The Cool House: grohe freehander
Showing posts with label grohe freehander. Show all posts
Showing posts with label grohe freehander. Show all posts

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Test drive: Modern kitchen reveal

The new kitchen has been up and running for a few months now and it occurred to me that I never posted a product list nor talked about how it functions as a working kitchen. The design challenge for the renovation was to create a space that would fit seamlessly into the mid-century house while utilizing 21st century technology, that would give us as much storage as the original but not feel as cramped. I spent six years researching and compiling wishlists. Remember the inspiration kitchens? The process was fluid, the layout changing right up to the moment the cabinets went in.

Moving the island has enabled me to both cook and wash dishes while spying on the neighbors looking out on the front yard; this is great entertainment, much better than a TV in the kitchen. Having three long and separate counters means a lot of people can be in the kitchen at one time without getting under each other's feet, but I find myself second guessing the Caesarstone, it's easy to maintain but in a battle with a Le Creuset casserole it's a brittle pussy. The previous Corian put up more of a fight. The Guy enthuses about the deep Blanco Super Precision sink, mainly because he can fit so much in it at one go. I like that I can pile dirty stuff in there and it almost disappears. I made a conscious decision not to have multiple dishwashers and I haven't regretted it. The thought of sacrificing a cabinet for something I'd only use once or twice a year strikes me as wasteful, plus the huge sink holds a the equivalent of one full load out of sight until the dishwasher is emptied again.

We both love the induction cooktop-it's a geek's dream come true-and the Cree LED downlights that have made a huge difference to the lighting in the room. These eco-friendly products were something I insisted on and they've more than lived up to expectations. The double convection wall ovens heat evenly but they take longer to reach temperature, even with the rapid preheat, than the old GE model and when I use the timer I can't read the oven clock. The cabinets are fabulous, the soft-close full-extension drawers mean less bending and stretching and yes, there are still a couple of empty drawers. Maybe though, the best part of the kitchen was something I didn't appreciate until I visited a friend who has beautiful Saulsalito tiles on her floor. After standing on them for only an hour I came home with an aching back. That's something that hasn't happened to me since we layed the hardwood floors!

Quick reminder of how it used to look. It was a great kitchen, although the design was not as specified on the original blueprints-in fact it had twice as many cabinets as Andrew Geller had planned. That made for four really tight corners, one of which, 2' between the island and the desk (just seen behind the island in the photo), we had to remove to install the new fridge the week we moved in!

The renovation layout has meant that more people can fit in there without pinch points, the smallest passage is a roomy 39" and my hips are thankful for fewer bruises. We had twenty-five friends in the kitchen one evening, the sink full of beer and white wine in a bath of ice, the table groaning with desserts and I could still get round to refill drinks and pass hors d'oeuvres. That's when I knew we had a fully functioning space.

Ikea Nexus Brown cabinets, Atlas Homewares Linea Skinny rail pulls, Caesarstone Misty Carrera countertops, Cree LED lighting, Electrolux ICON wall ovens + induction hob, SubZero refrigerator/freezer, Marvel wine fridge, Bosch dishwasher, Blanco SuperPrecision sink, Grohe Ladylux3 faucet, Benjamin Moore Silver Satin paint, Miniwax American Chestnut stain.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mr Forbes and I agree

On shower heads, that is. On pretty much everything else we are polar opposites. But on shower heads we have common ground. The Grohe Freehander shower was one of the products we chose for the boys' bath renovation last year. It also made the Forbes Luxe-for-Less home improvement list.
I have loved this product since I first stepped into the shower after the renovation. We kept the same plumbing in this bath, changing only the valve, trim and shower head, which kept costs down and the Freehander was, much to the plumber's surprise, really easy to install. The actual price on the street (or the internets) is much cheaper than the one quoted on
Because you can adjust the arm it really works for my 6' 2" husband (no more twisting and bending to get the shampoo out), and I can pull the arm down to get an arc of water over my head. It looks good, it's powerful and if you set it to "massage" it kneads all the knots out of your achey shoulders. What more can a gal ask of a shower head?

The only change I'd make if I had to do the remodel again would be to spring for the Thermostatic Temperature Control Valve, just to ensure the water is at a constant temperature no matter who might decide to clean their teeth while I'm taking an invigorating but warm shower. That would really be luxe!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Finally, one working bathroom

It's taken months - more than six, in fact since we began the renovation of the boy's bath; it's been even longer since we stopped using this bath because of the leaks through the ceiling below, and in fact, I've probably only showered in there twice in all the time we've lived here because the decor scared me so much. But today I took my first shower in there in at least a year and I have to tell you that it was the best shower I have ever taken.
The previous best shower was at the Manchester Airport Marriott in February, a Hansgrohe with enough water pressure to knock you off your feet (and a Toto toilet, Duravit sinks and faucets, if my memory serves me, very modern) but the Grohe Freelander is fantastic. I emerged not simply clean but revitalised, and that's without trying out the "massage" spray. I cannot wait to get back in there tomorrow morning.
One thing I know I'll do differently in the master remodel, though, is to spring for the thermostatic shower valve. Fiddling around with the temperature while huge jets of icy water shoot at you can be a little strenuous first thing in the morning. Tomorrow, I'll put the shower on, then clean my teeth while it warms up. I know, wasting the earth's resources, but what's a girl to do?

Friday, March 30, 2007

Bathroom Fixtures

Bathroom Fixtures
Originally uploaded by modernemama.
They are in, they function and they shine.
The Toto Nexus maple seat is so warm and it's a soft close model so no-one can slam the seat down. Hurrah.
The vessel sink doesn't splash because it's huge and because the faucet has a water restrainer in it. It delivers just enough water in a steady stream to wash hands or face or clean your teeth. And what about that Tenso faucet? Form and function in one.
The Grohe Freehander shower kicks ass. So much water, sparkly, clean water that you definitely need shower doors. The shower door guys measured today and promise that in another two to three weeks I can try it out. I can't wait.
Oh and the best. As the plumbers were leaving they called me and told me they had totally changed their minds about the shower. It isn't a fancy-pants piece of chichiness. It is a beautifully designed triumph of engineering and they'd be happy to put one in their own bathrooms! This is true plumber praise.