Kitchens Kitchen Flooring FloorTalk — for all the latest flooring fashions

Kitchens Kitchen Flooring FloorTalk - for all the latest flooring fashions

Archive for the Kitchens / Kitchen Flooring Category

Minimalist Kitchens & Baths Reign for 2014

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

By Annette M. Callari, ASID; CMG

Over half of 2014 is behind us, and that gives us enough time to analyze the important trends in kitchen and bath designs evolving this year.  Consumers and designers are ascribing to “form follows function” in planning their new K & B interiors.  Contemporary is in, with clean lines and minimal ornamentation.  Less is more, and consumers are interested in scaled-down, simplified design that is attentive to creative storage features and functional space planning.

With a little help from my friends at the National Kitchen & Bath Association, below is a summary of the hottest K & B trendseach validated by the results of the NKBA annual survey  (which included 420 practicing design professionals).

  1. Monochromatic, neutral color schemes are the hot ticket for this year.  Bone, beige, gray and white are the winners.  I attribute that to the clean (somewhat austere) simplicity consumers are craving.  When the world seems to be spinning out of control, we react by creating safe havens in our homes.  Neutral color schemes give us the relaxing, visual relief we are craving.
  2. It’s no surprise that Universal design is an important facet in planning new kitchens and baths.  The baby boomer generation is coming to the realization that they need to plan for their “aging in place” future, and Universal design is a critical component.  No-threshold showers and easy access soaking tubs are in high demand.  Whirlpool tubs and steam showers (well-being and pain relief) are also emerging as important features.  Showers include benches or seating.
  3. Comfort heights for commodes and vanities are a priority design consideration for 2014, another consideration in Universal design.
  4. Radiant floor heating systems are much in demand and 55% of the designers surveyed saw that demand escalating throughout 2014.
  5. Non-slip flooring materials are an essential ingredient and correlate with Universal design concepts.  (examples:  unpolished natural stone, honed granite, slip-resistant LVT, mosaic-like tile with sufficient grout lines to provide slip-resistance)
  6. Kitchen sinks are favoring stainless steel, but granite composites and porcelain enamel are gaining momentum.
  7. Chrome fixtures seem to fit the contemporary direction of K & B design.  However, copper is on the horizon.  Its natural anti-bacterial properties and inviting warm tones are capturing a whole new consumer audience.
  8. For countertops, granite and quartz surfaces are practically in a tie for first place.  Minimalists will usually opt for clean, uncluttered, solid surfaces and quartz will pull ahead in that respect.
  9. Kitchens Kitchen Flooring FloorTalk - for all the latest flooring fashions
  10. Specialty features in kitchens are worth the investment.  Effective use of space is important and given that, microwave drawers are edging out warming drawers.
  11. For cabinetry in kitchens, cherry is in first place, maple was second, and alder came in third.  Designers are predicting that walnut will take its place in the top three by the end of the year.

If you were surprised by some of these reported trends, well that is actually good.  Design is fluid and ever-changing.  Staying ahead of the design curve allows you to incorporate some of these important trends into your own home.  For 2014, streamlined, functional ,   innovative, are the buzzwords (and hallmarks) for excellent kitchen and bath design.

Options-Options-Options in Luxury Vinyl Tile

Monday, June 10th, 2013

By Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID; Chair Holder CMG

You will be seeing new entries in Designer’s Corner over the next two months presenting a two-part series on LVT.  I thought this might be just the right time to blog about some of the “secret” design options you can create for your floors using luxury vinyl tile.  All it takes is a bit of ingenuity, and some “insider” information of what’s available to you.

Anything you can do with porcelain tile or natural stone, you can do with LVT.  Anything you can accomplish with natural hardwood floors, you can do with LVT.  Concrete looks, floors that glitter, metal-look floors, marble, slate, hardwoodsall of these are available in LVT.  Ease of maintenance, high performance, and exceptional life cycle of these products are bringing incredible attention to LVT products.  Let’s take a closer look to see some of the lesser known options that many manufacturers are now offering:

Borders and Corners

You don’t have to sacrifice a custom look to use wood-look LVT planks rather than hardwood.  Ornate borders with corner pieces can be used to create insets or perimeter borders around a room to make it memorable.

We’ve seen beautiful medallions (or motifs) offered by hardwood flooring manufacturers.  These are perfect for foyers, formal living rooms, even as a focal point in a master bedroom.  Whatever you can do with wood, you can do with LVT.  Many manufacturers have stock patterns in standard sizes available.  These are usually laser-jet, precision-cut motifs offered in both contemporary and traditional modes.  If you require a custom medallion, or a custom size, leading manufacturers have design teams in place to work with you to create your vision.  CAD drawings are generated for your approval, and LVT wood samples of your choice provided, so each and every design motif can be one of a kind.

Size Options

This is usually one of the first questions I am asked by designers and customers, “Won’t I be limited as to the size tiles or wood planks I want to use if I choose LVT?

Simple answer to that is, “Absolutely not .”  I am amazed at the growing number of sizes being offered as standard.  As an example, Amtico International (made in Georgia) offers stone look LVT in 12 x 12”, 12 x 18”, 18 x 18”, or 12 x 24”.  Wood planks come 3 x 36”, 4 x 36”, 6 x 36”, 7.25 x 48” and even 9 x 48” (with an extra charge for the last two size options).

Designer Patterns

Some flooring patterns have a timeless feel to them and are requested over and over.  Herringbone layouts, parquet, random plank, key insert layouts, and many more are offered as a “package” floor for just a bit more cost.  The result is exceptional precision-cut floors, all manufactured and ready to be professionally installed.  You choose from the company’s product range, the correct amount of total square footage is then ordered, all of which is pre-cut and ready for a glue-down installation. (Smooth wood subfloors or concrete substrates are best.)   No

Bottom line is that LVT has evolved to the point of becoming quite the status floor.  The Europeans discovered the advantages long before we did, here in the USA.  I have it first-hand that throughout Europe, when real estate comes on the market and boasts “luxury wood vinyl floors”, that is a huge selling advantage!  I believe that as American consumers become more comfortable with LVT luxury flooring systems, we will see this same mind-set take hold right here at home.


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