Let kitchen remodeling show off your style

By: Linda Shepard | C&G Newspapers | Published July 3, 2013

For many homeowners, remodeling their kitchen is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“People are really thinking it through,” said Barb Baker, of Elder Living Construction in Farmington Hills. “They are investing in a little higher quality. They are taking the time to understand the different wood qualities, and they are spending the money to make upgrades.”

Baker said her customers want new cabinets that will look good and last for a long time. They are also looking at new ways of hiding electrical outlets for a smooth, uninterrupted backsplash.

“We replace them under the cabinets, so we have a beautiful tile flow,” Baker said. “We are also focused on the aging-in-place market and are putting outlets on the side of the cabinets so they are reachable from a wheelchair. This way, you get a whole wall of gorgeous tile.”

Most who are remodeling ask for granite countertops, Baker said. “It is a trend that is continuing,” she said.

Personal style determines most of the choices made by those remodeling their kitchens.

“Some people go with warm, neutral colors and natural materials,” said Alexa Johr, who works at Birmingham Kitchen and Bath in Birmingham. “Others go totally modern with stainless everything.”

A steel blue-gray color, almost a purple, is a choice for those with the most modern sensibilities, Johr said. “It brings out the stainless steel colors.” Cement and wood countertops pair well with stainless steel, she said.

Kitchen lighting trends are focused on pendant applications over kitchen islands, said Diane Christopher, of Pine Tree Lighting in Lake Orion.

“People spend a lot of time at their kitchen islands,” Christopher said. “They eat there and socialize there. There are so many price points and so many beautiful pendants with lots of different finishes. Lighting should speak to you. That’s how people make decisions.”

Christopher said she urges customers to bring in photos of their kitchens and any adjoining rooms when they pick out lighting. Oil-rubbed bronze is a popular finish for someone with cherry cabinets, for example, she said. Miniature chandeliers can add light over the kitchen island and match larger chandeliers over an eating area, she said.

“Lighting is the jewel of the home today,” she said. “What people are looking for is something that will work and reflect their personal style.”

A choice of bulbs and light sources should also be taken into consideration for kitchen remodeling. “We have lots of gray days in Michigan,” Christopher said. “The older I get, the more lighting I want.”