Glass mosaic backsplash and un-patterned counters create layers of visual texture. (Charland by Ledingham McAllister) Hardwood or quality laminate floors, especially in neutral grey tones, remain a popular for main living areas. (Breeze by Adera)
Q: What about flooring? A: Most people still like carpet in the bedrooms because they want something warm and soft under their feet when they step out of bed in the morning. Again though, it’s not the same carpet as you got a decade ago. Low profi le, cut pile and even sculpted styles are among the most common types used today. Washed oak is also coming back for the main living areas but not with the large grain and knotty look of the ’80s. Today, you’ll see a much tighter grain so the patterning is more subtle.
Another interesting part of this trend is mixing materials and patterns within the same space. It started out by having high-gloss upper cabinets and wood or laminate wrap for the lowers. Now it’s more about creating zones. So you might have a very neutral Caesarstone on the countertops and granite on the eating bar or run glass tiles up behind the stove and then use ceramic subway tiles for the rest of the backsplash. And we’re definitely not seeing the thin stripes of a contrasting material that we used to. For example, in the bath surround, we’ll often put large-format tile on the two narrow, end walls and then use marble on the longer wall. Th is is also a great way to create the feel of luxury without paying the price of having a full marble surround.
Q: Speaking of wood floors, what’s happening in the debate between laminate and wood? A: Genuine hardwood is still something many homeowners want, but it’s expensive so laminate is a good alternative, cost wise. It’s also durable. One material that’s really shaking up the industry, though, is vinyl plank flooring. Th is is not something sold in sheets — it’s actual planking. It’s waterproof not just water resistant, it has great acoustical damping so you don’t get the hollow tapping sound of a laminate, and unless you get down on your hands and knees to look, it’s almost impossible to tell the difference from wood. We actually ran a test in our oﬃce where we put down three sections of flooring — hardwood, a high quality laminate, and vinyl plank — and then got our staff to walk across them in whatever kind of shoes they wanted to. I didn’t tell them which was which, just asked them which felt best and looked best. Almost everyone’s favourite was the vinyl planking. But as soon as most customers hear the word “vinyl,” they back off. Q: So maybe we just need a sexier name for it? A: That would probably help. Th is is an unbelievable product and it’s virtually indestructible. We already use in extensively in common areas of our developments and you can see it in places like Shangri-La or Urban Fair — which are extremely upscale. A: Any other cool trends you’re seeing? Q: Roller shades are a trend along with decorative side curtains that give the illusion of being a full
drape at a fraction of the cost.
Grey has definitely replaced beige as the new neutral, and we’re seeing an increasing use of brushed matte metals for accents. For information about Ledingham McAllister’s many communities and the trendsetting finishings you’ll find inside their homes, visit ledmac.com. MAY 15 - 29, 2015 | METRO VANCOUVER NEW HOME GUIDE 43
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