Black matte teamed with brushed gold is becoming a popular finish in light fixtures.
"Smart" appliances, such as a Kitchen Aid range with attachments (just like its mixers), are getting a lot of buzz because they allow steaming, crisping and grilling in the oven.
And while white is still the color choice in kitchen cabinets, blue is making inroads, if not as an entire suite, then as an accent.
These are three trends Elizabeth Round, marketing manager for Village Home Stores, Geneseo, Illinois, sees as she looks around the Quad-Cities home scene.
She will bring examples of what she's talking about to her store's booth on Friday-Sunday, Feb. 7-9, at the annual Quad-City Builders and Remodelers 40th Annual Home Show at the QCCA Expo Center, Rock Island.
About 140 vendors have signed up for the show, with products and services that include home security, financing, flooring, kitchen and bath design, mattresses, remodeling, window blinds, fireplaces, house siding, swimming pools and spas and pest control.
Village Home Stores' Round said the gold in new light fixtures is similar to, but not quite the same as, the shiny brass of the 1980s. It's brushed and "not so polished," she said.
In the area of remodeling, probably the single biggest job her company does is to remove walls, or parts of walls, so that owners of existing homes can get the open floor plan look of new homes, particularly in kitchen-dining room combinations.
"People don't want to be away from everything," Round said, referring to kitchens that are walled off from other rooms.
Creating first-floor laundries is another big request. Sometimes a closet can be turned into a laundry, she said.
GREAT GARAGE FLOORS: When Bret Johnson opened his Tailored Living franchise in Milan nearly five years ago, he figured the bulk of his work would be in the area of home organization, installing pantries and closet systems for homes and garages.
Instead, he found that Quad-Citians are more interested in having a good-looking garage floor. "I was pretty surprised by that," he said. Of the company's 150 locations across the country and Canada, those in the Midwest seem to be more floor-oriented, he said.
But if you're a Midwesterner tired of looking at cracked and stained concrete pitted by salt brought into your garage with snow, you understand the appeal of a smooth, shiny, colorful floor.
Tailored Living offers two options: the standard polymer finish available in nearly endless color choices (think sports teams), and a marble-like finish that can be made to look like just about anything including water, fire and clouds.
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The polymer takes two days to install and costs $5 per square foot while the marble-like takes four days and costs $10 per square foot.
About 90 percent of Johnson's jobs are the polymer. It begins with company employees coming to your home to carry out items stored on your garage floor, putting them in storage trailers that they leave on your property for the duration of the project.
Then they grind the floor, vacuum, and mix and install the epoxy by spreading it around with a 'squeegee.' Next comes the polymer finish, with employees tossing out the quarter-inch flakes of color as though they were feeding chickens, Johnson explained.
Once the surface is dry, the entire floor gets a clear coat made to withstand salt, gasoline and oil, Johnson explained. The floors carry a 15-year warranty.
Johnson will bring sample boards of his floors to the show, but he'll also be extolling the benefits of his other products, such as a screen for your garage door so that you can leave the door open for light and air, but can keep bugs and leaves out.
He also sells an overhead storage system for the garage that can be raised and lowered by an app on your phone — no ladder required!
WINDOWS, SIDING AND DOORS: Wood-grain Fiberglass exterior doors are selling well right now, Marcus Campbell, of Best Improvement, Moline, said.
A Craftsman style door with a shelf embellished with dentil molding is a popular choice among customers, he said.
While dark gray is still the go-to color for house siding, Campbell is seeing a demand for Wedgwood blue, a color he describes as a dark royal blue.
In the area of windows, Campbell will have a bay window and a sliding glass door with internal blinds on display at the show.
Best Improvement is entering its 41st year of business in the Quad-Cities. It was founded by Campbell's parents, Paul and Patti, and Marcus hopes to take over from them.
MIRRORS, GLASS: A lot of design thought goes into bathroom showers these days, and that includes the doors. Steve's Mirror and Glass, Bettendorf, will highlight doors with patterns as well as those that are nearly all-glass with very little metal.
Backlighted shelves with chipped edges are another look the business will showcase. Shelves are common behind home bars, and the backlighting and chipping makes them pop, Lisa Clark, Steve's office manager said.
Mirrors and glass can glam to a home; "all it takes is a little imagination and a lot of Pinterest," she said.