A too-short showerhead, awkward kitchen lighting, an appliance that doesn’t quite fit. These are the little nuances that can really make or break a home remodel. So if you’re in the market to renovate, how do you get it right to ensure that no detail is overlooked and you’re not kicking yourself for a job not so well done?
We met up with Steve Vendetta from CT Shower & Bath and Captivating Kitchens to talk a little bit about what homeowners need to know before, during, and after the remodeling process, what trends are dominating the industry, and what he wants consumers to consider about shopping locally.
Can you tell us a little bit about CT Shower and Bath?
I’ve been the owner of the business for 16 years but CT Shower and Bath has actually been here in the Design District of West Hartford for over 30 years. There are three unique entities – custom glass enclosures, partial to full bathroom remodeling, and a kitchen remodeling business called Captivating Kitchens. We also do the whole job soup to nuts from demo to products to installation.
What would you say is the most unique part of the business?
From a bathroom perspective, it’s that we design around the glass. We can see and do things that most other contractors simply can’t. We are the ones that come in and measure, and then we design, build, and install. A bathroom can look great but anyone who has had a cold blast in a hotel shower because they have to reach through the back to turn it on knows what I am talking about. We pay attention to how the door should swing, how many towel bars you’ll want to have, where controls need to be, and all the nuances of functional design.
What trends are you seeing that people considering a remodeling project should pay attention to?
It’s an everlasting trend but white in kitchens is classic and here to stay. People are coming in wanting bolder paint, an island with stained perimeter cabinetry, or hardware that has a bit more personality. Quartz is very popular for countertops and we’re seeing a lot of people using quartz as a backsplash for continuation. Lighting is also getting more attention. Kitchen lighting used to look like an airport but now it’s much more layered which can change the whole look. With LED, there are a lot of options and people can really customize their space with a combination of ambient and task lighting as well as undercabinet and incabinet options.
How about bathrooms?
A lot of people want to take out their tubs in favor of big showers. They like the nice, open feeling and the options to add comfort like benches and multi-function shower heads. Steam applications are also making a comeback. Overall, we are installing at least two water outlets in every shower – the handheld and fixed head are almost standard at this point. Then, of course, there is color. People are bringing in a lot of wallpaper and nearly every paint color can be made moisture-friendly. Generally, people like to go for bigger statements in the smaller half baths and guest rooms. It’s a fun place to experiment without too much risk.
As a remodeling expert, you work with homeowners every day. What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about a renovation project?
If you’re doing your bathroom, think about the glass early. Call and come as you are planning, not after the shower has already been built. That’s when people run into problems.
Overall, I don’t think people spend enough time in the planning phase. If you start talking to your experts early, you’ll discover details and make decisions differently which is much better than being under pressure during the installation. We are methodical in how we do things; we have a sequence and we spend a lot of time rendering to give a great feel of what the finished product is going to look like. That helps because it’s hard to visualize anything without that process.
You guys have been here for more than 30 years as have a lot of the independent businesses in the Design District. Why should a customer go to you instead of one of the big chains?
We always abide by the idea that we treat people how we want to be treated and we do it all here. When you go to a big box store, you’re going into a retail environment. It’s just about the product. We look at the whole picture. The fit, the function, and the family over time. A lot of people are conditioned to think that small business is more expensive but we’re actually very competitive in terms of pricing and we take care of the whole job.
What do you love about being in the Design District?
There is a great synergy and sense of camaraderie within this community. We are able to meet up to talk about what’s going on in the area and the industry and how people feel about the economy and trends. There is also a fantastic opportunity to work with local people and collaborate. I can connect my customers with the best tile person or specialty hardware shop; when they go in, they have a name and a referral which feels good. It’s a whole different experience than the big box store but with the same local convenience.
CT Shower & Bath and Captivating Kitchens are located at 555 New Park Avenue in the Design District of West Hartford. Owner Steve Vendetta can be reached at 860) 236-6500 or you can visit their website at www.ctshowerandbath.com