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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thinking About A Kitchen Update?

Have you been toying with the idea of revamping your kitchen and think now may be the perfect time to take the plunge? Before you start shopping and getting estimates, it's important to think about what you'll need and how you can improve your kitchen setup, as well as what you want the space to look and feel like. It's also worth reading up on emerging kitchen trends, which may provide a spark of inspiration and, ultimately, influence the design of your new cooking zone.  These are some of the kitchen trends we are seeing:

~~Furniture-style design features. Interior designers predict that furniture-style cabinetry and other features will be one of the top trends in 2015. This approach marks another step in the evolution of the kitchen as the hub of the home and a treasured space the whole family can enjoy, rather than just a functional area that's used for food prep and cooking alone.  The incredible designs available celebrate the different elements of the kitchen as pieces of beautiful furniture, not just workstations, which allows people to bring their own personal, warm, welcoming touch to this space.  How can you incorporate this idea into your own kitchen?  A standout way is through an island.  Raising it on legs or including intricate paneling or a contrasting top and sides are ways of turning this into a piece to be proud of.

~~Airy (and user-friendly) open shelving. There is a rising trend toward using open shelving as a practical solution for the kitchen space, rather than simply for display.  Open shelving personalizes the space, making it feel lived in and warm, while keeping the kitchen functional and easy to use.  Of course, there are always some things that you don't want displayed, and combining open shelf cabinets and cabinets allows you to still hide things if necessary.

~~Wallpaper that wows. Want to add interest and character to your cooking zone? Incorporating wallpaper - which is a major trend everywhere in 2015 - into the design of your kitchen is the perfect solution.  Wallpaper provides an easy way to add visual impact, even in small amounts.  Wallpaper gives you the control of complementing the architectural elements throughout the kitchen or adding a beautiful contrast to an otherwise simple color palette.  And it won't just be used to dress up plain walls, either; we are also seeing wallpaper used in unexpected ways and spaces, such as on ceilings, to create striking features.

~~Modern traditional style. Designs that marry modern and traditional elements will be one of the most influential looks of 2015.   Homeowners are shunning ultra-sleek, contemporary kitchens in favor of spaces that are warm, homey and reflect themselves.
This trend is affecting everything from cabinet design to colors, materials to textures. We are really mixing it up.  Flat-panel cabinet doors are being replaced with classic door profiles, such as Shaker doors, for example. And materials are being mixed, such as stainless steel with wood, and wood with marble.  Modern design elements, like glass backsplashes and chrome handles, are also being replaced with features that exude traditional style and charm, such as tile with black, pewter and brushed-nickel fittings.
~~Ceilings that make you look up. For a long time now, we have all forgotten to look up. More emphasis will go into ceiling design, in terms of shape, features etc.  Whether it be through the use of lighting, bulkheads or coffer ceilings, or the addition of classic embellishments, our ceilings will become part of the room's beauty once again.

~~Luxe metallics. While silver, chrome and stainless steel are three metallics commonly used in the kitchen, warmer metals, like gold, copper and bronze, are all having their moment to shine.  Metallics in all their forms were prominent at all the design shows, from copper to bronze to gorgeous gold.  The texture and gleaming finish of metallics provides a stunning accent to most palette choices.  How would you incorporate it into your project? Try adding gold faucets - a little bit of decadence to dress up the everyday.

~~Touch-me textures.  There's a move toward using more textured and tactile materials. Natural marble and granite in honed finishes, as well as engineered stones that replicate raw finishes, are a few materials we'll be seeing a lot of next year.  Wood is always a huge trend, but in 2015 we are seeing more finishes that represent wood in its natural form, rather than high-gloss or smooth finishes.

~~Beautiful black. If you're not too set on a colorful or an all-white kitchen, then look to the other end of the spectrum and consider choosing black as the dominant tone of your culinary zone. Black will be one of the "It" colors in kitchen design in the coming years. Why?  We spend so much time in our kitchens, and we think that more and more people want to make them a really special space. Black makes a strong, sleek statement.  A simple way to introduce this classic, sophisticated color into your design is by opting for black cabinetry or countertops.  You can also add paneling to infuse the space with extra visual interest.

~~Minimal wall cabinets. Want a kitchen that feels open, airy and not too top-heavy? Then we're sure you'll appreciate this look.  Open-plan kitchens are now being designed with fewer wall cabinets, though obviously this depends on the size of the kitchen and storage you want.  While open-plan kitchens have long been a popular choice for homeowners, having minimal wall cabinets will further enhance a room's sense of spaciousness. The airy, bulk-free look also allows other design elements or features to enjoy the attention they deserve, such as windows that frame a picturesque view outdoors or a striking custom-designed range hood.

~~Repetitive patterns. A major trend that is happening is a move away from geometric patterns and toward elegant, repetitive motifs instead, which will take shape in the form of laser-cut plywood or steel panels, wall coverings, door inserts and tiles.  Patterns from bygone eras will be revitalized to create intriguing and calculated designs that appeal to the fashion-savvy.  Kitchen backsplashes are an easy way to incorporate this trend.

~~Tribal-inspired tones. Not a fan of all-white kitchens or monochromatic color schemes? Then you're in luck, because vibrant, attention-grabbing hues are making a comeback in the kitchen.  Color tones will likely shift to echo the diversity of nature, with inspiration drawn from the rich, bold Moroccan and Native American palette.  Vibrant yet dusty shades of mustard yellows, deep scarlet, royal blues and dirty pink hues may be used in place of primary colors. We'll still see a mix of matte and gloss finishes to inject energy in the kitchen hub.  If you're not too keen on investing in colored cabinetry or appliances, consider painting an accent wall, or introducing decorative elements in one of these hues that will be easy to replace once your love affair with the color comes to an end.
~~Shaker style. Classic Shaker-inspired kitchens never seem to go out of style, but this simple, timeless look is particularly popular in 2015.  A lot of people like to keep things traditional and appreciate the textural beauty of wood, which is a big factor this year.  Keen to incorporate the trend?  Focus on the paneling of cupboard doors, which can work in a classic or contemporary space.  Such detailing is a key characteristic of Shaker style, which focuses on clean lines, craftsmanship and functionality.

TIP:  If you want  a brand new kitchen to cook in for Thanksgiving, you need to be actively shopping now.  Thanksgiving is only six months away!  Most kitchen remodels take two to three months to complete, start to finish.  Now is the time to be researching and finalizing your dream kitchen design.

Memorial Day
Please take a few minutes this weekend to reflect upon the meaning of Memorial Day a federal holiday for remembering the people who died while serving in our armed forces. The holiday, which is observed every year on the last Monday of May, is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.
Enhance Floors & More will be closed Sunday and Monday, May 24---25, in honor of those who died while serving our wonderful country.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

National Karastan Month
Beautiful new Karastan carpet is certain to upgrade the value of your home.  Who doesn't want new carpet?  And now is the time to buy---great sale prices PLUS rebates from Karastan of up to $1000 PLUS 15 month interest free financing.  Come in today and see the newest Karastan styles, including wools, SmartStrand Forever Clean, and Kashmere nylon.  Choose from textures, patterns, and Berbers; you will easily find the perfect new Karastan carpet for your home!

Five Upgrades That Won't Add Enough Value To Your Home
It is a common myth that all upgrades will add value to your home.  While some upgrades are purely for your own enjoyment, just know that not all are profitable and you could never recoup the cost.  If you're looking to make improvements that will increase your home's value, you should take into consideration that some upgrades that are of value to you might not be so valuable to potential buyers.  Here are five of the most common upgrades that could actually add LESS value to your home.

Highly custom design decisions
Everybody has their own "dream" design in mind for their home.  However, just because that is YOUR dream kitchen, doesn't mean that it's everyone's idea of a functional, appealing kitchen.  Unless you plan on staying in your house for many years, or perhaps for the rest of your life, think twice about getting too personalized with design options.  Let's use a kitchen remodel as an example.  If you install a kitchen backsplash, you might recoup the cost, because "backsplash" and "no backsplash" is a noticeable one.  But the TYPE of tile won't be as important as you think.  Let's say you opt for a gorgeous, 2x8 marble tile instead of the normal ceramic or porcelain choices. While you might think of marble as an
upgrade compared to porcelain or ceramic, it's not likely to raise an eyebrow amongst buyers.  Similarly, choosing a countertop with a beveled edge that is complex and ornate can turn off buyers whose taste isn't as fancy as yours or be simply overlooked by buyers without an eye for detail.  In fact, these custom features could end up costing you as buyers will be thinking about how much they will have to spend to change it to suit them.  If you are planning on renovating your kitchen for the sake of selling, it is best to stick with timeless design trends and neutral tones.

Room conversions
Buyers will be looking for certain staples when touring your home.  Getting rid of these expected spaces, or altering them into something unusual, may harm your resale value.  Every bedroom, for instance, is coveted space that could bump your listing up into the next bracket.  Buyers are looking for a home with three or more bedrooms.  While you may think that you don't "need" that extra bedroom and prefer to knock out a wall and make it into a huge walk in closet, many buyers aren't going to share your interests.  They will prefer to have the extra bedroom for their children or guests.

Incremental square footage gains
Sizeable square footage gains may be a boon in buyers' minds, whereas small changes might not give you a return proportional to their cost.  For instance, building a small sunroom may be a nice touch, but it's not likely to drastically increase your home's value.  A second family room is cute, but if you already have a living room and a family room to begin with, buyers won't be clamoring to pay for the additional family room.  Adding square footage that doesn't flow well with the floor plan can also backfire.  A half bath on the main level may be needed, but if you have to go through the kitchen to get to it, the half bath loses its appeal.

Nobody wants to buy a mega mansion on a block full of simple split levels.  When your home feels overboard for your neighborhood, you'll alienate buyers on two fronts: buyers that are drawn to your neighborhood won't be able to afford your home, and buyers that can afford a house of that caliber will look for a ritzier area.  Keep the base level of your neighborhood in mind.  Tour some open houses in your neighborhood if you can and look at their kitchens before your spend a fortune on marble countertops and high end fixtures.  Being a little nicer than the houses around you can be a selling point, but being vastly more luxurious is not.

Putting in a pool is often a hit or miss when it comes to value added.  You may see some return on this renovation, but often not enough to pay for the pool itself.  Adding a pool could actually be a major turnoff to buyers.  Buyers with small children may be worried about the safety risks of a pool in the backyard.  People that are looking for a low-maintenance backyard won't be thrilled about the upkeep involved in the pool.  Along those same lines, buyers on a tight budget will not want the added cost of the maintenance of the pool.  If you are in your house for a number of years, the cost of maintenance plus the actual cost of installation will make the likelihood of recouping your money very low.

If you still want to spend the money on these upgrades for your own amusement, by all means, do it.  Just don't trick yourself into believing that you will greatly recoup the cost of the improvement in terms of adding value to your home.

Design Tip
The ambiance of your bathroom is largely dictated by the colors chosen to express the design.  Color in the bathroom can yield a soothing and relaxing spa like atmosphere or a bright and energetic space depending on the combinations you choose.  Using color as a detail to bring a room together isn't just for the main rooms!  Here are a few examples of color combinations in the bathroom to add that final touch on your bathroom remodel. 

Light, bright, and neutral
Everybody loves a bathroom with a lot of natural light.  However, if your home layout does not allow for a bathroom with window access, using light and bright colors are a good way to capitalize on a bathroom without windows.  The key to this is using light creams and off-white colors.  Pair them with a bronze finish for a more rustic, homey look.  If you need a pop of color, try a light blue or subtle green to spice things up.  Remember, the lighting design will be a key point in pulling off this design, so make sure you are countering the lack of natural light with a good lighting plan.

Mixing dark and light colors
An all-white bathroom may be too bright for your taste, but that doesn't mean you want to bathe in a cave either.  Mixing a dark and light color pallet makes for a striking bathroom.  Balance is key to this look.  You don't want so much dark that it is overpowering, and you don't want to wash out the bathroom with too much light.  Try keeping the tile work and flooring on the light side, and pair it with a darker vanity or countertop option.  Matte black finishes work well with this work, or you can go with chrome for a light accent on the dark countertops.

Warm Woods
Warm woods can create a very cozy feel, but wood floors aren't recommended for bathrooms because the moisture content will cause the wood to damage and warp.  Instead use a wood look porcelain or ceramic tile, or a luxury vinyl plank to achieve the wood look without worrying about moisture damage.  A wood tub surround (bead board) and matching cabinets can really bring a nice, cozy look to a bathroom.  Pair with brushed nickel fixtures and a light countertop to complete the look.