There’s never been a better time to upgrade your home, because the rules have been relaxed.
White cabinets with brushed nickel hardware aren’t the obvious choice anymore, granite isn’t inevitable, and paint colours have come a long way from builder beige.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you start shopping …
- Cabinets:After years of practically nothing but white cabinets, we’re finally starting to see some new looks.
Sleek, glossy cabinets have crossed the ocean and reached Canada, but many homeowners are still timid of the style. Surely they’d show every fingerprint, right? No way. They’re engineered to maintain their high-gloss finish, and come in a huge variety of colours — from classic white to fire engine red.
The tuxedo look is quickly growing in popularity, with homeowners painting their upper cabinets a lighter shade and painting the lowers deep grey or black.
Wood cabinets are also coming back in style, especially rich, deep tones with rustic textures.
- Countertops: Granite continues to be one of the front-runners for its durability, scratch- and heat-resistance, and minimal maintenance. But other materials like quartz, corian, and concrete are giving it a run for its money.
When you’re choosing new countertops, think about the kind of use they’ll have to ensure — and how much work you’re willing to do to maintain them. If you have young children constantly tossing backpacks and dishes onto the counter, you might want to pick a durable option that’s resistant to scratches and chips.
- Hardware:For year it seems like we’ve seen nothing but stainless steel, brushed nickel, and chrome. But those shiny silvers are finally starting to take a backseat to oil-rubbed bronze knobs, farmhouse-style cup pulls, hammered-iron handles, and metal pull rings. You can even find hardware made from silky-smooth sea stones.
- Flooring:Pale hardwoods are becoming less and less favorable, as homeowners opt for deeper, richer shades. Reclaimed barn wood flooring is a beautiful way to incorporate different shades and rustic textures. A DIY idea that’s quickly gained momentum is staining and sealing concrete floors to give them the look of wood. Cork flooring is rising in popularity, due to its comfort and wood-like appearance. Bold patterned tiles are back in vogue, but they’ve come a lot way from the orangey floral tiles of the ’70s — think black and white, with a graphic flair.
- Paint: Don’t be timid about choosing a bold hue for your walls. Pantone’s Color of the Year always influences decor trends. Homeowners are leaning towards deeper colours against bright white trim, because the contrast catches your eye. Grey or greige (grey/beige) has ousted plain old builder-beige as the most popular neutral shade, and more people are choosing deeper neutrals — charcoals and dark tan — than ever before.