Hot Home Revamps

Looking to update your home in 2017? Consider these top trends.

Minimalism is having a serious moment in interior design, and its futuristic appeal is attractive to designers and homeowners alike. The Fox Cities are seeing a merge of the globally trending minimalist style and a rustic elegance rooted in Wisconsin culture. If you’re planning to remodel your home this spring, keep an eye on these fresh trends.

Fresh Color Palettes with Rustic Texture

Tri City Glass -011Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year, greenery, pairs great with trending color combinations like gray and white. Take it a step further and contrast this clean color palette with medium- or darker-toned woodwork or furniture. Verdant green combined with various woods is very reminiscent of lush forests in the upper Midwest, and home remodelers are embracing it wholeheartedly. “People are liking green around here, but they love bringing in some interesting [wood] grain as an accent,” says Tina VanCamp, interior designer at Arn’s Cabinets in Little Chute. “I really like the idea of mixing and matching and putting depth in your home.”

Tuxedo cabinets (dark lower cabinets contrasted by light uppers) with a twist are also on the rise as painted cabinets are making their way into everyone’s homes. Paul Welhouse, owner of Welhouse Construction Services in Kaukauna, favors going gray with pops of color. If you’re feeling bold, consider painting cabinets in non-traditional colors. While tuxedo cabinets are traditionally black and white, VanCamp suggests mixing woods rather than colors for a familiar yet contemporary version of this trend. Rustic woods paired with clean lines and modern elements will add more depth to your design and diversify your home, VanCamp adds. “People can go from room to room and enjoy the feel of the room, and love their home for longer,” she says.

Craftsmanship vs. DIY

After3While do-it-yourself projects have trended the past couple of years, an emphasis on craftsmanship has taken the front seat. “I think the DIY trend is about how we can shape something to work for us,” says VanCamp. “With remodeling, craftsmanship is more possible. It’s what gets people excited, since you can start from scratch.”

Welhouse says there is more of a demand in craftsmanship when it comes to things like crown moldings, floating shelves and custom cabinetry in high-end kitchens and bathrooms. Since real wood is back in style, Welhouse recommends collaborating with remodelers who specialize in woodwork. By paying close attention to functionality and design, you can maintain your home’s value for years. Tod Raehl, owner of Tod Raehl Remodeling & Construction in Neenah, loves customized, one-of-a-kind projects where craftsmanship can shine. “My favorite thing about my job is when I’m given a lot of leeway to be creative,” he says. Raehl’s current specialty project is a walk-out basement inspired by an Irish pub. When planning a custom job, Welhouse suggests surfing the internet for ideas and bringing photos to your consultation.

Solid Surface Countertops

After1Updating countertops can be a quick, effective home project. While many different kinds of countertops will fit your ideal finish and budget, solid surface is a fairly new material to add to the mix. Solid surface countertops are a step up in quality from laminate countertops. They are also almost as durable as high-end stone countertops, but at a more affordable price point. Custom-made solid surface counters offer a seamless finish and can comfortably accommodate integrated sinks for a sleek, minimal look in both kitchens and bathrooms. They are a good option for families with children, since solid surface countertops are easy to clean, nonporous and stain-resistant.

Solid surface countertops in Corian, a man-made acrylic material, can come in many different colors and finishes and can be patterned after stone material like granite or quartz. “For quartz, price varies typically by supplier as well as by the thickness of the top,” says Welhouse. “Granite, on the other hand, varies by the level you choose.”

Three Ways to Accent a Solid Surface Countertop


  • A simple backsplash: Subway tiling in muted shades is a simple way to make your countertops shine.
  • Modern lighting: To spotlight a solid surface kitchen island, try topping it off with mixed metal fixtures.
  • Everything but the kitchen sink: Integrated sinks with a sleek faucet will create a seamless finish to solid surface tops.
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