Before I get to the two granite choices that won’t date your kitchen I want to thank everyone for all the supportive comments that were left on last weeks blog regarding our mission to downsize. It has been more work and more stress than I could have imagined but we are slowly inching our way to getting our house purged of stuff and ready to put on the market. I’ll be sure to update within the next couple of weeks.
Those of us in the design world have seen dark granite falling out of favor for the past several years. I would even go so far as to say most granite counter tops are now perceived as dated. In my part of the country (New England) many homeowners have grown tired of being bossed around by the busy, dark, speckled stone and are incurring the expense of ripping it out and replacing it.
dark speckled granites
So what’s trending now? When I attended KBIS (kitchen and bath industry show) a couple weeks ago it is clear that quartz is the new top choice for counter tops. Quartz is an engineered stone that is a composite of natural quartz and a man made resin.The advantage of quartz is that it can mimic natural stone such as marble or soapstone but doesn’t have the same issues with staining and maintenance as those softer stones. Quartz wears like iron and never needs to be sealed. It’s also quieter than granite and the chosen pattern is consistent throughout the slab.
Popular Quartz counter tops
Vendors I spoke with at KBIS told me their most popular sellers today are white, cream, soft gray and charcoal colored quartz.
Silestone suede finish
Silestone introduced a new finish at KBIS called Suede which was so soft and luxurious. Much more natural feeling than the high gloss and shiny granite counter tops of the past.
There is one big drawback to quartz and that is the price. It is a luxury product and although I have several clients desire it, they had to change plans once they received a price quote. Unfortunately, quartz can be double or even triple the price of granite. So what should you choose if you want stone but your budget only allows for granite? There are only two choices I recommend and that is white or black/charcoal granites.
White and black granite is as timeless as you will find and unlike the bossy speckled granite, you won’t be limited in picking a wall color that works with your pink, peach, gold or brown granite. Just as with quartz, you can also choose a leather or honed finish for a softer look and feel.
Arctic white and absolute black granite
Jet mist is a dark charcoal colored granite that I think is a beautiful choice. In fact, it looks very similar to the Silestone quartz that I showed above.
Jet Mist honed granite
Different vendors have their own names for their white and black granites but these are the only colors I recommend if you are choosing granite.
So, whether you are renovating or building new, take my advise and steer clear of the speckled dark granite. I guarantee you will tire of it and if you decide to sell, buyers don’t want it.
It’s funny how everyone comes away from a big design show like KBIS (the annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show) with a different perspective and different thoughts on what is new or trending. I am a color lover so I obviously am going to be drawn to all the color I see. Also, as someone who is beginning the process of downsizing I was also on alert for space saving products. I guess I’m not alone because small and compact seemed to be one of the overall themes of the show. I spoke to many vendors and most shared the same point of view that Millennials don’t want the big houses and the Boomers are dumping theirs (Like my husband and I).
So in no particular order, here are the seven top trends I spotted at KBIS 2017 in photos..
1.COLOR: Color was a big story this year. Skittle colored faucets, ranges and furniture were crowd pleasers and Instagram darlings.
KBIS 2017:Linda Holt Photo
Here’s the thing though about these brightly colored appliance. I asked reps from multiple booths displaying colorful appliances if they were they selling many of these colorful appliances? The answer was overwhelmingly “not many”. What color are they selling? Stainless steal. Sorry to burst your bubble folks but although everyone says they LOVE color and the fun colors draw show goers into the booth for Instagram photos, very few homeowners are putting these colorful appliances into their homes. Is it fear that they will tire of it? Is it the expense? Probably both but I think after attending KBIS now for the past three years I have come to the conclusion that these colorful appliances are little more than expensive marketing pieces. So for the time being it looks like stainless is still king.
2. Say goodbye to all white kitchens: I didn’t spota single all white kitchen while at the show. I heard someone say they attended a “how to get published” seminar and the editor of one of the top shelter magazines told the audience their magazine is no longer going to publish all white kitchens. Wow…harsh but I guess since that is all we have seen for the past five years it takes some tough love to get folks to move on. So what was on trend for cabinets at KBIS? Lightly stained wood with visible grain.
KBIS 2017 Linda Holt Photo
3. Mixed color cabinets: Besides stained wood cabinets, mixed color cabinets also had a very strong presence at the show. White with blue, white with black or gray and even white with stained wood.
KBIS 2017: Linda Holt Photo
4.The return of the statement back splash: Oh PLEASE say it ain’t true!This is one trend I am not a fan of. I always say to my clients, “nothing dates a kitchen faster than a statement back splash”. The vendors at KBIS though embraced the statement back splash it in all it’s busy glory! Similar to the mind set of no more all white kitchens, I think this is a revolt against the ubiquitous subway tiles. In looking at my examples below there is not one back splash I would want to live with for more than a few months (okay weeks).
KBIS 2017:Linda Holt Photo
5.Black finishes: Black was very on trend last year at the show and I saw even more of it this year. Matt black faucets, hardware and even sinks.
Black finishes at KBIS: Linda Holt Photo
6. Organized kitchens and baths: It seems all of North America is on the decluttering and get organized band wagon…I mean EVERYONE! We are stressed and pressed for time and having a well organized kitchen and bath with a place for everything is a luxury we are willing to spend on.
KBIS 2017:Linda Holt Photo
Drawer insides that resemble jewelry boxes and pull out shelves that eliminate the need to fumble around inside the cabinet for pots and pans. Clutter has become a dirty word and the trend in kitchens and baths is to have a place for everything and clear clutter free counter tops.
7. Wall mounted vanities and toilets.This trend was impossible to miss. I have never seen so many wall mounted vanities and toilets.
KBIS 2017: Linda Holt Photo
Getting the vanity and toilet off the floor allows for a more open feeling and with the trend toward living in smaller homes, more visible floor space gives the illusion of a bigger space. (Note too the black toilet, sink and fixtures in the bottom right photo)
KBIS 2017: Linda Holt Photo
So there you have it my friends. A summary of seven trends I spotted in the day and a half I was at the show.
Boston’s latest show house (The Nathaniel Allen House) sponsored by The Junior League of Boston is now open. Recently I had a chance to tour the house and take some iphone photos. If you love color, pattern and art you can’t miss this show. The rooms are done up with warm tones, luxurious textures, fabulous wallpapers and art work galore.
The rooms are all so different yet somehow they all seemed to flow. Color and wallpaper are a very big story but the stand out for me is the attention the ceilings received. Almost all of the rooms have either a colorful painted or wallpapered ceiling. Take a look at few of my favorites.
The “Morning Room” was bright, cheerful and fresh and the yellow painted ceiling glowed with warmth from the early morning sun.
My good friend Kelly Rogers used a similar warm color palette in her “Mother in Law’s Suite” and also chose to paint the ceiling a warm golden honey.
Design by Kelly Rogers: Linda Holt Photo
This “Petite Retreat” designed by Nancy Seibel has a not very shy pink painted ceiling. So fun for a little bathroom don’t you think?
Designed by Nancy Seibel: Linda Holt Photo
Elizabeth Benedict wallpapered the ceiling in her “Chinoiserie Chic” bedroom with bamboo trellis wallpaper. How wonderful to wake up in the morning and see something beautiful rather than a blank white ceiling.
Elizabeth Benedict Design: Linda Holt Photo
The “Dressing Room” which had a small desk area also had a wallpapered ceiling. Choosing a fabulous statement wallpaper is a great idea in a small space like a powder room or closet because the cost will not be too high and every time you enter it will put a smile on your face.
The ceiling that really impressed me was in the “Receiving Room and Sitting Room”. Designer Gerald Pomeroy used high gloss paint to create a decorative stripe that tied two different but adjoining rooms together. The “Receiving Room” is below. The lighting could not have been worse with the sun pouring in creating a lot of glare but you can see what I am talking about if you look above the fireplace.
Receiving room: Linda Holt Photo
Here is a closer look at the same room with a broad gray stripe and a narrower green stripe.
Receiving room ceiling: Linda Holt Photo
Below is the adjoining “Sitting Room”. You can see he reversed the colors with the broader stripe green and the the thinner stripe gray.
“Sitting Room” : Linda Holt Photo
Lastly, here is an image of the two rooms and the ceilings taken from the doorway where the two rooms join.
Gerald Pomeroy Design: Linda Holt Photo
I think it is brilliant and I would love to do something similar for a client. What do you think?
I will be posting more beautiful rooms from the show house but I couldn’t wait to show you all the wonderful ceilings in the house. I hope after seeing this trend you will think twice before defaulting to “ceiling white”.
Oh my goodness…what an inspiring week at the High Point Furniture! I feel like I walked 50 miles in five days. I was so honored to be chosen for the High Point Design Bloggers Tour and we all had so much fun. We visited showrooms I am very familiar with as well as a few I had never heard of but was happy to discover. The Spring Market was bursting with energy and I saw so many beautiful new designs. I compiled a list of nine trends and since I am all about photos, I want to show you lot’s of images. So as not to overwhelm you I have divided my report into three posts since I have so much to share. As a summary these are nine trends I spotted.
Color: Red, Pink, Blush, Coral, Persimmon and Watermelon ruled this Spring, followed by Blue, Emerald green, White and Gold
Chairs: Exposed wood spines, sexy backs, sculpture in the room, statement pieces
Case goods: Faceted wood fronts, wallpapered fronts, decorative geometric shapes, hardware that is either big or “go pegs”.
Brass is KING…seriously, the amount of it was overwhelming.
Live Like You: Furniture for real life not “magazine rooms”. Crypton fabrics, durable quality core pieces for beds and dressers, durable rugs.
Mixed Materials: wood with faux shagreen, wood and brass, Lucite and wood, Lucite and leather, parchment and wood, glass and wood.
Elevated organics: Organic shapes and forms applied to furniture
Accessories: Organics, rock crystals, shells, bones, feathers, spiney sea urchin shapes in brass and white
Fabrics: Large scale florals, birds, tie dye and water colors.
RED in all it’s various hues was without a doubt the trending color of Spring Market. I personally have never been a huge fan of red but after seeing some of the showrooms I think I might have to rethink how I feel about this dramatic color. The Ambella Home showroom knocked me over with their use of red. It was one of my favorite showrooms. The white upholstery and the light gray woods are so striking against the red wall.
Ambella Home: Linda Holt Photo
One of my favorite designers who loves color as much as I do is Tobi Fairley. Her new furniture collection for C.R. Laine and for Woodbridge is full of rich yummy color, especially vibrant pinks and fushia. (notice nail heads and Lucite are still trending).
Linda Holt Photo
This Pink coffee table is fun but also comes in any color you choose.
Tobi Fairley for Woodbridge:Linda Holt Photo
The Lillian August show room was one of the most colorful showrooms and I love the the raspberry velvet chairs in her Spring collection.
Lillian August:Linda Holt Photo
Blush pink got a lot of buzz at the show and this blush colored leather chair immediately drew me in. The leather and steel base is more masculine but the blush color pushes it toward the feminine. The chair thus becomes almost gender neutral which was another trend I saw emerging (gender neutrality).
Linda Holt Photo
Norwalk Furniturechose three color themes for Spring. Under the Sea (Blues), Jetson (think 60’sred, silver,black and gold) and Hill Country which is this dusty pink pictured below.
Rowe Furniture Linda Holt Photo
Bluecontinued to have a very strong showing as seen in the Mr. Brown Homeshowroom.
Mr. Brown Home: Linda Holt Photo
Duralee hit a home run with their new fabrics from John Robshaw. The show room was so lively and inspiring and that red and blue sofa in the background was like sitting on a cloud as it was all down!
Duralee: Linda Holt Photo
Deep blue velvet upholstery was spotted it in multiple showrooms and in the photo below it is striking paired with red.
Linda Holt Photo
I also spotted a lot of softer gray blues as in this vignette from Bernhardt Furniture.The all white furniture and accessories makes the room so calming. Can’t you just see this at a sea side location?
Linda Holt Photo
Emerald Green was another color that made a strong showing. Similar to the bold red wall in the first image, notice the furnishings and accessories are neutral black and white. The green color is the star of the room. The M.T. Company showroom had several rooms using emerald green.
The M.T. Company: Linda Holt Photo
Again, the bold green fabric is the star and the supporting colors are kept neutral with white, black and gray.
Linda Holt Photo
I don’t want you to think that every showroom was bursting with color. There was plenty of gray, white and gold. I just tend to gravitate toward color like a moth to the flame so color is what stood out to me.
Linda Holt Photo
2.Chairs. Sexy is back or should I say backs are sexy! Chair after chair had exposed spines or interesting lines and looked just as fabulous from the back as from the front. This little red number from Ambella Home was one of my favorites.
If chairs didn’t have exposed spines they had interesting shapes. I saw a lot of barrel shaped chairs which tend to look good floating in a room. Blush color velvet adorn these chairs from the new Michael Berman collection forTheodore Alexander.
Theodore Alexander:Linda Holt Photo
and last but not least, check out this chair from Bernhardt clad in artisan hammered metal. Now wouldn’t that be the statement piece in the room! Surprisingly it was comfortable too!
Bernhardt: Linda Holt Photo
3. Case goods. No longer delegated to a supporting role, case goods are now shouting “look at me”. I saw bold, gold, brutalist, faceted, sculptural, and wrapped and wallpapered. There was a huge variety but they were all statement pieces.
Noir: Linda Holt Photo
Many had geometric designs like this one from Vanguard.
Vanguard: Linda Holt Photo
This one from Lexington Furniture was both faceted and gold.
Lexington Furniture: Linda Holt Photo
Metal wrapped and hammered consoles were also trending like this one from Mr. Brown Home.
Mr. Brown Home:Linda Holt Photo
I also saw a number of wallpaper wrapped chests.
The other trend is that the hardware has become jewelry. The trend is either really big like on this cabinet from Global Views
Hi everyone! I just returned home from the High Point Market Design Bloggers Tour. It was inspiring, fun, educational and exhausting all at the same time. I have SOOOO much to share and over a thousand photos to plow through and edit. My more detailed trend report will be up early next week but for today’s Friday Photo I have a photo to share that I took at the Mr. Brown show room.
Mr. Brown Home High Point Market
Not all of these eight trends are new but overall, this photo is a good representation of what was showing at High Point Market.
Color: Persimmon, coral, watermelon, pink, blush and all the various hues of RED are trending.
Brass and gold finishes were EVERYWHERE. Brass definitely outweighed all other finishes at the Spring market.
Mid century is still going strong. The floor lamp, the hanging brass pendants and the chairs.
Armoires are back: We don’t need them to hide bulky TV’s anymore but with all the talk of downsizing and living small it seems we just can’t get enough storage.
Decorative fronts on case goods. I will talk much more about this in my report next week but get ready for sculpted, faceted, hammered, printed and wallpapered fronts on case goods.
Mixed materials. Mirroredglass and laser cut wood tall cabinet. The table has a stained wood base, a faux shagreen (Sting ray skin) top and a brass edge on both the table top and base.
Geometrics: The arms on the chairs
Antiques mixed in with new: An antique wood bowl on a stand on the table
Have a great weekend everyone….I’ll be editing and editing and editing!
As you know, I had the honor of traveling with Modenus last January as part of BlogTourKBIS and this is my final trend report from the 2016 Kitchen and Bath Show. The main color story from the show for fixtures was matte black and brass.
Matte black tub from Kohler
Sleek and sophisticated, matte black tubs, faucets and fixtures were part of just about every vendor’s new introductions.
Audrey Series from Huay
This articulated faucet from Brizo was one of my favorites from the show. It looks like a beautiful sculpture.
The Solna® Kitchen Collection by Brizo
Matte black was everywhere, not only for cabinetry and faucets but for lighting, mirrors and accessories.
The other big color trend for fixtures is brass. Now I know so many of you have just recently banished all your dated brass but the new trend is not the lacquered yellow brass from the 80’s and 90’s but a warm soft satin brass.
Say what you will about brass but the warm golden tone can add some much needed warmth to kitchens and baths that can otherwise seem cold with the abundance of hard surfaces.
I adore these satin brass knobs and pulls from Emtek.
Matte black paired with brass was also trending at the show.
Faucet by Huay
Hang on folks because…….The return of polished brass was also seen in a few of the booths.
I do think polished brass might take a while to become main stay again but if the KBIS show is an indicator then it is making a come back.
So what do you think of matte black for fixtures? and are you ready for the return of brass?
If you missed my previous color trend reports from the 2016 Kitchen and Bath Show you can read them here.
Sunday I am off to the Design Blogger’s Conference in Atlanta. I have never attended and I am so excited to spend the next few days learning and sharing from the best. There will be several celebrity designers speaking and I’ll be sharing on Instagram so be sure to follow along here.
A little over a year ago I attended a designer event and met the editor of New England Home Magazine. She was making the rounds asking all the designers if they had a kitchen project that was NOT white because she was so bored of publishing white kitchens. She felt they were all looking alike (white cabinets, marble counters and subway tiles) and was desperate to get something different to her audience.
Fast forward to last week. While having a conversation with one of the cabinetry showrooms at the Boston Design Center I asked what percentage of their business comprised white cabinets. The showroom manager told me white cabinets make up a full 70-75% of their business.
While attending the 2016 Kitchen and Bath Show with Modenus as part of BlogTourVegas, I shared HERE how I saw very few white cabinets in the booth displays. Is this a sign that white cabinets might be waning? One of our sponsors,WoodMode, had a booth filled with beautiful cabinet options other than white. Take a look and see if you still think white is the only option for you.
The WoodMode booth was very crowded making taking photos a little challenging.
WoodMode Booth Kbis 2016 Photo by Tori Aston
so this photo below is from their press kit.
Brookhaven by WoodMode
The above cabinets are quarter sawn white oak and the color is shale with a pewter glaze. I love the brick red accent cabinetry and matching hood.
Wood Mode Linda Holt Photo
This cabinet above is sandblasted rift-cut white oak with distressing and stainless steel drawers. Gorgeous…right?
As was this ribbon Mahogany cigar bar cabinet display.