Design Trends

Take Me to the Beach! A Master Bath renovation

August 8th, 2016 by Kathy Barry

This client came to me hoping to enlarge and update the master shower.  Her husband is tall so we also wanted to raise the height of the standard shower head to better accommodate him.  The existing prefab shower unit with bulkhead seemed dark and crowded.   And their shampoos and skincare products didn’t have enough space.

The builder grade tub surround was too short to be a good protector for splash when using the tub.

<br/ clear=”all”>By enlarging the square foot in the shower by about one third and using a glass enclosure, the new space is light filled and spacious!  The tile has a subtle beach sand pattern.  The glass waterfall and stone shower floor add to the feel of an ocean side spa retreat!

<br/ clear=”all”>Our motto is “Love Your Home,” and with Home Life Interiors, you can be sure you will!

2014 Kitchen Trends

April 11th, 2014 by Kathy Barry

If you are considering a kitchen renovation, you might be wondering what styles are most popular.  Or what appliances most people are using in their kitchens.  From several different sources, as well as trends I saw at the Kitchen and Bath Show, here are my favorites:

Transitional style, neither contemporary no traditional, but a blend of both is the most popular style.  The shaker style door is very popular as it can work in either direction – contemporary or traditional.  Gray is the new beige and we are seeing more gray finish cabinets as well as other gray surfaces, including walls and floors.  Gray is not for every house, however.  You need to look at the overall undertones in the materials that will be staying in place.  For example, is your trim stained?  If it is the warm oak or pine of years past, gray may not be the best choice.  If your trim is painted white and gray blends with other materials such as brick work or flooring, it may work well.

We are seeing less detail and straighter lines overall in kitchen door styles and details such as corbels, all with less clutter and ornamentation.  And in general a less distressed or rustic style although I am seeing areas of reclaimed wood accents to pick up on a vintage look.  The key is using a rustic accent for interest, not having each cabinet distressed.  Rustic accent walls with heavy texture can work well with a more contemporary setting to add interest and contrast.

Accessible and/or universal design elements as well as easy maintenance features will become the standard as baby boomers move past middle age.  Energy saving as well as water saving appliances and fixtures are expected to continue to grow in popularity.  Induction cooktops, steam ovens, French-door refrigerators, bottom freezer refrigerators, touch or motion-activated faucets and LED lighting are all in demand.   And some desk or office area, although not the larger desks of the 80’s, but an area for mail is still very much needed with docking or charging stations for all the portable electronics that are so much a part of our lives.

Textures, whether visual or actually tactile are gaining popularity again.  Subway tile and other horizontal patterns are the go-to for backsplashes.   Large graphic wallpaper patterns, particularly for accent walls or the powder bath, along with grasscloth have also become popular.  I find this interesting as a generational commentary.  My generation of baby boomers resist wallpaper and large florals because we’ve “been there done that.”  But to my younger clients it is fresh and lovely!  Truly, what goes around, comes around!

Free standing furniture pieces, whether as an island or storage cabinet, can add to the the kitchen’s focus on a gathering place for friends and family.  These accent pieces can reduce the formality and symmetry of a kitchen cabinet perimeter run.  Stacked upper cabinets with a variety of cabinet heights as well as depth all add to a well designed traditional kitchen.  In a more contemporary setting, symmetry of the upper cabinets or even eliminating the upper cabinets works well.

In countertops, I am seeing more quartz than granite.  The strength of quartz which can allow a larger unsupported span and the bonus of never having to seal a quartz countertop has made it very popular.  As well as the newer, more irregular patterns which look more like a natural stone product make them a winner all around.  The price of granite has really come down, however, in the past few years as it has become more standard to use a stone countertop as opposed to laminate or acrylic.  So, if budget is a concern, you may find an entry level granite more to your liking.

Each area of the country and regions within each area will move more strongly in one direction or another regarding these trends.  Of course, it is most important to choose what you like, not what happens to be trending at a particular time.  I have never recommended to my clients that they follow the trends too closely.  Your kitchen should reflect your own tastes and preferences so, at the end, you will “love your home.”




Fabric trends from the Window Coverings Expo

February 27th, 2014 by Kathy Barry

Fabric trends for home furnishings are predominately focused in Europe.  While I attended the Kitchen and Bath Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, I also attended a trend seminar hosted by the Window Coverings Show, which ran at the same time.  Some interesting forecasts showed up which I confirmed in other product categories for the home such as metal finishes and cabinet colors.

Home fashion fabrics are becoming more decorative.  Foils and metallics as well as irridescent and florescent fabrics were all shown.  Diaphanous pinks and rose golds, follow the warming trend I saw in metal finishes for kitchen and bath.

We’ve seen over the decades that color follows the economy in that when we are in the midst of a recession, the color palette becomes more greyed and subdued.  When the economy is flourishing, the colors become bolder and more energetic.  I can’t necessarily confirm that the economy is going gang-busters, but the color palette is definitely becoming more saturated with super bright colors like magenta and orange.

There also seems to be a trend toward embellished naturals, incorporating craft techniques, embroidery, and lots of embellishment.  The popularity of Pinterest and Etsy are influencing the fabrics we may be seeing in the coming months.  Glow in the dark appliques, embellished velvets, jacquards and damasks were all shown in Europe at the fabric shows and will be making their way to the US in the coming months.

The red family seems to be on the up swing, from the palest pink to vibrant fuschia, and into deep oxblood and copper.  Sea green, blues, and navy also are trending.


More exciting ideas from the Show!

February 17th, 2014 by Kathy Barry

One of the most interesting booths I saw at the recent Kitchen and Bath Show in Las Vegas was Richelieu.  They make a wide range of cabinet  decorative hardware as well as hinges and opening systems and slides.  This interesting idea starts as a 4 x 6 island with an inset leather top.  It slides to reveal the cooktop and the overhang then becomes a seating bar!  Of course, there would have to be a safety mechanism so the top wouldn’t close over the cooking surface while hot.

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They also introduced some interesting lighting options for closet areas

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And one other great idea for small areas is a full extension hinge system for a dining table that extends out from a console at the wall.  It supports 130 pounds so even Thanksgiving dinner should be secure!

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Creative and clever!

News from the Las Vegas Kitchen and Bath Show!

February 11th, 2014 by Kathy Barry

Last week I enjoyed Las Vegas and Design and Construction Week.  For the first time, the International Builder’s Show, Kitchen and Bath Show, and the Window Coverings Show were all together in the same place.  I was particularly interested to see plumbing and lighting finish trends.  Kichler introduced a line of copper lighting that was quite attractive.

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While Danze had copper faucets on display.

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Two years ago at the show, I started seeing more brass again.  But it was antiqued, more of a bronze.  This year, however, several (I saw 4 or 5) manufacturers had brass in their line, both polished and antique.  These faucets from Kohler were a bit of a surprise, in both polished and antique brass.  They also had a 24 karat gold plated finish that really gleamed!


Overall, I would say the finishes are warming up.  I also saw more polished nickel (warm grey) in both plumbing and lighting.  For lighting, oil rubbed bronze works well for the current industrial look in fixtures.  Still plenty of lighting and faucets in oil rubbed bronze but the overall style of lighting fixtures is moving towards a more simple line.  The blackened bronze fixture that might have had decorative scroll work a few years ago now is just gently curved.

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