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trend watch compiled by Mary Gow

Build, Remodel & Decorate

Tips from Local Experts Spring 2012 / Best of Burlington

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builders & contractors

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s our lives become more hectic, our homes are our sanctuaries—our space to enjoy family, friends, and sometimes solitude. Savoring that space, our connections between indoors and outdoors are closer than ever. In new homes and renovations, in town and in the country, designs increasingly integrate home and landscape. Along with connecting to the

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environment, we are also choosing to care for it—with style. Energy-efficient designs and products are attractive and affordable, and they have become the norm. Come along as we tour the latest home designs, discover the best new materials, and share tips and advice from local professionals on every aspect of creating a comfortable, welcoming home.


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“We see a lot of people with strong connections to a piece of land, a location, or a great neighborhood. These connections give them confidence and motivation to move forward with exciting building projects.� Chris Quinn, Red House Building

photos by j. grantz, courtesy of red house

photo by j. grantz, courtesy of red house

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smart OPTIONS “We’re seeing a lot of customization,” says Chris Snyder of Snyder Homes. “People want to make their home their home. They are modifying standard floor plans for their personal preferences,” continues Chris. “Personal choices of faucets, countertops, and other details make a house a personal home. From an energy standpoint, the focus on the thermal envelope continues—making it well insulated and really tight.” Chris Quinn of Red House Building agrees: “Almost everything we build is super insulated, and now super insulated is becoming the standard. That is a good thing, and it’s come a long way in just five years. Homes are far more energy efficient and comfortable.”

HOMES GO HIGH TECH “Whole-house automation has increased,” reports Chris Quinn. “With the technology available now you can have your home’s audio, video, heating, security, and lighting all automated. Your dollar goes so much further now than even five years ago, and systems are better structured to accommodate changing technology. Retrofits are better, easier, and more affordable

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photo courtesy of cushman design


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DID YOU KNOW? “Floor plans are still open, but not 100 percent open—people are including nooks and some separate spaces,” says Chris Snyder of Snyder Homes. photos courtesy of snyder homes

than ever before. The systems can easily be scaled to meet functional and budget needs.” Ted Clark of Cedar Ledge Builders also sees an increase in high tech at home. “Technology is really becoming a big part of the home,” he says. “Customers are linking security, lighting, and climate control in a home grid that can be accessed through a smartphone. The house can be monitored even while homeowners are away.”

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SMALLER CAN BE BETTER “People are gravitating toward smaller spaces and homes,” says Andrew Volansky, architect with Cushman Design Group in Stowe. “They are looking for ways to effectively combine uses and minimize duplication as a way to reduce overall square footage. They are asking themselves which spaces are most important and are visualizing themselves within those spaces to help determine whether those areas are critical to the design and to their homes.” Andrew explains, “We use the cooking metaphor of reducing a sauce—clients are doing this with their homes, and we find that the end result can be much richer.”

SMART GREEN “Green building has been a trend for a number of years,” reports Ted Clark

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photos courtesy of cushman design group

“Today people want a builder to help them work through the design process. We can show them 3-D designs and rendering of colors and textures. You can really explore the options of what a space might look like with 3-D modeling.” Ted Clark, Cedar Ledge Builders

of Cedar Ledge Builders. “A lot of our custom-

Lumber. “In late 2011 we had a flurry of new

ers are going to ‘smart green.’ Rather than

home starts. It was very surprising and is

making big investments in photovoltaics or

very promising. It’s a good mix of homes of

geothermal, they are choosing high-efficiency

all sizes.”

windows and doors, high-value installations in lighting, and efficient appliances.”

Homeowners are looking for easy- or nocare materials. Jim says, “There is a definite trend toward more maintenance-free exte-

NEW CONSTRUCTION

riors. This includes exterior clad windows,

The future for home building starts is looking

James Hardie cement siding, and AZEK

up, according to Jim Carroll, president of Rice

PVC trim applications.”

Renovations Are Up! According to Cedar Ledge Builders, kitchens and baths offer the highest return and make the biggest impact on daily life. “Smart green” gets rolled into those renovations with features including highefficiency water heaters.

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kitchens

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hether it’s a weeknight dinner with your family or a holiday open house, everyone knows that people love to gather in the kitchen. Make it marvelous with a beautiful design and the highest quality materials and appliances your budget will allow. “Many people are leaning toward a transitional style, a combination of traditional and modern styles,” says Rebecca Kruger of Prime Renovation Group in Williston. “Transitional designs feature simple Shaker doors, slab drawers, painted wood—white or soft cream in color and working with a natural color palette.”

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photo courtesy of Prime Renovation Group


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“The bead board or cottage/ farmhouse style is still in high demand, depending on the style of the house.� Rebecca Kruger, Prime Renovation Group, Williston, Vt

photo courtesy of Prime Renovation Group

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kitchens

2 0 1 2 ask the experts Rebecca Kruger of Prime Renovation Group in Williston has some sage advice for her clients. “I tell all my customers there are three big decisions to make in kitchens, and I consider everything else to be details.” The big three are: 1. Flooring: “I’m seeing a lot more hardwood flooring in kitchens. Hardwood tends to be warmer and homier. You can add area rugs for a whole new array of options and colors.” 2. Cabinetry: “People are leaning toward one extreme or the other— light or dark. Either way, customers prefer simple, straight lines and a clean look.” 3. Countertops: “The trend is granite! We’ve had phases of Corian (an engineered stone) and quartz, but we are definitely in a granite phase. Granite is unique, and being a natural stone, no two pieces are alike.”

DID YOU KNOW? According to Mary Skelton of Blodgett Supply and Bath Showplace in Williston, “People are getting more excited about updating and upgrading, not for potential future buyers but for their own enjoyment and comfort right now.”

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affordable luxury Even if you can’t pull off an entire kitchen renovation, you can take some simple steps to refresh and revitalize your space. Just ask Mary Skelton of Blodgett Supply and Bath Showplace in Williston. “You can bring affordable luxury to your home with something as simple as a new kitchen faucet,” Mary says. “There are so many choices! We have an entire display of new designs and finishes in faucets.”

“A kitchen sink and faucet are the most used appliances in the home. People should love them; they should make you happy.” —Mary Skelton, Blodgett Supply and Bath Showplace

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bathrooms

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close to home

“Color-wise, we’re seeing lots of neutrals in the bathroom—browns, creams, and off-whites.” Rebecca Kruger, Prime Renovation Group

FORM & FUNCTION “People are often replacing a tub with a luxurious shower—with rain heads, body sprays, and steam for health and relaxation,” says Mary Skelton of Blodgett Supply and Bath Showcase. “Some people do tile with a glass enclosure for easy-to-clean, solid surface walls.” Want a cleaner look? “Go European,” says Frank deAngelis, owner of Close to Home. “Sinks, vanities, bidets, and toilets are attached to the wall rather than sitting on the floor. This opens up more space and makes the room look larger—and it’s easier to clean the floor!”

photo courtesy of close to home

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windows

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hen it comes to beautiful windows and patio doors, low maintenance and high energy efficiency are major industry trends. “Windows and doors are key pieces in your home environment; you live with and use them every day,” says Charles Pelsue of Windows and Doors by Brownell in Williston. Homeowners in this area are savvy shoppers, and they want to make informed decisions. “This

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is a very hands-on marketplace,” explains Charles. “Local and regional customers are looking for personalized service. Our shoppers want to see displays and get information to make decisions about their windows and doors. Elsewhere, people may rely on their architect or builder to make those choices, but the norm here is to see what they are getting before it is in their home. Our extensive displays help people make the right decisions for their homes.”


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photo courtesy of windows and doors by brownell

photo courtesy of windows and doors by brownell

“Fiberglass is becoming more popular for durability and ecological reasons. It’s strong, it lasts a long time, and it is easy to maintain.” Charles Pelsue, Windows and Doors by Brownell

PROTECT THE PLANET “There is a great deal of customer interest in products that have lower environmental impacts, both in the products’ manufacture and in their effectiveness in reducing energy use.” —Charles Pelsue, Windows and Doors by Brownell photo courtesy of windows and doors by brownell

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window treatments

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STYLE GALORE On the decorative soft goods end of window treatments, Gordon Clements, owner of Gordon’s Window Decor, sees some new trends: “Along with a wide variety of top treatments and interlined draperies, we’re

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seeing more panels—often panels with large grommets and exotic hardware systems. Different styles of headings are also becoming more popular—not just French pleats but widespread use of cartridge pleats, ripple folds, and others.” photos courtesy of Gordon’s Window Decor

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windows

windows

Comfortex windows photos courtesy of Gordon’s Window Decor

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“Cellular shades are not only for new homes. Installing them in older homes helps with energy efficiency at a much lower cost than replacement windows. They have a long life span and require little maintenance.” Gordon Clements, Gordon’s Window Decor

“As the country continues its inevitable shift to the electrical Smart Grid, with Vermont at the forefront, it is increasingly important that people be able to manage their energy control mechanisms in response to what will be very significant changes in the costs of energy during the day. There will be huge financial incentives to be energy efficient. Gordon’s has window shade systems that are integrated into home automation—at the time of day when the price of electricity goes up, the shades automatically come down.” Gordon Clements, Gordon’s Window Decor

BLINDS AND SHADES Did you know that homeowners are turning to window treatments to save energy? According to Gordon Clements, owner of Gordon’s Window Decor, “For homeowners, this past recession shifted their priority of needs to energy and cost issues, then comfort and appearance. This created a huge shift in demand to insulating shades like Architella and EcoSmart, products that literally pay for themselves. This trend was fueled by building science research by the likes of the Department of Energy, Harvard, and others, which found that the shades insulate windows surprisingly well, significantly reducing energy waste.” Gordon continues, “Properly installed cellular shades cut both heating and cooling costs by creating a series of insulating layers, reducing heat transfer through the window. Since fit is critical to performance, these are custom-made shades, a side benefit of which is the technology is available for most any window, even unusual shapes or dimensions.”

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interiors

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I “There is a renewed interest in rugs that are handwoven or with chunky knotted features.” Pam Carter, Interior Design by Keeping Good Company

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f you’ll be decorating a room soon, you may want to follow some advice from local designers on this year’s top trends. Michelle Holland of Holland Interiors and Patina of Shelburne says, “Ultimately, quality never goes out of style. As humans, I think we have an innate desire to surround ourselves with objects that are natural and handcrafted. If you are going to invest in one thing this year, make it a piece that will endure.”


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“In chaotic economic and political times, I think people seek sanctuary in their homes. Thus, design palettes have a calming softness to them— neutrals, linens, and natural materials, like sisal and wool.� Michelle Holland, Patina

photo courtesy of keeping good company

lamp by Hubbardton forge from City lights

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interiors

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TANTALIZING TEXTURES

“Featured lighting that adds a touch of glamour, such as chandeliers, remains right on trend, playing the part of a piece of jewelry in the room.” Michelle Holland, Patina

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Pam Carter of Interior Design by Keeping Good Company says, “Soft furnishings and fabrics are still the heart of any good decor composition. The most popular fabric trends include iridescent metallic, strong patterns, menswear, modern florals, richly textured woven fabrics, velvet, silk, and faux fur. Mother Nature is never far behind in inspiration, with natural fibers such as bamboo, jute, eucalyptus, raw silk, wool, and cork making their presence felt.”


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FURNITURE TREND “Design lines of furniture are becoming more streamlined. Yesterday’s bulky sofas are giving way to smaller styles with lower backs and sleeker looks,” says Pam Carter at Interior Design by Keeping Good Company. “People are preferring to cluster their furniture into conversation groups for added flexibility.”

photo courtesy of cushman design group

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TREAD LIGHTLY Pam Carter of Interior Design by Keeping Good Company says, “There seems to be a move away from wall-to-wall carpeting and a move toward easy-to-clean materials such as tiles, laminate, or wood flooring, which are then warmed up and accented using a variety of rugs. Some popular rugs include those that make a design statement and serve as an interesting foundation for rooms with a neutral base and upholstered furnishings.”

“Tangerine Tango is the color of the year for 2012 — it’s sophisticated yet dramatic and seductive. Neutral hues from gray to camel continue to flourish for big-ticket items like sofas, carpets, and even paint palettes. Trendier colors like acid green and amethyst are seen as accent colors.” Pam Carter, Interior Design by Keeping Good Company

photo courtesy of cushman design group

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photo courtesy of keeping good company


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COLOR TRENDS “Gone are the days when people were conservative about wall colors. They are more daring now—partly thanks to television design shows—because they can see bolder colors being used and see how they look in different rooms. We are seeing deeper colors and more saturated colors. Benjamin Moore has a line called Color Stories. These are full-spectrum colors with no black or gray in them. They are much truer, richer, deeper colors. They are more influenced by light, changing subtly with natural and indoor lighting.” Dave Erkson, Vermont Paint Company

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lighting

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lamp by Hubbardton forge from City lights

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hether you’re simply looking for a new lamp or want to replace your outdated fixtures, Bradford Hume, owner of City Lights in Burlington, says, “With Vermont’s many historic homes, designs relating to antique looks remain popular, but these can also come with a contemporary flair. Stylistically, you can point to Hubbardton Forge—they have designs that are a little more modern. They have some very cool new shapes and materials—their fibrous materials diffuse the light in very ethereal-looking pendants.”

Hubbardton Forge photos courtesy of City Lights


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“For energy efficiency, dimmers save power and they save the life of the bulb.”

SMART FIXTURES “One trend is for fixtures that take a variety of bulbs— power-saving/ Earth-saving bulbs, conventional bulbs, compact fluorescents, LED bulbs, halogens—they all have the same base.” Bradford Hume, City Lights

Bradford Hume, City Lights

dimmer by lutron

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Photo by Susan Teare, Courtesy of Cynthia Knauf

landscape & outdoors

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hat’s new about outdoor spaces? Cynthia Knauf of Cynthia Knauf Landscapes says, “Every year there seems to be a greater understanding of integrating landscaping and building right from the beginning—taking the land and surroundings into consideration in planning a new home or addition. People are recognizing how the outside informs what they want to do inside and what they want to see looking from the inside out.” Cynthia continues, “People are seeing inside and outside as one composition. That’s really cool and it’s how I look at it too. They are thinking more broadly, more holistically, for function as well as aesthetics.”


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courtesy of landshapes

“Everybody’s going green. People are trying to do the right thing for the environment. It’s very exciting.” Marie P. Limoge, Landshapes

Outdoor furniture by Telescope Casual Furniture.

Photo by Susan Teare, courtesy of cynthia knauf

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outdoors

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Todd Warren of Otter Creek Awnings, Sunrooms & Custom Closets says, “Live more outdoors this year.” He explains, “We all know how short the summer season can be in Vermont. This is all the more reason to maximize the opportunity to live outdoors as often as possible. Trends for 2012 include updating and enlarging deck and patio areas; good-looking and comfortable outdoor furniture; long-lasting, maintenance-free materials; and retractable fabric awnings for shade and rain protection. Today’s outdoor living spaces are simply an extension of one’s interior space.”

“All of our buildings are Amish-made. The Amish are true craftsmen with great integrity, and they bring this quality to everything from a doghouse to a 12,000-square-foot barn. We’ve never had anybody not love their buildings.” Robert Therrien, The Carriage Shed

photos courtesy of THE carriage shed

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photos courtesy of otter creek

“A customized canopy will provide you with sun when you want it, shade when you don’t, and a protected area on rainy days.” Todd Warren, Otter Creek Awnings, Sunrooms & Custom Closets

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outdoors

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PATIOS & MORE Chris Quinn of Red House Building says, “We are increasingly involved in outdoor living spaces that can include extensive stone work, pools, spas, firepots, outdoor kitchens, and designed gardens—these features help capitalize on the natural setting of a house and complete the design vision.”

Native Plants “People are interested in native plants. We have so many beautiful native plants, why not utilize what we have and what grows well here? The use of these cuts back on the amount of maintenance your garden needs.” Marie P. Limoge, Landshapes

Photo by Susan Teare, courtesy of cynthia knauf

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outdoors

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courtesy of landshapes

New Products Have you heard about permeable pavers? “Instead of using asphalt or concrete as paving material, you can use permeable pavers,” says Marie Limoge of Landshapes. “These allow water to filter through them, reducing storm water runoff. Permeable pavers can be used for a residential walkway or a patio, and they also work for large commercial spaces.” Since water can filter through the soil below the paved surface, numerous environmental issues associated with water runoff can be prevented. 66 www.bestofburlingtonvt.com


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