Top 10 design trends? A remodeler’s list

Portland, Ore.-based Neil Kelly Co., a design-build remodeling firm that has remodeled more than 30,000 homes, announced its Top 10 interior design trends for 2013.

Twenty of the firms design professionals who shared their knowledge based on working with material suppliers and vendors came up with the following list: 

10. Kitchen cabinets
A clean, simple, contemporary look will be popular with homeowners looking to economize and eliminate unnecessary clutter and fussy details that equate to high maintenance and complicated living. For those who don't want to spring for new cabinetry, re-facing or refinishing cabinets offers more bang for the buck. 

9. Countertops
Granite has been dethroned. While granite isn't going away and still has many die-hard fans, the new king of countertops will be quartz composite -- the closest thing to no-maintenance, bullet-proof countertop materials available today. 

8. Hardwood floors
Pre-finished and engineered wood flooring will become more popular than the once gold-standard of site-finished flooring. Pre-finished woods provide a hard, durable finish; are an installation time saver; and eliminate the sanding dust dilemma. Engineered wood floors are also compatible with under-floor heating systems, a big plus in cold climates.

7. Glass backsplashes
Glass mosaic tile is on the way out. Taking its place are glass/stone/tile mosaic composites that can add more texture and visual interest and that tie in more readily with stone or quartz countertops. Be on the lookout for back-painted, solid glass panel backsplashes in contemporary settings, which provides an ultra-clean, almost ethereal look to a polished, modern kitchen setting. 

6. Stylishly simple sinks
Goodbye double-sinks, hello deep single-bowl sinks. With accessories such as fitted colanders and dish drains, deep single-bowl sinks have all the benefits of a divided sink, plus the large size to actually fit that roasting pan or those baking sheets into the sink all at once. Stainless is still popular, but the quartz composites are a great value and durable option. 

5. Color palette
Charcoal is the new black. 2013 will find this silky color everywhere as it blends the right amount of chocolate, gray and a touch of green.

4. Bathroom stone
Synonymous with luxury, Calacatta marble will find its way into both traditional and contemporary bathrooms. Calacatta is a rarer stone than Carrara marble, but is quarried in the same region. It is valued for a whiter background and bolder grey veins.

3. Texture and sparkle
Bedazzled may find its way into home decor and design as homeowners seek a blend of classic textures and colors with pops of bold color and elements of sparkle. Glossy glass tile backsplashes and sparkle on polished nickel fixtures trend in 2013.

2. Living in your home longer/Multi-generational living
With many certified aging-in-place specialists (CAPS), Neil Kelly designers predict a growing trend to help aging baby boomers safely "grow old" in their homes, for as long as possible. Watch for easy kitchen and bath upgrades to enhance functionality, comfort and safety. 

1. Healthy home, healthy living
Green and sustainable design is here to stay. The No. 1 trend for 2013 will be to create a healthy living environment, free of toxins and harsh chemicals. More and more homeowners are taking advantage of federal and state incentives to evaluate their home's energy efficiency and overall performance. Upgrade trends include the use of low-VOC materials to improve indoor air quality, testing combustion safety and radon mitigation.

While every homeowner has specific ideas on style, the overall trend is toward simpler living and low-maintenance design, but with accent marks of color and splash that don't overpower. This esthetic extends from clean and simple kitchen cabinetry to "bulletproof" countertops, pre-finished wood flooring and solid "pops" of glass, color and sparkling textures. The trend toward simplicity is also manifested in a growing demand for safer, healthier and more sustainable homes.