Four Tulsa kitchens and baths make the functional fashionable.
With the help of CBC Builds, homeowners Kimberley and Andy Kight recently completed a total remodel of their mid-century ranch midtown home, transforming the kitchen into a contemporary showpiece and the master bathroom into a spa-like retreat worthy of any five-star hotel.
In today’s world of kitchen and bath design, beauty, art and style are as important as form and function. Think of it this way … the fixture over the dining table isn’t just a chandelier, it’s more like an eye-catching piece of statement jewelry that takes an outfit from “you look fine” to “you look fabulous.”
Every element and finish that makes a kitchen and bathroom functional also has the potential to make it fashionable.
From flooring, countertops and backsplashes to appliances, lighting and plumbing fixtures, the choices homeowners make can turn these utility spaces into on-trend retreats, whether they seek cozy comfort, cheerful color or spa-like serenity.
And why not? The kitchen is where everyone gathers at the end of the dinner party for a few more laughs and one last nibble of dessert. As for the bathroom, why shouldn’t the space where you spend time making yourself beautiful be beautiful, too?
Kitchens and bathrooms also bring a high resale value to a home, making them the ideal areas in which to go all out when it comes to design and function.
“Depending on what has been done, there is a good return on investment (with kitchens and bathrooms),” says Kacy Bell, a Keller Williams real estate agent and treasurer of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors. “In our area of the country, a major kitchen remodel will bring a return on investment of 73 percent. A bathroom remodel is averaging about $14,000 and has about a 72 percent return. If you add a bathroom, the average cost will be about $33,000 with a 62 percent return.”
When it comes to choosing a design style, the sky is the limit. Take one look at popular home design website www.houzz.com and you’ll see there is an endless number of choices for flooring, surfaces, finishes and fixtures in every category, whether you prefer modern, traditional or “transitional” — a design buzzword used to describe a style that falls somewhere in between.
Even with the array of choices, some trends do stand out. Open and bright spaces, clean lines and an attention to lighting top the list of today’s most popular must-haves, as evidenced by the Tulsa homes in this article.
By popular demand, most kitchens these days are designed to open to a family room for a seamless flow between the entertainment space and the all-important eating area. To unite these spaces, many homeowners opt to continue the flooring — typically hardwood — from the living room into the kitchen.
In both the kitchen and bathroom, ample storage space tops many wish lists, as does simple cabinetry featuring Shaker-style inset doors, according to Lynn Knight Jessee, an interior and kitchen designer with Kitchen Concepts. White and gray hues are the most requested cabinet colors.
“What we are seeing a lot of this year is more gray, white, off-white, beige and bone color schemes,” says Jamie Parker, a buyer with Sullivan’s Custom Cabinetry. “It’s just a really chic, sophisticated look and that just seems to be what people are pulling toward right now.”
Granite has long been the admired choice for countertops and, in many cases, still is. But, quartz is now a solid contender for most sought-after surface for its array of clean, solid colors; popularity with transitional interior design; durability; and comparable price to granite, according to Weldon Bowman, lead architect and owner of W Design.
White marble is a top countertop choice, too.
“White is making a return, interestingly, because it’s a very clean look and lends itself to very clean lines,” Bell says.
The backsplash is where a homeowner with a penchant for panache can really have fun. From classic subway tile to colorful glass tile to natural stone, there are thousands of colors, shapes, sizes and patterns available to make a kitchen backsplash or shower tile motif a stylish work of art.
Don’t underestimate the potential for wow factor in the appliances. These days, they don’t just cool, freeze, cook, heat, reheat and clean. They also entertain and can be controlled remotely using a smartphone.
“You can now have a high-definition television with a remote control right on your refrigerator,” says Linda Johnson with Metro Appliances and More.
“There are technologies available that transform your refrigerator into a complete food management system by using the LCD panel or smartphone to check the food items stored inside, as well as their location and expiration date.
“One could check food items that are running low in quantity while shopping at the grocery store,” Johnson explains. “Ovens can be programmed via your smartphone to give you the ability to monitor the status, set cooking modes, search for recipes and diagnose problems.”
Speaking of ovens, gone are the days of your mother’s conventional cooker. Convection and steam ovens are edging out their traditional counterparts. Steam ovens add yet another dimension to cooking, offering a speedy, healthy method of heating that seals in flavor and vitamins. If you’re in the market for a new range, induction cooktops have emerged as a leading choice for home cooks for their efficiency and ease of cleaning.
“The induction can give you the best of both gas and electric,” Johnson says. “It is faster than gas and offers easy clean-up like the electric.”
Faucets, lighting fixtures and cabinet door pulls are all-important final touches that can make a space sparkle. Much like with jewelry, the trend is to mix metal finishes.
Nickel, chrome and copper are pushing out the ever-popular oil-rubbed bronze finish, according to Diane Self, showroom consultant for Heatwave’s Showroom for the Kitchen and Bath. Polished finishes are making a comeback, but brushed is still strong in the market.
“When I do a kitchen, I want it to look like the pieces in there are collected pieces,” Knight Jessee says. “I think the kitchen is the most fun room in the house. We spend more time in there than we do any other room. I like to mix (up the kitchen) just like I do my interiors … to bring in fun and different elements and not have everything the same.”
Lighting not only brightens the workspace but also transforms decorative elements into eye-catching focal points. Under-mount cabinet lights have been popular to highlight the backsplash for an extra pop of drama. Now designers are adding lower cabinet lighting to draw attention to the floors and make the space seem as if it glows.