Rhode Island Monthly Spring Home Improvement 2014 : Page 1

SPE CIAL AD VER TISING SE C TION Spring Into Home Improvement After a long winter, your home’s probably in need of spiffing up. From projects large (kitchen or bath reno anyone?) to small, home pros weigh in on how to start what needs to be done and how to get to that wish list, too. BY DIANE M. S TERRETT In Demand Kitchens and Baths Today’s trends in upscale kitchen and bath design entail clean, simple lines and plenty of open space. Sometimes, it seems, bigger is better. CHIC, LUXE OR SIMPLE: WHAT ARE HOMEOWNERS LOOKING FOR IN THE MOST important rooms in the house? Rhode Island builders and designers say a modern design aesthetic — not to be mistaken for contemporary — is very much in demand. What exactly does today’s modern look like? Alex Mitchell, co-owner of Meridian Custom Homes, says their clients want clean lines, unfussy trims and airy, open spaces. Size is another consideration, and despite all the talk about smaller spaces, big is still in. “Once people lay out their intentions and what they want to achieve in the kitchen and masterbath, they’re really not getting any smaller,” Mitchell says. “People want enough space to en-joy their kitchen, with enough room for guests to relax, sip wine and taste food while it’s being prepared,” Mitchell says. In keeping with the airy look, the open kitchen/family room/dining area concept is still tops. Very few homeowners ask for formal dining rooms anymore. “A good 70-80 percent say they don’t want to spend money build-ing out a formal dining room. Those who do want it less stuffy, not as formal,” says Sue Andrade, Meridian’s custom home consultant. Good definition between the kitch-en, eating area and family room helps keep the space from feeling like a gi-ant cave. “We use design elements like coffered beams, columns and ceil-ing treatments to help define spaces. Some want a lot of definition with a half wall and half columns, while oth-ers might want just a change in ceil-ing detail or ceiling height,” Mitchell explains. Kitchen islands are another way to create definition, and they’re on al-C ONTE NTS 1 23 I N D E M A N D K I T C H E N S A N D B AT H S 1 28 S PR I NG F IX ER-U PPERS most every homeowner’s must-have list, reports Matt Davitt, presi-dent of Davitt Design Build. “With the open look we have more space for bigger islands and room for seating. Years ago, a typical island would be four feet wide. Now we’re looking at six. It’s enough room to let the cook work while the kids are doing their homework or people are interacting. In addition, people now want a cooktop on the island instead of a sink, which was the trend a few years ago. The thinking is people spend more time at the stove than the sink and most people can see out to the great room, so the cook is now part of the entertain-ment,” Davitt explains. ➤ RHODE ISLAND MONTHLY l MARCH 2014 123 PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF RHODE ISLAND KITCHEN AND BATH

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