Top Spring design trends from the Minneapolis Home and Garden ShowBy Sam Tuttle, Marvin Windows
As we teeter on the cusp of spring, anxiously awaiting warmer weather, we decided to roam the sprawling halls of the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show in search of the latest design trends for spring 2015.
Here’s what we learned from expert exhibitors on the showroom floor.
Counters & Surfaces
Bob Mueller, Sales Manager for Select Surfaces,is an installer of Cambria products and was nice enough to share the latest in industry trends when we stopped by the Cambria booth.
While surfaces that resemble travertine and limestone have long been a “highly sought-after aesthetic,” those stones in their natural state are softer and more easily scratched than quartz, often making them less practical for countertops and other surfaces, Mueller says. But innovative designers have found new ways to replicate those materials’ marbled look in quartz surfaces, which are much more durable.
“People are going ga-ga over it,” Mueller says with a laugh, adding that combining the strength of quartz with the look of travertine gives homeowners “the best of both worlds.”
When it comes to bathroom trends, “multiple shower heads are a must now,” according to Michael Noding of Beautiful Kitchens & Baths.
We asked Noding to divulge some other emerging trends, and here’s what we learned: More and more homeowners also want custom glass for showers and tubs, higher-end lighting and larger-format tiles – think 12” x 24” or 12” by 12” at least. Meanwhile, “more and more people are turning bathtubs into showers,” according to Noding.
While outdoor living may seem most suitable for warmer, coastal areas, it’s a growing trend nationwide. (This, of course, is no surprise here at Marvin – look no further than our growing line of Scenic Doors.)
“It’s all about extending the seasons,” says Kelly O’Donahue, a landscape designer from Villa Landscapes.
In terms of the latest outdoor design trends, “people love their outdoor kitchens – oh, and anything fire and water!” O’Donahue adds, referring to exterior design options such as fireplaces and fire pits, as well as fountains and other innovative water features.
Erik Edlund, appliance specialist at Warner’s Stellian, said that more and more homeowners are opting for a “professional and commercial-type look” in their kitchens, adding more of what he described as “pro” cooking ranges.
Among other advantages, such ranges typically last longer than alternative options, in part because they don’t contain computerized parts, Edlund said.
Another trend to keep an eye on: more manufacturers are looking to introduce “fingerprint-resistant” stainless steel appliances. Imagine the sleek look of stainless – without the seemingly endless need to wipe down your appliances to get rid of pesky fingerprints.
Now is the time when people are beginning to look into adding spas and hot tubs, according to a couple of industry experts we spoke with.
And over the past several years, homeowners have been choosing higher-end spas – but, interestingly, smaller ones. Sometimes it’s because buyers are empty nesters and don’t have a need for larger ones that accommodate more people. But often it’s simply because spas are most frequently used by a couple of people at a time, and smaller tubs tend to be more practical, they said.
Those are some of the key takeaways we gleaned from the Minneapolis Home and Garden Show – and we’ll of course keep an ear to the ground for other new innovations and home design trends that are sure to surface in 2015.