA has also noted different multi generational trends. The Baby Boomers are asking for a more standard 30” table in their kitchens compared to the 42” bar height sitting. Many Baby Boomers consistently ask for an open floor plan which both accommodates easier mobility and gathering for one’s family. The Generation X are asking for kitchen elements that ease their fast paced lifestyle. They want a computer near the kitchen to provide access to much needed information. While the Baby Boomer moves away from the 42” bar height counter, this height is regularly requested for friends and families to sit and visit. The Generation Y group are definitely looking for their kitchens to meet the needs of their young families and lives without children—places for snacks, pet food are regularly requested plus an entertainment area to meet their more technological tastes.

We’re always fascinated by the trends that emerge – what will it be next year? What are you craving in your kitchen or bath?