Tag Archives: remodeling

REPOST: Building Solutions: Timeless remodeling trends

Some design aesthetic paradigms age better than others, keeping their charm longer than their more current yet faddish counterparts. Dwight Sailer and Bryan Soth of the Coloradoan write about how owners should think with timelessness in mind when remodeling their home.

A recently remodeled kitchen on West Mountain Avenue in Fort Collins reflects trends that will remain popular in 2015, including white cabinets, subway tiles, walk-in pantry with sliding barn door, and accent island with seating.

Image Source: coloradoan.com

A brand new year is right around the corner. If you’re planning a home remodeling or improvement project in 2015, you’re not alone. The National Association of Home Builders reports that remodeling activity across the nation is at an all-time high, with no real signs of slowing in 2015.

Many homeowners are resolved to rip out that hideous shag carpet and replace those avocado appliances in the new year.

So how can you integrate fresh design trends into your remodel without falling for another ugly fad? Follow these basic home remodeling trends for 2015 that offer timeless appeal and a sound investment:

Open layouts

More and more homeowners are remodeling to create open floor plans in 2015. This does not have to involve building an addition or expanding the existing footprint of your home. For example, you can remove a wall, forgo the formal dining room and create one larger kitchen-dining-living “great room” space that is open, inviting and better for entertaining.

Universal design

By 2030, there will be 72 million Americans over the age of 65, the majority of whom wish to live in their homes independently. As baby boomers continue to age, the demand for universal design — or designing for accessibility without sacrificing visual appeal and style — will continue to grow each year. As a result, we expect to see more open floor plans, roll-in showers, wider doorways, floating sinks and cabinets, and other wheelchair-accessible features in 2015 remodels.

Kitchens

Renewed interest in scratch baking, gourmet cooking and family dinner time is on the rise, so we’re seeing consistent growth in kitchen remodels. Functionality and low-maintenance will be key themes in 2015. Homeowners are asking for easy-to-clean cabinetry and smudge-proof stainless steel smart appliances. Accent islands with seating and walk-in or butler’s pantries continue to grow in popularity. Non-porous engineered quartz countertops, like Caesarstone, are also gaining attention. Although color is coming back to the kitchen, classic white palettes, subway tiles and farmhouse sinks will remain design staples for years to come.

Bathrooms

Homeowners with two or more bathtubs are likely to replace a jetted tub with an oversized shower if completing a master bathroom remodel in 2015. As mentioned before, boomers are driving the growing trend for universally accessible showers, sinks and vanities. Built-in shower benches will remain popular in 2015, but gadgets such as body sprays are losing their novelty.

Green remodeling

Home improvement choices that enhance energy efficiency, resource conservation and a healthy indoor environment will continue to gain favor in 2015. Green remodeling isn’t a fad. Green remodeling is good remodeling, so we encourage homeowners to embrace this trend in 2015 and beyond. The United States Green Building Council suggests using sustainably minded materials that are natural and nontoxic, locally made or sustainably harvested, recycled and recyclable, energy-efficient to produce, and durable.

Whole-house smart systems

Expect to see more automated “smart-home” systems in 2015, which allow homeowners to remotely control lighting, appliances, temperature, media, security, window shades and more from a smartphone or tablet. The app-based technology may seem like a fad, but it is quickly moving mainstream.

To minimize the risk of falling for a regrettable fad, consider working with an interior designer during your next remodel. A professional designer can help you navigate trends and select enduring finishes, materials and layout options that have universal appeal and real staying power for years to come.

Frank LaMark is the president of CabinetsDirectRTA and is a proponent on the fusion of form and function. Visit this blog for more on kitchen remodeling and design.

REPOST: Today’s Kitchens Require Attention to Detail

The modern kitchen demands as much design attention as any other room in the house. Marcia Jedd of HGTV describes how tiny details can make a huge impact on the overall design of a kitchen.

Image Source: hgtv.com

The devil is in the details. Today’s fancy kitchens entail considerable attention to details by general contractors and remodelers when it comes to planning and installing a kitchen, says Hank White, president of Hallmark Kitchens, a Houston kitchen and bath remodeling firm. But the result of meticulous attention to such things is client satisfaction and customer referrals.

“People show great interest in getting more detailed in the functionality of the kitchen. They’re asking things like, ‘Where can we put our pots?’ or ‘I saw this on HGTV.’ ”

White outlines a number of kitchen design trends:

Larger kitchens = more features and appliances. Depending on the size of the kitchen and the client’s lifestyle, appliances play a dominant role. Think niche items, such as a swing-out pot filler faucet on the wall next to the stove, an additional dishwasher placed for convenience (and even extra dish storage), double ovens and warming drawers, as well as wine chillers and specialty refrigerators.

Kitchens as gathering centers. Contractors who get involved in kitchen design, layout or millwork, take heed. “The trend toward entertaining while you’re cooking or being entertained while cooking has caused layouts to change,” White says. He notes emphasis on islands as a center for baking or food preparation or as a serving-buffet area. So are flat-screen TVs, cleverly hidden behind slide-out panels or framed by wood pieces and integrated into the cabinetry or into the wall.

Dimensions matter. Likewise, White says today’s appliances, which often take on additional roles (such as a microwave-convection oven combination), can be far more complicated from the installation perspective. High-end European lines can be more complicated from the hook-up perspective. And design trends rule today. “The integrated look of wood-overlay panels over fridges and dishwashers and fitting out fillers and trim pieces like pilasters on either side of the fridge means no room for error in measurements,” White says. “Contractors also need to plan for proper hinging of makes like Sub-Zero fridges in order to have them open fully, given these fillers.”

Planning the installation. Allocating for electrical and plumbing considerations is critical. White recommends that contractors pay extra attention to appliance specifications and utility hookups to get bids correct the first time. “Utility hookups are always important in bidding out to your client. Remember basics like including GFI plugs and making sure outlets are included every 24 inches.”

It’s important to know the specifics of the individual models of the appliances, too. On a Dacor in-wall coffee system, for instance, a $200 option-upgrade allows for the unit to use a water line, as opposed to a tank in the standard model. “Contractors need to allow for heavy-duty ranges, many 36-inches wide, which require additional ventilation,” White says.

Uniqueness sells. White notes that some clients just want something unique. “Work closely with the kitchen designer,” he advises, adding that it’s up to the contractor to anticipate the work involved around highly unique selections. While granite and other stone-composition countertops are now common, he’s even installed a pewter countertop. Other choices include treated concrete surfaces as countertop. White says consumers are taking a cue from the institutional sector and asking for stainless-steel cabinets and counters for a sleek, modern look. Embellishes such as granite inlays or ornate tile in the backsplash are increasingly sought.

Frank LaMark is a kitchen designer and professional remodeler who is also the president of CabinetsDirectRTA. Visit this blog for more updates on kitchen remodeling.