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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 10/29/2012

Home show offers sneak peak at design trends

If you’re planning to decorate or renovate your home next year, you might want to get a heads up on what some experts say will be the hot colors and trends of 2013.

In recent years, designers have pushed paints, furniture fabrics and window treatments in the pastel families, salmon and earth tones, but the apparent color of choice for 2013 is hardly subtle. It’s lime green.

That’s according to Joseph Bowen, owner of Bowen Remodeling and Design in Crofton, who was among a few dozen designers and home renovation vendors showing off their products and services at last weekend’s Home Show at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro. He said lime green was all the rage at a recent color show he attended and he expects designers will give it a big push next year.

Lime green?

Bowen acknowledged that lime green may seem a bit over the top for some.

But he explained how it can work.

He pointed to an enlarged photo on the wall of his exhibit showing a dining room with lime green walls. The in-your-face color, he said, was balanced with a white ceiling, blue and lime green chairs and a white and blue rug beneath the table.

“We’ll see more grays and black with pastels to tone down [the lime green and give the room] depth,” he said.

Indeed, expanding on a current trend, Bowen expects that adding depth and dimension will be a big design element next year — particularly in kitchens.

The 3D-look backsplashes are coming down in price, Bowen said, likely making them within reach of more consumers. He picked up some sample swatches of backsplash designs and explained what gives them the 3D effect.

One was made of half-inch square stones interspersed with square glass that is transparent in the front and darker in the back. “You have some textured and some smooth squares,” Bowen said. “When the light hits it, it makes it pop.”

More manufacturers are producing the backsplashes, increasing the supply. As a result, he said, the price has dropped to about $8 to $11 a square foot from about $27 a square foot a few years ago.

And that’s important to consumers, he said, who are becoming more value-conscious. He sees that playing out in several ways.

For instance, more customers are switching from granite to cultured marble countertops in bathrooms. A 72-inch cultured marble bathroom countertop, with two sink cutouts, would cost about $800, compared with $1,200 for a granite one.

At the same time, more are becoming interested in doing some of the renovation work themselves to save money. So, he said, his firm has adapted by offering consultation services to DIYers.

“A lot of people are doing their own demolition work,” Bowen said. “They’re trying to maintain their house and not break the bank because they don’t have the value in it anymore. We kind of tell them how to break things down without damaging things.”

On a recent job, he said, contractors installed the shower pan, closed the walls with cement board and waterproofed the area, while the customer installed the tiles.

Felecia Hardaway, 60, of Fort Washington, is a homeowner who fits into that category.

She stopped by Bowen’s table, saying she was looking for help to renovate her guest bathroom, which is “still in the ’60s.” She wants the work done by Thanksgiving, when some relatives plan to visit her.

Hardaway said she’s already started tearing out the brownish pink bathtub tiles and was interested in possibly getting a surround installed in that area.

“I took a hammer to save myself on demolition and took down a wall,” Hardaway said. “Now I need to finish it up.”

“People say, ‘You need to tile it — it will bring up the value.’ But I’ve seen the surround and I really like it.”

She said she wants to get someone to install a water-efficient toilet and a new vanity, but will likely do the floors herself. “I don’t mind getting my hands dirty,” she said.

By Dion Haynes  |  10:00 AM ET, 10/29/2012

 
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