Home Expert Newsletter – January 2014

January 10th, 2014

Home Expert Tips from Beth Proctor
Beth Kellan, REALTOR® | Windermere/Cronin & Caplan Realty Group, Inc. BethKellan@windermere.com | 503-740-4485

In This Issue
Popular Kitchen Design Trends for 2014
Links that Make Life Easier
The Lighter Side
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Contact Me
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Beth Kellan

Did you know that the most popular home improvement project in 2014 is expected to be the kitchen remodel?  Read below to find out which kitchen design features will be popular this year.
(Please feel free to forward this email on to those you know who would find the information helpful.)By the way, if you or anyone you know has a real estate need, please contact me today. I’ll always provide first-class service!

Kitchen Design Trends for 2014

Here’s a collection of this year’s most sought-after kitchen design features, along with some “Fad Factor” predictions to help provide perspective on the ones most likely to stay in style.

Opening Up the Room

The kitchen has increasingly become a gathering space for family and guests, which is why around a third of respondents to a recent survey by Houzz.com said that their kitchen remodel would be designed to open up the space and improve it for entertaining.

Fad Factor: Very low.  This fits in well with a long-term trend in how people use their kitchens.

Hiding Appliances

Concealing appliances such as dishwashers and refrigerators behind cabinet doors is gaining popularity.

Appliances made to look like furniture.

Fad Factor:  Low, and overall a very nice look when well done.  (For those still choosing to bare it all, stainless steel remains the material of choice.)

Open or Glass-Front Cabinets

Hide the appliances, but flaunt those shelves!  The glass-front cabinet is experiencing a resurgence in popularity.  Some people are also integrating completely open shelving alongside traditional cabinets.

Fad Factor:  Moderate.  Keep in mind that the items on those shelves need to double as decor to some extent because they are in sight.

Adding a Kitchen Island

Most kitchen remodels in 2014 will involve the addition of a kitchen island, according to the Houzz survey.

Fad Factor:  Very low.  An island typically makes a kitchen more useable and adds to an open feel.

Full-Height Backsplashes

On its way out is the 4-inch backsplash, according to John Petrie of the National Kitchen and Bath Association.  Homeowners are now opting for full-height backsplashes made from materials such as tile, glass, and metal.

High backsplash in kitchen.

Fad Factor:  Low, since these backsplashes are often both very functional and attractive.  However, keep an eye out for material and color combinations that are so popular they risk becoming overused.

Stone Countertops

According to the Houzz survey, 50 percent of respondents planned to choose granite for kitchen countertops, and 36 percent expected to use engineered quartz.  (Tile was at the bottom of the list, at 2 percent.)

Fad Factor:  Low.  Granite and quartz have been around for years but are so functional – durable, easy to maintain, and available in a huge variety of styles – that they are likely to remain popular even though they may not be the trendiest material on the market.

Mixing Countertop Materials

Using a different countertop material and color for the kitchen island or portions of the kitchen counters is an increasingly common choice.

Fad Factor:  Low, as long as the materials and colors coordinate well and are not too extreme in appearance.

Charging Station

Built-in USB charging ports and tablet docking stations have replaced the old landline phone nook.

Fad Factor:  Low, although anything you can incorporate now that might make it easier to upgrade to new technology later is a good idea.

Pull-out shelves in kitchen.Pull-Out Shelves

Say good-bye to peering into the dark recesses of kitchen cabinets trying to find items.  Shelves that glide out on rollers make it much easier to both store and reach anything from spices to hefty small appliances.

Fad Factor:  Very low.  Who could not love this? :)

Wood or Tile Floors

Hardwood and tile are the top two choices for kitchen floor remodels, according to Houzz.com.  Engineered hardwood came in third, even though it tends to be more resistant to water damage than traditional hardwood.  The shiny look of highly glazed ceramic tile is becoming less popular.

Fad Factor:  Low, due to the attractiveness and functionality of both wood and tile.  This year many homeowners are choosing rectangular tiles that are 12 by 24 inches in dimension.

Toned Down Color Schemes

Homeowners are pulling back from the dark kitchen color schemes of the last few years.  Colors for 2014 are more likely to be mid-range, and some designers are using cooler colors such as grey.

Fad Factor:  Low to moderate.  Mid-range colors often have more general appeal, but cool colors can present a challenge when creating the right feel for a kitchen.  (This is especially true when it comes to selling a home.)

The Bottom Line

When it comes to the kitchen, functionality rules.  Evaluate new design features with this in mind, and remember that when remodeling for resale, warm colors and moderate choices are often the safest route.


Recent Market Highlights


Chart and magnifying glass.- U.S. home prices rose 13.6 percent year-to-year in October, according to a recentS&P/Case-Shiller report.

- The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is in the mid 4-percent range.


- The Pending Home Sales Index dropped 1.6 percent year-to-year in November, according to the  National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).


Note:  Housing statistics based on closed sales typically reflect market conditions of two or three months ago.  To find out what’s going on right now in our local market, please call me directly.

Are you planning to buy or sell a home, or do you know someone who is?  Please call or email me – I’m never too busy to help you and the people you care about with real estate.
(*What the lawyers make us say: The information in this newsletter is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Please always consult a qualified expert before making decisions based on this content. Nothing in this article is meant to be taken as expert legal, financial, or medical advice.) 

Links that Make Life Easier
Sometimes real estate-related, sometimes not… these are assorted links that come in handy:

A selection of many different kinds of kitchen backsplash ideas collected by Houzz.com website users.

The Wired website compares five remote door locks that work with smartphone apps.
Ten ideas for relatively simple home projects this winter.

The Mortgage Professor website’s hefty and informative list of common mistakes made by home buyers when looking for a mortgage.

A great list of winter activities and games for kids, from the Spoonful website.

The Lighter Side

Cute girl signs for her deaf parents at school concert.

Hot on the heels of the infamous Mandela ceremony sign language interpreter comes little Claire Koch to show how it’s really done.  This cute 5-year-old takes the cake when she uses American Sign Language to translate for her deaf parents at a school sing-along.

Click here or on the image above to watch the video on the Good News Network.



I welcome the opportunity to serve you, your friends and your associates. Please give me a call today if I can be of assistance.
Warm Regards,


Beth Kellan
Windermere/Cronin & Caplan Realty Group, Inc.

email: BethKellan@windermere.com
phone: 503-740-4485
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 Beth Kellan

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