A few weeks ago, my wife, Jennifer, and I attended the 2023 National Hardware Show. As noted in Part 1 (tucne.ws/1mt8), we love scouring the aisles for new products with a special eye out for items made and/or invented in the USA. Below are more products that caught our eye. Please note, we have not personally tested the items we have listed below but found they have much potential.
Design trends were the highlight of the annual KBIS show. It seems to us that, generally, trends come in small increments. However, the COVID era created some major shifts and people have come to appreciate and expect many of those shifts.
Notably, homeowners have held on to the desire to make their home a place of health, rest, recovery and even work and exercise. This year’s theme, happy, healthy homes, reflects this trend.
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For homeowners considering a remodel, no matter the reason; changes in life situations, replacing older features, or recovering from an emergency (like flood or fire), upgrading will afford homeowners the means to create a home space that is healthier and more suited to those in your home.
Kitchens are even more of a gathering place than ever before, combining work zones with living spaces. Here are some helpful ideas we found to accommodate the extra traffic.
Improved lighting — task lighting has improved function. Lighting in drawers and closets, under the countertops and above the toe kick make tasks safer and easier. That leaves room to use decorative lighting to enhance the design and ambiance of the room and still have enough light to perform motion-activated tasks. USB ports in outlets and drawers and electrical outlets in drawers also help to clear the counter of unsightly (and germy) clutter.
Storage improvement is key to giving a more livable feel — products like Rev-A-Shelf‘s blind corner unit and Hafele pull-out trash cans make cabinets and closets more organized, accessible and efficient. Remember the countertop garages for your coffee pot and mixer? They have been updated with the idea of saving counter space for display items more pleasing to the eye.
Added surfaces and seating — gaining more space to work in a larger kitchen can come with the addition a second island to prepare or serve food. Another option for any size kitchen is built-in seating with storage underneath to gain extra seats.
Safer and healthier appliances — options are on the rise, including refrigerators that keep veggies and fruit fresh and full of vitamins, dishwashers that clean to all corners of the unit, inductive cook tops that use and waste less energy — options abound.
Bathrooms are just as important.
Biophilia — the idea of bringing the outside in is maintaining its place in home design. Colors of nature, like green and brown, have a calming effect. Windows and window walls that look out to beautiful plants, landscapes or views are a calming addition to any home.
Spa-like place of retreat — luxurious, beautiful bathtubs, walk-in, curbless showers, subtle lighting and shower heads create more than a shower; they lean toward an experience all their own. Enlarging the spaces within the bathroom area for exercise is popular as well.
Artwork and beautiful fixtures and tile — individual expression and preference are king. Even the hardware can be a statement of beauty. Hardware choices for cabinets and doors and plumbing fixtures can be coordinated to create an artful look. The old days of gold plating and polished chrome have upgraded to beautiful colors like matte black, champagne bronze and polished nickel.
Home offices have become very creative. The corner of a bedroom, kitchen or dining room can often provide the space needed to get work done. One creative idea: how often is your dining room used? If the answer is not very often, convert the dining room to an office or multi-function room and consider how to use the space for dining on the rare cases needed. There are easy ways to personalize Zoom spaces as well, making your online presence professional and inviting at the same time.
Low maintenance — leave more time to enjoy being home by choosing materials that don’t require a lot of maintenance.
Experimenting with bright colors — thankfully, gray wasn’t the only color talked about this year. Color is now part of that happy, healthy dynamic. Color affects mood and can help to energize or feel peaceful and calm.
Personalizing spaces — allows you to create with things that you love. Check out vendors that will allow you to create your own wallpaper or murals.
Wi-Fi — new and creative smart appliances are here to stay. We look for applications that really make a difference, not just added aggravation of needing a more robust internet connection, signing in or extra apps to manage. Smart technology in lighting can start with very simple applications like the Govee Plug that allows control of lighting with an adaptor and an app.
Pets — stations for eating, bathing and sleeping for your favorite pet help keep that minimalist feel.
Now, what about you?
Are you thinking about redoing any of your living spaces? Rochelle Horn, certified kitchen and bath designer at RosieRight Design.Build.Remodel, is an avid list maker and says it is helpful to make lists to help prioritize thoughts, needs and desires. She also suggests finding one thing you love, whether a color or a countertop, cabinet or flooring, and work from there. It can make future decisions easier.
Favorite design magazines are often key to what a person likes. Purchase a few different kinds of magazines to help narrow down styles, like Magnolia, Phoenix Home and Garden, House Beautiful, Southern Living or Sunset Magazine. Paying attention to what draws you in can help identify things you like. Rosie on the House social media manager, Julia Drake, is an avid DIY’er. She usually identifies one space to work on and then spends time on social media sites like Pinterest to narrow choices.
Horn suggests that if the process still feels overwhelming, reach out to a professional whose taste you like and certainly someone who you feel listens well to what you like, want, and need. The expertise of a qualified designer can save hours in the search and help to avoid costly mistakes. You can find qualified designers at asid.org.
An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert for more than 40 years, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio broadcast, heard locally from 10 to 11 a.m. on KNST-AM (790) in Tucson.
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