Style trends and updates
January 5, 2013 in Design Dilemma
If so many people remodel to be in style with the here and now, then do they plan to remodel when that style goes out of date or just keep it that way for the next 10 or 20 years? Like for example all these discussions about oak cabinets and how everyone hates them and wants to change them. Will this be the same discussion we are having in 10 years regarding laminate cabinets or white oak floors or other trends? What exactly is timeless and who determines this? I am concerned to do upgrades that may be out of style in 10 years or so because I doubt I will have money to do it again. On the other hand I like many of the current styles so does one put in whats in style today and have it out of style in the future or put in whats "timeless" what ever that means and have it not go out of style?
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My opinion is that there are a few guidelines that help us make these decisions. One guideline is that it's better to go with what you love, what fits your lifestyle, what stirs your passion and not make choices based solely on what's in and what's popular. For instance, your lifestyle might be a home that comfortably fits your family of 6 or maybe you're a 'dink' - double income, no kids - two completely different ends of the spectrum. If an all white room is what's currently popular, it's probably going to work better for a couple with no kids than it will for you and your family and pets.

Another guideline is to keep big ticket items neutral. Not just your furnishings, but things like bathroom tile and fixtures as well as kitchen counters and floor. It's cheaper and easier to replace linens, window treatments and accessories than it is to rip out pink or green wall tile and a yellow bathtub.

If it's popular and you love it, go for it, but be prepared to live with it for awhile if you're not sure you'll have the money to replace it down the road.
January 5, 2013 at 2:36am   
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Since no one can predict the future, there is no reliable way of designing a space that will truly be timeless. But I do think that there are ways to make choices that are less trendy than others. When we renovated our kitchen we did it knowing for certain that we would never renovate it again in our lifetimes. So we were going to have to live with our choices, and it was going to have to be viable for resale many years down the road. We did two things to facilitate this (and only time will tell if they worked). First, we designed a kitchen that was in harmony with the architectural style of our house as a whole. As our house was built in the 1920's, we matched the original white shaker-style built in cabinetry in our dining room when we chose our kitchen cabinets, and we chose countertop and backsplash materials that were often used for kitchens when the house was originally built (soapstone and subway tile). So while the kitchen has many modern touches, like SS appliances, it is hard to tell it is a "new" kitchen because it blends with all the details of the house around it. Our goal was for people to walk into the room and not realize we had a "new" kitchen, only a beautiful one. Second, we chose a neutral color palette, especially for the backsplash, and avoided countertops that were too busy, too bright, or demanded too much visual attention. We decided not to add decorative ornamental details, as those go out of style faster than anything else in the kitchen, instead keeping everything simple and classic. Fortunately this minimalist style also reflects our personal taste. Will it look out of date in 10 years? Possibly. Will it still look appropriate to the architectural style of our house? Definitely.
January 5, 2013 at 4:07am     
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Well I dont know what to call the style of my house. maybe modern. It was built in 2004. Its not super modern like all glass and white and linear the way the houses that are in photos of L.A. with views are modern. And its not mediterranean and its not traditional but the area is rural not really a big city. I dont see many ( have seen none) ikea kitchens around here even when I look through all the recently sold listings and homes for sale I never see a modern kitchen. I see some with custom cabinets but that usually entails what I would call traditional style ( recessed or raised panel cabinets in a shade of a wood tone or solid wood) I dont think I ever saw a slab door or laminate door in a kitchen but again these are homes for sale or homes I know people that own them. I am sure some more individualistic people do have ikea kitchens around here. my style is super modern and everything i like does not really fit the house per say as far as the norm. I am sure it would be an upgrade( any new kitchen is or any hard floor is over carpet). What if I paint the kitchen cabinets in a unique way ( with metalic paint) I might like it but it wont be timeless. I really dont have any other aspect of the house to blend in with as you mentioned . All there is are walls and doors and the cabinets that are here. Not a lot of architectural details to guide me.
January 5, 2013 at 5:18am   
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If I had a modern house I would put in a cautiously modern kitchen (not "in your face" modern). So shaker framed cabinets and flat front drawers (always timeless, but can go either modern or vintage depending on the hardware), either stained wood or painted a neutral color, with sleek modern hardware, SS appliances, a modern but not screaming backsplash, and simple (probably quartz) counters without too much activity in them.

But the real issue here is whether you want a kitchen to your specific taste or whether you want one that is simpler and more potentially timeless. Highly contemporary, metallic painted cabinets will not be timeless and will not appeal to most future buyers, though they may be very beautiful and they may be exactly what makes you happy. So you need to decide your priorities. There is nothing wrong with designing a kitchen or other space for yourself. But it may involve different choices than trying to fit the architectural style of your space or staying neutral enough to appeal to a wider audience.
January 5, 2013 at 5:28am   
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Shawn Lagemann
I just built a modern house, that I call warm modernism. Cabinets are/were the biggest challenge. For a more modern look, and I agree to a not in your face approach, the devil is in the lack of details. Keep it simple simple simple. I have a combination of cabinets in a very wide open space. The kitchen area has slab doors in cherry combined with a shaker door that has inset glass, not wood. I wanted something that could take me many different direction in the future that I could live with for a long time. I too agree that you reserve the big ticket items for the most timeless look possible, like the cabinets countertops and floors. The backsplash, lighting and hardware can be changed without breaking the bank down the road. Most of all function is a major consideration. If it looks good, but doesn't function well; you've lost the battle. It can be difficult to choose cabinets when many manufacturers have photos that contain crown moulding, flutes, arches and other carved details. What you like is MOST important and how long you plan to live there. This is my last stop before the dirt nap, I did what I like. Every house prior, I had resale in mind.
January 5, 2013 at 6:12am     
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shawnlagemann.. what is a dirt nap? lol

yes this is not easy to decide on because it kind of is like building a house since I need the 3 major items. cabinets floor and counter. I suppose if I just choose to save money and paint I can at least get rid of that grain on the oak..since its been sanded down for days and days. I guess what matters is what I like since I dont plan to sell unless my mother dies and I cant find someone to rent a room and help with the mortgage or I dont find a bf to live with at that time. There is enough equity in the house and the mortgage is low enough that even renting it out would bring in money if I moved in the future. I want to stay here if I can is what I am saying but you never know in life and it all boils down to money. I see several people putting in these beautiful modern.. slab doors or laminate doors and I really like that look. I dont want to do the kitchen if I cant do it right and for me that means the wall over and the 220vlts and the quartz and the cook top etc....cabinets to the ceiling and glass doors on some. All this will be at least 20k. I better just do it as cheap as possible for now and save. I hate to admit defeat but its the truth. I will want money to help my son get a car or fix my car or who knows what and its not smart to leave myself without a decent emergency fund. I am sure it can look ok with paint and concrete counter ( hope I can find someone to make me one cheap). It wont be my dream kitchen but I need to realize that I cant have everything I want and its been 2 years of having it look like shit so I better just finish it. Its frustrating to have to compromise. I guess those of you with limited funds can relate. I hope a large investment in a nice floor at least increases the value of the house and of course will make it more enjoyable to look at and walk on. Here are some pics of the colors I am considering. One is more gray silver and one more cream bronze. I suppose I like the metallic due to the shine but if anyone has a suggestion for a similar look or color using non metallic plz let me know. The refrig and micro are glass and reflective. I think I need more light in there..maybe 3 pendents. I have 5 recessed cans and under cabinet lights but it seemed too dull and flat with the dark stain so I am going light this time. any ideas would be great. if not I guess I will just go back to sanding and painting. thank you.
January 5, 2013 at 10:52pm   
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