Painted cabinets and glazed finishes remain a hot trend for 2010, says Bolon’s Custom Kitchens President Guy Bolon.
“It gives cabinets an aged or Old World look,” he explained of the process in which, after the original finish is on, the door is painted with a darker color, then wiped off.
“Glazed finishes are the hottest thing going,” he said.
Tile floors and tile backsplashes, especially those with the look of natural stone, continue to be popular as well. Granite countertops are still in high demand, Bolon said, but for people looking for a more affordable alternative, there’s good news.
“Laminate manufacturers have stepped up and made a high-definition laminate (countertop),” said Bolon, describing it as textured with a photographic detail in the print that imitates the look of granite for about a third of the price.
As far as fixtures and faucets, Bolon sees a lot of oil-rubbed bronze or brushed nickel, again, an Old World or almost worn look, he described.
Stainless steel, commercial-looking appliances still are popular.
“We’re starting to see a real trend of people wanting a good quality designed kitchen,” Bolon said, adding that his customers want an open feel with room to entertain.
Marty Ortman, co-owner and vice president of Canton Aluminum, said that in the current economy, customers looking to add a sunroom or three-season room can find a lower-cost alternative with a product he carries.
PGT Eze-Breeze sliding panels can be used on a deck or existing porch to enclose it and create a new room in your house.
The panels are made of strong vinyl glazing instead of glass, which makes it more affordable.
When they are open, they allow the breeze in, while the screens keep the insects out. When closed, they protect the room from the elements.
Canton Aluminum used this material to enclose part of the patio at the Quarry Golf Club.
“You don’t want glass at a golf course,” said Ortman with a laugh, adding that the wind at that location was another concern.
For those of us with smaller areas to enclose, he said, “There are less-expensive ways to create new living space. If you have the roof already, you can get it done for four to five grand.”
Diane Gluck, showroom manager at Robertson Kitchen and Bath, said she isn’t seeing any specific trends in bathroom design that are new and different for 2010.
“We are still running the gamut from traditional to contemporary,” she said.
Air bathtubs are gaining in popularity over the jet tubs. Air tubs, said Gluck, have tiny holes and a less-forceful jet. Warm air is pushed through 120 air jets positioned along the perimeter of the bath, creating thousands of massaging bubbles.
Bathtubs that offer aromatherapy and sound-wave vibration are available, too.
Digital controls for the temperature and settings on faucets and shower heads, said Gluck, are popular.
“Touch faucets are new,” she said. “They go off and on with a touch of the head. Delta is spearheading this.”
Other popular items are dark-colored cabinetry and higher toilets.
The higher toilets — 1 1⁄2 to 2 inches higher — are better for the knees.
CLOSETS AND STORAGE
With springtime comes spring cleaning, and that’s when Action Closets in Lake Township gets busy.
Owner Larry Lab said most customers are replacing the standard wire closet shelves that many building
contractors use for their cost and efficiency.
“Most people keep them until they outgrow them,” Lab said.
Also, he said, many of his customers want to become more organized, and the wire shelves are not the best way to do that.
One way to organize, Lab said, is to use a circular rotating hanging system he installs called the Rotobob. The system is somewhat like those used by dry-cleaners, but not motorized.
Lab said the Rotobob provides 150 percent more room and is especially good for seniors and people with physical disabilities.
Custom built-in closet systems are another popular request. He is seeing a demand for a custom look at a lower cost this year.
To do that, Lab offers melamine, a modern plastic, in 16 colors that give customers the look of wood at a lower cost.
The system works in garages and pantries, as well.
According to Peter Martin, operations manager at Tower Industries in Massillon, the newest trend in surfaces may be green.
Green, as in recycled.
The recyled surface material used by Tower is Vetrazzo, which is manufactured in the United States using recycled glass with a binder of cement, additives, pigments and other recycled materials.
All of the glass used in Vetrazzo is recycled, and it makes up about 85 percent of the final material.
Vetrazzo uses fly ash and other recycled materials within the binder, and no resins or petroleum products are used.
It can be used anywhere that natural stone or natural quartz might be used, including countertops, tabletops, flooring, fireplace surrounds, architectural cladding, and even outdoors.
“It is more expensive — it’s two to three times what a normal granite or quartz countertop costs,” he said.
The newest thing in the quartz or man-made surfaces, he said, is one that mimics the stone look.
Hanstone Ruscello quartz, a line he recommends, is stain-resistant, heatresistant and easy to maintain.