Monday, February 22, 2010

2010 Home Buyer Tax Credits

Here's a really helpful info-graphic to determine eligibility for 2010 Home Buying Tax Credits:

Click the image to enlarge
Home buying tax credits
Source: FixR

Friday, February 12, 2010

How A Granite Countertop Is Made

I love this video demonstration from the good folks at Solid Rock Granite.

Were you, like me, one of those rock hound kind of kids who collected promising pebbles then put them in water to watch them transform from dull to shiny, humble to glorified? When I was nine I double-circled a photo of a rock tumbler in the JC Penneys Christmas Wish Book and dog-eared the page; Santa was good to me that year!

If you have trouble loading the video, HERE is the link. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More Kitchen Trends 2010 (NKBA)

Last week I revealed some results from the National Kitchen and Bath Association's annual Design Trend Survey. In case you missed it, you can go here to learn about current trends in kitchen cabinetry styles, wood species, finishes, countertops and flooring. And now for the rest of their findings:

Faucet fashion:  Pull-out styles are most in demand. The top finish choice is brushed nickel, followed by stainless steel, satin nickel and finally, polished chrome. Extra-tall Pot filling faucets are gaining popularity, creating convenience at the cooking center.

Delta's Pilar Faucet with Touch20 Technology. Messy hands? Use your arm to touch on/touch off.

Brizo's Florio Pull-Out faucet. Their fashion-forward designer lineup is refreshingly chic.

The go-to cooking appliance is still the Range, but the combination of a Cooktop and Wall Oven is gaining steam. Home owners still crave a Gas Cooktop, but they are beginning to appreciate the energy-saving advantages of Induction Cooking.

There is growing enthusiasm for Drawer Dishwashers, but a full, standard Dishwasher continues as the best-seller.


Consumers will continue to be wildly infatuated with Bottom Freezer Refrigerators, with or without French Doors, while Side-By-Side is still a popular choice. Refrigerator Drawers are coming in vogue, as are Undercounter Wine Refrigerators.

This graceful kitchen features a number of trendy appliances including the ever-popular range, undercounter wine refrigerator, warming drawer and undercounter microwave. Cabinetry by Fieldstone.

I encourage you to read a comprehensive and entertaining review of Delta's Pilar Faucet from Susan Serra, The Kitchen Designer, here.
Susan Serra also provides insight into Brizo's fashionable faucet line-up here.
Read Kitchen & Bath Professional Laurie Burke's inside look at Brizo's fashionable faucet line-up here.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Kitchen Trends 2010 (NKBA)

Design trends ebb and flow. The popularity of kitchen styles isn't subject to sudden, dynamic shifts, so when the National Kitchen and Bath Association reveals the results of its annual Design Trend Survey we designers don't expect to fall off of our swivel chairs in amazement. But we do pay attention.

Fieldstone Cabinetry featuring Shaker doorstyle inset into traditional face-frame. Hardwood floors and dishwasher drawers are riding a wave of popularity also. 

This is a national survey of Kitchen Designers, so allowance has to be made for regional tastes. What most appeals to folks on the East Coast often differs from what is desired in the Pacific Northwest. Architectural styles vary from one place to another. Vacation homes may require a different aesthetic appropriate to their settings.

Overall trends are useful to track, if only to reassure timid homeowners that the choices they favor will maintain value for the foreseeable future. Here are some of the NKBA's expectations for 2010:

Traditional cabinetry styles will continue to be most popular;  Contemporary style will be a close second.
Shaker is making a strong resurgence in popularity.

Cherry is the most favored wood species;  next is Maple;  Alder is trending upward on the list.

Medium to Dark stains and glazes are prevailing over lighter, natural finishes.

White and Off-White shades are still the major fave in painted cabinetry. Aside from beige and brown tones, other colors are on the decline, as are distressed finishes.

Hardwood is, more than ever, the lead flooring choice, followed by ceramic, porcelain and natural stone tile.

Granite is still in highest favor for countertops, but (and this excites me enough to do a happy spin in my swivel chair!) quartz is expected to "nearly catch up" in popularity. Backsplashes will mostly be adorned in tile, including ceramic, porcelain and glass.

Cambria Quartz countertops with a glass tile backsplash. Medium stain on cabinetry.

See what national trends the NKBA survey predicts for faucets and appliances in Part 2. Then I will report on how the Pacific Northwest is trending by comparison.

We just wrapped up a Give-Away Contest for a $65 gift certificate to All Modern.
Now to reveal the lucky winner ...
By the way thanks for all your entries...
Also by the way, glad you enjoyed visiting the All Modern website. Isn't it great?!
Oh, right, and the winner, by random integer selection, is...
Alycia Wicker

Alycia is an Interior Designer from Eastvale CA. Visit her cool site Casa Moxie here.

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