local experts talk trends

With spring upon us, you aren’t alone if you’re in the mood for something fresh.  Because our surroundings affect our mood, now may be the perfect time to dive into some well-deserved updates. We reached out to four local industry experts to talk trends for kitchens, living rooms, entertainment, and garages. 

KITCHENS 

            Utility and gathering space meet in your kitchen. We talked to Dick Noltman, the owner of Eden Prairie Appliance. He’s proud of its on-site experts and values keeping clients informed. “Because of our specialized…appliances, our philosophy is to make sure our customer is educated.”

            Noltman caught us up on kitchen design trends for 2019. Integrated appliances with exteriors matching your cabinetry are very popular. Although this trend lends itself to a sleek, minimal aesthetic, it’s versatile when it comes to selecting your desired visual focus. “[Homeowners] may want to do a nice heavy range that can be a focal point of a kitchen. It goes both ways,” said Noltman.

            Another welcomed trend: colors and finishes. Appliance manufacturers are making chic finishes like slate, black stainless steel, and even matte finishes. “Stainless steel isn’t the only option anymore,” Noltman said. 

            There’s a surprisingly easy update you can make to bring visual harmony to your kitchen: making sure all of your countertop appliances are within the same color scheme, or better yet, the same brand. Because each brand uses the same handles or digital displays across a line of products, your space becomes more aesthetically seamless. Noltman also recommends making space for a Microdrawer, integrated into cabinetry to free up precious counter space and add to a streamlined appearance. 

            For bigger changes, form can meet function. “A good hood is a pretty important kitchen improvement,” Noltman told us. Ventilation is vital. Not only does a good ventilation system make the cooking more pleasant, it protects cabinetry and kitchenware in the long run.

Noltman also mentioned column refrigerators, another exciting consumer-friendly innovation in kitchen appliances.  Think of a separate refrigerator and freezer that you can choose in variable sizes and specs to suit your needs. “You build the size you want,” Noltman said. 

 

LIVING ROOMS

            Where else can you eat, nap, and entertain but your living room? Since 1941, Yetzer’s has been the go-to for home furnishing in the greater Twin Cities area. Thomas Wiest purchased Yetzer’s in 2015 and has offered his expertise to Eden Prairie Lifestyle before. From uniquely sourced statement pieces to classic items that will feel at home in any home, the Yetzer’s “different by design” motto definitely rings true. 

            “Colors this spring are in the coral family,” Wiest told us. Energizing and optimistic, Pantone  named “Living Coral” the color of the year for 2019. Pastel colors emphasize both airy and cozy spaces in a modern way. Two-toned furniture also remains important in 2019 and can be versatile in your home. A chair with a different colored seam welt (in contrasting or complementary tones) can come across as either modern or eclectic depending on the color story. Pillows with different colors on each side add visual interest while leaving an open door for you to mix and match looks. 

            Accessorizing exemplifies the “a little goes a long way” mantra in your home. A new piece of wall art in a room can tie elements together; an interesting mirror can trick the eye into thinking the space is more open and brighter. Throw pillows or a nonchalantly folded blanket on the arm of a sofa  add textural interest in your space. Sherpa textiles and wide knits add an instant dose of coziness to an otherwise sterile space, while linen and recycled cotton materials offer a fresh and modern take on spring-to-summer readiness while staying warm. 

New pieces of furniture are investments, but their visual impact can update your living room. A custom piece isn’t a daunting option. Whether you’re looking for a chair you dream about that doesn’t exist yet, or the perfect sofa to complement a family antique, Yetzer’s custom approach may be the way to go for you. “Just because it’s custom doesn’t mean it’s expensive,” Wiest said. “It means you get what you want.” 

 

ENTERTAINMENT 

            Stereoland was founded in 1964 by owner Bill Soderholm’s father. The expertise is generational: “We’ve been through all the iterations of audio.” The local audio/video store carries a wide range of products, and they make it accessible to any consumer. “We specialize in affordable, high performance audio and video with personalized service.” Soderholm told us.

            The trends in audio are coming from opposite sides of the spectrum but are easily married in places like the Stereoland showroom. Vinyl records and streaming systems. Turntables and smart home devices. Perhaps the biggest trend in the industry is how customizable and individual-specific home entertainment system can become. “We make it simple and easy,” Soderholm told us. 

            One small way to update your home entertainment setup would be to add “a simple music streamer with access to literally millions of songs,” Soderholm told us. While we all have the ability to pull up YouTube on our smartphone and blast a song on those speakers, a dedicated machine provides superior sound and is a great addition to any room in the home. Identify where your family listens to the earworm of the day or shares a new find and consider one of these devices (that come at many price points).  Another upgrade – a good pair of headphones for solo listeners. A good pair of pro headphones will put your kid’s Air Pods to shame. 

            Larger updates in entertainment can come as big as you can dream. Performance speakers are coming in smaller and smaller sizes. Many folks dedicate areas – or even full rooms – to audio enjoyment. Wildly high-quality 8k resolution televisions have hit the market. At the same time, projectors are becoming more affordable and perfect for room-to-room (or garage, or deck) portability. No longer the technology brought in on wheels from grade school days, projectors can be used from anything from movies and YouTube videos to playing video games. Soderholm also told us about acoustic room treatments that improve sound quality in a room and can double as decor. 

            Home entertainment is where self-care meets community. With diverse price points and an open door for customization, upping your game is worth the investment. 

 

GARAGES

            Garage Floor Outfitters is in its 9th year of serving the entire Twin Cities metro area. The CEO and President of Garage Floor Outfitters, Bob Davis, is also the President of the award-winning Window Outfitters. Inc. Customer satisfaction is their main priority, and their garage expertise is top-tier. Alongside flooring, they offer custom cabinetry, storage solutions, and garage door treatments. 

            One of the most innovative products in garage flooring is polyaspartic coating. “Every layer we put down in 100% polyaspartic flooring,” Davis said. The UV stable and heat tolerant technology has been continually improved. Garage Floor Outfitters also offers a lifetime warranty on delamination. Their four layers of polyaspartic coating are VOC-safe, without fumes and off-gassing, making it safe for children and pets. 

            “It’s got a lot of versatility,” Davis told us. “We can coat basically anything with the product.” From concrete to wood, this versatility means that it can also be applied to flooring in mechanical rooms, storage rooms, recreation rooms, and a variety of commercial applications. In addition to adding value to your home, the flooring is easy to clean and improves the look and feel of your space. “It makes the garage another room in the house.” 

            Garage Floor Outfitters’ variety of cabinetry and storage solutions offer options for every home. Versatile and cost-flexible slat-wall and ceiling storage, and stylish, durable storage products backed up by big names. Custom garage cabinets are a growing trend. With years of expertise, Garage Floor Outfitters solves storage challenges. “A good cabinet set can be the equivalent of two to three rooms in the house,” Davis said. 

            Garage Floor Outfitters also installs screen doors to garages for use in the spring and summertime. As Davis told us, with beautiful flooring, stylish storage, and the ability to screen out bugs, your updated garage can even function as a porch or lanai. With warmer days approaching, that sounds like a dream. 

 

            When it comes to updating your home, you get what you give. Two overarching design themes stand out this year. 

Customization. Optimizing garage storage, mixing and matching the perfect audio setup, designing your perfect couch, or streamlining your kitchen. 

Local experts. Nothing beats having a real-life (human!) expert help you with your home. When you shop local and support the industry experts in your community, not only will you get customized service, but you also receive hands-on investment in your satisfaction. That means you get exactly what you need.