“Also, adjacent to the kitchen we installed mahogany wainscot paneling to encompass the perimeter of the dining room,” said Sullivan. “We then used a random color pattern of glass tiles as the backsplash and accented the cabinet doors with custom hand-blown glass hardware. This use of traditional style cabinetry and mahogany wood in conjunction with modern materials such as glass and stainless steel appliances gave this characteristically traditional kitchen an extraordinarily modern feel.”
Home owners are also using limestone, slate and granite in their kitchens. For those seeking a sleek look, stainless steel countertops with built in sinks and runoff boards are being designed to complement stainless steel appliances.
Cabinets rising to the ceiling are making a comeback, providing more storage space and a cleaner look, according to Michael Strong, CGR, CAPS of Brothers Strong in Houston.
Northwestern home owners like mixing two or three colors in the kitchen, especially on lower and upper cabinets. “Many home owners are going for the 'energized' look where they mix techno-bright and metallic colors with calming earth tones,” said Chuck Russell, CGR, CAPS of Westhill, Inc., in Woodinville, Wash.
‘Hiving’ Is the New Buzz Word
In another big remodeling trend, home owners are moving out of the reclusive “cocooning” period following Sept. 11 into a “hiving” phase in which they want their homes to match a more active, on-the-go lifestyle.
People want rooms to be useful and to serve more than one purpose. For example, they want a room where mom can do her crafting while dad watches television and the kids play on the computer. “While each family member wants to do their own thing, they still want to be in the same space,” said Russell.
Interior glass doors and walls — including glass-paned French doors — are providing a sense of separation while still allowing family members to remain connected. “This allows people to have private spaces but allows for natural light to flow in and people seeing one another,” said Russell.
Looking for Financing
In another new wrinkle in the remodeling industry, more attention is being given to lining up creative financing options that will enable home owners to finance large projects.
“The new financing options facilitate larger projects than ever before and, I believe, will have the most significant impact on the industry in the years ahead,” says Vince Butler, CGR, CAPS, GMB, of Butler Brothers Corp., in Clifton, Va. “It would be wise for all remodelers to look in to partnering with their local financial institutions to stay ahead of the competition.”
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