By Debbie Williams
So what’s trendy these days in the realm of kitchens and bathrooms? Whether you are thinking of buying, selling, or revamping your dated abode, be sure that you are getting the most bang for the buck. In redecorating, you want to be sure you are investing in a look that will attract buyers should you want to sell in the next few years. If you want to build, it would also be wise to invest in a look that is in keeping with the market.
Perhaps the sleek, uncluttered feel of Contemporary design speaks to you. Maybe the time-tested Traditional look stirs your soul. Or you may prefer Transitional design, with its wide-ranging borrowings from both the Contemporary and Traditional camps. Whatever your design preference, there is something for you!
KITCHENS AND APPLIANCES
The appliance world has definitely expanded over the last few years. The technology we are seeing in some of these kitchen products has made life a lot simpler for our clients.
Gas cooktops continue to dominate the market and have very powerful burners while still having the ability to create the perfect simmer. And the convenience of a speed oven that cooks up to eight times faster than a regular oven fits the needs of busy households of today. Some even have recipes preprogrammed, which eliminates any guesswork.
Induction cooktops, which operate with a magnetic field, are selling very well for those customers who want the control of gas, but enjoy the cleanability of these cooktops that never get hot—all the energy goes only to the pan.
Customers usually ask for three things when shopping for a dishwasher—quietness, cleaning ability, and capacity. Some of these new dishwashers are so quiet one literally cannot hear them when they are running.
French door refrigerators are still the most popular with our customers. They are available in standard depth models with smart dispensers that premeasure and offer up to 29 cubic feet. Counter depth models are a great way to add up to 6” of floor space if you need a wider clearance area, plus the half-width doors are much shallower when open.
Built-in refrigeration gives the most integrated, sleek appearance. These units are usually sold as panel-ready matching the cabinetry.
Stainless steel still remains the finish of choice for most appliances, but some of the manufacturers offer a palette of many custom colors.
Southern Bath and Kitchen offers many of the desired appliance lines such as Whirlpool, KitchenAid, GE Appliances, Monogram, Miele, Dacor, Broan, Air King, Frigidaire, Samsung, LG, U-Line, and Scotsman.
BATHS AND PLUMBING
Our customers’ tastes range from contemporary to traditional and we are seeing a good bit of both. Polished chrome finish for the fixtures is on the rise and we are also seeing a lot of polished nickel, which is similar to chrome but has a gold tint. The designers love this finish.
Vessel sinks for bathrooms are very popular and there is a wide array of styles and materials—vitreous china, stone, copper, and glass. A lot of these are inexpensive and a great affordable way to make a statement in a powder room and the master bath. Undermount sinks continue to dominate the market.
As for color trends, white continues to be the overwhelming choice for baths and toilets.
Freestanding tubs continue to grow in popularity for master baths. They also come in a variety of materials—acrylic, cast iron, engineered stone, and even natural stone. They make for a beautiful focal point in the bath and are available in all price ranges. We have the clawfoot version, but are seeing an increase in the very sleek models that lend a serene, spa feel to the bathing area.
Kohler makes a VibrAcoustic® tub that has music which is emitted through the water to create a hydrotherapy of gentle wave vibration. You can play your favorite music, news, podcasts and more through your bath. Just plug in your smartphone, tablet or MP3 player and relax in the bath as vibrations from the music surround and soothe you.
Showers can be designed to have body sprays, steam units, overhead rainfall showers, and more. We have top-quality shower enclosures by Basco shower enclosures are consistently rated number one in quality and brand preference.
Farmhouse sinks with a single bowl for the kitchen remain very popular. We are seeing a lot of regular undermount single bowl sinks being selected instead of double bowl.
Stainless steel is very popular, but the farmhouse sinks selected are usually cast iron or fireclay. We also offer have sinks by Blanco and Elkay that are mostly granite with some man-made material. These sinks hold up well against scratching and come in a variety of colors.
Kitchen faucets with the pull-down spray continue to dominate the market, but bridge faucets with a separate spray are usually sold with the farmhouse sinks—great look!
Some of the lines we offer are Kohler, Delta Brizo, Moen, Rohl, Grohe, Newport Brass, Decolav, Pfister, Victoria + Albert, Maax, and many more.
At Southern Bath & Kitchen, we are seeing that the new construction business is going strong, and we’re also seeing a steadiness in the remodeling business.
Our clients appreciate the long-time experience of our sales staff and we are thrilled to help them through the buying process. We know that building and remodeling can be stressful, and we do our best to alleviate some of that.
Our showroom is pretty special with everything installed in nice cabinetry and some units are hooked up and operating. But the main thing we give our customers is what happens after the purchase all the way through to the delivery stage—we care!