Home Remodeling: Tips and Trends From Professionals

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By Anne Finch

pitcock2Looking to remodel or renovate your home? What’s popular in home design is always changing, but local professionals in the home industry have weighed in on the trends that are keeping houses in the Bryan/College Station area stylish and modern.

In the last year, social media and home renovation shows have made finding ideas for home remodeling easier than ever. Those looking to remodel their homes find frames of reference in Pinterest, an online network many use to share professional and do-it-yourself design trends and tips. Others get ideas from television, like HGTV’s Waco-based remodeling program Fixer Upper. These resources have made it easy and fun for homeowners looking for a change to pinpoint exactly what style they want to pursue.

“A lot of customers are looking [for ideas] on Pinterest,” says Tiffany Martin, Moore Supply showroom consultant. “They’re seeing what these people are coming up with. They’re using those choices when they’re picking stuff out in the showroom. Social media really does play a huge role into it. Especially in this area, a lot of people are watching Fixer Upper, seeing what they’re coming up with … they are dictating the trends that are in our area right now.”

One of the biggest trends in bathroom remodeling is emphasizing open, accessible spaces in master bathrooms with the installation of open, full-room showers.

“A lot of people are deciding that with the space they have in their bathrooms, they’re removing the old fashioned garden tubs that were in there,” says Sutton Pitcock, selections and design consultant with The Tool Guys. “Instead of having a garden tub and one little bitty shower, they’re taking out the garden tubs and making them one beautiful, luxurious, super nice walk-in shower. Sometimes even the walk-in kind without a door. They’re just using the space differently.”

Pitcock says that this reconfiguration of space can extend to kitchen remodeling as well. In kitchens with perimeter cabinetry and an island, switching the counter material on the island can make a kitchen island a focal point of a kitchen, as well as a functional countertop. Switching up materials used in bathroom and kitchen countertops also contributes to a looser, more eclectic style, which has become very popular this year.

At the same time, trends in remodeling have started to lean more towards lighter, solid tones. Quinn Williams, owner of Quinn Williams Construction, says that while granite is still popular for solid surface countertops, quartzite counters have become more popular. Quartzite, a manmade stone, is more consistent than granite, marble, and other natural stones, and more controllable for homeowners looking for a consistent color scheme.

The trends in metal fixtures have also been shifting from bronze to more polished, modern metals.

“A lot of our customers are kind of transitioning from the Texas Hill Country bronze that was really big a couple years ago,” Martin says. “We’re seeing a lot of polished nickel, a newer finish that’s come out in the last year, year and a half. We’re also seeing the pewter finish come back a lot, just to tie in with more of the modern farmhouse theme.”

Kelly Sisco, operations manager at the Dealer’s Lighting showroom, has also seen a shift towards cleanerremodel3 lines and lighter metals in lighting fixtures.

“The traditional scrolling fixtures are pretty much going away,” she says. “We’re going a lot more towards a sleeker, transitional style.”

Sisco adds that trends in glass colors are moving away from warm colors, towards clear or white glass. This is due in part towards an industry trend towards glass that allows for better visibility, as many older homeowners have started to move to the Bryan/College Station area.

“We’re building for a lot of retiring and returning Aggies—old Ags are coming home,” Pitcock says. “They are thinking about aging in place, building their master showers to be the walk-in kind, or making sure the doorway in the bathroom is wider and more handicap accessible and friendly.”

Because remodeling has been trending towards open, accessible bathrooms, those who have needs for home accessibility needn’t worry about sacrificing style.

“Older people who might be remodeling with thoughts of future immobility might be thinking ‘let’s get rid of the shower door’ from that standpoint, so they don’t have to contend with it in the future for wheelchairs and such, but younger people are liking that look as well,” Pitcock says. “They’re all thinking about how there’s less glass to clean, and they like the spa feel of just being able to walk behind the wall to go into the shower. In a lot of cases, they all want the same thing.”

Many remodelers have come up with ways to add accessibility to kitchens and bathrooms to allow for aging in place, without sacrificing style or function.

“If they’re looking for a grab bar, we’ll show them something with a towel bar that they can purpose as that until they need it,” Martin says. “I would say there is aging in place that’s occurring. In a lot of remodels, people are taking out bathtubs and putting in showers. For people coming in, they are not concerned about that at all. They are more concerned about the luxury of it.”

Whether you’re looking to personalize your new home or renovate your old one, these trends will help you make sure that your living space stays current and comfortable.