by Heather Levin
With the real estate market still in a slump, more and more people have decided not to sell their home. Instead, they have chosen to stay put, until things get better. I count myself in this group; I had my own home on the market for two years. My house sold, and the sale fell through, on two separate occasions. As a result, I’ve resolved to stay put until the real estate market improves. Read more
by John Garskof
(MONEY Magazine) — You don’t have to be underwater on your mortgage to feel trapped in your home.
Now may be a less than ideal time to put a house on the market or to take on big debt — icing your plans to trade up or build an addition anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck living in an uncomfortable home. Read more
By Anne Balogh, ConcreteNetwork.com Columnist
Do you want to be on the cutting edge when it comes to decorative concrete countertops, and dare to go beyond a simple ho-hum, no-frills rectangular slab? Creative concrete contractors are always experimenting with new looks and applications for concrete countertops and vanities, often in response to the desires and changing lifestyles of their customers. Here are some of the hottest trends we’ve been noticing at The Concrete Network, based on recent countertop projects concrete contractors have shared with us. Hopefully, they will spark your imagination and embolden you to create countertops that rise above the ordinary and break new ground. Read more
When the design is underway and the owner steps up to construct the cabinetry, you know the kitchen will reflect passion and personality. This kitchen, by designer Dana Jones, forms part of a modern house with an informal beach-cottage ambience. The exposed ceiling beams, exterior stone cladding continued inside and tongue-and-groove paneling seen right through the house all contribute to the feel, says Jones. ”We designed the kitchen to respond to and accentuate the relaxed air – for example, the cosmetic wood ceiling beams were added over the kitchen to offset the presence of the metal structural beams on either side of the space.” Read more
The most popular areas of the home also are gaining new functions as the housing market begins its recovery.
By Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA
AIA Chief Economist
Although the housing market remains very weak by historical standards, signs that this sector of the economy is strengthening are beginning to emerge, particularly in the realm of kitchen and bath design. These two areas of the home generally get the most attention from their occupants, and therefore are the last areas to feel cutbacks as market conditions tighten, and the first to recover as conditions begin to improve. Read more
The current range of kitchen sink styles and materials is extremely wide on the market today. That’s the reason why you should try your best and educate yourself when it comes to all the facts related to choosing the right sink for your kitchen. Keep in mind that you must choose a sink that is right for your family, budget and kitchen space. The kitchen sink is likely to be the most used appliance in this space and a bad choice will become something you are very likely to regret for all the years to come. Read more
By Leah Hennen
When it comes to faucets, shoppers suddenly seem to have a choice of everything, well, for the kitchen sink. “There’s been an explosion of kitchen faucet offerings, with all kinds of new styles, features and finishes,” says Susan Serra, a New York City-area certified kitchen designer who tracks faucet trends on her blog, The Kitchen Designer, www.thekitchendesigner.org. Read more
By Karin Beuerlein
The secret to the most fashionable kitchens? A neutral palette that’s fresh and compelling. If you aren’t looking for a total redo, a jazzy addition like a contemporary faucet or industrial lighting can update the space with minimal fuss.
Tweaking Black and White
The look may change as styles evolve, but the appeal of the black-and-white kitchen never dies. It’s all about high contrast — this design from IKEA juxtaposes painted white lacquer cabinets (from IKEA’s LIDINGÖ line) and Absolute Black granite countertops, but it also benefits from the tension … Read more
By Mandy Meszaros
The New Year marks a fresh start for the industry—a time when planning takes shape, personal and professional resolutions abound and forecasts are filled with equal parts optimism and uncertainty. As we continue to see improvement in housing starts and remodeling, now is as good a time as any to think ahead…and quickly. Important changes are taking place in the industry as a new mix of consumer segments is colliding, gradually gaining confidence and beginning to spend a little more of its disposable income. Read more
By Timothy Captain
More than 350 NKBA member designers took part in the 2012 NKBA Design Trends Survey citing the materials, product types, and styles that they’ve incorporated into their kitchen and bath designs over the final three months of 2011. Their responses provide insight into design trends that will take hold in the kitchen and bath market in 2012. While broad trends won’t be evident in every local market, the following are 10 overall trends for kitchens and baths across the United States and Canada. Read more