Grove kitchen of Stephanie Quinn shows off the drama created
by dark wood cabinetry and metallic finishes on cabinet
handles and appliances.
M asked Milwaukee-NARI members to make their picks for home design
trends gaining in popularity and proving to be more than just a
"Faucets for the kitchen are looking more like sculptures and
pieces of art," says Stephanie Quinn, design partner at The OAR
Group in Elm Grove. Quinn also points to a trend away from stainless
steel toward different, more contemporary-colored appliances, such as
titanium or steel and light blues and greens that almost look like
glass. Commercial-grade appliances have been on the radar for some
time, but now designers and remodelers are seeing other commercial
products being adapted for home use. She points to a product called
Lumicor, a translucent material in which textiles, papers, metals,
foliage, wood veneers and other items are embedded into a resin. One
client created a railing in an open staircase using metal panels,
David Pekel, president of Pekel Construction & Remodeling in
Wauwatosa, says people are seeking simple design that isnít fussy.
"Thereís a strong movement toward more casual styles, whether
traditional or contemporary, in furniture styles and cabinetry,"
Pekel says. "In the kitchen and bath, darker wood finishes really
accentuate chrome and brushed nickel metal finishes, which remain top
client picks," he says. To show off white porcelain, chrome or
brushed nickel faucets, he recommends dark stain finishes like
espresso "that barely allow the grain to seep through the stain
and show well with glass and mirrored surfaces."
Just about every industry is "going green." Project
designer-coordinator Matthew Retzak of Bartelt Inc. in Menomonee Falls
says that in the world of design itís more of a permanent change
than a come-and-go trend. Itís another influence from the commercial
world thatís just making its way to Wisconsin, Retzak says. m