‘Bath Sim­ple’ makes life — and re­mod­el­ing — much eas­ier

The Palm Beach Post - Residences - - Residences - Rose Bennett Gil­bert

Ques­tion: We have to ren­o­vate the mas­ter bath in the house we just bought. It’s from the 1960s — and pink and black are not us!

We’ve re­habbed other homes our­selves and pretty much know what we want, but time we have some time con­straints. Should we just hire a de­signer? And how do you find a good one when you’re new to the area?

An­swer: Find­ing a “good” de­signer is ex­actly like find­ing a “good” doc­tor or auto re­pair shop in un­fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory.

Start by ask­ing around for rec­om­men­da­tions.

Or you can ex­plore other av­enues, such as the Na­tional Kitchen & Bath As­so­ci­a­tion (NKBA).

Mem­bers must meet cer­tain pro­fes­sional stan­dards in skills and busi­ness prac­tices.

Click on www.nkba.org for a list of de­sign­ers in your area.

An­other, more novel ap­proach is a brand-new idea in bath re­mod­el­ing called “Bath Sim­ple.”

Founded by a cou­ple of in­spired en­trepreneurs — John Crowley, a sys­tems and prod­ucts de­vel­oper, and Bill Hun­scher, an ace in the hard­ware and re­cy­cling in­dus­tries — “Bath Sim­ple” is es­sen­tially a bath-in-a-box.

You de­sign it on­line — there’s a wide range of styles and prices in fix­tures, fur­nish­ings and sur­faces to choose from— and they de­liver it to you with ev­ery­thing you need: lock, stock, grout, paint and the bath­room sink.

You can hire you own con­trac­tor, do it your­self or use a Bath Sim­ple­cer­ti­fied con­trac­tor to pull all the pieces to­gether ac­cord­ing to your plan (which can be drawn up with the help of a com­pany de­sign con­sul­tant).

Then— here’s the re­ally daz­zling part — all your old fix­tures and con­struc­tion waste (ex­cept for dry­wall) go in the box and back to Bath Sim­ple for re­cy­cling.

Won­der why no one ever thought of this be­fore?

Credit Crowley’s own at­tempt to re­model two baths af­ter­mov­ing to Cal­i­for­nia six years ago.

“Ar­du­ous process!” he re­calls. “No one sells bath­rooms; they sell parts and pieces. It was like buy­ing a car at the auto parts store.”

That got himto think­ing out of the box, lit­er­ally, which is noth­ing new for Crowley, the for­mer di­rec­tor of the In­no­va­tive Con­struc­tion Tech­nol­ogy pro­gram at Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy.

In this case, he and Hun­scher spent a year think­ing about the in­side of the box, “cu­rat­ing” prod­ucts and ma­te­ri­als, look­ing for what he calls the “best of the best” in all cat­e­gories, in­clud­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, wa­ter con­ser­va­tion and sus­tain­abil­ity.

A new Bath Sim­ple ar­rives on-site be­tween three and six weeks af­ter it’s or­dered. It can cost be­tween $3,500 and $35,000, de­pend­ing on your choice of in­gre­di­ents.

Crowley says to fig­ure on a sim­i­lar amount for in­stal­la­tion. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.bath­sim­ple.com.

Rose Bennett Gil­bert is a Cre­ators.com colum­nist.

‘Bath Sim­ple’ is an on­line ser­vice that lets you cre­ate your own in­te­grated bath­room re­model with the help of a de­sign con­sul­tant.

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