By Adela Weber. Home Decoration. Published at Tuesday, May 07th, 2019 - 10:56:46 AM.
Why its happening: According to a 2018 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, baby boomers now account for the largest share of home owners choosing to renovate—and their top project is redoing the master bathroom. “A significant proportion of boomers (56 percent) are aware of the needs that arise aging in place,” says Nino Sitchinava, Houzz economist. “They are proactive about integrating accessibility features that address these needs during renovations.” Popular changes include removing tubs that are difficult to climb into and out of, adding accessible shower seats and grab bars, and installing zero-threshold entries between rooms. How you can take action: Knowing the costs will help you serve as a trusted adviser to buyers. The median cost for a large master bathroom renovation was estimated at $16,000 by Houzz. If thats too much, suggest piecemeal changes. Grab bars, for example, range between $140 and $300, depending on whether the wall includes blocking support or if it must be added, says Richard Duncan, a universal design expert and co-founder of the Better Living Design Institute in Asheville, N.C.
Highlighting quality always helps. A design done well—whether its a fresh aesthetic, harmonious colors, layout with good circulation, or perfect installation—is likely to impress, even if its not in the buyers taste. “If you do anything really well and make consistent choices throughout a home, you can usually get away with them and appeal to a wide circle,” says New York-based designer Carolyn DiCarlo. Pogonitz agrees, noting a common reaction to the excellent execution of a wild design is “I can live with this for a while.” In one kitchen she updated eight years ago, Cheryl Kees Clendenon, owner of In Detail in Pensacola, Fla., made novel but quality choices not widely used then (though increasingly common now). “I painted upper and lower cabinets different shades and installed a glass countertop on an island. Some real estate salespeople seemed nervous, but the savvy listing agent played up that it was a custom design. It sold right away,” she says.
Until recently, design shows and magazines have suggested using vibrant colors, graphic patterns, and layers of texture solely in home accessories and other areas than can be easily and affordably changed. But now the more permanent, pricier parts of a kitchen are going bold and idiosyncratic. Appliance fronts and entire ranges sport red, blue, and yellow hues rather than neutral stainless steel, white, or black. Big Chill Appliances in Boulder, Colo., says its most popular custom colors are beach blue, cherry red, and buttercup yellow. Backsplashes display graphic patterns in large, colorful tiles instead of spa-calming solid white, gray, and pale blue in diminutive subway tiles. And even countertops are getting in on the act with swirling, exotic designs from Formica and other manufacturers. The trends being seen in cabinetry—often the most visible and costly part of a kitchen remodel—include deep blues, greens, and even red paint choices, a stark contrast to the former safer bets of white or pale wood. Textured, highly decorative wallpaper has returned too, after years of being banished. And everywhere, black—or navy—is the new gray, according to Chicago designer Rebecca Pogonitz, owner of GoGo Design Group.
While Victorian-style homes (generally any house built during the reign of Queen Victoria, between 1837 and 1901) are equated more with romance than practicality, Spindler says they confer several structural advantages. Their old-growth redwood is less vulnerable to pests and earthquakes than newer homes framing. But there are also drawbacks. Victorians were almost always built without electrical service, so sometimes original gas pipes havent been turned off or may have residual gas in their lines after theyve been capped. This can be an issue for workers who might be cutting into old lines. And while many love the feeling of 11-foot ceilings, itll take more steps to get to the next floor, and painting and changing lightbulbs can be more involved. But (especially since many of the architectural plans for these homes were destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906) being aware and offering insights to clients about such positives and negatives are just part of the job of a style specialist, and Spindler embraces her role as adviser. “None of them come with manuals,” Spindler says. “Its an exploratory process.”
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