Friday, February 22 2013
The importance of kitchens to prospective homebuyers is something that never seems to change. If you are preparing to bring your home onto the market anytime soon, you’ve probably been thinking about how to make your listing as attractive as possible. Odds are good that updating your kitchen (with an attractive photo or two) is somewhere near the top of your to-do list. An inviting kitchen rivals curb appeal in creating a superior MLS listing, so if you’re noodling a remodel of your home’s core, you will be interested in these trends for 2013.
About that linoleum from the 1970’s: it’s time to say good-bye. Kitchen experts agree that hardwood floors remain a hot kitchen remodeling trend…and there are a few fresh twists we can expect to start appearing more frequently in local listings. Interior designer Cami Weinstein says, "I am starting to see lighter shades of wood floors again - something that hasn't been seen in a while.” The washed-wood floors are back from the 80’s and 90’s -- but with wider planks and hand scraping that creates a less formal, beachy feel.
Award-winning designer Kathleen Donohue points to a newer trend: re-facing cabinets rather than replacing them. People are watching their spending, and simply re-facing (the process of simply changing cabinet doors while maintaining the original cabinet structure) is a much less expensive option than total rebuilding. Freeing up remodeling dollars is a definite plus.
Adding to the trend toward thrift-consciousness, expect kitchen features that do double-duty – conserving precious kitchen space in the process. Examples are microwaves that double as second ovens and/or warming drawers, and refrigerators with convertible drawers that can act as fridge, freezer, or wine fridge. Either should be a great selling feature in local MLS listings. Especially if your home has a smaller kitchen, multi-taskers like those are valuable ideas.
Spring, 2013 is shaping up as a great time to sell. I offer complimentary and confidential evaluations all the time, so if you’re considering listing your home this year, give me a call… we can start in the kitchen! You can reach me on my cell phone at 812-499-9234.
Wednesday, June 20 2012
While design, color, and surface appeal are important considerations, you’ll also want kitchen flooring that can live up to your lifestyle and provide the comfort and durability you need. Here are some favorites, with their pros and cons:
Durable and easy to clean, stone offers a timeless appearance suited to most any kitchen decor. Choose larger pieces to create a more seamless look with fewer grout lines. Cons? There’s no denying the look is impressive, but you’ll likely need a strong subfloor and some big bucks to get the job done. Tile and stone can also be cold and uncomfortable if you stand in place for long. (One solution is to place a cushioned mat where you most frequently stand to reduce feet and leg fatigue.)
This often-overlooked natural material comes in various colors and patterns and is sustainable, warm, and slightly cushioned. Seal it to prevent water damage and clean the same as you would a hardwood floor.
Easy-to-clean linoleum is available in sheets or tiles in a broad range of colors. Many consumers confuse linoleum with vinyl, but vinyl is a synthetic material with a pattern imprinted on the surface, while linoleum is all-natural with color throughout.
This budget-friendly material (about $10-$13 per square yard) keeps upping its image as new technology helps it more closely imitate the look of stone, wood, tile, and leather. Vinyl is available in 6- or 12-foot wide sheets or as 12- to 18-inch tiles that are ideal for DIYers. Easy to clean, vinyl is also soft underfoot.
Improvements in products and sealers make wood a viable flooring material in kitchens. That’s good news for people with open floor plans, who wish to use the same material in adjoining living areas. Additionally, wood adds a sense of timelessness and warmth that suits any style, from urban loft to cozy cottage to traditional home.
Thursday, May 03 2012
More home owners want more space in their kitchens and are expanding the kitchen’s use for more than just cooking, according to the latest findings from the American Institute of Architects’ quarterly Home Design Trends Survey. The survey, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011, focused on kitchens and bathrooms.
“Kitchens seem to be regaining their function as the home’s ‘nerve center,’” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker.
During the housing downturn, kitchen design fell as a priority for home owners, Baker notes. But as the market has picked up, Americans’ interest in kitchens has been renewed.
“The last few years have seen kitchens take on new functions with dedicated computer areas and recharging stations,” Baker notes.
The kitchen products and features growing the most in popularity, according to the survey of architects, are:
1. Computer area/recharging stations
2. Integration with family space
3. Renewable flooring materials
4. Recycling centers
5. Adaptability/universal design
Home owners are also placing more emphasis on sustainability in choosing products in the kitchen, such as with renewable flooring materials and renewable countertops increasing in popularity.
Sustainability is also important in bathrooms, the survey found. One of the biggest growing concerns for home owners in designing bathrooms is finding ways to minimize utility costs, according to the architect survey. As such, products like LED lighting, dual flush, and water-saving toilets are growing in demand, Baker notes.
Thursday, March 10 2011
Remodeling kitchen trends are creating stylish kitchens with cleaner lines, built-in dining, and pops of color, according to a recent article in RISMedia.