The Remodeling Corner

Janet Cook

There is so much good news to love about home remodeling! The national average home value increased double digits last year. Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies are predicting remodeling in 2017 to be at the highest level. Homeowners are responding by doing larger remodeling projects to customize their home to facilitate their needs and lifestyle. They want a healthy, safe home that is energy efficient and reflects their style and personality. What are the trending design elements that are now used to update homes?

Kitchens have larger, functional layouts for multiple cooks and entertaining. More people prefer healthy, homemade meals, and are adding professional cooking appliances such as inductive cooktop and a steam oven. Upper cabinets are being replaced by a one wall of cabinets, open shelving and large island with a secondary sink and seating. Whites and grey colors are popular, along with quartz countertops for ease of maintenance, beautiful tile backsplash and furniture style island.

Adjacent to the kitchen is an indoor great room with a newly designed entertainment center that has a large flat screen front and center, with peripheral electronic equipment hidden yet easily accessible behind door panels that are flush with the screen. Also, adjacent is an outdoor room with a moveable glass wall that extends the home and brings the outdoors in with seating for conversation, a place to dine, and lighting to create a fun, relaxing atmosphere. Kitchen, patio, balcony gardens with an easy are becoming a must have for a true “farm to table” gourmet delight.

Luxurious spa–like bathrooms are the new standard. Some prefer an antique cabinet to repurpose as a vanity for character, or a modern floating vanity to make the room seem larger. Heated floors with ample natural light and elements of nature are included. A no-threshold shower with multiple shower heads, bench, with glass walls that do not block the view of the decorative tile is what is in demand. White for a clean, bright look with accents of color is popular. Ample storage, proper lighting for primping, and design to store electrical gadgets off the counter (including hidden outlets) are a must.

Laundry rooms have become the new multipurpose room, leaving the kitchen to be used for meals and entertaining. Washer and dryers are tucked behind cabinetry. Its status is upgraded to be both beautiful and functional in design to offer the use and storage needed by the family.

Entryways communicate a dramatic welcome with technology that lets you monitor who is on your property and answer your door from your smart phone. Luxury vinyl flooring, which is easier to maintain and easier on the joints, is increasing in popularity. There is even hardwood flooring that helps clean the air of toxins! Happy Home Remodeling!

Janet B. Cook, CAPS, President of Cook Remodeling who is celebrating their 38th year, invites you to visit their blog on for photos and more information.