What’s Hot – and Not – in Home Design

In recent years, new home sales have taken a hit,

and the home design industry has been able to capitalize on the growing sect of folks staying in place and renovating their existing homes. The TCBN checks in with local designers and retailers to find out what products, styles and trends are driving the industry.

Gretchen Knoblock

New Leaf Interiors, Traverse City

Convenience and function are very hot, as is anything in a drawer-microwaves, freezers, dishwashers, pot and pan storage-the drawer-style is King of the Kitchen. For the baby-boomers, anything retro is good with the trend toward universal design gaining momentum-making interiors accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

What's "Out" is anything that screams excess and waste; anything frilly, complicated and overdone. And no tchotchkes! Using tiny little knick-knacks as an expression of anyone's design sense is definitely a design don't!

Tim and Kathleen Hyland

Cash n Carry Flooring, Traverse City

Authentic and green are key trends in flooring. Hand-scraped looks, salvage wood and bamboo – an eco-friendly, highly renewable material – are hot sellers.

While old-style vinyl flooring has seen its day, the newest breed of luxury vinyl products have the look of ceramic tile and wood yet clean like a dream – very popular with busy families.

Mary Beth Janik

All Phase Lighting, Traverse City

Use of light makes or breaks a room, yet it's often at the bottom of the design list. Large and small shaded light fixtures are very hot, along with decorative multi-pendant lights, strung at various lengths. Mini-crystal chandeliers are popping up everywhere – even in the bathroom.

Shiny and antique brass fixtures are very yesterday. Now it's matte-finished pewter and bronze that glow in our homes.

Ed Buerle

Northern Lumber, Traverse City

Well-made products will always be popular, especially when they're money-savers. Therma-Tru doors increase your home's comfort, energy efficiency and home value, plus they're eligible for a federal energy tax credit.

Green and reclaimed materials are leading the market. For example, Andersen Windows recently developed a highly sustainable, patented composite made of reclaimed wood fiber that is getting a lot of attention.

Bonnie Woolsey

Mastercraft Cabinets, Grawn

New design principles often dictate popular trends, particularly in the kitchen- it's the place people gather! Since many people now share in the cooking and entertaining experience, function, accessibility and storage are key design elements.

Although stainless steel still rules, quartz blend sinks-both durable and colorful-are catching on. You gotta love your sink!

What's out? Distressed and glazed finishes. We used to see that throughout an entire room, now it's better just as an accent touch.

Brad Jurik

Stratus Marble & Granite-Tilestone Imports, Traverse City

New technology is bringing global materials into our homes. Exotic stones from Brazil, Africa and India are available, affordable and adaptable. Finishing trends are more matte, less shiny-leathered textures, exposed veins, flamed techniques-things that didn't exist five years ago.

Cookie-cutter, run-of-the-mill, Big Box store looks are generally less desirable. With more to choose from, every home can be unique.

Ed and Bev Newcomb

Edwards Home Furnishing, Suttons Bay

We've just returned from the International Home Furnishings Market where a major focus was on American made products. Long-term investment and maximum comfort in furnishings and surroundingsare significant in terms of what people and retail buyers are looking for. Feeling good during these challenging times seems to be a strong driver in purchasing.

Armanda Vida

Home Center, Traverse City

Trends in fixed materials – flooring, cabinetry countertops – are both light and very dark but paired with vibrant bursts of color and print, giving owners a neutral base to change up art, furniture, and paint, making rooms versatile.

Bold, dynamic hickory, maple and rustic birch are replacing heavily grained woods. These newcomers take any finishing stain, looking particularly spectacular in rich saturated tones.

Shiny, glossy flooring that shows dust, dirt and water stains is on the way out, while tile has gone from bland to grand with more texture and variation. Frieze or shag carpeting is making way for those with velvety texture and patterns.

Sid Lammers

Trend Window Design, Traverse City

Window treatments not only finish a room, but can be money-savers too. Sheer weave shades that let in light, keep out heat and cold, and can accommodate huge window spaces are attractive investments. Fabric and drapery are coming back, but scaled down – stationary side panels that give the full effect without all the excess material.

Venetian and mini blinds are not selling like they used to and for good reason: They're hard to clean and have an old-school look that's definitely past its prime.

Shane Inman

The Inman Company, Traverse City

The hottest thing I'm seeing is people working to appreciate what they already have and making it special. Mixing vintage pieces with new, and embracing comfort are simple ways to acheive that. "Bedscaping" – making beds aesthetically pleasing – with pillows, throws, skirts, shams, blankets and sheets (in the highest thread count possible) can work wonders in a room.

I'm seeing a lot of clients asking for the utimate bathroom – those with gorgeous new digital performance showers that wrap water, sound, ambient light and steam together in an amazing sensory experience.

What's not hot? Trying to keep-up with the Jones's by having what everyone else has; placing area rugs over wall-to-wall carpeting and any hue of yellow paint. The worst error of all? Purchasing objects (of any value) that you do not absolutely love.