A retreat from the weathered farmhouse look.
Furniture that is custom-built to fit your body size.
Cabinet refacing that gives your kitchen a whole new look without breaking the bank.
These are three of the trends/products you'll find this Friday-Sunday, Feb. 8-10, at the annual Home Show sponsored by the Quad-City Builders and Remodelers Association at the QCCA Expo Center, Rock Island.
A sold-out show of 135 exhibitors, including 23 first-timers, will showcase everything from financing and invisible fencing for your dog to mattresses, bathroom remodeling and mud jacking for your driveway.
Here's a look at what seven companies are offering.
The 'coastal' vibe
The weathered farmhouse look is still popular, but it's getting cleaner and more sophisticated, Elizabeth Round, marketing manager of Village Home Stores, Geneseo, Illinois, said.
Another trend is "coastal lighting," said Keri Swanberg, Village Home's lighting manager. "Fixtures are open and airy ... and are including more textures through the use of white-washed beads, a variety of textured glass and light wood look finishes.
"Mixing finishes throughout your home is also a something that we are seeing people become more comfortable with," she said.
As for specific products, Village Home will show off its Wall Planks, a stick-on paneling that do-it-yourselfers are having a lot of fun with. It's not recommended for bathrooms where it might be affected by too much moisture, but it can give a whole new look to walls and ceilings in other rooms of your home, Round said.
Village Home is a 35-year-old, family-owned business.
Tailoring furniture to fit
Knilans' Furniture & Interiors, a 64-year-old family business based in Davenport, is featuring the "tailored to fit" option in which its couches and chairs can be custom-built to fit a customer's body.
Seat height and depth and back height are the three factors that typically affect how comfortable a piece of furniture is, and these can be adjusted according to the buyer, owner Tim Schlicksup said.
Cushion firmness is another option.
One also can choose from thousands of fabrics and leather options, cushion arrangements (two or three, for example) and skirt versus "exposed leg" to literally build your own piece of furniture, Schlicksup said.
In addition, one can choose various lengths — a 55-inch loveseat and sofas in 72-, 84- and 96-inch lengths.
As for looks, tastes are trending toward less skirted and more exposed legs and less floral and more neutral, he said. Customers are choosing a more modern look, but that doesn't mean "metal frames or cold and hard," Schlicksup said. "It's just not as embellished."
Also, the arms of Knilans' couches and chairs are not as wide as those of some other companies. "The scale of the arms is designed to not take up too much space," Schlicksup said. (Customers" see that (a piece with) a 12-inch wide arm doesn't have as much seating surface versus the footprint," he said. "It's a waste of space."
Fixing, revitalizing cabinets, furniture
If you want a new look for your kitchen, but brand-new cabinets are beyond your budget, another option is to reface them — install new doors and trim, change hardware, even eliminate exposed hinges.
Offering this service is Furniture Medic by der Meister Haus, 4113 4th St., East Moline. It is a franchise of a Memphis-based business founded in 1992 opened by Tom Waggoner in March.
Other services Waggoner offers are cabinet and furniture repair, restoration and color changes. The company also can evaluate your home for "aging in place" living, making recommendations and installing modifications.
Saving energy and cutting utility bills with solar
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Reducing one's utility bill — especially in a winter such as the one we're in — is an attractive prospect, and nothing cuts it like solar panels that use the free energy of the sun to produce power.
Plus there's the added benefit of saving energy and cutting greenhouse gas emissions that are speeding climate change.
There's an upfront cost for materials and installation, but Lynn Roth, marketing director for Eagle Point Solar, based in Dubuque, said that in the past four years, solar panels have decreased in price as much as 40 percent.
He'll also tell you that "over 70 percent of the cost may be offset by state tax credits, equipment depreciation (for a business) and energy grants."
"The numbers really speak for themselves," he added.
The procedure for a homeowner installation would be to first discuss with a company representative the reasons for wanting to go solar, to provide the company with 12 months' worth of utility bills and then to walk around one's property with the representative to decide where would be the best place for panels.
The company then draws up a written report with a cost estimate and if the homeowner wants to proceed, the company takes it from there, submitting the required paperwork to the utility company, purchasing and installing the materials, getting the final inspection and turning on the system, Roth explained. After that, the homeowner monitors the system via computer.
In the event of problems, the company will return for service, but the materials themselves have a 25-year warranty and can be expected to work at least 40 years, Roth said.
Eagle Point, founded in 2010, has done about 700 installations in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, about evenly divided between residential, commercial and agricultural applications, Roth said.
Making your home safe
Nothing is more important than a safe home, and with all the gee-whiz, smartphone-connected devices on the market today, one can literally see who might be standing at your front door — or swiping a package — in real time from one's phone.
But if you're unsure of what you really need for home security, or you want a live human to be alerted when there is a problem, Per Mar Security Services, a Davenport-based, family business founded in 1953, stands ready with its services.
If a door or window is breached, for example, a message will be sent to a monitoring center where personnel will call the owner to ask if he/she wants police to be called, Nathan Boynton, sales manager, said.
Depending on the town in which you live, there can be a penalty for too many false alarms, "but that is a benefit of Per Mar," Boynton said. "We have trained professionals and really experienced technicians doing the work to eliminate false alarms."
Per Mar staff also can guide you through the smartphone technology that lets you check if your garage door is open (and close it), or if your back door is locked (and lock it), or turn lights on and off in various rooms of your house when you're not there to give the appearance of someone being at home.
Trending in appliances: induction cooktops, connectivity
While induction cooktops cost around $500 more than standard electric and represent only about one-quarter of the electric cooktops sold, they are gaining in popularity, Robert Meyer, store manager of Grand Appliance & TV, Davenport, said.
With the electromagnetic energy of induction heating, the pan becomes the heating element and the top of the stove stays a neutral temperature. Cleaning is easier because spilled food doesn't stick and, because the cooktop operates with touch control, there are no knobs to clean.
And cooking begins almost immediately, as the pan heats up to five times faster than with electricity or gas, Meyer said. This also saves energy.
Also new in appliances: mix and match handles. A white stove can have a black handle, for example. And brass is a new option, Meyer said.
Gray remains popular color choice
If you're looking for a new carpet color, you can't go wrong with gray, which continues to be a popular home color, said Tony O'Connell, a salesman with Flooring America, an Oklahoma-based company with stores in Davenport and Moline.
The stores' booth will have displays of all types of flooring, including carpet, hardwood, luxury vinyl tile and ceramic tile. One of the carpets, by Mohawk, allows one to blot up a spill of red wine, O'Connell said.