By Eddie Lee
Welcome to the second installment of my renovation blog! Now that the apartment has been gutted and the framing is going up, it's time to figure out the plumbing roughing and electrical wiring–all the stuff that goes inside the walls before they can be closed up. Even though I could talk at length about both, I've decided to focus on plumbing for this post.
I'm in a 100-year-old building with great hot water heating,
but horrible 1980's baseboard fin heaters. I've always loved the chic wall panel heaters
in Europe–so I went right to the source: Runtal, which invented the original panel radiator over 60 years ago in Switzerland. Today, they actually make them for the North American market in the United States (in Massachusetts, to be exact!).
Radiator depth is always a problem– especially in front of windows.
They block curtains and furniture, and when exposed can be pretty ugly. The Runtal panels only stick out 2" from the wall and look modern and clean. I chose white to blend in with my white brick walls, however, they come in loads of colors like chrome, stainless, even custom! Plus, they would look fantastic in a stong contrasting color to make a bold statement.
I'm most excited about the plumbing in my bath.
There's not enough clear wall space for a typical radiator, so I'm using a Runtal heated towel bar. It's a great old-school way to heat a bath and to keep towels warm and toasty. It's one of those everyday luxuries that really changes your day-to-day bathing experience and is the perfect solution for rooms that don't have space for a typical baseboard heater.
Speaking of the bath, renovating this space is one of the most daunting tasks in home building. Yes, even for a designer who does over 20 of them a year for clients! Decision-making seem endless, especially when it's for your own personal space. Luckily for me, my friends at domino introduced me to the team at Moen faucets, who have helped make choosing my plumbing fittings a breeze.
I'm going for an industrial modern look:
the Moen Arris is the perfect faucet for that. The faucet looks like an industrial exposed pipe, and it gets a modern touch from the mirror chrome finish and right angles. It's a sexy contemporary look that feels handcrafted and not too slick. In other words, it's like hipster plumbing!
Since everyone loves a well-equipped shower, I'm using the Moen shower body with a shower head, rain head, and hand shower. I always tell clients to install a hand shower, even if they don't think they'll use it for showering. Why? It makes cleaning the shower a breeze! I also think it makes sense to install a regular fixed wall shower head with a rain head, which are ideal for relaxing (but not so great for rinsing out shampoo and washing your face). I'm installing my rain head over the shower seat to cool off after using the Steamist steam spa I'm installing. Kind of indulgent...but I'm only doing this bathroom once. I can't wait to take my first shower!
Stay tuned for the next installment: I'll be tackling my electrical and flooring, which I was just told I have to totally replace! Again I'll be working with some of the experts in their fields and will be passing along their tips and advice!
See Phase 1 of Eddie's Renovation Project here.