Archive for March 2011


Byline: Steam Showers in Kitchen + Bath Business

Posted on March 29, 2011 by Nora DePalma

Mr. Steam Byline in KB+B

Martha Orellana of Mr. Steam tells K+BB readers why adding steam showers is a smart addition to bathroom remodeling projects.


Bathroom Remodeling Triumphs: Three Trade Pros Win Contest

Posted on March 25, 2011 by Nora DePalma

The "ugly bathroom" David Sturm of Attention to Detail Remodeling had to work with.

Three talented remodeling professionals were recently recognized for transforming some of the ugliest bathrooms in the country into beautiful showpieces as part of an online contest sponsored by American Standard Brands.

The contest, called “America’s Ugliest Bathrooms: Solved”, was hosted by remodeling industry journalist Leah Thayer on her popular and informative website, Winners received the brand new 5-Function Shower System from American Standard as well as another unique and particularly valuable prize: special public relations assistance to help them promote their win, compliments of American Standard.

The three winning projects included:

  • Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based remodeler Tamara J. Dalton of Tamara Dalton Design Studios, who tackled a mold-infested bathroom outfitted with cheap tile and cabinets, and a drab beige tub deck. Dalton enlarged the shower and installed a low-flow toilet, beautiful porcelain and glass mosaic tiles, and granite countertops to complete the beautiful new design.
  • Trent Ketchum, of Swansea, Ill.-based Fulford Home Remodeling, whose renovation job entailed gutting a tiny bathroom covered in outdated yellow wall tiles, and utilizing an adjacent seating area to create an expansive and beautiful room with a new clawfoot tub, walk-in shower, and vanity seating area with storage.

    A shot of the now attractive and light-filled bathroom after Attention to Detail finished the remodeling job.

  • Roswell, Ga.-based David Sturm of Attention to Detail Home Remodeling, who transformed an uninviting, windowless bathroom covered in dark wallpaper and wood trim by adding a six-foot window, non-splash countertop sinks, a glassblock shower, and slate flooring to create an attractive new master bath.

We at OR/DP also must give a shoutout to Sturm and his David’s Dynamic Meatloaf recipe.  Check it out here at Attention to Detail.

For more information about the contest and to view a complete set of “before & after” photos, see the complete press release.


Photo Gallery: Saving Water at Home: Fix a Leak Week

Posted on March 24, 2011 by Nora DePalma

Fix a Leak Week, an annual event sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Program, is designed to encourage Americans to fix running toilets, dripping faucets, and other household leaks, which combined waste an average of 10,000 gallons of water annually per household. This year, Fix a Leak Week ran from March 14-21, 2011.

American Standard Brands marked the occasion by co-sponsoring a free workshop in Marietta, GA titled “Go Green and Save Green.” The workshop was led by Nick Marine of Marine Plumbing, Georgia’s first Certified GreenPlumber® and showed participants how to check for leaks, and how to install retrofit kits that conserve water and reduce household expenses.

View the complete press release for additional details about the event, or click through the event photo gallery below.

Picture 1 of 8

Nick Marine, Georgia's first certfied GreenPlumber, shows how a toilet works.


Saving Water at Home Pays off for Winners of Eco-Vacation Sweepstakes

Posted on March 15, 2011 by Nora DePalma

Conserving water at home has paid off in a big way for Tim Buhler
of Glenbeulah, Wis., who has been announced the winner of a week-long eco-vacation from the Responsible Bathroom sweepstakes, sponsored by American Standard Brands. The sweepstakes were hosted at the Responsible Bathroom website, where entrants could earn extra chances to win by pledging to save water in various ways around the house.

Buhler’s wife Lonnie and children Ryan, 21, and Shannon, 17, will enjoy a seven-day eco adventure in Costa Rica. Included in the vacation package is a wildlife tour on the Sarapiqui River, a zip line tour of the Arenal Volcano, and the chance to help plant trees in a local reforestation project.

Over thirty runners-up in the contest also received water-saving American Standard FloWise Showerheads, designed to deliver an invigorating shower experience with up to 40 percent water savings over conventional showerheads.

Follow the link to view the complete press release and learn more about the sweepstakes winners.


Home Building Trends: Smarter and Smaller

Posted on March 15, 2011 by Heather McCune

As home building begins the slow climb out of its deep recession, two trends are emerging: smaller and smarter new homes. Be they attached or detached, for sale or for rent, the overall square footage of new homes is decreasing. Data collected by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) records a year-over-year decline in the size of single-family homes.

Many home buyers may still prefer larger homes, but the reality of today’s market is that the nation’s best-selling, new-home communities are riding the wave of offering smaller homes at more attainable prices. And while the cost to acquire a home drives the trend toward smaller properties, the cost to maintain a home also factors into the buying decision. Of course, this latter cost extends beyond the monthly mortgage. What are the implications of these changes for building industry marketers?

For openers, space is being configured differently in today’s smaller homes. The fundamentals of this new approach include:

• fewer rooms, yet larger living spaces;

• less separation between areas; thus…

• eliminating wasted circulation space; and

•  boosting storage-space opportunities.

For example, the kitchen, great room and dining areas flow seamlessly into one another. Gone are duplicative spaces like the formal living and dining areas.

Part two of the smarter equation is in the energy profile of today’s new homes. Buyers expect — and builders deliver — high-efficiency homes. In a lot of different ways and with a lot of different labels (Green, Energy Star, LEED), today’s new homes cost less to heat and cool, and they consume less water and energy on a day-to-day basis. This money-in-my-pocket reality appeals to buyers and separates new-home offerings from resales.


Photo Gallery: Green Earth PR Network 2011 Retreat

Posted on March 14, 2011 by Nora DePalma

The Green Earth PR Network meets annually for a retreat, and our 2011 retreat was held at the Shorebreak hotel in Huntington Beach, CA.  Our hostess was Lisa Lilienthal, our So Cal consultant.  She is also the creative genius behind the Official Cocktail of Green Earth Public Relations Network , which includes fresh herbs from her garden.  Get the recipe here.

Click any thumbnail below to start the slide show.  To close, click anywhere in the slide show.


How To Find the Best Partner

Posted on March 9, 2011 by Nora DePalma

John O’Reilly and Nora DePalma were among 43 business owners quoted by The Entreprenette Gazette about business partnering, 22 months about their own decision to merge agencies. O’Reilly and DePalma supplied five tips for knowing when it’s the right time to seek a business partner:

1. The business needs to diversify and expand offerings to remain competitive.

2. The business has grown to the point that efficiencies could be realized with a partner, including shared overhead costs.

3. You seek an equal as a creative and strategic sounding board.

4. The partner brings immediate and significant revenue growth.

5. You’ve learned that it can be lonely at the top. The right partner helps share the challenges of managing and motivating people.



From daily5remodel: The Inside Scoop: PR for Remodeling Companies

Posted on March 4, 2011 by Nora DePalma

Thank you to industry journalist Leah Thayer for allowing O’Reilly/DePalma to reprint this daily5remodel premium content interview between Leah and O’Reilly/DePalma principal Nora DePalma.

Not a daily5remodel premium subscriber? Register here for your free 30-day trial!

d5R: When to outsource PR and when to handle it in-house?

NDP: One of most misleading terms in business is “free publicity.” There is a time commitment to garner media attention and a skill set required in knowing how the media tells a story. In many cases, a remodeler will be well served with outside counsel, dedicating a set number of hours each month to achieve measurable goals within the budget.

Remodelers who are natural-born salespeople, power networkers and fun storytellers, however, might do quite well handling PR in-house, along with support from a team member who can help identify places and opportunities to connect.

d5R: What “deliverables” and performance metrics should you expect from your PR team?

NDP: The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) advises success metrics that are relevant, realistic, specific, measureable and timely. You want PR counsel committing to results, not just deliverables.  View examples of success metrics for remodeling firms by downloading the complete article here.

d5R: What should a remodeler expect to pay for good PR counsel? Is a retainer necessary? How long of a contract should you sign?

NDP: The PR field has its share of dog-and-truck contractors. You know the drill about proposals that sound too good to be true.

The investment compensates the practitioner’s time to follow your target media outlets and identify new opportunities. We look at the upcoming publishing schedules and try to anticipate ways our clients can help reporters and editors. We email them. We meet with them. Of late, we Tweet with them.

That time can be accounted for in either a flat monthly retainer or an hourly rate. A retainer can be easier for cash flow forecasting, but you can achieve the same idea by setting a monthly limit on hours.    The contract should allow you to stop or slow down with no more than 30 days notice. Never sign a contract that holds you hostage for six months or more.  Examples of hourly rates provided here.

Download the complete interview with daily5remodel here.


Faucet Design Trends: New Savina Collection is Opulent and Water Efficient

Posted on March 2, 2011 by Nora DePalma

The new Savina collection of bathroom faucets from JADO represent the latest trends in faucet styling and performance, along with environmentally-aware water efficiency. Based on 19th-century designs, the Savina offering is suitable for historically informed restoration projects. There is even a true freestanding tub filler for a grand Old World look. Models include pillar taps and widespread faucets, with two-handle, cross-handle, and lever-handle options available. Handles are capped with porcelain.

Available in a wide range of durable signature finishes, the Savina line coordinates with other JADO Luxury Bath Collection offerings. All models are water efficient with a maximum flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm), and incorporate the new, exclusive JADO Luxury SpeedConnect®drain, an innovative technology that radically simplifies installation. In addition, the SpeedConnect drain plunger features a large European-style cap that covers the flange of the drain.

Follow the link to view the complete press release and a selection of images for the new Savina Collection.

National Kitchen and Bath Association Public Relations Society of America: Georgia Green Earth PR Network