Trends in Kitchen and Bath Design – Part 4 of 4

April 12th, 2013 by Hans Schuon

In part three of our four-part series, we focused on current trends in countertops, backsplashes, sinks, lighting, appliances, hoods and flooring. Just as kitchen cabinetry has evolved over the years, so have all the other elements in the kitchen. We briefly touched on these trends in our previous article and also incorporated several pictures to illustrate the changes.

Current Trends in Bathroom Design

For our grand finale, we will focus on changes in the bathroom. No longer a utilitarian space, bathrooms have evolved into spa environments and luxurious retreats to relax and unwind. We are seeing more space dedicated to the bathroom and more color used throughout the space.  Here are some other interesting design trends we have recently observed:

frameless glass shower doors and tile are popular in showers

Showers & Bath Tubs

Open showers (ones without any doors) and zero entry showers or curb-less showers (that do not have a sill or threshold to trip or step over) are also gaining popularity. Zero entry showers generally feature linear drains that are slightly sloped to offer proper drainage and are also more attractive than traditional drains.  Other popular options are frameless glass shower door enclosures, glass used as accents on walls outside of the shower, polished fixtures in the shower and the use of wall tile in showers. Steam showers are also a desirable upgrade. In terms of bath tubs, we see more stand alone tubs or soaker tubs. Air baths and Jacuzzi-style tubs have become less popular over time.

Toilets & Bathroom Sinks

We are seeing an increase in toilet fixtures with more color options. Popular features include comfort height toilets and water-saving units. In terms of sinks, we are seeing an increased popularity in under-mounted china sinks.

medium to dark stained bathroom cabinets are popular

Bathroom Cabinetry, Fixtures & Hardware

In terms of bathroom cabinetry design, we are seeing a shift toward simple, cleanline and less ornate designs. Styles that are designed to look like furniture are also popular. We are seeing less wall cabinets stacked on base cabinets, but there is still a need for ample storage in the bathroom. Popular colors include medium to dark stained maples and cherry as well as off-white paint colors. The most commonly-specified door styles are square flat panel, Shaker and square raised panel. Inset door panels are also very popular. Mixed metals are commonly requested for fixtures and hardware which also offers an updated look.

tile accents and colorful countertops are popular

Bathroom Countertops

The use of granite is diminishing in bathroom countertops. Honed materials are more popular. We see a move toward predominantly marble, travertine and limestone countertops. For intown projects, we are also seeing the creative use of glass countertops.

Bathroom Flooring

Tile and stone are still popular choices for the bathroom with more design options than ever before. We are seeing patterns used in many sizes of stone and tile to give a sense of movement to the space and create visual interest. Rectangles are also used to open up the space as well as provide visual movement. We see a continued emphasis on mixing different materials to draw attention to the space.

stone floors offer timeless appeal in the bathroom

Bathroom Special Features

Other popular bathroom additions include floor warming systems, towel warmers, attractive glass shelves and unique niche areas.

The evolution of design is a fascinating topic. We hope you enjoyed our series on design trends, and we look forward to keeping you updated on future changes in this dynamic and constantly changing industry.

Trends in Kitchen and Bath Design – Part 3 of 4

February 14th, 2013 by Hans Schuon

In part two of our four-part series, we focused on current trends in kitchen cabinetry. We have seen a shift toward more simple design and clean lines. Transitional and soft contemporary have emerged as being more popular design styles.

Door styles have become more clean and simple. Maple and cherry woods in medium to dark stains with darker glazes became more requested, and maple paints in mainly off-white colors emerged as being another popular choice. Islands, in a contrasting or second color, also became a common design element. There was less use of design embellishments. Aged brass hardware started to emerge as an option to brushed satin nickel and polished chrome.

Current Trends in Countertops, Backsplashes, Sinks, Lighting, Appliances, Hoods & Flooring

Just as kitchen cabinetry has evolved, so have all the other elements in the kitchen. We will briefly touch on trends in virtually everything else (including the kitchen sink) in this section.

Countertops

Natural stone is still the most popular choice, but other options emerged. Classic white marbles are being more widely used in all styles of kitchens due to the introduction of better sealers (to protect from staining and etching) and more honed options.

Granite is still being used, but clients prefer the new honed and textured surfaces. Like cabinetry, the whites and dark browns, blacks and gray granite colors are preferred over the previously popular gold and green tones. Exotic granites are widely used because of their unique patterns.

Solid wood tops are an alternative. They are popular for their warmth and often used on islands or other accent areas, primarily in a walnut finish.

Composed of 93% natural crushed quartz that is blended with polyester resins, colorants and particles, Quartz countertops are the “up and coming” countertop trend, especially in transitional, soft contemporary and contemporary styling. In addition to extremely low maintenance, Quartz offers smooth, clean-line design because the particles are generally smaller, and the veining is muted to provide a less busy appearance.

White Marble Countertop

Backsplashes

Arabesque shapes became more popular in tile backsplash options. We also saw a shift toward 3×6 bevel designs and the use of longer rectangles, sometimes referred to as subway tiles. Mixing materials such as glass, stone and slate, also became a popular option.

Arabesque Tile Backsplash

3 X 6 Bevel Backsplash

Longer Rectangle Tile Backsplash

Kitchen Sinks

The popularity of single bowl sinks in the kitchen is on the rise. Farm sinks are still used, but mostly where they are stylistically appropriate. However, the number one selection by consumers is the stainless steel, undermount, double bowl sink.

Lighting

In terms of lighting, a popular trend is creating an industrial feel to spaces by using light fixtures and hardware in darker iron mental and darker bass finishes that are contrasted with lighter rough hewn wood accents in exposed ceiling beams and in the furniture.

Kitchen Flooring

We are seeing a move toward larger and more uniform sizing options to create an open and more contemporary feel. Rectangular planks are generally wider and longer. Hardwoods are still the most popular flooring choice for kitchens, with a trend toward darker stains and wider planks. However, tile that has the appearance of wood is also becoming more popular as an alternative due to the product’s easy care and maintenance. When tile is desired, porcelains have a higher perceived value than ceramics. We are also seeing a move away from travertine to limestone due to higher quality, denser stone and cleaner more streamlined looks.

Wood-Look Tile Floors

Appliances

Stainless steel is still the most popular finish, and commercial-style appliances are still all the rage and have moved more into the spotlight of many kitchens. Clients typically prefer gas cooktops and double oven and will use ranges only when the space is very tight. We’ve seen a rise of popularity in counter-depth over true built-in and paneled appliances, especially with refrigerators (perhaps due to tightened budgets).

We have also seen an increase in the use of warming drawers. Also, supplemental refrigeration units, such as wine-coolers and family beverage centers, are also becoming more popular.

Kithen Mantle Hoods

Kitchen hoods are still a main focal point, but the mantel hoods are smaller. We have seen a shift back to simple stainless hoods, emphasized with accent lighting.

Simple Stainless Hoods Popular

Hoods Are Smaller

Just as kitchen designs have evolved, bathroom designs have changed for the better as well. We will cover the latest trends in bathroom design in the fourth and final part of our series.

Thanks to Traditions in Tile and Stone for the tile backsplash images and the wood-look tile flooring photo. 

How to Prepare for Your Kitchen Remodeling Project

January 28th, 2013 by emily

This list of handy kitchen remodeling tips has been on our website for a while, but we also wanted to share it through our blog with our many followers and friends. We hope you enjoy these pointers, and feel free to pass them on.    

In order to make your kitchen remodeling project run as smoothly as possible, we invite you to take advantage of the great tips we’ve put together for you:

Get Ready for the Renovation:

1. In a fond farewell to your old kitchen, spend some time in it, cooking.  Make family favorites, and put them in the freezer.  We promise you…you’ll thank yourself later!

2. In the weeks before the work begins, keep a list of all those restaurants you’ve been meaning to try.  When the microwave gets old, your list will come in handy for a quick escape.

3. Before the cabinets arrive, decide on a safe, enclosed area for the cabinets and appliances to be delivered.  Usually, the garage is a good location.

4. Pack up the kitchen or bathroom well before the remodeling begins.  While it’s a good time to spring clean your shelves, don’t forget to label the storage boxes well.  This will make the unpacking process a lot easier and a lot more fun.  Items that are fragile should be marked accordingly and stored in an area away from the construction.

5. Plan a location outside of the area where the remodeling is being done to act as your temporary kitchen.

6. You may be able to temporarily move everything you need…except for the kitchen sink!  Consider where your water source will be in relationship to your temporary kitchen.

7. Don’t forget about Fido and Kitty!  If there isn’t an area in your home to keep them safely away from construction, especially during certain phases, it may be a perfect time to treat your pet to a vacation at the kennel or a play date at a friend’s home.

8. Decide in advance where you’d like the installers to store their tools.

9. Dust…there’s just no way to avoid it!  If there is a fish tank or electrical equipment in close proximity to the worksite, remember to keep them well-covered.

Don’t Forget:

1. The fridge

2. Microwave

3. Freezer stocked with microwaveable meals

4. Coffee Maker-filters and coffee close at hand

5. Utility utensils: can opener, bottle/wine opener, sharp knives and microwaveable dishes

6. Toaster

7. Keep the basics handy: butter, salt and pepper, favorite spices

8. Dining area/table

9. Tell the kids you’re picnicking…use paper plates and napkins, and disposable silverware

10. Cleaning supplies and dishtowels

Trends in Kitchen and Bath Design – Part 2 of 4

December 10th, 2012 by Hans Schuon

As we learned in the last blog, the kitchen and the bathroom were not always a part of the American home. They were, in fact, latecomers to home design. President Millard Fillmore is reported to have had the first cook stove installed in the White House, which would have been in the 1850’s.

Over the past 150 years, kitchens and bathrooms have become more than just a part of the house, and are now typically seen as the heart of the house. So how do you make wise choices today while keeping an eye to the future?  Our goal is to help you to sharpen your “design IQ” through this four part blog.

Current Trends in Kitchen Cabinetry

Our focus in part two is on kitchen cabinetry. In addition to our own design experience, we conducted our own research by surveying two national manufacturers and collected information from several kitchen and bath dealers in neighboring states.

In the late 2000’s, we saw a great shift to simple design and clean lines. We began working within the existing kitchen wall footprint more frequently to update the look of the kitchen without the greater expense of moving walls and reconfiguring space.

transitional kitchen design

In areas where homeowners previously desired traditional design, we saw a shift to a more transitional style. Cabinet design became less ornate and more simple. Cabinets were hung at the same height with very little staggering. Our use of pilaster treatments, onlays and carvings became minimal. Simple moldings became more popular and glass doors became more plain. Clients enjoyed the timeless design of the transitional style, and darker stain colors and off-white paints became the most popular finish selections.

We have also seen a shift toward a soft contemporary style, which pulls more inspiration from sleek contemporary design, but is updated for a softer and more modern interpretation.

In terms of door styling, we saw a move toward square flat panel doors with wider rails and stiles. Shaker-inspired designs became more popular again. We also saw a move toward simple square raised panel doors and flat slab style doors. Also, inset door construction became more popular than full overlay.

We saw shifts in the popularity of cabinet woods and colors, as well. Maple and cherry woods in medium to dark stains with darker glazes became widely used. Also, maple paints in mainly off-white colors became popular too, and we used less glazing for our in-town clients and more in the suburbs. Islands in a contrasting or second color also became a common design element. Finishes became more simple as well with little distressing or sand-through of the surfaces. Another trend toward two-color kitchens in darker stains with painted base cabinets or painted wall cabinets also emerged.

Soft Contemporary Kitchen Design

In our soft contemporary design, we saw a focus on open grain wood veneers such as walnut and mahogany complimented by sleek thermofoil door fronts, mixed together to create a more modern version of a contemporary kitchen.

In terms of design embellishments, we began using more cove or other simple crown molding. We saw a shift toward using table legs on islands. For decorative glass doors, clear to semi-opaque glass became more popular and there was less use of mullions with a preference toward solid glass doors. In some transitional designs, we saw a move toward stacked cabinets with glass doors on the top.

The mixing of hardware styles and sizes has also become popular. Brushed satin nickel and polished chrome are still popular choices. However, brass is also becoming very popular, but not the bright version that was popular in the 90’s, but more of an aged version with a softer, more refined appearance.

Just as kitchen cabinetry has evolved, so have countertops, sinks, lighting, appliance and hoods. We will cover these related kitchen and bath design trends in the third part of our series.

Trends in Kitchen and Bath Design – Part 1 of 4

July 26th, 2012 by Hans Schuon

Kitchen and bath designs are changing and the rate of change has accelerated over the past 50 years. How do you make wise choices today while keeping an eye to the future? Our goal is to help you to sharpen your “design IQ” through our 4 part blog “Trends in Kitchen and Bath Design”.

An Interesting Beginning: Kitchen and Bath Design History

Today, the kitchen and bathrooms are well known to be the rooms that when remodeled, are a major investment in the value of your home. However, these highly functional rooms were not always a part of what was even considered to be the living space of the home. At the turn of the 20th century, as electric and gas utilities were becoming standards in the home, the kitchen and bath first came into its own. This was especially true for the kitchen, where work processes were examined and optimized in recognition of the professionalization of household work.

In response to this more formalized view of the kitchen, a German company, ‘Poggenpohl’, was established in 1892 and is credited with the introduction of ergonomic work-top heights for cabinets and counters. Later in 1928, ‘Poggenpohl’ led worldwide innovation with their concept of increment sized, modular, interconnecting cabinets and functional interiors. This is now recognized as the forerunner to the unit kitchen and fitted kitchen which created the need for a kitchen specifier, known today as a kitchen designer.

Poggenpohl 1928 Reform Kitchen

 

Trivia Question:

Who was the first US president to have a kitchen stove in the White House?

(The answer is at the end of this blog.)

 

While the kitchen gained stature as more of a social gathering place, design became even more prominent. During the 1970’s, cabinets were made of dark oak and birch woods with V groove and applied molding doors. Green and gold leather laminate countertops were commonplace along with the unforgettable harvest gold and avocado colored appliances.

1970's Kitchen

 

The 1980’s ushered in medium to dark oak square arched raised panel doors. During the mid-1980’s, this look transitioned to oak pickled color. Bisque and black appliances became popular. Corian countertops provided an elegant new feel for the kitchen and brought with it a new dimension in design.

1980's Kitchen

 

During the 1990’s, the white craze begins with raised panel doors. The white look moved to a high gloss white and later to a white matte color. White appliances become more prominent while Corian countertops become less prominent and granite countertops begin to be fashionable.

1990's Kitchen

 

During the 00’s, we saw the introduction of light to light medium stained maples and cherry woods on cabinetry with very little paint being used. Overall design styles became more traditional with a leaning towards English Country, French Country and French Country Manor. The beauty and wide array of granite styles and colors continue to make this material popular for use as countertops. The 00’s is most known as the era of great, sophisticated design embellishment. These design ornaments include corbels, on lays, carvings, pilaster treatments, carved feet, heavy moldings and staggered cabinets heights and depths. A variety of furniture finishes are used to enhance the design of the cabinetry including glazes, distressing and sand-through. Stainless steel appliances balance the look with the strength and shimmer of their unique beauty.

2000 Kitchen

 

In 2008, the financial crisis and recession dealt serious blows to the U.S. economy and especially the housing market. In our next blog post, we will share how these changes to our economy affected kitchen and bath design trends.

 

Trivia Question Answer:

President Millard Fillmore is reported to have had the first cook stove installed in the White House. Supposedly President Fillmore had to teach the White House cook, who had never seen a cook stove, how to use one. When President John Tyler was in office, a furnace, which might be considered to be a kind of stove, was put in approximately ten years before the cook stove. Source: answers.com

8 Remodeling Costs That Might Surprise You

July 13th, 2012 by admin

By Lisa Frederick

Think you know down to the penny what your remodeling project will cost? Not so fast. You may be able to recite the price of materials and the budget for labor in your sleep, but you’re bound to get tripped up by odds, ends and extras — known in the trade as soft costs — that you never imagined shelling out for. That’s why it’s always a good idea to budget 20 to 30 percent over your remodeling estimate so that you’re covered no matter what happens.

Here’s just a sampling of the surprises you might encounter. What costs have caught you off guard? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Higher property taxes. Major additions or updates, particularly in spaces such as kitchens and baths, can increase your home’s assessed value, and that can enlarge your tax bill. Assessors typically get copies of building permit applications, so they’ll know about your project and may determine that it warrants upgrading your home’s value.Hidden horrors. If demolition reveals a colony of creepy crawlies lurking beneath your drywall, you’ll have to call in the pest control folks to evict them before work can proceed. Insects and vermin are just one unpleasant surprise you might discover — you never truly know what’s going on behind the walls until a tear-out. Prepare for the possibility of mold, faulty wiring or plumbing, asbestos and other pricey pitfalls.

Offsite storage.You’ll need to stash your stuff somewhere while work is in progress. If you don’t have an attic, a basement or a willing friend with a large spare room, you may need to rent an offsite storage unit for the duration. Depending on size and other factors, these units can cost anywhere from $20 to a few hundred bucks a month.Building code quirks. Codes vary depending on where you live, but you may well face a list of requirements that must be satisfied in order for your permit to go through, particularly in an older home. For example, in obtaining estimates for a planned bathroom remodel, my husband and I learned that we’d need several new smoke detectors hardwired into the main electrical system, to the tune of several hundred dollars.Utility bills. Whose electricity powers all those table saws, nail guns, paint sprayers and floor sanders? That’s right — yours. In addition, heavy traffic in and out of the house could pad your heating and cooling bills, especially in hot or cold weather.


Eating out. Does your project include a kitchen remodel? You won’t be whipping up meals at your brand-new stove for a while, and you can spend a small fortune on restaurant meals and takeout in the meantime. Even prepared or microwaveable foods at the supermarket cost significantly more than cooking from scratch.

8 Steps to Surviving a Kitchen Remodel

Pet boarding. Got a hyperactive border collie or a cat who’s freaked out by strange noises? You may wish to send him or her to a kennel during the most intensive phase of construction, especially if you don’t have a fenced yard or other space where he or she can safely stay out of the way. Prepare to pay anywhere from $12 to $100 per day for the privilege.

Dumpsters and portable toilets. Don’t be shocked to see these items in your contractor’s estimate. They help the crew maintain a clean job site and cause as little disruption to your home as possible.

U-Line’s New Dimension in Under Counter Refrigeration

May 17th, 2012 by Hans Schuon

By Lisa Connor

U-Line has been recognized for award-winning product design with their new 3000 series of modular refrigeration, with the 3036RR model receiving Kitchen and Bath Business’ 2011 “Merit Award” and Interior Design Magazine’s “Best of Year” in the appliance category for December 2011.

The 3000 series of modular refrigeration has been available in sizes of 18” and 36”, but due to the demand and success of last year’s launch, U-Line is adding 4 models in the 24” size. Products in the 3000 series include wine storage, refrigeration and beverage storage and ice machines.

The uniqueness of the U-Line 3000 series is due in part to the U-Select™ control system in which four modes of refrigeration are offered – Beverage, Market, Deli,  Pantry and Root Cellar storage. These modes incorporate a temperature range of 34 – 70°, exclusive to the line. Clients can now be offered a full scope of refrigeration options for every imaginable zone in the kitchen, including the Pantry and Root Cellar, offering a low humidity-appropriate temperature environment for baking zones or cellar storage.

As if that weren’t exciting enough – another unique feature of the U-Line 3000 series is the capability of the 3000 series to be fully integrated, including the toe kick. This feature puts U-line is a class by themselves offering the most expansive line of modular refrigeration that can truly be integrated and flush in any residential environment.

For more information, please visit: http://www.u-line.com/products/3000-series/the-future-of-preservation.html

- Lisa Connor is the District Sales Manager for HADCO

 

Schuon Kitchens and Traditions in Tile Co-Presenting Session on Design Trends at Atlanta Remodeling Expo

April 24th, 2012 by Hans Schuon

NEWS RELEASE 

Atlanta, GA, April 24, 2012 – Schuon Kitchens & Baths and Traditions in Tile and Stone are co-presenting an educational session on kitchen and bath design trends at The Cutting Edge: 2012 – Remodeling Education Expo. The Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is hosting the Expo at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, GA on May 8, 2012. The day-long event runs from 7 am to 6 pm and features a full day of CEU course offerings, a keynote address by Sal Alfano (Editorial Director of Remodeling Magazine), an exhibit hall, networking lunch and a happy hour mixer. Registration is $75 for NARI members and $110 for non members.

The Expo features 18 innovative educational sessions to include 6 credit hours of Continuing Education Units (CEU) that meet Georgia Residential Contractor Licensing Requirements and NARI Certification requirements. The Expo will also bring together members of related industry associations including the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Trends in Kitchen & Bath Design:

Schuon Kitchens & Baths and Traditions in Tile and Stone have teamed together to create an educational session titled Trends in Kitchen & Bath Design. In addition to pulling from years of professional design experience, the presenters are also conducting research to gain information from national manufacturers and designers across the country. The presentation will feature example images to illustrate where design trends are heading. This is a great session for remodelers, designers and architects wanting to stay current on trends so they may share the information with homeowners and their clients.

Attendees will learn about current kitchen design trends including information on: cabinetry, backsplashes, countertops, sinks, lighting, appliances, hoods and kitchen flooring. The presentation will also cover current bathroom design trends including information on: showers, tubs, toilets, sinks, cabinetry, fixtures, lighting, flooring and other popular upgrades such as steam showers, floor heating, towel warmers and more. Representatives from Schuon Kitchens & Baths and Traditions in Tile and Stone will also be available at their booths to answer questions.

About NARI Atlanta:

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) is the homeowner’s resource for finding quality contractors, design-build firms, suppliers and other related professionals in the Greater Atlanta area. NARI Atlanta is a not-for-profit trade association committed exclusively to the service of the professional remodeling industry. Representing professional remodeling contractors, product manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, trade and consumer publications, utilities and lending institutions, NARI stands as the spokesgroup of the industry and an ally to the nation’s homeowners.

About Schuon Kitchens & Baths:

Schuon Kitchens & Baths offers six of the finest cabinet lines at price points for almost every budget, as well as custom-built cabinetry and furniture. Schuon offers professional design services by certified designers. With over 30 years of experience, Schuon has built a solid reputation for designing and creating Atlanta’s finest kitchens and baths. Schuon has showrooms in Atlanta and Roswell that are open by appointment for their clients’ convenience.

About Traditions in Tile and Stone:

Traditions in Tile and Stone has been serving Atlanta’s residential design and build community for over 75 years. As a family owned and operated business, Traditions in Tile and Stone is the Southeast’s leading distributor of fine porcelain and ceramic tile, natural stone, glass, metals and mosaics and offers unparalleled service, quality and value. The company’s award-winning showrooms are staffed with friendly, professionally educated designers who are eager to help with product selections for any budget.

Kitchen Trends for Popular Atlanta Intown Neighborhoods

March 20th, 2012 by Hans Schuon

By Emily Robbins

Less is more. White cabinets are “in” again, as well as brass hardware, but in totally new ways. If you are interested in finding out where design is trending for intown Atlanta, here is a quick overview:

As a kitchen designer to some of Atlanta’s premiere intown neighborhoods, including the Highlands, Morningside, North Druid Hills and Decatur, I have noticed several interesting kitchen design trends.

Over the past decade, I have seen a shift toward more simple and clean design. Clients are requesting far less decorative details on cabinetry such as heavy moldings, spindles and pilaster treatments, and are opting for more simple lines and less ornate designs.

Cabinet Trends – Light cabinetry is popular, and white cabinetry is definitely back in a new and better way. Today’s white cabinets are not distressed and not glazed, but feature plain paint that has the appearance of being painted on site (as was done years ago).

Countertop Trends – Polished granite has taken a backseat to matte finishes. We are specifying a lot of white marble and concrete. Also, zero maintenance quartz surfaces are increasingly popular. We are also contrasting the light wood of the cabinetry with dark solid wood countertops in mahogany or walnut that are used in accent areas such as a side cabinet or on an island.

Kitchen Flooring Trends – Hardwoods are still generally preferred on the main level with an emphasis on building on an “open” concept to connect the spaces. We match existing hardwoods if they are in good shape.  When we are specifying new hardwoods, the trend is toward darker stains and wider planks.

Mantle Hood Trends – We see a definite move toward more simple and smaller mantle hoods with an emphasis on metal including copper, bronze and zinc.

Hardware Trends – Brass is back, but not in the super shiny finish that was popular years ago. The new brass is in a matte finish giving it a rich, aged and warm appearance.

In terms of style, most homeowners prefer a transitional design. Clients with older homes typically want to keep the architectural integrity of the house, yet modernize by creating a more simplistic, less hectic environment with less clutter.

Another popular trend is creating an industrial feel to spaces by using light fixtures and hardware in darker iron mental and darker bass finishes that are contrasted with lighter rough hewn wood accents in exposed ceiling beams and in the furniture.

Emily Robbins is a Certified Kitchen Designer and Vice President of Schuon Kitchens and Baths, Inc.

Leather Floors! Leather Walls! Leather Tiles are Setting New Design Trends!

February 29th, 2012 by Hans Schuon

By Andrew Brown

Leather floors? Leather walls? Absolutely-Idaho Leather Co. There is a real market for leather tile today, more than ever before and the reasons are many. First and foremost, it’s gorgeous! Second, it’s durable!

To demonstrate the durability, Taber tests were used to show that Idaho Leather Tiles were six times more abrasion resistant than the competitions! Also, the tiles tested favorably against a standard oak hardwood with two coats of Urethane finish! This doesn’t mean there will never be bumps, dents, and small scratches, but the time worn look of leather is one that is desired by many.

HGTV has used leather tile at least six times this year, and Lisa Laporta even did a bathroom floor in tile!

Diane Olson recently did a bedroom floor and carried the leather tile up the wall to create a leather “headboard” on the wall. Traditions in Tile has an installation you can look at, touch and feel in their Alpharetta Showroom.

Commercially, leather tile from Idaho Leather Co. has been used in judges offices, casinos, corporate conference rooms and lobbies.

Lastly, installation is simple: prep the floors so it is smooth and clean, then spray “3M90” contact cement on the floor or wall, and lay the tile. It is recommended that a professional tile installer be used, as the tiles cannot be moved once they come in contact with the adhesive.

With ease of cleaning-vacuum, damp mop and blot dry spills, these floors are as easy to clean and maintain as any hardwood floor.

With so many colors to choose from, and many different finishes, leather tile is a wonderful option for that space that needs a warm, softly worn feel!

- Andrew Brown is the President of Traditions in Tile and Stone