Architecture

  • Choosing the Right Hinges for Your Home

    Focus on the Entrance - Not the Hinges

    When planning out a remodel or new home build, everything has to be accounted for. Not just the big things like tile and appliances, but everything needs to be thought out. One of the most glanced over decisions in many of these situations is the door hardware.

    Some homeowners just leave it up to the contractor, but picking out the hardware that will hold your doors and cabinets in place is the hidden feature that will affect the usability, design, and maintenance of the home for years to come.

    So, which hinges should you choose? It all depends on what you want, but there are a few key areas to consider.

    Area One: Design

    The look and feel of a home is important for comfort and sale-ability. If things come together, it can help a family come together, or buyers to make an offer. It may seem like hinges have very little to do with the way a home looks, and that is both right and wrong.

    You see, most designs don’t account for door hardware. When you are putting the grand vision of how a room should look, the things that hold up doors and cabinets aren’t usually a part of that master plan. Sure, sometimes door hardware can add to the aesthetic—but it’s not too common.

    So, if grandiose hinges are a part of the feel, they should definitely look the way you want them. However, if you aren’t going for a particular look; why would you want the hinges displayed?

    Invisible hinges can perform the same function, but without being seen. It creates clean lines and allows you to appreciate the cabinet, door and entryways without distracting you by seeing butt hings with the pins sticking out.

    Area Two: Safety

    Keeping family members safe in the home is very important. Before you think that hinges don’t play a big part of that, we’d like an opportunity to change your mind. Two key safety factors can be influenced by the type of hinge you use.

    1. Intruders: Hinges are a vulnerable point on some doors that can be used to gain entry into a dwelling. With typical butt hinges an intruder merely needs a hammer and screw driver to remove the pin and take the door off. Choosing durable (especially invisible hinges) placed properly can reduce the number of ways to break into your home by removing the pins intruders can easily access.
    2. Injury: Hinges snagging clothes and skin is an inconvenience at best. Fingers and open skin can easily be harmed by protruding and sharp hinges. Using smooth or invisible hinges will help thwart this hassle.

    Area Three: Quality

    If you are going to pick the hardware to use in your home, it may as well be high-quality. Budgets are always tight on these projects, but the area to spend is on things that keep your home together.

    Hinges hold up doors and cabinets. Bad ones can cause more damage to floors, squeak to your annoyance, and need to be replaced soon after the remodel/build is done.

    Choosing a high-quality hinge can make all the difference years down the road.

    SOSS Hinges can help with every item on this list. Our hardware stays out of the way making it better to design with, keep families safe, and all of our products will last for decades. We hope that you choose our products to help you make your next remodel or build last a lifetime.

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  • Designing Hot Hotel Spaces in Any Climate

    People need a place to stay at all times of the year, but that doesn’t mean your hotel will have the features that pull guests in to stay year-round.

    Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring each have their time in the spotlight. However, some lodgings aren’t put together to shine during off seasons of the year. Designing with all four seasons in mind will vary wildly based on your location and climate. If you are lucky enough to be building in a temperate zone, like San Diego, this post may not be for you.

    For everyone else, here are a few tips to get you started.

    Plenty of Things to Do (Inside)

    If there is a particularly long winter or rainy season in your neck of the woods, you’ll have to accommodate your guests with some entertainment. Try making the typical hotel spaces more appealing like:

    Increasing the size of restaurants to house more people when going out is troublesome.

    Making the pool large and indoors to keep people happily swimming.

    Adding an ample gym space to help those with cabin fever burn it off.

    Bonus: If you are in a vacation spot don’t use it as an excuse to skimp out. Put in a large game room to keep families happy during poor weather conditions.

    Plenty of Things to Do (Outside)

    Even if there is a terrible winter and an extremely rainy spring, there will still be times that the sun shines and guests want to be outside. Take full advantage by adding a few things to your property:

    A lengthy walking path. If you can’t afford the space, make it shorter with some well-groomed garden elements and seating.

    Extra space to change into pool clothes would be considerate and noticed.

    Have a helpful kiosk with information about the surrounding area to encourage guests to get out and enjoy the area.

    Make It Last

    Even if your hotel has an answer for every season out of the year, it will still wear down. The elements, guests beating on everything, and time makes it necessary for your design to be constructed with the best material possible.

    Choosing hearty plants that can survive a cold winter, picking carpet that can stand the force of a thousand children running down the hall, and building your structure with the best quality hardware are all examples of the hotel that will stand up to the seasons and time.

    SOSS makes some of the best door hardware in the industry. If you would like the clean lines that invisible hinges make on your next build or update, click here to find a dealer near you or right online.

    Hospitality Design Guide

  • Are Boutique Hotels Losing Their Luster?

    Around the 1980’s the term “boutique hotel” started floating around the hospitality world. Over the past several decades this sector of the industry has burst into the mainstream and has become somewhat of a common term.

    Now, even the largest chains are trying to create their own boutique feel (or entirely new brands) to take a piece of the billions being spent for a more intimate lodging experience. This type of hotel is so popular; it leads many to wonder if it has the staying power to continue rising while others claim that it will change the future of travel.

    So, who’s right? Are boutiques in danger of losing their appeal or will they keep on chugging into the future of travel?

    Let’s take a closer look (and see how it can help you).

    The Answer Is Yes (and Yes)

    To be honest, there are truths in both opinions. Definite dangers are knocking on the door of the boutique sector. However, those same dangers are the very thing that are changing the face of all lodgings (big and small).

    The (Potential) Bad

    In a recent conference dedicated to boutique hotels, many agreed that this type of hotel is defined by being unique and intimate. The threat that is knocking on the door of these hip places to stay is big business. Larger chains hope to acquire brands (or start their own) that are geared toward boutique guests.

    Many feel that if your “one of a kind” room is the same in every major city, it takes away the allure of these types of lodgings.

    The (Potential) Good

    Some may be calling the end of the boutique era, but others see a silver lining to big business taking a few notes from what’s popular.

    With so many travelers wanting a more intimate and design friendly experience, chains are beginning to put more effort into each of their new designs (and the older ones). Stagnant, cookie cutter rooms and standard guest areas may be a thing of the past.

    And the industry seemingly owes it to the boutique revolution. Architect, hospitality experts, and designers tend to agree that enthusiasm for the movement isn’t going anywhere soon and even seem to agree that it is good for guests all around.

    One thing is certain, great design is crucial to winning over the young savvy guests of today. SOSS has been making invisible hinges for hotels around the world for nearly 100 years. Your next boutique hotel or large chain update can benefit from our solid designs. To get genuine SOSS Invisible Hinges for your next project see one of our dealers or sales reps.

    Hospitality Design Guide

  • 5 Ways to Make Your Hotel Stand Out

    Make Your Hotel Standout with SOSS!Having the advantage over your competition is something that has been sought after since the dawn of time. Whether it’s war or business, your livelihood depends on being able to best others who are after the same prize.

    While your prize is obviously more guests, your enemy may not be who you think. In reality, the one holding you up is most likely your hotel. You’re not going to sabotage another lodging, or meet them on an open field of battle.

    You have to go to war with yourself and your own location to figure out how you can stand out on a listing and in the eyes of all who choose to stay at your hotel.

    How? That’s a good question and we hope to help. Here are our 5 suggestions.

    1. Communication

    We’re not talking about making sure your staff says, “have a nice stay”. You need to communicate verbally and visually with your guests to show them you care. Here are a few ways to do it:

    - Weather forecasts during wake up and other calls

    - Call before they arrive to let them know you are ready for them

    - Welcome returning guests to let them know you appreciate repeat business

    - Create more signs to leave little notes letting guests know bedding was changed and other    areas were cleaned.

    1. Professionalism

    Since we’re on the topic of communication and signage, everything you do should say the same thing. Colors, patterns, dress code, among other things should all have common branding. One handwritten or poorly spelled sign can turn off every guest that sees it.

    Making sure your brand looks the same to everyone staying will keep you from looking like a poorly run franchise.

    1. Reviews

    Picking up the phone and asking guests how their stay went can be the best marketing money can buy. With reviews on travel sites becoming more and more important, you could offer a discounted stay in return for an honest review.

    Bonus: If you right the wrongs for unsatisfied customers without being confronted, your best reviews may come from those who didn’t like your hotel at first.

    1. Be Social

    If you’re not utilizing social media, you’re missing out (big time). You are in the hospitality industry, perhaps even in a vacation hot spot. Large chains are utilizing digital marketing to fill their empty rooms. The neatest part about using this platform is its cost effectiveness.

    Your ad spend doesn’t have to be very much to see a great return. In fact, you can publish content that gets passed around for free exposure.

    1. Update Your Style

    The popularity of boutique hotels is growing. And the travel industry is being taken over by a younger and more design savvy crowd. All this means that you may need to add a few updates to your rooms. Clean lines and tech friendly spaces are among the most sought after features of a millennial crowd.

    SOSS hardware is used in some of the finest hotels and buildings all over the world. Clean lines are incredibly easy to achieve with our invisible hinges and will last a lifetime. We’d love to show you our designs and help you find a dealer today.

    Hospitality Design Guide

  • 4 Trends and Predictions About the Future of Senior Living

    21144462_sAging seniors are an incredibly large segment of the population. Their needs are difficult to design for without proper research and keeping up with the industry. Staying up to date is important as more information and study comes available and gives insight into the future of this aging community.

    There are so many factors to consider, we thought it best to create an “update” on what many experts feel are happening now and will continue to occur in the future.

    1. Healthcare Integration

    As long as 10,000 people keep retiring everyday (supposed to happen for another 10 years or so), there will also be an increasing need for healthcare. With changes to the healthcare industry, more and more medical treatments are likely to happen in retirement communities, senior living apartment complexes, and nursing homes.

    Medical facilities on the property of many elderly communities will have to expand or be added to in order to handle the needs of a growing number of aging residents.

    1. Economical and Environmental

    With so many retiring with little or no savings, the need for lower cost/lower expense living will be crucial to handle to needs of our society. Not only that, many lawmakers are considering the environmental impact of so many communities that cater to older individuals.

    Most likely, this focus will result in the need for higher efficiency designs and a smaller carbon footprint. While many Baby Boomers don’t heavily consider the environment as much as others, they will enjoy the benefits of an Eco-friendly facility.

    1. Group Living

    Independence is an important part to many who are older. However, that doesn’t mean they want to be left alone. A growing number of seniors are opting to share living arrangements with others of a similar age, or even with family members.

    The trend seems to be going backwards to a time where larger families lived together to offset costs and take care of the aging family members. Due to financial hardships and a lack of quality communities, this option is growing at a rapid rate.

    1. Better Technology

    Technology seems to be hitting a fever pitch. It’s no different in the realm of the elderly and disabled. There have been some incredible advancements that are truly making it easier for the elderly to live longer and more comfortable lives. As long as the industry stays “booming”, there will be no shortage of new gadgets and hardware that will revolutionize the problems of growing old.

    SOSS has worked hard to develop one of these pieces of technology. It’s called the UltraLatch and can help many with disabilities open and close doors without twisting or even using their wrists. Here’s a great place to find out more about it.

    If you would like to learn more about senior living design trends be sure to download our special report on senior living trends. It is free. Simply click the icon below to download.

  • Architecture Legacy: Keys to Designing Stunning Buildings

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    There are many reasons you may have chosen the field of architecture. However, it probably wasn’t fortune, fame, or even stability.

    This particular field has some pitfalls, but with some benefits that are unmatched in any other vocation. When you design structures, your name will (even if silently) be attached to a long standing piece of a community. Your work will be utilized and enjoyed by countless people even if your name isn’t on the deed.

    The only thing that could interrupt your satisfaction? Problems with your structure. That’s why we’ve put together some tips to keep your buildings standing long after you’re gone.

    Ready? Let’s go to the drawing board.

    Interesting: Frank Lloyd Wright (born in 1867) still has 409 structures standing today.

    Location, Location, Location

    While you may not have a large amount of say in where a new structure is going, it would benefit you to choose your projects based on a decent location. When it comes to longevity it comes down to the area.

    We’re not talking about geological problems, but rather cultural. Choosing a town, or thoroughfare that’s on the decline will certainly mean doom for a building’s appreciation. While it may remain standing, it may not remain in the same form.

    Example: You really don’t see too many McDonald’s restaurants closing up shop, but you’ll see other franchises and chains closing their doors often. It all comes down to the location being chosen by an entire team of designers, architects, and former city planners vs. someone with a hunch.

    Unique, Yet Timeless

    Once you’ve got a location that is sure to be the hot spot for at least a few decades you can begin designing your masterpiece. Depending on the amount of control, you may have an urge to “make a statement”.

    Lax building codes and a loose cannon have made many buildings that haunt local residences. Your work belongs to the owner and the community and designing something that is a little too you could mean a tarnished reputation. Think a little more Guggenheim and a little less Chinese bird’s nest.

    Use the Best Materials, Of Course

    Having a client that wants to use sub par materials should be another deal breaker for your firm. Not only will this end up costing more in the long run, but it will not hold up until your golden years.

    If you want to sit down on a bench and admire your contribution to the landscape, quality can’t be negotiable.

    SOSS constructs the highest quality invisible hinges on the planet. If you want the clean lines that all lasting structures tend to share, we can help. Visit our Invisible Hinge Catalog to find out about our different designs or contact a dealer today.

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  • 3 Ways to Give your Kitchen a Wow Factor

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    The kitchen in your home can be a place of community, family, and memories. Although, many people hate even going to their fridge for a snack, let alone cooking a meal and enjoying it with friends. We understand.

    But your negative feelings don’t have to continue, and you don’t necessarily have to crank out $20k to go from boring to something you love. Small changes can turn your kitchen into a room that makes you say…Wow!

    To help on your journey to a better cookery we’ve come up with three things you should consider to make the space pop.

    1. Make A Statement

    Your kitchen wasn’t made for fashion, it was made for cooking and storing food. That’s a necessary part of your life, but not exactly glamorous. You’ll have to help the space along in order to enjoy it. Here are a couple of ways to make a statement:

    Feature Wall: They’re not just for your living room anymore. You can paint one wall a wild, but elegant color and leave the rest with just a fresh coat of normal. This step alone could make a huge difference in your mood when walking into the room.

    Back splash: Adding a colorful or patterned back to your stove or under your cabinets could create a stylish new look that improves the entire look of your kitchen. Try a unique, yet cool pattern (like chevron) or a unique spin on a favorite like subway tiles with a strong color.

    2. Lose the Hardware

    One of the most stylish statements in the modern era can be created by using clean smooth lines. Traditional kitchen hardware and cabinets are bulky at best and tacky at worst.

    By using invisible hinges on cabinets, you can create a seamless line of beauty. Not only will it be sleek and “wow” worthy, it will be durable too. Our SOSS invisible hinges last for decades due to their quality construction.

    3. Change It from Top to Bottom

    No. We’re not suggesting to rip your kitchen down to the studs and start over. We are literally suggesting changing your ceiling and floors (aka the top and bottom).

    The ceilings are usually just a white or textured space that is begging for some color. You can paint it to make it match the rest of the room, or go the extra mile and use fashionable ceiling tiles to make a very wow statement.

    With your floors, it can be tricky. They may be beautiful, but if you are looking for a room that has loads of color you can make some inexpensive (yet drastic changes). Painting wood floors in bright accent colors with a different design will make people take notice. Try something really fun like a zig zag or square patterns to really show off.

    Now, it’s time for you to take an honest look at your kitchen and load up the charm and style until you say WOW!

    Invisible-Hinge-DG

  • Why SOSS Doesn't Offer "Adjustable" Hinges

    SOSS-Hinge-2Door hardware isn’t something we take lightly. We enjoy meeting the needs of our customers with quality AND innovation.

    However, there are times that innovations just aren’t good enough to meet the incredibly high standards we place on our products. When innovation is necessary and makes sense we are on board and come up with and utilize everything at our disposal to meet those needs with new solutions.

    It’s this innovation that led us to create the UltraLatch, a product that allows those with limited mobility to open doors without any turning motion.

    Why Not Adjustable?

    This is a common question people ask if they aren’t in the door hardware industry. Having an “adjustable” hinge sounds so innovative and cutting edge in terms of design, but is it really? It really comes down to 2 basic questions you should ask yourself. Why? And How? Why would I need to adjust an invisible adjustable and how do you make an invisible hinge “adjustable”.

    Why

    The most common reason cited for why you need an adjustable hinge is because once a building settles the door may get out of alignment and need adjusting. What most people don’t know is that commercial buildings don’t settle. It is part of the building codes. If a building settles something is wrong and you may have larger problems to deal with.

    How

    If a building is not supposed to settle and well-built structures don’t settle what else can cause a door to get out of alignment and sag? The most common answer is the hinges themselves are actually wearing out and failing. As the metal wears against the metal from opening and closing a door it will wear.

    With adjustable hinges that wear is applied on the weakest part of the door, which is generally the adjustment screws. Imagine the weight of a 200 pound door opening and closing all day long and the weight being focused on a couple of adjustment screws. It stands to reason that this very design element will wear quickly and cause a door to actually begin to sag. That sagging will require that you “adjust” your door to bring it back into alignment. So the very design feature of these hinges the “adjustability” is one of the reasons the door actually needs to be adjusting. Talk about job security! You create a feature that fixes a problem that didn’t exist before you created the “feature” you are trying to sell.
    The SOSS Difference

    What makes SOSS Invisible Hinges different is the design of our hinges has been around for over a 100 years. Some of our hinges are still in building opening and closing doors over 70 years later without a hint of needing to be adjusted.

    The “secret” is our hinges stack up on solid metal plates and it is these stacks of metal that hold the weight of door – not tiny adjustment screws. We don’t create adjustable hinges because our hinges don’t require adjusting. Never did. Never will.

    We have a full line of hinges to choose from, and a list of dealers if you would like to know more.

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  • 4 Forgotten Updates in a Remodel Project

    36951391_sRemodels can be a stressful time. While most homeowners find the process worthwhile in terms of return on investment and re-sale value, it’s still a process that can be tough to bear. It could be the time, not being able to utilize the area, or wondering which updates to put more money into.

     

    After all is said and done, there are bound to be a few things that you say, “I wish we would have done that.”

    To help you consider these commonly passed over updates we’ve written our top 4 choices.

    Security System

    Many people who remodel forget to add or simply choose not to use a home security system. There are many benefits to these systems in general, but installing one during a remodel helps you choose a location that would be harder for an intruder to find and “cut”. It would also make it easy to place panels where you would like that makes them less of an eye sore.

    Key Stat: 25% of home intruders cut the phone lines or wiring in order to avoid security alarms.

    Powered Pantry

    Many remodels include a pantry. They are so common due to the rise in popularity of cooking in large remodeled kitchens. However, many homeowners are also following the trend of having clean and open counter space.

    The counters are being cleared off leaving many appliances to be semi permanently left in (you guessed it) the pantry. Powering your pantry with electrical outlets will allow you to use common appliances without them being seen.

    Extra Step: You could go the extra mile and hide your pantry as well by making the door seamlessly attach to your wall with invisible hinges (or even use a hidden door).

    Go Greener

    Aesthetics and home value are usually the two most important reasons to remodel a home, but while it’s all torn apart you can take time to build it up with more energy efficiency. Wire the roof for a future solar install, add skylights for more natural sun, and change out older appliances.

    Make Room for Supplies

    Everyone knows what a broom closet is, but too often mops, brooms, and vacuums end up in a corner or closet where they aren’t welcome. Setting aside a couple feet of floor space next to your laundry or mud room will keep commonly used cleaning supplies out of the way. They’ll still be easily accessible to make your home look good, but won’t hang out for all to see.

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  • Creating the Ultimate Spa Feel in Your Bathroom

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    The bathroom of your home is where you get ready, it’s where you get clean, and where you may start or end your day. It’s function typically far outweighs its design, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

    It can be a retreat.

    Turning your place of preparation in to a space for relaxation doesn’t have to include costly remodels or expensive new appliances either. There are some subtle, yet effective changes that can bring the spa into your bathroom. A spa treats you to a sensory experience and your bathroom should too. Here are some of our favorite ways to excite your senses.

    Sight

    Walking into your bathroom begins with your eyes. Typically, you see it first and this can start your journey into the spa. Key areas to consider include softening the light with a dimmer or plugin lamp. These options make it more soothing to the eye before and during your trip and are way better than the harsh light of most bathroom fixtures. Changing light fixtures to a softer more natural feel is the best long lasting option and not as expensive as most may think.

    Smell

    Now that you’re inside, the next sense to be inundated with relaxation is smell. Botanical scents help relax many, but it’s all about your preference here. Try to make it as natural as possible with reed diffusers or even fresh flowers. Plugins and other tools can work, but may detract from the look and feel of your new spa.

    Hearing

    Now that you’re inside and the door is shut, it’s time to hear the sounds of the spa. Music can help, but make sure it’s relaxing. The most important aspect of hearing isn’t so much what you hear, it’s what you don’t hear. Kids, TV’s, and spouses can often break into your retreat. You can avoid this by using music, scheduling your spa time, or (if you’re hardcore) sound proof the walls for maximum retreat feel.

    Touch

    The keywords in the touch category are soft and smooth. You’ve laid eyes on your spa, smelled the sweet scents, heard beautiful sounds (and not heard loud ones). The only thing left is to feel it. You can surround yourself with soft towels and robes for starters. Gather some of the most eccentric and soothing soaps around to take it up another level.

    For a look that takes the spa to the next level, try using invisible hinges to create smooth lines for your cabinets and doors. Your seamless look will be easy on the eyes and on the touch. Our hinges are made from the highest quality materials and are perfect to create a beautiful bathroom where you can truly retreat. Find a dealer today.

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