A master class in window treatments from three Summer show houses

Now that Summer is behind us and the kids are back at school I have been getting phone calls from new clients wanting to get their home ready for the upcoming holidays. The number one thing on their wish lists are new window treatments. Having just returned from visiting three different show houses I have to say, window treatments are taking on a main role in decorating. No more wimpy thin drapery panels that I remember from some of the show houses even just a few years back. Instead, I saw room after room of full luxurious panels and roman shades and the one thing they all had in common was some kind of embellishment. 

The Coastal Living Idea House  that I blogged about HERE was designed by Mark Sikes and although I loved his use of blue of white and the many layering of patterns, my favorite design element in the home were his window treatments.

blue drapery with leading edge trim

Linda Holt Photo

Gorgeous wide trim on the leading edge was on every panel and most had top banding or trim as well.

Roman shades with trim

Mark Sikes: Linda Holt Photo

Sikes also layered his windows with natural fiber shades which added texture but also helps protect the fabric from the harsh sun.

blue and white floral drapes

Mark Sikes: Linda Holt Photo

Luxurious pattern matched blue and white panels had trim along the top that coordinated with fabric trim running under the molding. The home has so many amazing details like this in every room. Speaking of details, Sikes even covered his drapery pull wand with matching fabric. Now that is something you don’t see very often…if ever!

fabric covered drapery pull

Mark Sikes:Linda Holt Photo

Natural fiber shades and a wide band of decorative trim added to the charm.

drapery panel with trim

Mark Sikes: Linda Holt Photo

Last week I visited the Hampton Designer Show House and this year there were two homes to tour. Each was very different in look and feel but the one commonality were statement window treatments in every room. Even the bathrooms were adorned with statement drapes!

Linda Holt Photo

Unless you are looking at the above photo on a large screen you won’t be able to see but pink pompom trim runs down the leading edge of the panels.

These sweet roman shades were trimmed with little crystal beads. They were so pretty glistening in the sunlight.

roman shades with crystal trim

Linda Holt Photo

I love the way these shears mimicked the lines of the layered custom molding that was throughout the home.

White shears with black trim

Linda Holt Photo

Eddie Ross trimmed the Roman shades in his room with a contrasting nail head tape.

Roman shades with nail head trim

Eddie Ross design: Linda Holt Photo

Rather than a sewn on tape, these panels in Rajni Alex’s room had a geometric design embroidered directly onto the edge of the fabric. (notice the rug is also embellished on the banding cloth).

orange drapes with embroidery edge

Rajni Alex Design:Linda Holt Photo

When you add trim to a drapery panel you need to decide where it should be placed. Some designers like to put it right at the leading edge of the fabric but others prefer it inset a few inches like this drape below.

winow panels with decorative trim

Linda Holt Photo

I did notice that Mark Sikes placed his trims right at the leading edge of the fabric on all his panels.

patterned drapes with decorative trim

Mark Sikes design:Linda Holt Photo

The one thing I should point out is that these beautiful trims and tapes add considerably to the cost of the drapery. In some cases the trim is even more expensive than the fabric. It does make for a beautiful statement piece in the room though and often times that makes it all worth it.

Lastly, I want to share one more trend with you that I have been seeing in both magazines and spotted at all three show houses I visited. The table skirt is back!!

blue and white table skirt

Mark Sikes:Linda Holt Photo

The one above was in a bedroom at the Coastal Living Idea House and the one below is from the Hampton Show House.

table skirt

Linda Holt Photo

I had this exact same style of table skirt in my own home back in the early 90’s. It’s a great way to add some color and pattern and also doubles as storage underneath. One thing I will leave you with is that sparse rooms and minimalism seems to be on the way out and layered rooms with “more is more” is making a comeback.

After just having downsized and donating 70% of our belongings I am very conflicted about this trend. Personally, I am loving me new very edited small living….however those window treatments are beyond beautiful!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on embellished window treatments but also what do you think about table skirts making a comeback? Do you like the more is more look?





Design trends in photos from High Point Market: part 2

Hi everyone, I hope you have enjoyed my first two posts about the color and design trends I spotted this Spring at High Point Market. If you missed my color trend report you can catch up HERE if you missed the first four trends you can catch up HERE.  Today I have the last four trends I spotted at 2017 High Point Spring Market. 

Tribal Inspired

Touchy Feely

One of a Kind

Downsize Me

5. Tribal Inspired: We have seen lot’s of Moroccan inspired textiles and patterns over the past couple of years but tribal Africa is the latest craze. African textiles like Kuba cloth and Mud cloth had a strong presence in many of the showrooms. 

African tribal inspired lamp shade

Linda Holt Photo

African inspired patterns and design stood out as being an emerging trend.

African inspired textiles at Noir Furniture

Noir: Linda Holt Photo

Tribal inspired pillows were abundant all over market.

Black and Yellow African inspired pillows at Classic Home

Classic Home: Linda Holt Photo

These baskets, hand made in Africa were a big hit among show goers.

African hand made baskets

ALL Across Africa:Linda Holt Photo

6. Touchy Feely: Texture is an important element in almost all home decor right now. Everything from furniture to pillows, throws and accessories are shouting out “touch me”!This sculptural, faceted console from Vertuu is a perfect example as is the brown armoire from Noir in the second image above.

Faceted textured wood on console

Vertuu: Linda Holt Photo

Large scale chunky throws like this one below from Aviva Stanoff are very on trend.

Large scale knit throw

Aviva Stanoff: Linda Holt Photo

Artwork was very textural at Market with thick painterly brush strokes seen on paintings and more sculptural work like this piece from Palecek.

Organics and texture at Palecek

Palecek: Linda Holt Photo

This new collection of pottery from Continental Home made quite the textural statement.

textured pottery

Continental Home: Linda Holt Photo

Even pillows that generally don’t have a whole lot of texture were adorned with crystals, feathers, thick embroidery and all sorts of tactile delights.

pink jewel encrusted pillow

Nourison: Linda Holt Photo

Obviously, these textural couture pillows are more art for the sofa and not so much for weekend napping.

Gold metallic pillows

Linda Holt Photo

Textured carpets and shag rugs are making a comeback as well. This was a wall hanging at Loloi but I think it is also a rug.

Loloi: Linda Holt Photo

7. One of a Kind: Similar to the old Burger King commercial, today’s homeowner wants it their way. Manufactures have taken note and furniture is now available in a multitude of fabric and finish options. Not only for high end custom furniture but even the big box stores are offering more choices than ever before.

finish choices at Wesley Hall

Wesley Hall: Linda Holt Photo

On another note, I believe the tide has turned and individual artistry is once again in high demand. We have grown weary of filling our homes with “made in China” soul-less junk. Everyone seems to be on the decluttering band wagon and getting rid of all the useless “stuff”.  Going forward we are focusing on owning less but surrounding ourselves with unique items that speak to us and have meaning. High Point Market was full of so many creative artists and designers producing beautiful bespoke items for the home.

Custom lighting from Lousie Gaskill is a perfect example. Each piece is made from vintage glass and lighting pieces so no two are alike. 

custom blue and gold chandelier from Louise Gaskill

Louise Gaskill: Linda Holt Photo

Textile and lighting designer Aviva Stanoff presses plants, crystals, felt, corals, and all sorts of organics into fabric to create glorious pillows of which no two are alike. 

Ginkgo pressed pillow fabric

Ginkgo pillow by Aviva Stanoff: Linda Holt Photo

8. Downsize Me: This final trend was on my radar as we get ready to move from a large house in the country to a small, more urban apartment. Housing studies continue to show that babyboomers are downsizing in huge numbers and millennials are forgoing the big house in the burbs to remain in the city. The vendors have taken notice and I spotted more modular and smaller scale pieces than ever before.

Ambella Home had quite a few options for smaller modular pieces that are flexible depending on individual needs. I especially like the pie shaped upholstery pieces that doubles as a table or seating depending on the homeowners needs.

modular furniture

Ambella Home: Linda Holt Photo

These small fun accent pieces from Berhardt can be used individually or grouped together and arranged at will. 

stone chess-like pieces for tables

Bernhardt Furniture: Linda Holt Photo

These small tables from Highland House can be used separably as side tables or grouped together for a custom sized, colored and shaped cocktail table.

modular hexagon tables

Highland House: Linda Holt Photo

More modular seating from Ambella home works equally well for seating, as an ottoman or with a tray as additional table space.

yellow green ottomans with contrast welt

Ambella Home: Linda Holt Photo

So there you have it! The eight trends I saw at Spring Market. I hope you enjoyed my pictorial report. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below which trends you like or dislike. 


Photos of four trends from High Point Market

Today I am back with part two of my High Point Market trend report. Last week I shared the color trends I saw at Market and today I have the first four of eight trends I spotted at Market. As always, this report is light on text but heavy on photos because I would rather show you what I saw than tell you what I saw. The first four trends I saw are:

  1. Fresh Traditional
  2. Fashionable Furniture
  3. Metallics
  4. 70’s are the new mid century

1. Fresh Traditional. Maybe it’s a reaction to our increasingly frightening world and a desire to return to what we know and grew up with, but traditional furniture is making a come back. Even brown furniture that has been so badly maligned by designers for the past ten years or so is back on the scene. 

Jonathan Charles: Linda Holt Photo

Today’s traditional however is not your grandmother’s traditional but a fresher version that fits today’s life style and aesthetics. At Jonathan Charles, a traditional settee (above) is given an unexpected twist with a large scale polka dot fabric and on trend throw pillows. Below, traditional wing back chairs are upholstered in fun bright fabrics with a “racing stripe” running down the back.

C.R.Laine updated wing chairs :Linda Holt Photo

Dana Gibson’s new collection for the M.T. Company featured a traditional settee updated with chalky white paint and a bright pink family friendly crypton fabric.

Dana Gibson settee: Linda Holt Photo

This traditional looking ottoman from Bunny William’s Home is updated with interesting non traditional feet.

Bunny William’s Home: Linda Holt Photo

Thibaut mixed a very traditional damask covered love seat with on trend wallpaper, animal print pillows and then paired it with a modern fabric on the ottoman.

Thibaut Home: Linda Holt Photo

2. Fashionable Furniture: Furniture and fashion have always been closely aligned but many new furniture introductions this Market seemed to really embrace some of the hottest fashion trends. This blush pink fringe chair for example.

LEE: Linda Holt Photo

Dress making details such as pleats and channel backs were spotted on many of the new introductions.

Linda Holt Photo

The new coffee table below from Dana Gibson was sporting a Chanel like tweed fabric.

Linda Holt Photo

Not only did furniture get in on the fashion trends but this voluptuous ruffled mirror was right on trend.

Linda Holt Photo

Gold feet, tufting, pleats and buttons all reference couture fashion at Christopher Guy’s newly opened showroom.

Christopher Guy: Linda Holt Photo

Speaking of gold feet, furniture with gold legs was a huge trend this Spring. Even large sectionals were perched on gold, sexy, stiletto like legs. This one below from Julian Chichester was stunning.

The Amalfi sofa from Julian Chichester: Linda Holt Photo

Even if not super thin, gold metal legs out numbered wooden legs on the new Spring upholstery introductions.

I happen to catch a Prada runway show on the internet a few weeks ago and noticed belts were prominently featured on most of the models. Leave it to Mary McDonald to be right on trend with her red belted chair for Chaddock Home.

Mary McDonald for Chaddock Home: Linda Holt Photo

3. Metallics: Similar to last Market, metallics are still big and brass (gold) is still king. Lot’s of gold was spotted in lighting, artwork, accessories and as I already pointed out on furniture legs. I saw very little rose gold so I assume that trend is over or else never caught on.

Linda Holt Photo

Metals incorporated in the design of the furniture is a trend that I saw last year but even more so this Spring.

Handley Drive for Codarus: Linda Holt Photo

Although not as prevalent as gold I did spot some silver used as a decorative element in furniture as well.

Ambella Home: Linda Holt Photo

At Vanguard I spotted brass mixed with walnut with a brass support base.

Vanguard: Linda Holt Photo

More metal, this time used as a decorative element on a dinning table.

Vanguard: Linda Holt Photo

Although it’s a little hard to see by this image, brass is used as a detail around the fabric channels of the head board as well as around the foot board.

Bernhardt: Linda Holt Photo

Gold and silver together for this console chest. Quick side note: Ginkgo is the new palm leaf. I saw it in so many showrooms that I determined it is the botanical “du jour”.

Bernhardt: Linda Holt Photo

Metal with a glass top makes for a unique statement piece.

silver metal pod table with glass top

Thom Filicia for vanguard: Linda Holt Photo

Brass is used to show off this menswear inspired side chair. Probably not too child friendly as I see some sharp edges.

Linda Holt Photo

4. 70’s are the new mid century: The 70’s are back! Wicker, macrame, hanging plants, beads, and funky furniture. Yup, move over mid century because I think the 70’s are edging you out.

Selamat: Linda Holt Photo

I swear I had this exact textile wall hanging in my college dorm room in the 70’s. Notice the on trend blush as well.

Selamat: Linda Holt Photo

Woven organic fibers and textiles were spotted all over Market. Hanging plants were popular as well.

Linda Holt Photo

Even lighting is getting it’s 70’s on with wicker or woven pendants and shades.

white wicker hanging pendants

Selamat:Linda Holt Photo

Although not a favorite of mine, muted earthy colors of the 70’s seemed to slowly be creeping into the home. These pillows in green, harvest gold and orange are spot on for the 70’s. The geometric patterns are classic 70’s as well. If you remember from my color report last week I saw terracotta used in more than one showroom. 

1970's inspired pillows

Tom Porter: Linda Holt Photo

Some of the artwork had a 70’s vibe as well, in both color and pattern.

70's inspired artwork

Linda Holt Photo

Olive green, gold legs and leather…all trending this Spring and all right out of the 70’s.

olive green leather chair

Julian Chichester: Linda Holt Photo

The 70’s were also known for funky and unique furniture designs. This chair below is a good representation. Again, I hate to be a broken record but don’t miss the brass legs.

Christopher Guy: Linda Holt Photo

This is a new introduction from Noir furniture.

Linda Holt Photo

Lastly, what started in the 60’s as Psychedelics and the explosion of Day-Glo colors further evolved in the 70’s resulting in  interesting color combinations and fanciful patterns. This was reflected in both wallpaper and fabrics at market.

Mitchell Black: Linda Holt Photo

Peace out.

Laura Park: Linda Holt Photo

So that wraps up part one. Next week I will have the final four trends so be sure to check back. If you missed the color trend report you can catch up here.

Which trend do you love/hate? Please let me know.


2018 color trends you want to see now

Another High Point Spring Market is in the books and once again I made my annual pilgrimage to see all the new introductions, trends and colors so that I can report back to you what is new in the world of furniture, accessories and lighting.

So as not to overwhelm you (like I was going through thousands of images) I will break this trend report into several posts. Since color, or I should say lack of color, was such a big story at market I am devoting this entire first post to color. Tuesday’s blog will feature the first half of eight trends spotted and I will follow that up with the final four trends.  As usual there are more pictures than words so sit back, grab a coffee or wine and enjoy Color trends from High Point Market.

These are the four color trends I saw at Market with the fifth being “one to watch”.

  1. Warm Neutrals
  2. Black and White
  3. Blush
  4. Jewel Tones
  5. Terracotta

 1.Warm neutrals dominated Spring Market, and I mean…as in there was hardly any color in the majority of the showrooms!

It looks like the tide has finally turned for the cool blue grays. Those sophisticated cool grays that were everywhere just two short years ago have now been warmed up and replaced by warmer tones of gray, taupe and even brown.

Guy Chaddock Monterey collection: Linda Holt Photo

Showroom after showroom was filled with these warm neutrals. It’s as if they all followed in step with Sherwin Williams color of the year Poised Taupe.

Taupe and gray, gray and taupe was all over Market.

Linda Holt Photo

At one point while finishing up a tour of one of the better known showrooms (which shall remain anonymous) my color loving friend Kelly Rogers turned to me and said she felt depressed. I was feeling the exact same way! The absence of any real color was actually affecting our mood.

Linda Holt Photo

The rooms by themselves were all lovely and beautifully styled but for someone like myself who loves color it was getting very hard to take.

Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair. taupe and white

Mary McDonald for Chaddock: Linda Holt Photo

A lot of the new wood furniture introductions had a gray brown stain that was taupe colored as well.

High Point Market Spring 2017. Taupe stained console table

Linda Holt Photo

Below is a better representation of this gray brown stain. The wood is stained but the grain is allowed to show through. (I have no idea what that pink spot is but it would have taken way too long to remove it so please just disregard).

2017 High Point Market. Stained wood trening

Linda Holt Photo

2.Black and White: Warm grays and taupe not your vibe? Well black and white was also trending at Market.

Linda Holt Photo

This may be a look only a few homes and homeowners can pull off but in the right circumstance it is stunning.

Linda Holt Photo

I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of this bold graphic look since I saw lot’s of black and white accessories, artwork and furniture.

Left Bank Art: Linda Holt Photo

Bernhardt furniture: Linda Holt Photo

Matte Black finishes were especially popular for accessories.

Handley Drive for Codarus: Linda Holt Photo

3. Blush:There was one color that stood out as being the “color of the Market ” and that was blush. This soft pink hue was featured in multiple showrooms. 

Mary McDonald for Chaddock Home: Linda Holt Photo

I saw hints of this soft pink in Spring 2016 but this year it was hard to miss.

Mary McDonald :Linda Holt Photo

The sofa below by Christopher Guy is leaning a little too much toward mauve for my liking but I have a feeling that blush, which is so popular right now is going to turn into mauve eventually….urgh.

Christopher Guy: Linda Holt Photo

Pillows, rugs and art work in blush color were prevalent.

Nourison carpet: Linda Holt Photo

4.Jewel Tones: Blues, greens, chartreuse, hot pinks and other jewel colors were spotted at market. I had to seek them out by visiting showrooms that are specifically known for color but the trip was well worth it. Although still popular I saw less Mediterranean blue than in years past and surprisingly used more on furniture than on walls. Blue paired with chartreuse was a very popular combo this Spring.

Lillian August: Linda Holt Photo

A hot pink velvet chesterfield sofa was spotted at Lillian August. Obviously not for everyone but after three days of seeing nothing but grays and taupe I was ready to get my check book out right on the spot.

Lillian August: Linda Holt Photo

C.R.Laine is another showroom that never disappoints with their use of color and they had plenty of it. Blue and orange was another a popular combination this Spring.

C.R.Laine: Linda Holt Photo

The pillows this Spring at Market were some of the most colorful I’ve seen to date. Since I was so starved for color they were like a cool glass of water on a hot summer day. I would make an immediate bee line to any color I saw and fill up with a color fix before moving on to the next neutral showroom. I had a fantasy of buying all these pillows and going from showroom to showroom and plunking a couple down in everyone of those colorless showrooms.

Square Feathers: Linda Holt Photo

Much like the booths filled with colorful pillows, the art showrooms were bursting with beautiful bold brightly colored art. Large scale art still dominated but groupings were popular as well.

Trowbridge art: Linda Holt Photo

It’s not surprising that the accessories were so colorful because how do you add some color to all those neutrals? With colorful jewel toned pillows and bright bold art work of course.

C.R.Laine: Linda Holt Photo

5.Terracotta: I’m calling this a color to watch. I spotted this warm rusty red orange in several showrooms and one trend which I will share on Tuesday makes use of this color.

David Easton for Chaddock: Linda Holt Photo

So there you have it. The 2017 colors of High Point which dictate what you will be seeing in your local home stores in 2018.

I would love to hear your thoughts about the warming up of gray. Happy to see taupe and brown coming back or not?

UPDATE on our house sale. We signed the P and S last week and will be moving May 27th. There is SO much to still do which is why this post is two days past my posting day. Please accept my apologizes and know I will get back on schedule ASAP.













More 2017 Tile trends that blew me away!

Get ready for some more serious tile eye candy because today is part two of the six tile trends I spotted at the Spanish tile show Cevisama. If you missed my first three trends you can catch up here.

Today’s post is mostly photos so grab a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy.

4.Textile inspired tiles: Textiles and porcelain have teamed up to create some beautiful new options for tiles. Some of tiles looked so much like fabric that I had to to touch them to believe they were porcelain. Plaids, prints, even herringbone tiles were on display at the show.

textile inspired tiles:Linda Holt Photo

textile inspired tiles:Linda Holt Photo

Shagreen (shark or ray skin) which is so popular right now for case goods is now also an option for a tile. You can’t tell in the photo but they feel exactly like real shagreen.

Shagreen tiles: Linda Holt Photo

Shagreen tiles: Linda Holt Photo

Plaid which is also trending for interiors was spotted on tiles. Wouldn’t this Burberry inspired plaid be fun for a powder room floor?

Plaid Tile: Linda Holt Photo

Plaid Tile: Linda Holt Photo

These new textile inspired tiles are possible because of new advances in both 3-D and ink jet printing technology. It’s amazing what they can do now that even a few years ago was not possible.

textile inspired tiles:Linda Holt Photo

textile inspired tiles:Linda Holt Photo

These white textile inspired tiles are right on trend yet have a longer “shelf life” than some of the bolder statement tiles above.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

One of my favorites was this white lace tile. The tile is on top and the fabric inspiration is shown below it.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

5. Metallic tiles: Some of the metallic tiles I saw were my favorite of the show.

Metallic Tiles: Linda Holt Photo

Metallic Tiles: Linda Holt Photo

Tiles that resemble hammered or oxidized metal were especially popular. I see these being used more in a commercial space but they were absolutely gorgeous. The sizes and shapes varies from planks to large squares. These metallic tiles behind a vintage leather sofa reminded me of vintage gym lockers or the grill on a radiator cover.

Metallic tiles: Linda Holt Photo

Metallic tiles: Linda Holt Photo

These 3-D metallic tiles were another one of my show favorites.

3-D metallic tiles:Linda Holt Photo

3-D metallic tiles:Linda Holt Photo

These copper looking wall tiles would make a beautiful statement black splash in a kitchen.

Metallic tiles:Linda Holt Photo

Metallic tiles:Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

6. Geometric tiles: are hot hot hot! Not only for shape but in lay out as well.

Linda Holt Photos

Linda Holt Photos

Hexagon shaped tiles had a large presence at the show as did triangular and rhombus shaped designs.

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

Linda Holt Photo

So that wraps it up! I hope you enjoyed my tile trend pictorial. I want to give a huge thank you to Tile of Spain for opening my eyes to all the many choices in tiles today from Spain. My head is spinning with ideas and I can’t wait for my next project where I can specify tiles.

I’d love to hear from you. Which tile trend is your favorite?

2017 tile show: Not your mama’s tiles

Last week I had the incredible good fortune of spending a week with Tile of Spain attending the Spanish tile show called Cevisama. It’s almost impossible to put into words just how amazing the show was but I took lot’s of photos so that I could share what is happening in the world of tiles.

The popularity of tiles is growing and according to ASCER (The Spanish Ceramic Tile Manufactures Association) the quantity of tiles imported into the USA grew by 22.6% from 2015 to 2016. Due to advances in technology like 3-D printing and new inkjet printers, tiles are taking on innovative new shapes, patterns and colors.

After going through all my hundreds of images I spotted six trends to share with you in photos. Today I will share trends 1-3. Next week I will wrap it up with part two and share trends 4-6.

  1. Wood look tile: Tiles that resemble wood was by far the biggest trend I saw at the show. Even though wood look tiles have been around for awhile they haven’t been all that convincing. New technologies however have made it almost impossible to tell the difference between porcelain and real wood. Even the touch feels just like wood. The vendors I spoke with said wood tiles are currently their number one export.
Porcelain wood tiles: Linda Holt Photo

Porcelain wood tiles: Linda Holt Photo

Porcelain wood tiles come in a variety of plank sizes and mostly neutral colors. The grain is clearly visible and the hottest trend is distressed looking wood. Look at the image on the bottom right on my composite photo above. Do you know what that is? It is “water stained wood”. Yes, I had to have that clarified but they actually make tiles that are an exact replica of water damaged wood. This is one trend I personally would steer clear of but in the right space it could be wonderful.

Porcelain wood tiles: Linda Holt Photo

Porcelain wood tiles: Linda Holt Photo

Tile planks laid in a chevron or interlocking pattern were also popular at the show. The distressed blue, gray and brown tiles on the bottom right below won a “best of show” award. How about these tiles below? Looks just like aged wood but it’s porcelain. I think it would make a great accent wall.

Porcelain wood tiles: Linda Holt Photo

Porcelain wood tiles: Linda Holt Photo

The technology to achieve this look is very new and you can bet you will be seeing even more of this.

2. 3-D tiles. The latest technology with 3-D printers has revolutionized the tile industry and has created some of what I think are the most exciting options today for wall tiles.

3-D tiles: Linda Holt Photo

3-D tiles: Linda Holt Photo

The variety at the show was amazing and for those who want something a little more interesting than plain subway tiles, these 3-D tiles could be the answer.

3-D porcelain tiles: Linda Holt Photo

3-D porcelain tiles: Linda Holt Photo

3. Porcelain Encaustic tiles: Old world encaustic tiles were traditionally made from cement. Today with new inkjet printers porcelain tiles can be an exact replica of the traditional encaustic tiles but the advantage of porcelain is that it weighs less (less shipping costs) and is much more durable than cement.

porcelain encaustic tiles: Linda Holt Photo

porcelain encaustic tiles: Linda Holt Photo

I would love to find a client who would go for these, maybe for a powder room or a sun room floor?

Porcelain encaustic tiles: Linda Holt Photo

Porcelain encaustic tiles: Linda Holt Photo

As far as colors, I was told that grays continue to be the most popular colors for North America with whites, creams, and other light neutrals not far behind. One manufacture told me he sees the color taupe on the rise so it will be interesting to see if taupe overtakes the popularity of grays in the coming year.

I hope you enjoyed my tile pictorial and be sure to check out next Tuesday’s post with the final three trends.

Which of these first three trends is your favorite?

The only two granite choices for your kitchen that are not dated

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

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.

Quartz counter tops

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 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.

black and white granite

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

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.


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