July 24, 2024

KJ Home

The Best Home for Creating Lasting Memories

What’s trending in home finishes

5 min read

Some selections for the home can be more daunting than others, such as materials for walls, floors and other surfaces. Here are some tips and trends to help you make informed decisions when picking countertops, cabinets and more for kitchens and bathrooms and additional areas.

For countertops, Nathan Caspers, regional manager of showrooms for Infusion Kitchen and Bath Showrooms by Etna Supply with locations throughout Michigan including Wixom, says quartzite has really been the lead as of late. “In addition to the durability, there is less maintenance and the colors include black, gold and blue hues that complement the colors we are seeing everywhere,” he says.

At the moment, homeowners remain motivated to renovate. “People are looking to remodel because they are locked in to low interest rates,” adds Caspers. “With quartzite, they get durability and lack of maintenance that can extend the look of a kitchen remodel from today to 15 years from now. It can also be in a bathroom for a dynamic look and elevated durability.”

For those who prefer marble, Cambria Ella offers the look without the fragility.

Textured cabinets with louvered or fluted details have also been popular, along with other distinctive options. “Cabinets in sage green, cobalt blue and French blues complement fixtures that speak to those colors, like polished nickel that is starting to be requested again,” says Caspers.

Dominant bathroom cabinet selections include traditional species like walnut and pine. “Much has been kind of modern for a while, especially bathrooms that summon nature,” he says. “Now there has been a pulled-back traditional take on modern that is sophisticated and fresh with less crown molding.”

Professionals can guide you to the best fit for your needs. “Always work with someone who has the patience to answer your questions and help you make the decisions that are right for your home,” says Caspers. “CAD drawings, visualization tools, showroom displays and designers can help narrow down the selections.”

Plan ahead

In terms of cabinetry, Niki Serras, who owns Scavolini Store Detroit at the Michigan Design Center in Troy in addition to other locations, has also seen a movement towards ribbed or fluted details, along with metallics that have gone from brassy to more muted tones. “It’s all about that quiet luxury,” she says.  

For primary and presentation rooms like the main bathroom and the kitchen, Serras says people have been picking more sophisticated metallics, wood veneer and ribbed materials. In secondary rooms, where durability may be a factor, like a kid’s bathroom or a laundry room, laminates and melamine can handle wear and tear.

With countertops, Serras has seen more interest in natural materials like quartzite, marble and granite. Currently, kitchens tend to feature two to three cabinet colors, as well as handles with more refined styles, even in traditional spaces.

For remodels, Serras recommends finding a designer or a general contractor to do the bulk of the work. “If that is not an option, slow down the process and make sure you have the right measurements and specify the right materials,” she says. “Sometimes people pick out a countertop without considering the floor. Putting the whole palette together before making your decisions can have a very positive impact on how the space comes together.”

Budget should be another consideration. “Have a number you’d like to hit and anticipate you may need extra dollars on the side,” says Serras. “Most people are going to do their kitchen once. Spend a little bit more today if you can for that wish list item that may be worth it.”

On the surface 

Other materials that play an important role in the home include tile and stone. DeeDee Gundberg, chief designer for Ann Sacks in Portland, Oregon, says ceramic and stone tend to be the most popular options. (The company has a showroom at the Michigan Design Center in Troy.)

“Before making a decision on ceramic, make sure the glaze is suitable for your application,” she says. “For instance, a crackle glaze is not recommended for shower or wet installations and some glazes are not acid resistant. For stone, homeowners should know that it needs to be sealed regularly.”

In the kitchen, full slab stone backsplashes, often with a stone ledge or shelf, have been a huge trend. “Heavily-veined stones are generally used for this application and the results are dramatic and striking, creating a beautiful focal point,” says Gundberg.

For bathrooms, a big trend that has returned is tiling the opening of the shower, including the threshold, in ceramic or stone. “This extra attention to detail provides a finished and tailored look that is extremely sophisticated,” she says.

Other areas that are often tiled include wet bars, laundry rooms, dog washes, patios and stair risers. 

Gundberg says porcelain and stone are the most typical mediums for floors and ceramic for walls. “Stone mosaics are also very common and can be used for flooring or wall tile and offer unlimited options,” she explains. “We often see clients mixing lots of mediums together, and this can definitely work as long as your selections complement each other and play off each other nicely.” 

Walk this way

When it comes to flooring, Kristin Andrews, director of process optimization for Mans Lumber | Home in Canton, says people can get inspiration from sources like HGTV and Pinterest as well as neighbors. “It’s easy to be overwhelmed with options, so having an idea of what they’re looking for can help with the initial narrowing down of selection. It’s also wise to have an idea of a budget, timeline and services they’ll require. Coming in already knowing this information helps us find the best solutions in a more efficient manner,” she says.

You should also know what you want from your floor. “For example, if you have small children and pets, waterproof luxury vinyl may be the best choice as it can withstand messes and scratches with less worrying,” she says.   

Free samples can help with the process. “Products look different in a showroom than they do at home,” says Andrews about their selections that include hardwood (engineered and solid), vinyl (click-lock, glue down and sheet), laminate, carpet (broadloom and tile) and porcelain and ceramic tiles.

Wide width planks (both engineered wood and vinyl) have been popular as people appreciate the spacious feel they provide. Vinyl has also been in demand due to its ease of installation, wood-like look and waterproof and durable nature. 

In addition, larger format tiles have been on the rise, like the 12 x 24 and larger styles that dominate the current market. With fewer grout lines, these tiles can make a space feel larger.

Engineered hardwood in natural tones and luxury vinyl plank that looks and feels authentic have been more prevalent. Some vinyl options have an added layer for texture that emulates hardwood. Neutral colors can also provide a more natural wood look.

While Andrews says neutral and subtle appear to be the way we’re heading, “we are not currently in a ‘trend dominated’ time, like we were in the past where everything was grays and more grays,” she adds. “Clients have been more expressive lately with the housing market, going with what they like more than what they think has resale value.”  

Jeanine Matlow writes the Smart Solutions column in Homestyle. You can reach her at [email protected].


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