Posted August 22, 2007 9:13 p.m. EDT
Updated October 27, 2007 12:16 p.m. EDT
The Kitchen has become the key attraction for homeowners, whether it is a custom home, a new home customized in a new home community, or upgrading an existing home. And with this star role in the living pattern of today's homeowner, the kitchen is following trends, almost in the sense of clothing or furniture fashion.
The Triangle is filled with quality developers and builders, ready to fulfill the desires for practical and luxurious kitchens. But of artistic importance are the firms dedicated to creating custom kitchens, Like Like CKS Kitchens & Design, Triangle Design Kitchens and Cederberg Kitchens. See what they are making available:
Homebuilders see trends in kitchen as not only artistic, but as ease of planning and buying. Chris Martin, Vice president of Sales and Marketing for Pulte Homes says, "Kitchens are trending towardstainless and granite tops. Gourmet features are becoming more and more accessible across a broader range of price points." But the whole process of creating a customized kitchen can be a confusing and daunting process.
Martin and Pulte address the process in this manner, "Pulte is establishing 'Signature Standards' whereby we include brand name components and premium materials such as GE Monogram appliances, Moen Faucets and Bruce Harwood flooring in every home. Our company is developing professionally designed interior color packages that go perfectly together. This way, buyers can relax and feel confident that their kitchen cabinets, granite counter tops, tile backsplash and hardwood floors all look great together. As busy as people are and as complicated as life can be, these interior color groups save people time and stress."
Customizing Your Home
Other quality Triangle builders are offering ways to customize your kitchen and bath without the head ache of having do everything from planning to constructing on your own. John Wieland Homes & Neighborhoods, KB Home, McCar Homes, Perry Builders and Impact Design-Build are among the leaders. Deanna Stanley of John Wieland Homes & Neighborhoods says that "we work with buyers of our homes. Whether or not the walls are in place, we can customize the kitchen or bath to satisfy most wants and needs.We typically work with our customers to find out what they don't like, and then design a space that they do." She states to the customers, "here's what you would have had. What do you need?" This is an extraordinarily helpful opportunity when building a home, because you are working with professionals to develop a kitchen and bathroom that really says "you."
Tanya Romine of McCar Homes explains that they offer "a remodeled selection center with bundled packages. We have 12 different levels of kitchens, starting with a base and as you move up more and more features are available." There are a multitude of choices within each level, from tiles to appliances to storage space and plumbing, so the customer is not pigeon-holed within the package. So if you are someone who needs a little more guidance in developing your dream kitchen and bathrooms take a company like both of these into consideration.
Ryan Perry from Perry Builders has found that most renovations in the kitchen "entail solid surface granite or Corian countertops, islands with vegetable sinks, antique bronze fixture finishes, upgraded cabinets, and tile or hardwood floor." For the bathroom, he says, "homebuyers are looking for granite countertops, decorative faucets and lighting, and separate showers with tile finishes." Perry Builders selects what fits the family's needs from the options they offer. The greatest improvements in design have been in countertops, cabinets, and the flow of the kitchen.
Because these rooms are two of the most important concerns in buying or building a new home, you want to stay with the current look and bring your own style into the mix. Here's the good news. "Generally, trends flow downward," Ryan says and, "In the past, granite, stainless steel, tile, etc. were more prevalent in higher-end homes. Now many of the town homes and first time buyers require these options." And "creating individuality in your kitchen or bathroom is as simple as choosing your favorite color or flower. The color of a room tends to say a lot about a person, so choose something that speaks your feelings whether it is in paint, tile, or a backsplash."
The selection and style of cabinetry right now is downright overwhelming. When designing your storage space, come prepared. Paul McDonald of Royal Cabinet Company suggests flipping through the huge selection of magazines out there to get an idea of what you like before coming to see him. If you're having problems deciding, start with what you don't like and narrow your options from there. Speaking with a cabinetry specialist such as McDonald or Bob Howington of Apex Cabinets will also add a sense of style to your storage space.
Howngton and McDonald both say that color is the primary consideration. Maple and Cherry are hot! hot! hot! Howington says, "Smaller cosmetic hardware is becoming very popular along with the incorporation of lighting expanded to be under the cabinet." Also, it's all about maximizing your storage space. Royal Cabinet Company is seeing customers spending more money on interior fitting to address specific storage needs, such as: vertical pantry pullouts for canned goods and boxes, flexible drawer divider systems, and rollout shelving."
When planning a high-end luxury kitchen, the first question to ask is "what exactly distinguishes a kitchen as a luxury kitchen?" Bill Camp of Triangle Design Kitchens, who specializes in these high-end spaces explains that "typically this comes with a custom level of cabinetry. Today, there are a lot more options for decorative elements including custom finishes, color sheen, ceramic tile, paint colors in addition to glazes. People are using gold leaf, exotic veneers, and of course the professional appliances such as Wolf and Viking. The flooring will also be upgraded. He is creating kitchens with walnut floors and heart pine. Your luxury kitchen could also follow the trend of using natural stone instead of ceramics." Contemporary is back. Camp isn't seeing as much ornate design or English country looks. Once again, it's all about creating that chic look with stainless steel and hi-tech appliances. He even designs spaces with radiant floors and you guessed it...a flat screen TV built into the space. He says "planning is crucial; take several months to really develop the architecture and mood of the space.
Appliances: Bringing Fashion into Your Kitchen
In the world of high-tech everything, people are looking to bring ease to their lives through convenient products . . . especially in their kitchen. We want to spend less time slaving in the kitchen and more time luxuriating in our decadent food creations. With the kitchen being such a focal point of the home and a great place for entertaining, there are so many appliances to make your life easier, while also contributing a sense of style to your kitchen.
Deanna Stanley from John Wieland Homes & Neighborhoods says that, "home owners are looking for tried and true products," but with higher power. For example, you can select and install ovens with multi-level cooking features that can cover your cooking needs from simmering to frying. It's all about making more time for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy your life.
And what better way to do that then with a nice refreshing glass of wine? Wine coolers have become very popular in today's high-tech kitchen. For those looking for aesthetics in every aspect of your life, you can even get an ice maker that will make the perfect cube both in color and shape.
Wouldn't it be great to wake up every morning and take a trip to the spa...without ever leaving your home? No, this is not a dream. Today's Triangle companies like the ultra high-end Premiere Homes love to design a master suite that pampers your every indulgence. Cheryl Kilborn of Premiere Homes explained that customers want to create a master bathroom that is their haven. "You can have air tubs with zillions of little bubbles rising from the bottom, claw foot tubs, heated floors, towel warmers, sound systems, and even TVs behind mirrors," says Cheryl Kilborn. She also explained that things are becoming more automated with sensor faucets and soap dispensers for the sake of convenience.
Bill Cederberg of Cederberg Kitchens and Baths has seen a huge trend of increased square footage. People are knocking down spare bedrooms, expanding their bathrooms to include walk-in closets, dressing areas, and even exercise equipment!
Options have exploded to also include frameless shower doors, steam-less mirrors in showers, aromatherapy, adjustable lighting, fun shower heads and body massage. So when building or renovating know your options and design a space that can truly be your retreat after a hard day's work.
"In Twin Lakes, KB Home is offering more of the his/her vanities in many plans as well as separate tub and showers with larger shower options and jetted tubs available. In terms of bathroom materials, KB Home is seeing buyers interested in natural stone flooring and customized cabinets and finishes. The modern trend is to create spa-like baths with natural materials in the setting." - Stephanie Trojan, KB Homes
Creating Romance in your Bathroom Do you want to create a certain mood in your master bathroom? Maybe spice up your love life? Or romance yourself with a little "R & R"? Bill Mitchell of Atlantic Spas and Billiards knows that you can do just that with a whirlpool, sauna, or luxurious shower. There are a lot of options in the whirlpools today. The days of the boxed in look are over. In fact, he says "most are standing alone in the room as a focal point." You can make it flow with your décor with a more Victorian look or a modern look, and they can even do a claw foot tub!
Do you need something for therapeutic purposes? Forget the gym, move your exercise equipment into your spacious master suite and relax your muscles in your very own sauna or steam shower. Bill stressed the reliability of these products and the low cost of running them. So why not go all out and turn your bathroom into your haven.