The old saying that the kitchen is the heart of a home has rung true, especially during this past year. For many, it’s not just the place to prepare meals but also an area to work at home or a place for the kid’s homework. A kitchen remodel usually tops the wish list of home renovation projects and a great deal of attention goes into kitchen planning when constructing a new house.
The 2021 Houzz Kitchen Study reveals the top choices and colors when it comes to kitchen design. Read on to see where your preferences fall.
White Prevails. Shades of white are the preferred choice for cabinets, countertops and backsplash material in both renovations and new construction. Light wood cabinetry follows second with gray coming in third for top cabinet colors.
Island of Color. 41% of homeowners prefer a contrasting island, either with a different cabinet color or countertop material.
Top of the List. When remodeling, countertops, backsplashes and sinks are the most important upgrades. Engineered quartz is the most popular counter material followed by granite.
Ceramic or porcelain tile is the top pick for backsplashes and most homeowners bring their tile to up to the cabinets or range hood.
Wood versus Tile. In the survey, tile is the preferred material for floors especially wood look tile. Hardwood floor is still popular though mainly in lighter, natural tones.
Stainless Reigns. From appliances to plumbing, stainless steel is favored choice among homeowners.
Mr. H says: Good food is what makes a house a home-Enjoy!
In mere weeks our lives have changed and there is little doubt that a new “normal” will emerge once the effects of the Coronavirus have been mitigated both physically and financially. With social distancing, living out our entire lives exclusively at home have created some new design challenges. These are the areas that a future redesign may be most critical.
Entries as drop zones-Studies have shown that the virus can live on surfaces for several days. Foyers may become decontamination areas where packages, some groceries and possibly even clothes and shoes get cleaned or stored, keeping any germs in one place.
Kitchens-With restaurant dining rooms closed, many of us have had to become reacquainted with our kitchens. Those with older kitchen are going to have eek out more storage for stocking up and even rethinking their appliances. With multiple meals happening at home it would be nice to have a drawer dishwasher or even an under counter beverage refrigerator.
Zoom Rooms-For many, working from home isn’t an issue as you may already have a home office or designated work area. For those suddenly thrust into teleworking and video calls it’s been a real challenge. If you haven’t found the perfect Zoom location where barking dogs and laughing kids aren’t disrupting your meeting with colleagues, it’s time to get serious about carving out that space. Finding a quiet place, with a locking door and pleasant background will show that your job is important to you.
Fitness-If your thinking of buying equipment while the gyms are closed, some planning needs to happen on where it is going to go. The master bedroom? The new Zoom room? A family conference to get everyone’s input on the best way to set up a work out area would help to make that decision.
Touch Less Devices-I’m personally tired of disinfecting door knobs and light switches on a daily basis. The technology is already available with touch less faucets and commodes commonly found in public spaces. I see an increased interest in incorporating that type of tech in the home. Of course we can always bring back the “Clapper”!
Mr. H says: Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless-Enjoy!
Fortunately the era of “hiding” bulky televisions into custom cabinetry and furniture pieces is long over with the advent of the sleek flat screen versions of today. The television has become the focal point in most every room in the house. Read on for some of the best tips on placement, decor and storing components.
From an ergonomic perspective, anything with a screen should be viewed at eye level. A prone up or down viewing position is sure to cause neck and back issues down the road so consider TV placement carefully. Bob Vila has great tips on calculating the optimal viewing heights depending on your TV size and where its going.
If custom cabinetry is out of your budget, consider using modular shelving that can be built around your TV. With this solution, you can fill the space with more than just a black whole, adding color and character with books and accessories.
Incorporate your TV shape into a gallery wall behind and above your set, taking the focal point away from the black box in the room.
The corner of a room is often an underutilized part of a standard space plan. By installing the TV into a corner it allows the fireplace or view become the focal point. There are lots of corner consoles and cabinets to suit your design style.
The TV is only half the equation when deciding placement since you’ll need some type of storage for the components and to hide the unsightly cords and wires. A cabinet or shelving will give you a place to stash your games and movies too.
If you watch television only on occasions, explore hidden TV storage solutions. There are several cabinet lifting systems on the market that tuck your set away when not in use. A TV set on a rolling cart or a cabinet with casters is an easy DIY that allows you to wheel it out of the room and into storage when not in use.
If there is one way to describe the interior design trends we will see more of in 2020, it’s that anything goes. Strong geometric patterns, new interpretations of neutrals and texture everywhere are just a few of the trends we are incorporating into our projects.
Color as a neutral: This trend started popping up on Instagram, with lots of images of navy blue cabinetry, a few seasons ago. Going a step further, watch for saturated hues of green, red and gold jewel tones on walls, tile and in furnishings.
Layered patterns: As with fashion, there are no rules for mixing different patterns in a single outfit. In homes, walls, windows and floors can all have their own unique pattern while forming a cohesive look.
High contrast design: Monochromatic spaces feel fresh with bold accents. Bright whites juxtaposed with dark grey, rich black, and those deep jewel tones like red add depth to a space.
Natural materials: Marble especially will be a major player in kitchen and bath materials, as well as accessories and lighting for the rest of the house.
Textured Surfaces: Add dimension to your space by incorporating texture on walls or ceilings. Wallpaper, faux finishes and textured paint can all be used to achieve a certain look. Added bonus: textures hide drywall imperfections
Mr. H says: Nothing you really like is ever out of style-Enjoy!
As a designer, I know first hand that everyone’s taste is different. When I’m hired to professionally assess a space though, I do notice a number of specifics, both good and bad, about your home. How organized you are, how your children and pets behave, and which space your family uses the most are just a few. Don’t worry though-I’m not judging, but making observations that will help me design the best solutions for your lifestyle. Here’s a list of the top things I notice the moment I walk through the front door.
Does the furniture placement in a room promote good traffic flow through the space? When there is too much or awkwardly arranged furniture, a room may not be optimally used. Rearranging pieces to create a natural path in and out of the space may be one of the first things we do.
I’ve talked about this before, how a room is lit is critical to it’s function and ambiance. Applying a layered approach with general illumination, task and accent lighting sources is key to a well lit room.
The Little Items
Most interior designers dream of an uncluttered space, where one can appreciated the stunning architecture or thoughtfully arranged furniture. Many times, I enter a room and am besieged by all tchotchke that cover every surface. Just because you own it doesn’t mean it needs to be on display.
How your windows are treated tells me a lot about how you use a room. Windows that are tightly covered tells me you value your privacy while untreated windows say bring in the sunshine. It’s a topic we will need to address when designing the space.
High quality door casing, crown molding, and cabinetry make up the bones of a space. Well proportioned trim creates a layer of interest and the opportunity to accent with color or incorporate lighting.
Pets, cooking odor and strong scented candles can often overwhelm the casual visitor. Most of us have become inured to our homes odors, but an outsider can pick up the scent right away and it can be most unwelcome. Open the windows, use the kitchen and bath exhaust fans religiously or run the HVAC fan clear out stale spaces.
Two, sad lumpy throw pillows on the sofa does not constitute a welcoming vibe. Adding throws and fresh plump pillows will go a long way to making a space cozy.
The condition of your bathroom tells me a lot about your lifestyle and the possible solutions I can offer. Unorganized, cluttered countertops and towels on the floor are mostly a symptom of the bath’s design or lack there of.
We all make accommodations for our pets in our homes. After all they are more than just four legs and a tail, our furry friends play a huge role in our families. Since almost all our clients have pets we are often asked to design around them as well as other members of the household. You don’t have to sacrifice style in order to accommodate your four legged friends.
Pet Friendly Fabrics
Carefully consider the cleanability and durability of your upholstery fabrics for the areas your family and pets will gather most. Denim, canvas, ulstrasuede and synthetics such as Crypton are all good choices. Outdoor fabrics come in numerous colors and textures while resisting most stains, moisture and odors. Leather is a durable choice though it can be punctured and scratched by big claws. Look for top grain, semi-aniline leathers whose hides are dyed through and treated for additional protection.
Smart Window Treatments
Avoid long drapes that puddle on the floor that will collect pet debris. Consider Roman or roller shades and wood blinds that can be easily raised up so as to not spoil your pets view of the outside world. Keep dangling cords in check with cleats or opt for the cordless models.
Their Own Space
Cats love to perch and climb and dogs like to retreat to their own “room”. Treat your pets by incorporating those features into the design of your home. Dog beds can fit into a cabinet or under a window seat and cat perches can become an architectural element.
Dog Bed Decor
Be sure to choose a dog bed that’s large enough to accommodate the size of your pet. There are many stylish options available on sites like Etsy, so find one that complements your décor and is easy to keep clean.
Create a pet friendly entrance that keeps dirt from being tracked through your entire home. Place an easy clean mat or rug at your pet’s main entry point to catch mud or debris as soon as they enter. Wall hooks reign in leashes and some type of cabinet can hold pet supplies such as collars, bags and treats.
Easy Clean Floors
Top choices for easy clean, durable flooring include porcelain or stone tiles. Some laminate and vinyl flooring come in second. While beautiful, hardwood floors, are a design statement, they can scratch easily and require diligent cleaning should an accident occur. Harder woods such as oak or mahogany are the best species bets, however avoid highly polished flooring that can pose a slipping hazard. Trim your pet’s claws regularly to keep scratches at bay.
Slip Proof Rugs
While rugs can enhance the look of a room, they can also protect your floors from claws and stains. There are many easy care options to choose from with a multi color pattern being best for hiding dirt and pet hair. Wool rugs are naturally stain resistant and many synthetic rugs can be taken outside and easily hosed clean. Whichever rug style you choose, use a good quality non skid pad beneath to prevent slipping especially in open areas such as hallways.
Admit it, we sometimes snuggle with our pets in bed. Inevitably hair and dirt come with your furry friend. Opt for duvets and shams with removable covers over coverlets and quilts. The covers can be removed and laundered regularly with the rest of your sheets keeping your bed somewhat fur free.
Display Breakables with Care
Keep glassware, porcelains or anything else that can be easily broken out of reach of your pets or better yet behind doors if you have cats. Shards of grandma’s tea set on the floor will not only break your heart but can cause serious damage to your pet’s paws.
Mr. H says: Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul-Enjoy!
Are you thinking of making some changes to your home to elevate it’s livability and value? Modern amenities that focus on functional luxury are key to making a home more user friendly. How much you spend on these upgrades a determined by the options and choices you make so having a plan and a budget in place before you step into the first showroom is a must.
An Open Floorplan
Even though this lifestyle movement has been around for decades, there is still immense value in an open floor plan. By connecting kitchen and living spaces, open plans create spacious and informal interiors for homeowners of all ages. Taking down a wall or reconfiguring some rooms should be done by a pro since beams or supports may need to be incorporated into your design so that the second floor does not come crashing down.
An Updated Kitchen
Every realtor will tell you that this is a home investment worth every penny. The kitchen is the heart of every home and the spot where you will spend a lot time. Give special attention to cabinets and appliances since no kitchen can be overly well equipped. A well designed, organized kitchen is the key to creating a home you love and will interest future buyers. Open layouts, center islands, and pull out pantry storage are must haves in every kitchen.
With today’s busy lifestyles, we all want a space to relax and unwind in our homes. Large showers, good lighting, storage, and smart toilets are features that homeowners have on their wish list. Adding accessibility features to your bathroom can add a lot of value to your home and can make life easier should you choose to age in place. Upgrades to consider, curbless showers, grab bars and wheelchair height light switches and outlets.
Technology dominates every aspect lives. Smart equipment has become more accessible and affordable. User friendly, tech conveniences such as security systems, temperature settings and lighting controls can make your home more attractive to potential buyers in the future.
Finished outdoor spaces that feel like an interior room with comfortable seating, thoughtful landscaping and lighting, fire pits and outdoor cooking areas are a worthy home investment. Finished outdoor areas expand the living area of your home and depending on your approach can be utilized year round.
Mr. H says: Home should be your happy place-Enjoy!
For decades we all heard we needed to have an enormous, master bath tub for resale. While you may have never get into it, the next owners will. Unfortunately they won’t either and I seriously doubt being sans tub will be a deal breaker. If you are a bath taker, opt for a smaller profile free standing tub or a standard size drop in. Under no circumstance, add steps. The safest way to get into a tub is to sit on the edge and swing your legs over.
Some people think intense colors are a great way to jazz up a neutral bath. Bright colors can feel overwhelming and can be reflected back onto your skin or cause issues with color matching. Choose a calming spa like color that works with your tile. Some of my favorites Sherwin Williams “Sea Salt” or Benjamin Moore “Silver Crest”. Consider an accent rug or a bright shower curtain if you are looking for ways to add color.
Wallpaper in a bath can be fabulous. Bold patterns work well in powder rooms where the occupant isn’t spending a lot of time. Master and guest baths though should feel subtle in texture or tone on tone patterns.
While they look attractive, pedestal sinks don’t offer any storage, especially in a bath that’s used for bathing. Their limited surface doesn’t leave much room to spread out grooming tools such a hair dryer or even a razor and shaving cream. The most versatile and valued solution is a vanity cabinet outfitted with an under mount sink.
Protruding wall cabinets
Wall hung cabinets make an already small space seem even smaller since they project into the room at eye level. Opt for a recessed cabinet with a mirror to make the bath feel larger or even open shelves for an updated feel.
Too much tile
Decorative tile is fine in small doses, but covering the entire bathroom is too distracting. Competing tile sizes and patterns create the same issue. Tiling a bath completely, which allows for easy care, can be attractive when large format tiles of the same pattern and color are used.
Mr. H says: If you forgo a bath long enough, even the fleas will leave you alone-Enjoy!
Straight from the source-these four top interior design trends were everywhere at this Spring’s High Point Furniture Market.
Fur textures were still on display however macrame emerged as the hottest new look. It makes sense that this fringed trend found a second wind in this era of handmade globalism.
This colorful, crystallized rock is in big demand appearing in a range of home design products. With it’s gemstone quality, agate items add a touch of glamour and luxury.
Even images of agate made an appearance
Another retro design trend, Lucite acrylic, is enjoying resurgence in home furnishings and for good reason. This chic plastic material is real furniture workhorse and translucent pieces don’t take up visual space in a room.
Notice the subtle acrylic legs on the Swaim sofa
The severe industrial look from years past has been replaced with a welcoming curvilinear vibe. The shapes are undeniably inviting and studies have shown that curvy furniture evokes feelings of relaxation.
Mr. H says: The best way to change your future is design it-Enjoy!
It may still be rather cold and dingy for some parts of the country, but cheer up! Spring will arrive eventually and we have some great trend to look forward to this Spring.
Easter eggs are not the only thing that look good in bright pastels. Once confined to children’s rooms, these spring time shades are surprisingly versatile.
A bold design comes from mixing geometric patterns with lush florals. Wallpaper, decorative tiles and fabrics with strong contrasting colors can be used to create a striking effect.
I’ve blogged about plantscaping before and this trend is hotter than ever. Indoor plants bring an ever changing living element to a space that are believed to be good for health, and help clean the indoor air.
Perfect for spring, subtle iridescent finishes that catch the light and create instant glamour in a room. Shimmery wallpapers and decorative paint effects are just a few ways to integrate this hot trend.
After several years, this trend is still going strong. Look for warm gold accents on furniture, lighting, cabinet hardware and bath fixtures to incorporate this design movement into your space.
This global trend took hold last year and will continue well into 2018. Perhaps it stems from our desire to escape this chaotic world to luxury tropical vacation…
Mr. H says: Don’t be afraid to sparkle a little brighter-Enjoy!