35. Sharon Despres and Susan Layne

Dr. Debi Lynes speaks with Sharon Despres and Susan Layne about designing your kitchen and bathroom


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Lynes on Design


Any age, at any stage in life, design your kitchen and your bath with your own personal lifestyle in mind. It can be designed universally at any stage in life.

7. Betsy Miller

Dr. Debi Lynes interviews Betsy Miller of Billy Wood about appliances for any stage in life

(Duration: 32 minutes 32 seconds)


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Disclosure: Links below to other sites may be affiliate links that generate us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

GE Appliances

La Cornue







Induction cooktops are also a very cost-effective option


Lynes on Design


Debi Lynes:                   00:03                Hi and welcome to aging in place for every stage in life. What if you could visit or have a home that would accommodate anyone at any age, any physical ability at any time? How cool would that be? That’s what we’re doing here at aging in place. Why me? Because I’m a doctor of psychology and I specialize in physical spaces in health and wellness. Also, I love designing with intent at any age. Why now? Because we the baby boomers want to age in place gracefully and we want our families around us as much as we can. And why you the audience? Because we want you to experience what it’s like to have a home that’s safe, aesthetically pleasing and that you can live in at any age with any ability at any time. I’d like to introduce you now to Aging in Place Podcast for every stage in life.

Debi Lynes:                   01:05                Hi and welcome to Aging in Place Podcast at any stage in life. We’re so excited to have you today and we have is our guest, Betsy Miller. She and I have been friends for a lot of years and she’s taught me many things at many stages in life, if I can say that about appliances. You are with and own Billy Wood appliance for how many years?

Betsy Miller:                 01:28                21.

Debi Lynes:                   01:31                And right, 21 years. And I remember coming in as a new mom asking for all kinds of advice and now as an aging adult, I have lots of questions also. So I’m really grateful that you’re here today and I think it’s going to be a fun and information-packed podcast. So yes, that’s right. Yes. Let’s get started first a little bit about you.

Betsy Miller:                 01:54                My name is Betsy Miller and I have been selling appliances since 1998. My family owned our business and I have been involved from every avenue of the appliance sales and marketing since the beginning.

Debi Lynes:                   02:10                What’s really interesting to me is when I bring a client into Betsy, basically I walk in and then go get a Diet Coke and the rest of the time she is guiding, the client about all the different options and appliances. And you may think it’s a pretty simple thing to do to pick an appliance, but it’s really, it’s an expensive item. It’s something you’re going to have for a long, long time and you want to make sure that the items that you pick suit you and your lifestyle.

Betsy Miller:                 02:39                Definitely.

Debi Lynes:                   02:39                So what I thought we might do is kind of compare different stages in life and talk a little bit about appliances in general. Let’s go ahead and walk through the places in the house where you need appliances. I think people automatically think of the kitchen, but there it’s much more extensive.

Betsy Miller:                 02:54                Kitchen is going to always be the biggest that we deal with. But laundry and again you can talk about different stages of your life on how laundry your needs will change.

Debi Lynes:                   03:05                Exactly.

Betsy Miller:                 03:06                We don’t here because of our climate, we do a lot of outdoor equipment, which is fun. And the other thing that we’ve seen a big surge in is certain different areas of houses, guest houses that kitchens.

Debi Lynes:                   03:22                What I think about when I think of appliances now too, and you and I talk about this all the time, back when we first started, you didn’t really have coffee areas and, and coffee machines that you could build and you didn’t, we didn’t have ice machines, we didn’t necessarily, all of us have wine coolers and now that’s pretty much standard equipment.

Betsy Miller:                 03:42                You can do so much. The steam oven, the steam convection oven is probably the biggest surge that we’ve seen.

Debi Lynes:                   03:49                What is that?

Betsy Miller:                 03:50                It is typically a builtin piece and it cooks with both steam in thermal heat.

Betsy Miller:                 03:56                And the whole idea being is whatever you’re cooking, it doesn’t dry out. You can also use it instead of a microwave for defrosting and for reheating, which is a lot of people are trying to get away from microwave cooking. What you’ve heard about the different plastics and everything. So, we have done a lot with the convection steam oven sales, which is pretty wonderful.

Debi Lynes:                   04:17                Take two when I talk about is how, how to choose when you, when someone comes in and they’re, they’re really clueless.

Betsy Miller:                 04:24                Okay.

Debi Lynes:                   04:25                How do you begin or what kind of questions do you ask a potential client about what they need and their lifestyle?

Betsy Miller:                 04:34                One of the first questions is, is always going to be budgets because everyone has a budget and some people have a very high budget and some people have a very low budget, but most people have in mind what they want to spend.

Betsy Miller:                 04:47                The other thing is everyone kind of has an inventory list of what they want and a lot of what we do is new construction. So the inventory has kind of been addressed by the time they get to me. But that’s what you’re talking about. There’s a lot of new products that I can introduce people to, but the ice machines, warming drawers, wine coolers, that sort of stuff I think are, people are aware that they exist and they will put them in their plans. And of course, the things that aren’t quite as common, like the combi steam ovens and the coffee makers. And even for some people, it’s the warming drawers and all the different refrigeration options. We can introduce them to what’s available and ah.

Debi Lynes:                   05:27                Go from there.

Betsy Miller:                 05:29                Yup.

Debi Lynes:                   05:29                All right, let’s start at the very beginning. We’re walking in, we’re sitting down, I’ve got some plans and we’re in the kitchen.

Debi Lynes:                   05:35                Take me through the different kinds of appliances and please we would not, we would love to note names of appliances and doing some research for this. We talked a lot. I researched GE and looked at their universally designed products and ADA products and I think because we’re talking about aging in place at any stage in life, I have a 91-year-old dad and a one-year-old granddaughter and a lot in between. So I’m always looking for what we call and we’re all kind of, we know this word by now, visibility so that anyone can come into my house and it’s pretty safe. So that’s always a concern. When I think of appliances specifically. So we’re walking into a house, we’ve got the house plans in front of us. We’re going first to where, where are you going to take me?

Betsy Miller:                 06:18                Usually cooking.

Debi Lynes:                   06:20                Okay.

Betsy Miller:                 06:20                As far as where it’s going to anchor the kitchen. Okay. And then after that, I go to refrigeration because of sizes and certain houses will have more standardized sizes and pieces than others. We do a lot of custom houses around here. So refrigeration, one of the big words that you’re going to hear as columns, you buy your refrigerator and then you buy your freezer separate and they can go together, they can go apart, one can go on one side of the kitchen, one can go on another. Refrigeration drawers are a big thing and it again, I think it just gets down to the actual end-users and what works best for them in the footprint that they’ve got. And w we have a lot of empty nesters around here and so we do 95% of the time you’ll be talking to a family that has two people under the roof.

Betsy Miller:                 07:15                And, but not always, because we also have people like you who have big families and a lot of people come and visit. And I know, I know you’re going to have a huge household for Christmas.

Debi Lynes:                   07:26                Exactly my son has four little ones and it’s just getting ready to redo a kitchen too. So appliances are on his mind too. Let’s go, we, we’ve talked about, I know I want to go into the cook-top and the cooking, but we started with refrigeration, so let’s talk a little bit about why columns, what kind of refrigerators, what would be easy to access, what would be convenient and kind of go from there. Let’s talk a little bit about that standard refrigerator.

Betsy Miller:                 07:55                A standard refrigerator is going to be a little bit easier because you’re typically talking about 36 inches wide by 70 inches tall. French doors are by far the most popular that’s on the market with the two refrigerator drawers up top in the freezer below.

Betsy Miller:                 08:10                It’s just kind of trendy right now with, yeah, depending on aging people though, a lot of times the side by side will work better because you can put what you’re using frequently at eye level for both sides, both the freezer and the refrigerator. If you can customize your options a little bit more and that’s what we’re seeing more of. The columns will run in different widths and you can choose your refrigeration side and you can choose your freezer side.

Debi Lynes:                   08:39                I’m not sure, and I don’t mean to interrupt you, I don’t mean what does a column actually mean. What does it, what does, I know we can’t see because it’s a podcast we can only hear but, but talk to me about what a column would actually do.

Betsy Miller:                 08:50                The idea being is that you buy a refrigeration column and they’re typically 80 inches tall, so it’s a full height.

Betsy Miller:                 08:58                Some of them are 84, but they vary in width anywhere from 18, 24, 30 36 and they go up in six-inch increments, which is what you typically see with cabinets are going in three-inch increments. But you choose what suits your needs. I talked to someone this week, it was a single woman in her fifties and she used more freezer space than refrigeration space just because she works in troubles for work. And that’s what Sumo her.

Debi Lynes:                   09:26                Convenient.

Betsy Miller:                 09:27                The next group I’ll talk to is someone that again empty nesters retirees that they use the refrigerator more frequently because they have the time to cook fresh and go to the grocery stores. And with buying the pieces separately, you get to choose what suits your needs.

Debi Lynes:                   09:44                Are you still looking at pieces that have ice and water? Are those sort of passing?

Betsy Miller:                 09:54                It’s a nice convenience, but when we get into those customization options, you usually don’t see them.

Debi Lynes:                   10:01                Okay.

Betsy Miller:                 10:01                In those situations, we have a lot of ice machines that we sell and it’ll give you a gourmet cube. So if clients are buying an ice machine, we typically wouldn’t do a dispenser in addition to that. Okay, And then we also see whole house filtration, so they don’t necessarily need the cold filtered water as part of the refrigeration.

Debi Lynes:                   10:21                Oh my God, I never thought about the filter. We’re going to take a real quick break.

Betsy Miller:                 10:25                Okay.

Debi Lynes:                   10:25                We’re going to come back and I really, I want to talk to you about what you’ve been teaching us about how companies actually designing for different stages in life. It’s kind of cool.

Betsy Miller:                 10:34                Yes, very cool.

Debi Lynes:                   10:34                Stay at this. We’ll be right back here on aging in place.

Henrik de Gyor:             10:38                For more podcast episodes, links, information, and media inquiries, please visit our website at aging in place, podcast.com as we transition through life with the comfort and ease you deserve, discover how you can create a home that will adapt to you as you journey through life and the changes it will bring. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as our host Debi Lynes and her expert guests discuss relevant topics to creating a home for all decades in life. Don’t miss our weekly episodes of Aging in Place Podcast for every stage in life.

Debi Lynes:                   11:16                We are back here on aging in place. My friend Betsy Miller is joining us and we’re talking about everything kitchen right now. you really had, when we came in and we chatted before about what we were going to do here on the podcast today, you had the coolest things ever and I think when you wonder what it’s like to be a kid again, what, when you wonder what it’s like to be an aging adult. You were talking about the engineers and the design of kitchen products and it was really fascinating.

Betsy Miller:                 11:43                When I was preparing to come here this morning, I looked up on appliances and aging in place and knowing that was your topic and I just Googled it and found one of the links they had sent me to was GE had a segment, it was on some news station, but what they were doing is they had taken their youngest engineers and made them feel old.

Betsy Miller:                 12:07                They had used tape to tape their joints tight, they’d put gloves on top of them, they were wearing glasses that were made everything, I guess foggy, sure. And earplugs. And then they had them go into their test kitchens and try to use everything and see what was tougher, what was easier. And you could see all these young 20 something engineers and they were tracking down about six inches off the cooktop, trying to turn on the controls. And that, the whole 10 episode was to show every, these younger kids to make them more compassionate towards the clients that they’re selling their stuff to. And I thought that was really cool. I was reading a little bit more in one of the things that they were really trying to do was make it easier for baby boomers because that’s such a big part of the population right now and a big thing other than when we were talking about ADA appliances and unique things like side swing doors and dishwasher drawers, what they were doing was adjusting the fonts to either be brighter or larger ovens and on display panels and then being able to adjust the brightness is well so they were easier to see and I actually see that when new product comes out.

Betsy Miller:                 13:30                A lot of our demographic, again is a lot of that baby boomer generation and some of the fonts will come out and are very, very gray and we get complaints that people can’t see because there’s no contrast.

Debi Lynes:                   13:44                It’s funny, I hear that all the time. Even on appliances, washer and dryers, I hear people tell me all the time that are typically a bit older. They’re like, I don’t want 4,000 buttons. I want something that’s fairly streamlined and easy to navigate and intuitively user-friendly. Do you get that a lot with people?

Betsy Miller:                 14:06                Is sometimes we are definitely in an age of home connect though for everything.

Debi Lynes:                   14:11                That’s fair.

Betsy Miller:                 14:11                And, the manufacturers would be behind their competition if they didn’t have that available. So it’s, it’s kind of a tight rope to walk for the manufacturers to decide whether they want to be super user-friendly or if they want to be up to date with everything else that’s on the market.

Debi Lynes:                   14:29                Talk to me specifically about some vendors and things that they’ve done. I know you were talking about aside open. oven.

Betsy Miller:                 14:35                Oven. Yeah.

Debi Lynes:                   14:37                That some of the vendors in cool things that are trending right now.

Betsy Miller:                 14:40                So side-swing ovens are designed to have the dork works just like a regular door does walking into a room. There’s also a French door ovens instead of being dropped down ovens and when people either if you’re shorter, if you’re incapacitated, if you’re in a wheelchair, those are options to get in and out of an oven comfortably without having to have someone help you. And that is a big thing is looking for independence inside the house in and products that can help you keep your independence.

Debi Lynes:                   15:16                You were talking about drawers. Tell me about refrigeration drawers right now.

Betsy Miller:                 15:22                Well, and there’s drawers for everything. There’s drawers for microwaves that are designed to go under counter. A lot of people feel that they’re safer because you don’t have to pull something hot down, pulling it up.

Debi Lynes:                   15:33                Yes yeah.

Betsy Miller:                 15:33                That make sense and then refrigeration drawers are another thing because you don’t have to get down on your hands and knees to get into an under-counter refrigerator to see like where your water or where your diet Coke is. Dishwasher drawers, same idea. You’re bringing the height of the dishwasher up. I just had a client today that she had a traditional dishwasher, but it was raised, my guess is 18 inches off the floor. So when she opened the door, the door was 18 inches higher than it would be on a standard dishwasher. Oh, that’s very cool. Yeah.

Debi Lynes:                   16:03                Actually that, you know, I’m only 66, but I can tell you that I’m paying attention to those things for two reasons, for three reasons. One because it’s my profession two because I’m old enough now to feel it when I’m bending over. And three because we’re doing the podcast and it’s funny, you don’t know what you don’t know and once you start learning about things, it’s.

Betsy Miller:                 16:22                In four because I told you the statistic about the number one cause of death over 65.

Debi Lynes:                   16:28                Yeah tell everybody.

Betsy Miller:                 16:28                Falling. Another thing that I came across is that the number one cause of death for our population over the age of 65 is something related to falling. And we were talking about that it could be a hip.

Debi Lynes:                   16:42                Yes.

Betsy Miller:                 16:42                It could be complications of falling, but that I was really surprised to see.

Debi Lynes:                   16:49                And I know bathrooms and catch-ups are the two places. Well bathroom, I think it’s bathrooms, number one, kitchen number two and then entering or exiting.

Betsy Miller:                 16:56                And this is not my expertise but that’s, they were recommending different types of flooring that were more non-skid. Laminate came into it. Wood came into it. Cork was one of the options that they had mentioned.

Debi Lynes:                   17:10                Well just for the general population and many of us. What are some funky fun things that you are seeing trending right now? What about color? Are you seeing stainless? Are you staying back to white? Are you saying…

Betsy Miller:                 17:21                Color is the new not stainless? It’s kind of a way to say it is.

Debi Lynes:                   17:28                I like it.

Betsy Miller:                 17:29                Color is the new not stainless and actually we just got, we just got a e-blast today is Viking has come out with an a new color palette. LA Cornue is a French range that has a lot of different options for color and what you’re hearing is someone will come in and a lot of times they don’t cook but they are looking for a statement.

Debi Lynes:                   17:50                For display.

Betsy Miller:                 17:50                They’re looking for a statement piece and the colors are not stainless and that’s kind of the idea behind them. A blue star is a company that will customize any range to any color on real color wheel. What else? GE Cafe just came out with a one that’s matte white and matte black. And again, you can customize it with bronze and copper and pewter twin trims. So that, that’s kind of cutting edge. That’s bringing down the price point on. some of the customization options.

Debi Lynes:                   18:23                Talk to me about dishwashers. I know they sound so boring, but it’s so funny. I know you’re like, it’s a big deal to you too. I know that whenever I bring clients and she’s like, all right, here’s the deal. Do you want ease? Do you want efficiency? Do you want quiet?

Betsy Miller:                 18:36                While the one thing with dishwashers now is they all do a good job. They all clean well, they are all pretty quiet. It just depends on what features that you want and what you’re putting in your dishwasher. But dishwashers are pretty easy and that when you’re talking about placement for things, it’s kind of like when we’re doing our inventory on everything, we go through all the parts and pieces that the sizing can be affected. And then it’s like, okay, how many dishwashers do you want? and.

Debi Lynes:                   19:01                Whoa. How many dishwashers?

Betsy Miller:                 19:01                And we’re, I we’re seeing two in the kitchen, one in the back kitchen, and they don’t take up a lot of space, so that is a thing that is an easy add on for a lot of people to make their lives easier when they have however many people you’re going to have for Christmas.

Debi Lynes:                   19:19                What can I to say. When my with my kids who have four kids, I don’t think I would ever put a dish away. I just have, I had to go.

Betsy Miller:                 19:24                Right to left.

Debi Lynes:                   19:25                That’s right.

Betsy Miller:                 19:25                Go right to left. That’s exactly right.

Debi Lynes:                   19:27                It makes so much sense. We’re almost out of time in this second segment, we have a third segment. I know. Can you believe it? How fun is this? We’ll be right back. Here on aging in place talking about appliances. Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes. Design elements are psychologically and physically supportive and conducive to health and wellness. To learn more about what lines on design can do for you for more information, certified aging in place and facilitative and supportive design. Look for us at lynesondesign.com that’s L-Y-N-E-S on design.com. Once again, we are back on aging in place. Again, I’m with Betsy Miller and we’re talking about appliances and I’m laughing because we all have so many opinions about what we want to talk about and it’s so many things, so little time. So I think we’re going to focus on this segment. We’ve got to have your back on safety, safety, safety when it comes to appliances.

Betsy Miller:                 20:21                Yes. What we started our conversation with was induction cooking and induction cooking was popular years ago. It’s been popular in Europe for years, but it fell of the fashion in the U S kind of when that timeline came through that everything was nonstick because the pans didn’t work.

Debi Lynes:                   20:41                Got it.

Betsy Miller:                 20:42                Cook-top, it needs to be some kind of clad bottom that will hold a magnet. So it works is the conductor for the cooking. The idea with induction is the cook-top itself doesn’t get hot. There is a heat molecule that bounces inside the pan which creates your heat. And I have induction at home. I have a 10-year-old daughter. When I moved into this house, she likes to cook a lot and I moved into this house. I was planning on replacing the cooking that was there and I was coming from gas. So my natural inclination was to go to gas.

Debi Lynes:                   21:16                Right.

Betsy Miller:                 21:17                She’s got this beautiful long blonde hair and I was very concerned about her safety or my stress level when she was because of her safety. And we put in induction and it’s it’s terrific. I put down paper towel a bunch of times, like if we’re frying…pan frying, anything.

Debi Lynes:                   21:34                Sure.

Betsy Miller:                 21:34                Just to make it easier to keep clean. If you’ve got old cast iron pans like lodge pans or locker, say you can put down one of those silicone baking mats and you can cook right on top of them. So it doesn’t scratch the cook-top, but you don’t have any loss and heat. What we were talking about is, for example, you have your dad living.

Debi Lynes:                   21:55                Yes exactly.

Betsy Miller:                 21:55                And a lot of people are caring for their parents.

Debi Lynes:                   22:01                Sure.

Betsy Miller:                 22:03                And so when I talk about my daughter and kids, and that’s a lot of times we’ll see newer grandparents come in and they’re worried about gas in kids, but I hear just as frequently parents yup in the house and either not being safe enough to turn something off, not being safe enough to turn something on.

Debi Lynes:                   22:23                Correct.

Betsy Miller:                 22:24                And that is induction is such a nice safe way. I use the example that you could put a pizza box on the top of it and right after you took off boiling water in the pizza box, nothing is going to happen to it. So you just don’t have to be concerned about anyone getting burned on the cook-top. It still gets hot if you have a boiling pan on it because your pan has boiling water in it and the pan is hot. But the, the safety factor is so nice before talking about both sides of caring for a one year old and caring for it, a 91 year old.

Debi Lynes:                   23:00                Well, and I used to think that you couldn’t use induction if your parents or whoever had any kind of pacemaker. And that’s a myth. All We are here to debunk.

Betsy Miller:                 23:08                Yes. Yeah, that’s false that anyone can use an induction cook-top. There’s no safety concerns. I’ve had people ask me about high blood pressure as well and it doesn’t affect it at all.

Debi Lynes:                   23:19                Talk to me about washers and dryers. That was one other thing we really wanted to touch on, especially for younger, older folks.

Betsy Miller:                 23:25                So we sell a lot of front-load washers and dryers in that’s actually my personal favorite. I feel that for my family it gets our clothes the cleanest, less wear and tear. I haven’t taken anything to the dry cleaner in probably 20 years because.

Debi Lynes:                   23:41                What the good front load?

Betsy Miller:                 23:43                Oh gosh.

Debi Lynes:                   23:43                What’s the brand?

Betsy Miller:                 23:44                This is w we GE is excellent. Maytag, Excellent Whirlpool, Great. You would like it because GE just this week we saw that they’ve got a color called Midnight Navy.

Debi Lynes:                   23:58                Love it.

Betsy Miller:                 23:58                And it’s beautiful and that w that’s why we pick out a lot of things, but I think a front load washer is always going to clean better and be better on your clothes. However, if it is on ground-level, it’s pretty tough to get in there. I used to have an LG that was sitting on the ground. I recently remodeled my laundry room and lifted on my OB, but I had an LG washer and dryer and I could pic, I can just picture myself sitting in my laundry room, criss-cross Apple sauce, pairing socks straight out of the dryer or folding thing straight out of the dryer because it was tough to unload the dryer and your hinge at the hip, which would you know is.

Debi Lynes:                   24:43                Yeah they are not great all the time.

Betsy Miller:                 24:43                Ergonomically cracked.

Debi Lynes:                   24:45                Right.

Betsy Miller:                 24:45                And so most of the vendors will have pedestals available, is not option, which will raise the washer 15 inches off the ground. The Heights typically vary from 38 to about 40 inches tall. And so you’re getting them up to, you know, 53 to 55 inches tall and it’s much easier to use.

Debi Lynes:                   25:04                Can people put the opening on either side, brand-specific.

Betsy Miller:                 25:10                Okay. Typically you’re going to see a washer on the left in a dryer on the right. Some will have hinge reversible options, but that’s going to really be brand specific. We’re seeing a resurgent in the top load washers and dryers from people that feel that front load washers are stinky. And that one thing that I bring up is everyone wants bigger and better washers and dryers, but they get really deep and we always have to be conscientious of people’s height in who’s doing what in the house.

Debi Lynes:                   25:44                I do love my speed queen, but when I bend over to get things, I feel like my legs are dangling out of it in.

Betsy Miller:                 25:51                That’s really not that tall.

Debi Lynes:                   25:53                Yeah that is, but it’s deep man. It, you can put a lot of stuff in small children. You can watch a lot of things in there.

Betsy Miller:                 26:01                And dirty clothes. It gets them cleaned because it’s one of the few that’s not a water saver. And I know that’s not very PC in certain areas, but if you ever check out the reviews, people love it because it really gets your clothes clean.

Debi Lynes:                   26:14                Yeah, What about the stackables? Are you seeing that for older adults, space savers?

Betsy Miller:                 26:20                I don’t think that it’s quite as good for older adults. I think that the stackables are design driven by the designers to give clients more counter space to make it look less bulky in a laundry room. You’re not,  I have mine stacked though, but that was because it was the only way it was going to work. So it again, it design-driven, it’s not my first choice but it, it’s there. Now.

Debi Lynes:                   26:47                If we’ve only got a couple of minutes, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask this, if you were to splurge for a couple of really amazing appliances, what would those be?

Betsy Miller:                 26:59                Definitely a Subzero 648 Pro. It’s that cool refrigerator that has the glass door and it’s all stainless inside and out. It’s what they have on their ads. Definitely. That would be.

Debi Lynes:                   27:13                That would be like a steam oven. I would go with a Miele convection steam oven. That would definitely be a piece that would go into my dream kitchen.

Debi Lynes:                   27:23                This is fun right.

Betsy Miller:                 27:26                I know.

Debi Lynes:                   27:27                No coffee bar?

Betsy Miller:                 27:29                I don’t know. There’s a certain amount of maintenance involved with them. Oh, And that’s the same, I have the same opinion of an ice machine, although the ice is really great. I like things that are a little bit easier. So the more maintenance the lower on my list. They go in my dream kitchen. Do I have a full-time housekeeper too.

Debi Lynes:                   27:54                Oh Yes, you do. Okay.

Betsy Miller:                 27:55                Okay. I’ll get a coffee maker and I’ll get an ice machine.

Debi Lynes:                   27:59                Exactly I’d like to own both of them. Do you want a wine cooler too, while we’re adding?

Betsy Miller:                 28:03                Sure. It’s a dream kitchen. Why not?

Debi Lynes:                   28:08                Exactly. And what kind of range would you, Oh, would you like, this is fun now I’m writing all these down, right? Pry pregnant.

Betsy Miller:                 28:19                Pause here, and imagine the hardest thing for me because I actually cook and as much as I like the beautiful arranges, I think I would go with a Wolf pro range because in dual-fuel and probably 48 inches because I like the little oven and a big oven and it would ultimately suit me the best. Not the sexiest though.

Debi Lynes:                   28:47                Okay. Last but not least, warming drawers. I have found that with my dad here and with my grandkids here. Warming drawer. Love me a warming drawer.

Betsy Miller:                 29:02                Placement placement, placement help out. At times people will put them underneath in oven. If it’s on the ground like that, you’re never going to use it. If it is right underneath the countertop, you will use it all the time because you will think to turn it on and it will be convenient to get things in and out. And that is, I have had them in two houses and one was underneath the oven. We never used it. The one was actually above the counter, like just on top of the counter with a microwave on top of it. We probably turned it on four times a week.

Debi Lynes:                   29:36                Oh, that’s amazing. Betsy, you are always fun to talk to. You know your stuff, and I’m going to write all this down for my dream kitchen. I mean, you never know. We don’t know what we don’t know. Thank you for joining us. We want to thank all of you for joining us here on aging in place for any stage in life. Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes and thank you for listening to aging in place for any stage in life. We would like to ask you all to give us a review. Of course, preferably five stars. Thank you again and we hope you enjoyed aging in place for any stage in life. I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Tracy. Tracy is naturally curious and always creative and when we were doing the Aging in Place Podcast, she said, there are so many quick tips that I can think of offhand. My response, who knew she’s going to be with us every week, giving us a quick tip and to hint that is a practical application.

Tracy Snelling:              30:39                Thanks Debi. Don’t laugh until you try it. We have spotlights, nightlights and flashlights, but what about a tool at light? These John handy lights are a must. If someone in your household suffers from nocturia or even youngsters who just can’t reach the light switch. I bought a model and I tested it for only $7 at my local retail store. The models I saw online started at $5 up to $30 the motto I tested was motion-activated and as soon as I stepped inside the bathroom, it lit the bowl. You attach it over the rim with pliable arms and it runs on three AAA batteries. Also, it’s easy to clean. I find the nicest thing about the toilet light is that it’s not a dazzling bright light, which means I can easily close my eyes and head back to bed. Who knew hitting the loo could be pretty with blue.

Debi Lynes:                   31:28                One of the most fun things I do here on Aging in Place Podcast is we do takeaways and that’s something that you can just think about in a concrete way. Today’s takeaway with Betsy Miller was pretty easy for me. The thing that I didn’t talk about on the air and that is really important is induction cooktops are also a very cost-effective option. That’s our takeaway today for aging in place.

Henrik de Gyor:             31:57                Aging in Place Podcast is hosted by Debi Lynes and produced by Henrik de Gyor. If you have any comments or questions, send an email to debi@aginginplacepodcast.com we would love to hear from you if you’re interested in advertising or sponsoring this podcast, email us at PR@aginginplacepodcast.com thank you for listening to Aging in Place Podcast.


4. Carla Rohal

Dr. Debi Lynes interviews Carla Rohal of Cregger about bathrooms and kitchens for any stage in life

(duration: 33 minutes 36 seconds)


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Newport Brass



Universally designed plumbing fixtures are gorgeous. They come in all finishes. You can even plumb for them before you need to put them in, but don’t be intimidated and don’t be afraid. They are a designer’s dream rather than a designer’s nightmare


Lynes on Design


Debi Lynes:                   00:03                Hi and welcome to Aging in Place for every stage in life. What if you could visit or have a home that would accommodate anyone at any age, any physical ability at any time? How cool would that be? That’s what we’re doing here at aging in place. Why me? Because I’m a doctor of psychology and I specialize in physical spaces and health and wellness. Also, I love designing with intent at any age. Why now? Because we the baby boomers want to age in place gracefully and we want our families around us as much as we can and why you the audience? Because we want you to experience what it’s like to have a home that’s safe, aesthetically pleasing and that you can live in at any age with any ability at any time. I’d like to introduce you now to Aging in Place Podcast for every stage in life.

Debi Lynes:                   01:05                Hi and welcome to Aging in Place Podcast at any stage in life. I’m really excited to have my friend Carla Rohal with us. She works at Cregger and it’s really interesting to me that you and I are talking today about Aging in Place at any stage in life. We were just talking about this. I’ve got nine grandchildren. Oh my goodness.

Carla Rohal:                  01:25                Oh my goodness.

Debi Lynes:                   01:26                And a 91-year-old dad who lives with me. You’ve got one daughter, but you are recently an empty nester.

Carla Rohal:                  01:32                Yes.

Debi Lynes:                   01:32                I would love to talk to you, a little bit about Cregger Supply, what you do and why it’s so important that we have a kitchen that functions at any age, a bathroom that functions at any age and how we can kind of make that happen. So thank you for joining us.

Carla Rohal:                  01:50                Sure. I’m glad to be here. Thank you. We see a lot of people in this area that are looking towards their retirement and even if they don’t have special needs right now, they want to make sure that if they do, that they are prepared for them. So that starts in the design stage, of course, with their architects, with their designers, with their builders, and then they come into Cregger and they start seeing what we have to offer for them.

Debi Lynes:                   02:18                How long have you been with Cregger and what does Cregger really do? What’s the comprehensive plan if you will?

Carla Rohal:                  02:25                Okay. I have been with Cregger for 16 years and in the industry for 24 [years]. We are a plumbing supply wholesaler, which also includes the kind of accessories that go along with bathrooms and also, we do appliances in a different market. And we’ve grown and grown into HVAC in this market.

Debi Lynes:                   02:51                Yes. In the 16 years that you’ve been there, have you seen a huge trend toward proactively paying attention to aging in place or at any stage in life? In other words, doing things like prepping for handrails before you’re even, we have even need them.

Carla Rohal:                  03:15                Yes.When when I started, it was more retroactive. Like they would come in after the fact. We’ve had this happen, we need to get a higher height toilet now we need to get some grab bars put in. “Do you have anything that can go in if we weren’t prepared for this?” But that was then, and this is now and we have people that are younger than me coming through the door talking about “we’re going to be in this house for a while. We could have a parent move in or something could happen to us and we want to be prepared for it.” It could be as much as just putting this stuff behind the walls and being prepared for what if, or putting it in now and just making sure it’s decorative enough that it doesn’t look so ‘hospital’.

Debi Lynes:                   04:02                I was just going to say ‘institutional’ is really what we’re talking about. Yes. So I would love to kind of take a tour of Cregger with you and I walking through it in our mind and talking to people. I tell you, if you haven’t been there, it really is fun to go in and see so you can get some brilliant ideas. But I want to talk first of all about the bathroom. So let’s go through, one of the things that people talk to me all about as a designer is, “I don’t want a grab bar. I don’t want a grab bar there, they look horrible.” And “what do you mean I might need a handheld shower?” Or, “Gosh, Carla, can you help me prepare if I have to transfer my dad from a wheelchair into the shower? What about a bench?” Let’s talk about some of the products that are out there right now.

Carla Rohal:                  04:43                Sure. We can start with that shower with the bench. So you have a walk-in shower, which we sell, of course, the linear drains, so there’s no threshold and it keeps the water so that it doesn’t come outside of the shower and you can just push a wheelchair straight in. Okay. You can transfer them to a seat that is rated to handle up to 500 pounds. Right. And they can have grab bars anywhere in that shower that don’t look so institutional. They match the design of the fixture and the finish of the fixture.

Debi Lynes:                   05:22                Do you recommend putting grab bars at a specific place in a bathroom like that? I guess in the showers is what we are really talking about

Carla Rohal:                  05:27                Well generally, they like to put a small hand size of grab bar right when you’re entering a shower.

Debi Lynes:                   05:39                Okay. That makes sense.

Carla Rohal:                  05:39                Just so you could have something to grab onto if there is a threshold. That’s nice to have that there. Then, generally, by a bench, you would have something, a lot of times they’ll do it on a 45 [degree angle], but sometimes it’ll go straight across and it can be whatever length you want it to be according to the size of your shower. They make them 12, 18, 24 [inches].

Debi Lynes:                   06:02                But they don’t look industrial.

Carla Rohal:                  06:04                Not at all. It looks like a larger towel bar holder. It’s just bigger, but it looks the same. Decorative, finish wise, all that.

Debi Lynes:                   06:14                I was just gonna say, what about finishes? Can I get the oil bronze? Can I get silver? Can I get brushed…?

Carla Rohal:                  06:20                Just about anything. You can get all the new brasses and bronzes and matte blacks and white, all of it.

Debi Lynes:                   06:30                That is very hip and cool right now. Okay, so I’ve got that. Now let’s talk a little bit about the shower itself. I’m saying shower itself and I really mean…

Carla Rohal:                  06:39                The water. The water delivery. The handhelds are obviously key. We’ve done showers where people have to be showered by someone else. So we’ve done like two handheld showers on each side. So it would be very easy to get to the person in the wheelchair for the caregiver.

Debi Lynes:                   07:01                Yeah, I never thought about that. The other thing I’m thinking about as we’re speaking now is if I am, well let’s say I don’t even have a disability, but I have a shoulder injury. Well, I guess that is a disability… and I can’t really reach across. Do you ever consider putting what do you call that… the turner on-er/off-er.

Carla Rohal:                  07:20                The valve.

Debi Lynes:                   07:20                The valve. Very technical term. [laugh] Up close by or is that place strategically too?

Carla Rohal:                  07:26                That is also placed strategically. It doesn’t have to be near the fixture, but it should be in the place that makes the most sense for what you’re trying to accomplish in that shower.

Debi Lynes:                   07:38                Okay. So now I walk out of the shower. Let’s talk a little bit about sinks, height, faucets. Talk to me. Talk me through some of those.

Carla Rohal:                  07:46                Well, the heights of the cabinets these days are such that they’re higher and they’re easier. You don’t have to bend over. You can also get ones that you can roll right up underneath in a wheelchair. And that is, I mean, that’s all over the place. But definitely lots and lots of nice decorative options.

Debi Lynes:                   08:09                We talk about aging in place, but we’re really talking about visitability. We’re talking about you being able to come, your daughter being able to come, my granddaughter at two, being able to come and be able to wash your hands and my dad too. So what kind of fixtures are you saying? And let’s talk, talk us through some of those. And I’d love to hear brands too because that’s always nice to be able to know, you know, what and where I can buy. Absolutely, so the most common thing to do in the sink area is a lever handle. That is what is used according to the American Disabilities Act (ADA).

Debi Lynes:                   08:41                And why is that?

Carla Rohal:                  08:42                Because you can not have the facility [ability] to grab it but be able to push it with your hand and you couldn’t do that with like a cross-type hand.

Debi Lynes:                   08:51                Correct.

Carla Rohal:                  08:52                So anything that has a lever would be considered very easy to use. So that I would say is 99% of our sales.

Debi Lynes:                   09:00                And what about cool looks? I mean do you get…

Carla Rohal:                  09:03                Yes, they make very beautiful faucets that are ADA compliant.

Debi Lynes:                   09:07                And I laugh because my favorite fossil that I got from you is one that is a lever, but it looks like almost a trough and I love that to get on it looks so amazing and my kids think it’s about the coolest thing ever.

Carla Rohal:                  09:22                Of course. And I’m sure that is an ADA compliant fixture.

Debi Lynes:                   09:25                Let me ask you a question about heat. Is there a way to temperature control how hot my faucet is and how hot my water is?

Carla Rohal:                  09:33                Yes, Most of the time that it’s controlled by your water heater, however you can use the stops underneath your sink to cut back on the amount of hot water that can come through on the hot side. So, there are also valves that will do that. There’s a lot of different ways that you can go with that. In a home, I would say you would just cut it back yourself. You wouldn’t put a limiting… We do those in commercial places.

Debi Lynes:                   10:02                Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to take a really fast break and we’re going to come back and we’re going to talk about my favorite subject. You know what it is… Toilets, of course, because who knew? Toilets can be so interesting for aging in place at any stage in life, so I really want to talk about the little tinkle little bottom toilet first, so stay with us. We’ll be back here on aging in place.

Debi Lynes:                   10:24                Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes. Design elements are psychologically and physically supportive and conducive to health and wellness. To learn more about what Lynes on Design can do for you, for more information on certified aging in place and facilitative and supportive design. Look for us at lynesondesign.com. That’s L Y N E S on design.com.

Debi Lynes:                   10:49                We are back here on aging in place. We are here with Carla Rohal and we’re talking about plumbing fixtures. Who knew it could be so interesting and so important. It’s only important when you sit on the potty and you can’t get up. I mean, I think that’s exactly what it is. We’re talking about toilets as being really interesting and something that in today’s market who knew that the toilet would be one of the big decisions that you would make when you’re building a home or even renovating a home. Let’s talk a little bit about the height of a toilet, why that’s important and some of the new products that are out there. Because they’re pretty amazing.

Carla Rohal:                  11:28                Absolutely. The trend is that most toilets now are ADA compliant, which means they’re the like chair height. Yes. Easier to get up, off of and down onto. And the trend has become that since probably, I would say in the last 10 years, most companies aren’t making any of their new toilets and regular height. Got it. It’s almost hard to find one in a regular height because we have found as adults, if you’re tall, that it’s easier to get on and off, so it doesn’t matter if you have a hurt back or if you’re just tall, it’s easier to get on and off a higher toilet.

Debi Lynes:                   12:11                Probably the most fun toy that I saw recently was the one that has the seat for little tiny bums and then ones for regular folks. Talk to us about that. Who makes that?

Carla Rohal:                  12:24                That’s actually a Kohler seat and it is a training-type seat where you can have…

Debi Lynes:                   12:31                I have a two-year-old granddaughter, so perfect.

Carla Rohal:                  12:34                Perfect, for she won’t fall in. That’s right. It is made with a very small opening so that their little bums won’t fall through and then you can raise that part of the lifts and an adult can sit on it and you can put it on any elongated toilet seat, I mean, any elongated toilet. Yes.

Debi Lynes:                   12:53                Oh. And you have the last time that you and I were together, I think you were telling me about an interesting situation that you had a friend of yours, I think, had broken their shoulder?

Carla Rohal:                  13:01                They had shoulder surgery and they purchased one of the cleansing seats and I believe that might have been a Kohler cleansing seat as well.

Debi Lynes:                   13:12                What does that even mean?

Carla Rohal:                  13:13                That means you put a toilet seat on your toilet that acts like a bidet. So it sprays and does everything that you need to cleanse yourself without actually being in a separate fixture or separate bidet fixture. All you need is the same water supply that comes into the toilet. You ‘T’ [valve] off of it and you do need an electrical outlet.

Debi Lynes:                   13:35                Let me ask you a question. What am a lot of people ask when they come in buying toilets?

Carla Rohal:                  13:40                The very first thing they say is that they want a higher toilet. That is the number one thing we hear when they walk through the door. Okay. Second would be that they want the seat to be elongated. Obviously, that’s a more comfortable seat to sit on. Those are, I would say the two biggest things they ask for. Now, a third thing that they’re asking for is just the cleanability, which means the sides of the base of the toilet goes straight back in a skirted fashion so it’s just easier to keep clean.

Debi Lynes:                   14:12                Gosh, I never even thought about that. You know, it’s funny cause my son just renovated his house and he said he was more excited about showing us his bathroom and his toilet than anything else because it had bells and whistles that I didn’t even know existed. Talk us through some of the fancy, jazzy things that are there.

Carla Rohal:                  14:30                Well, okay, so the skirting is the least jazzy, but most liked by women, or, I shouldn’t say it that way, but by the people that are cleaning the toilet. The bidet seat itself, the washlet seat, it’s got a lot of different functions depending on which one you get, it will fine spray, rear spray. It will oscillate and pulsate the water. It gives you temperature control on the keypad so that you can make the water cooler or warmer.

Debi Lynes:                   15:04                Okay. So you said keypad. Help me.

Carla Rohal:                  15:07                So there it’s a, it’s just a little pad where you press the button to turn it on and to do all these different functions. So it just sits on the wall and you press the buttons and it does all that and it’s really cool. It’s very easy to function.

Debi Lynes:                   15:21                That’s what I was gonna say from a usability standpoint, is it pretty easy to manage?

Carla Rohal:                  15:26                Yes. Like if you are incapacitated with your primary arm. if you’re right-handed, you’ve had something go wrong with your right hand and you need to use the restroom, it’s certainly a lot easier to press a button to spray and press a button to air dry when you’re done.

Debi Lynes:                   15:43                It’s really interesting after talking to occupational therapists, physical therapists, people who’ve had hip replacements, I never really… you don’t really realize how easy or difficult it can be to participate in activities of daily living until you really have something and you can’t do.

Carla Rohal:                  16:01                Oh yeah.

Debi Lynes:                   16:01                And I think that’s what’s been amazing. What about as far as toilet paper holders and again I have to go back to bars because I know that oftentimes getting into that bathroom and on and off the toilet is a real issue. How do you all deal with that?

Carla Rohal:                  16:17                With the grab bars, again, a lot of people have their bathroom, the toilet [area], the water closet area set up for or put in immediately. At least one bar. In a commercial situation, you have to have three. It’s mandatory to have three. You have a vertical, a horizontal and then a horizontal behind the toilet. That is to code. In a home, you don’t necessarily need that. One next to the toilet is generally enough. However, you know, two would probably more than suffice.

Debi Lynes:                   16:52                One of the things that you showed me the last time I was in the showroom was a toilet paper holder that actually was a grab bar too because I guess it’s fun because now that I’ve been around people and watch where they are vulnerable, I’ve seen a lot of people grab on to that toilet paper holder as a… and that’s not good.

Carla Rohal:                  17:10                That’s not good. Going to rip it off the wall unless it’s… Moen makes one that is a toilet paper holder and a grab bar. So you can use it. It’s about eight inches and you can use it to hoist yourself up and it also dispenses the toilet paper.

Debi Lynes:                   17:29                Are a lot of these products cost-prohibitive or are they pretty reasonable?

Carla Rohal:                  17:33                No, they’re pretty reasonable.

Debi Lynes:                   17:35                Tell me about the Moen product because aren’t they, I mean they’re a pretty reasonable product.

Carla Rohal:                  17:39                Absolutely. And they have several decorative lines and they have pretty much for every single faucet line they have, they have a decorative matching everything.

Debi Lynes:                   17:51                Oh, like a universally designed…

Carla Rohal:                  17:53                Yes. Grab bars, accessories, everything that goes with it so that it’s all cohesive and it looks pleasant to the eye. I mean, I think it’s really amazing. Talk to me if you will. I’ve always heard one-piece toilets, two-piece toilets, lids, flushing, things like that. What is the standard or the design, to code now? Well, to code, you don’t have to do one or the other, it doesn’t matter. So it doesn’t matter if it’s a two-piece or a one-piece. It just height is what is. Yes. But for cleaning and for your home, a one-piece fully skirted toilet is going to be the absolute least maintenance.

Debi Lynes:                   18:37                Just a little Clorox and all is well in the world. Well, that makes a lot of sense.

Carla Rohal:                  18:42                I wanted to mention that Kohler has just come out with a new toilet that is going to be one of the highest on the market, meaning height-wise. Okay. So those people that are looking for even taller toilets than the ones that meet the American Disability Act, they can get another two inches out of this toilet.

Debi Lynes:                   19:03                It’s so funny because I’m doing the podcast, I’m always looking for the inside scoop on things like that. And it is amazing when they talk about squatty potties and all. Do you have things like that? All kinds of things to really make, again, like we said, activities of daily living, much more streamlined and easy. It’s wonderful. And again, do you have favorite brands or is it just according to what you, you really like? And the last thing before we have to go to our next segment is what about heated seats?

Carla Rohal:                  19:31                The heated seats come with the washlet. Generally speaking, you can’t get the heat without the whole set up of the water.

Debi Lynes:                   19:41                So who are usually designs that? When people go into a home unit, they want a renovation or they have a gutter, they have an architect. Do they actually come into the showroom? What does that look like? They come in with you and how do you take them around? How does that work?

Carla Rohal:                  19:56                Well, they come in, sometimes they come in with someone like you and they start by the design, meaning I’d want it to be traditional, transitional, contemporary, and it has to look nice, but it needs to meet all these criteria. And we just kind of go through it and I show them all the options of the things that match and they are surprised most of the time that they can actually get what they need and it can look nice.

Debi Lynes:                   20:25                I think one of the things that you do so well, based on my experience is when cost is no object, it’s easy. But there are times, and one of the things you taught me, there are places to put your money and places that you can be more conservative. Is that the advantage of having a Carla actually take around and kind of share with you all the different things?

Carla Rohal:                  20:50                It is always better to use a professional, for sure, because we know, we’ve been doing this for years. We know how to help you save money. We knew to how to help you get everything that you need and if you tell us, you know, the range you want to stay in, we can help you do that.

Debi Lynes:                   21:05                You can do that and make it look fantastic. We’re going to take another quick break and we’re going to come back once more. We’re going to talk about kitchen and then we’re actually going to talk about some specific product lines, which will be fun. Stay with us on aging in place.

Debi Lynes:                   21:18                Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes and thank you for listening to aging in place for any stage in life. We would like to ask you all to give us a review. Of course, preferably five stars. Thank you again and we hope you enjoyed aging in place for any stage in life.

Debi Lynes:                   21:35                We are back here on aging in place. We are here with Carla Rohal. Let’s talk kitchen. I think that’s a great place to go to when you’re talking about universally design things and designing for anybody at any age.

Carla Rohal:                  21:49                Absolutely. We’ve done several kitchens for people that weren’t necessarily older. Some are for younger that are handicap and they want to participate or they’re on their own and they need to be able to cook and clean. And if you think about walking up to your kitchen sink, if you’re in a wheelchair, you’re not going to be able to do anything at your kitchen.

Debi Lynes:                   22:13                I never thought about that, but that’s very true.

Carla Rohal:                  22:15                So now, you know, there’s lots of sink options that are shallower, that you can get low enough, get the wheelchair under faucets that you can touch or wave and turn them on so that it’s easier to use them.

Debi Lynes:                   22:32                I’m going to go back to the sink. Talk to me about a shallow sink. I never thought about that either. What does that actually… that makes sense because when I put my hands down into a sink, it’s usually what, 12-14 inches?

Carla Rohal:                  22:42                Well, 10 [inches] is okay, but the ADA compliance sinks are five and a half. So that brings it up. It still gives you, and now ample, yes, but I think the trend had been bigger, deeper and that just doesn’t work in a situation where somebody is disabled.

Debi Lynes:                   23:03                Do you typically work with architects to design that or, I mean, you pretty much know all your products and know what you can do with all of it. Who makes a shallow sink like that?

Carla Rohal:                  23:12                Elkay Manufacturing. They have several.

Debi Lynes:                   23:17                Do they? Now talk about Elkay for a second because that’s a name that I know because of you, but talk to us about that product line. They do a lot of kitchen things?

Carla Rohal:                  23:24                Yes. They are a manufacturer of stainless steel sinks and they also have a lot of commercial product that I don’t necessarily deal with, but we deal with their sinks and the thing that I like about Elkay is you can almost say, “okay, I want a stainless steel sink that’s X by this deep” and they have it. They have thousands of sinks that you can almost call your size, your depth.

Debi Lynes:                   23:52                Pretty cost-effective company too?

Carla Rohal:                  23:54                They yes, they have everything from entry-level to pretty high end depending on gauge and thickness.

Debi Lynes:                   24:03                Ok. Gauge and thickness. Gauge is what?

Carla Rohal:                  24:07                Gauge is the thickness of the stainless steel.

Debi Lynes:                   24:10                What are you seeing from a trending point of view? Are you seeing porcelain? Are you seeing stainless as what people are really tending toward? Are the old, big white farm sinks…?

Carla Rohal:                  24:21                We sell a lot of the white farm sinks. That is a huge trend and has been, I would say for, I mean I have one in my house is 11 years old. So I would say that trend has been around for a while and I don’t see it drying up anytime soon. The stainless steel is always… It’s just a workhorse of sink. People just like it. They’re comfortable with it. They know what to expect, they know that really the only thing you can do to it is scratch it. And if they take the proper precautions, they can keep it nice for years to come.

Debi Lynes:                   24:56                Okay. So what about faucets? You, you mentioned kind of a wave your hand over it faucet for their kitchen. We’re talking about kitchen here.

Carla Rohal:                  25:03                That’s right. There’s a couple of different technologies out there. There’s touch and there’s wave motion kind of thing.

Debi Lynes:                   25:11                Yeah. What does that mean? Who makes touch and how is that different than wave?

Carla Rohal:                  25:16                Touch is Delta, the Delta Company and the Brizo Company both make touch faucets. I love it because even though people tend to say, well, I don’t want to have to touch my faucet, we don’t have to touch it with your hand. You can touch it with your elbow, the back of your hand, your ear, it doesn’t matter, and that’s pretty much the entire body. Less the head. The entire body of the faucet will come on and off at the simple touch of your skin.

Debi Lynes:                   25:45                That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Carla Rohal:                  25:47                That’s right. When you’ve got stuff all over your hands from baking or chicken or whatever and you just don’t want to spread the mess or the germs, it’s nice to be able to touch.

Debi Lynes:                   25:58                How does that temperature control?

Carla Rohal:                  26:00                Now the temperature controls still has to be adjusted. That’s right. Now there is a new technology by that same company, by the Brizo company and the Delta company that you will be able to call it out or say that you want to a certain temperature in your faucet.

Debi Lynes:                   26:19                I love that. Is it fun?

Carla Rohal:                  26:20                Oh my gosh. It’s really fun. New technology and it is very new and we are able to put it on our existing touch faucet. Add it to that in the showroom so we will be able to display it here.

Debi Lynes:                   26:36                Oh, you got to go see it. Super fun. Let’s talk about some products and I liked it the way that you mentioned it. You talked about some entry-level and then some higher ends. Again, one what we said before in the other segment was part of the gift of having a Cregger or a Carla is you can help guide us. What are some of your favorites and why? From a product point of view.

Carla Rohal:                  27:00                Okay, so I do, I love the Moen company. I love the Delta Company.

Debi Lynes:                   27:06                So let’s talk about Moen for a second and we’ll go to Delta. What is it about Moen and they’ve been around for how many years? A gazillion.

Carla Rohal:                  27:13                At least 75, I think. Oh my gosh, I’m so ashamed. I should know exactly how many years. But yes, they have been around for a very long time and they do a very nice job with their styles and again, taking it clear through the line, making sure that if they come out with the faucet, they have everything to match, the tub, shower, accessories, the grab bars, all of that kind of stuff. Also, they have an amazing customer service department and that will be where I can tell you that any product that you see on our showroom floor, if they don’t have good customer service, they are not on the showroom floor. It is the most important thing to us is the customer service. Not as much the design because they all have nice design. If you have a really great design and your customer service is terrible, that’s of no use to me.

Debi Lynes:                   28:09                Well that makes a lot of sense. Delta I’ve heard of too.

Carla Rohal:                  28:12                Yes. Delta is like Moen very large company. Been around for a long time. Very good customer service. Very innovative.

Carla Rohal:                  28:21                And what about price pointing with things like that? Would you consider Moen and Delta sort of running the gamut?

Carla Rohal:                  28:27                Yes, they, I mean they both have entry-level and they go up to a probably, I would say, a mid. Scooting over that mid-price range with some of their newer, more decorative stuff.

Debi Lynes:                   28:40                Who is more high end? What are some fun, trendy, high end?

Carla Rohal:                  28:44                Well we have a lot of fun trendy stuff. The Rohl Company, R-O-H-L, they have a lot of great designs that people like you, designers come in and they have a lot of wow factor there. It comes with a price.

Debi Lynes:                   28:59                But in the right place again, get a little bling.

Carla Rohal:                  29:05                That’s right. I mean for sure. Powder rooms are a great place to put that product and kitchens because when someone comes to your house, they’re going to see your kitchen for sure. And most likely they’re going to see your powder room. So that’s a great place to put those nice higher ends. Like Rohl and Brizo and Newport Brass.

Debi Lynes:                   29:25                Oh, Newport Brass. Hmm. I haven’t heard of that. Yes, I guess I have.

Carla Rohal:                  29:30                They are a great decorative company. They have all of the finishes. They do their own faucet finishing and they do it for some other companies as well, so they have the ability to really have everything you need in every finish you need.

Debi Lynes:                   29:44                Do you recommend that people stick with a flavor or a style throughout their home or do you find that people are like, you know what, this is my crazy powder room and I wanted to do something real wild in here. It doesn’t match anything.

Carla Rohal:                  29:57                I’m fine with whatever they want because it’s your house. You’re not building it for me. You’re building it for you. However, I hear all the time that people want to make sure that when they go to resell their home that everyone’s going to like it. So you know, generally they may jazz up some things and do some things a little different, but they don’t leave the idea of this house is traditional or transitional or contemporary. They tried to stay at least consistent in that.

Debi Lynes:                   30:27                So if anybody thought that this episode of aging in place podcast, it might be like, “Really? I’m going to talk about toilets and fixtures and they would like, Oh, we’re going to skip that.” No, it’s fascinating and I so appreciate you joining us. We learned a lot and you have to come back and we will talk a lot. There’s a lot more to talk about actually. Carla, thank you.

Carla Rohal:                  30:50                Thank you.

Debi Lynes:                   30:50                Thank you all for joining us here on aging in place.

Debi Lynes:                   30:54                Hi, I’m Dr. Debi Lynes and thank you for listening to aging in place for any stage in life. We would like to ask you all to give us a review. Of course, preferably five stars. Thank you again and we hope you enjoyed aging in place for any stage in life.

Debi Lynes:                   31:12                I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Tracy. Tracy is naturally curious and always creative and when we were doing the Aging in Place Podcast, she said there are so many quick tips that I can think of offhand. My response, who knew. She’s going to be with us every week, giving us a quick tip and to hint. That is a practical application.

Tracy Snelling:              31:40                Thanks, Debi. This suggestion is for those thinking about remodeling their kitchens. Ever thought about raising your dishwasher? Choices of dishwashers include drawers and half sizes, but raising it to a height we’re bending over repeatedly like an exercise would be marvelous. Kitchen cabinets can be reinforced to hold a dishwasher waist-high if you wanted, and having it at this height could have other benefits such as using the door when open as a prepping area or even hold a glass as you pour your milk if you’re after spills like I am. And with seniors on blood pressure medications, simply bending over can bring on dizziness. Even back injuries can be aggravating when it comes to the dishwasher loading or unloading. So lift up those dirty dishes off the ground and leave the bending over to the gym. Raise it up and that’s your “who knew”.

Debi Lynes:                   32:32                Here’s our takeaway on aging in place for Carla Rohal. We’re talking about plumbing fixtures today and the takeaway is pretty impactful. Here’s what I learned. Universally designed plumbing fixtures are gorgeous. They come in all finishes. You can even plumb for them before you need to put them in, but don’t be intimidated and don’t be afraid. They are a designer’s dream rather than a designer’s nightmare. Thank you all for joining us here on aging in place.

Henrik de Gyor:             33:08                Aging in Place Podcast is hosted by Debi Lynes and produced by Henrik de Gyor. If you have any comments or questions, send an email to debi@aginginplacepodcast.com. We would love to hear from you if you’re interested in advertising or sponsoring this podcast, email us at PR@aginginplacepodcast.com. Thank you for listening to Aging in Place Podcast.