Des Moines Home and Remodeling Show

Home and Remodeling Show News

Your resource for information on this year's Home and Remodeling Show.

Trends in Remodeling

It’s so popular, even royalty does it. Recently, the second in line to the British throne, Prince William, and his wife remodeled their 21-room home in Kensington Palace. Although few of us undertake renovations on such a grand scale, almost everybody eventually gets the urge to spruce up the place they call home. Local professionals in the design and remodeling business have their fingers on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not. They are ready to guide their clients in the right direction so the end result is a more comfortable and attractive home.

One of the easiest ways to freshen your kitchen or bath is to replace your countertops and backsplashes. In the Des Moines area, granite remains the No. 1 countertop choice, says Jeff Bognar of Granite Marble & Tile Solutions in Ankeny. Granite is low maintenance, he says; resealing it periodically is an easy procedure (his company offers a lifetime resealing warranty). Dark shades have been the most popular for a while, but lighter shades are gaining favor, Bognar says.

Marble can also be beautiful as a countertop, but it is a softer material, and it should be kept dry to avoid dull spots.

As for backsplashes, glass tiles have become trendy, Bognar says. But they are expensive, and once the trend cools, the backsplash may look dated. A more practical choice is porcelain or ceramic tiles. Using different sizes, or a trim tile, can add interest without being too trendy. Tumbled marble is another good choice, Bognar says.

Is this the year your house finally gets new flooring? Consider tile that simulates wood, suggests Matt Thompson of Gilcrest/Jewett Lumber Co. The flooring has a modern look to it and is easier to care for than traditional hardwood. The cost is comparable to hardwood, and you don’t have to worry about shoes making pockmarks.

Thompson says painted kitchen cabinets have inched up on the popularity chart, although many people still prefer the more traditional look of wood. As for style, Mission-style doors with a recessed panel are my favorite, he says. They look good in many types of kitchens and are less expensive than cabinet doors with a raised panel.

Thompson’s best advice is to choose the look you love, rather than trying to keep up with trends. No matter how popular a style is, sooner or later a new look will capture the public’s imagination. For example, lighter woods were all the rage 10 years ago. Today, shoppers gravitate to either darker woods or white woodwork.

A quick way to add pizzazz to your exteriors is to replace your front door. Thompson says Gilcrest/Jewett has seen definite uptick in orders for custom front doors. Homeowners can individualize their look with features like leaded glass or exotic woods.

When it comes to floor plans, “open” has been the buzzword for some time, and the trend shows no sign of stopping. Jodi Peterman, owner of Elizabeth Erin Designs LLC in Grimes, says her clients continue to seek advice on changing a series of small, closed-off rooms into one big space, where family and guests can eat, watch TV and relax. Since everybody seems to gravitate toward the kitchen, homeowners often want to remove a wall or two, creating a single “great room.”

Using the same flooring throughout will bring unity to the room, while rugs and furniture groupings can define spaces for cooking, dining and entertaining. Formal dining rooms, often used for little more than holiday dinners, are morphing into home offices, Peterman says.


  • Don’t spoil a snazzy kitchen backsplash with outlets. Put the outlets underneath the cabinets instead.
  • Use neutral colors on wall, then add punches of color through pillows, lamps, throws, window treatments and other accessories.
  • Transform a powder room by painting the walls a deep, rich color, such as chocolate or burgundy.
  • Bring kitchen cabinets all the way to the ceiling, eliminating dusty cabinet tops.
  • Give wallpaper another chance. Papers today are much easier to remove than in the past.
  • Seek out help, even if you are redecorating project is small. You may be surprised at the time and money you save using a professional.

When it comes to colors, no one shade is king, Peterman says. Jewel colors, such as kelly green, are a popular choice, as are deep navy and “anything earthy.” And to get the most from remodeled rooms, Peterman recommends keeping everything as clutter-free as possible.

Your rooms will look more spacious, and you’ll be able to spend your time relaxing instead of dusting.

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