The kitchen and bath are two of the most important rooms in any home. It’s where you gather, find a little bit of respite from the chaos of the day and connect back to what’s most meaningful. They’re also the two areas of the home where practicality is a premium, and if you don’t have that, you don’t have much.
At the Williams Studio, these rooms take center stage in its spectacular West Michigan showroom where unique and every day products, fixtures and features are on display and waiting to be discovered and experienced. From a beautiful array of kitchens to fully operational and interactive showers, faucets, toilets, and tubs, the showroom allows you to experience the magic with a team of experts as your guides.
The team at Williams Studio brings decades of experience and talent to the table. They understand how to work with homeowners, manufacturers, contractors and builders and are there to help take the guesswork out of any kitchen and bath project.
Trending now: kitchens
Kitchens really showcase a period of time, said Dan Smith, director of marketing at Williams Studio. “The industry tends to shift and move every 10 years or so. Certain styles and colors, when people see them, it reminds them of a generation,” he said. Smith says less is more is trending for 2018 and that good design never goes out of style.
“White cabinetry is versatile, you can decorate around it, but grays are trending, showing up in everything from paint colors to wood stains.”
— Dan Smith
Smith said he sees a continued preference for stark, white cabinetry and naturally influenced countertops. Inspired in part by the post-Great Recession tightening of purse strings, the clean, minimalist-style adds a spotlight to top-of-the-line appliances and fixtures, as well as any great meal. “White cabinetry is versatile, you can decorate around it,” said Smith, who also notes it’s an enduring style that lends itself well to cottage, traditional and even modern kitchen designs.
Shaker-style cabinet doors still dominate, although glass-front doors are a popular choice to freshen up a space, Smith said. They give the eye a break from wall-to-wall cabinetry and create an attractive display for glassware, collectibles and pretty dishes.
Grays are another trend that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The color is increasingly popular for those looking to add a more contemporary feel to their kitchen, and gray tones are showing up in everything from paint colors to wood stains, Smith said.
Color and style often get all the glory when it comes to cabinets, but the kitchens at the Williams Studio showcase how a cabinet’s construction can be just as exciting. “We’re seeing a much better utilization of space and getting to the point where technology is really coming into play,” Smith said.
Years ago, kitchen cabinets were well-equipped if they included a lazy Susan or a built-in spice rack. Now, cabinets and drawers are designed to conceal a variety of custom features that all assist in maintaining the elusive clutter-free kitchen. From pull-out shelves that hold all your pots and pans to integrated lighting, there are more possibilities available for creating a space that fits your needs exactly.
For countertops, Smith said marble and quartz are the two most popular styles, owing their popularity to the durability and eye-catching designs.
“Quartz is just as strong, if not stronger than granite, and it’s more stain resistant,” he said. And there are a plethora of options available for color and texture. “The choice of what you can pick from has grown exponentially, and it can be pretty daunting,” Smith said, which is why working with an expert at Williams Studio presents such an advantage.
In the studio, homeowners can look through different styles and compare the whole picture, including plumbing fixtures. “Your plumbing is the jewelry of your room, it accents everything,” said Kim Haveman, the leader of Williams Studio’s plumbing design team.
Technology drives many of the trends taking place in the home, especially when it comes to fixtures and plumbing. Haveman said the latest innovations in faucets are making for a much more enjoyable experience in the kitchen and bath. “Faucets are becoming much more about proximity,” Haveman said. “Touch faucets are really taking the world by storm. There are models where you’re simply touching it with the back of the wrist and there are foot-activated models. It’s really something.”
Customization and warm finishes are also high on the list of many kitchen designers. “It used to just be chrome, but we’re warming things up again,” Haveman says. Be on the lookout for gun metals, golds, and bronzes, which she says are popular because the variety of finishes is much wider.
Trending now: bath
When it comes to bathrooms, Haveman said the trends are for large, simple spaces that create a spa-like atmosphere. “We’re starting to create more personal spaces,” Haveman said, “And our bathrooms reflect that.”
Especially the master bath. “It used to be that the master bath was treated like every other bathroom in your home. Today, our master baths are becoming our sanctuary.”
Incorporating natural elements like wood, stone and cement into a bathroom bring a very organic feeling into the room, Havemen said. From statement, free-standing cement tubs to subtle stone detailing in sinks, these materials create the spa-like atmosphere that help homeowners escape from the busyness of their day-to-day lives.
Just as in the kitchen, Haveman said fixtures can make or break the design of a room. While chrome is timeless and still quite popular, she said she’s seeing an uptick in black, brush copper, graphite, and other mattes and textures. “Before, we were used to using texture on the walls and flooring, but now, faucets can be textures and they’re just exquisite.”
Inside the showers, there’s an emphasis on simplicity and style. Sleek styles that are flush with the ceiling, single-button systems and even scent infusions are among some of the new things Haveman is excited about. Steam showers continue to be popular but more and more homeowners are opting for creating a custom bath. “We’re busy, and we all need a place to wind down,” she said.
While showers are all about creating a place of peace and serenity, trends in toilets are focused on creating healthier, cleaner environments. “We’re seeing washlets, heated seats and auto-flush options becoming more popular,” said Haveman.
Your team matters
With all this expertise, it’s easy to see why homeowners and contractors love working with Williams Studio. Haveman, who has been with the company for five years but in the kitchen and bath profession for 25 years, said while the ease of online shopping may be attractive, there’s no comparison for stepping foot inside a showroom and working with a seasoned professional, especially when it comes to plumbing.
“There’s so much to consider when it comes to plumbing,” Haveman said. The team at Williams Studio works closely with manufacturers to understand the unique qualities of everything they sell. She said having a conversation and learning about where and how the fixture or system is going to be used is imperative. “It’s a bit of an education process, we want you to know about your fixtures and we learn about what you want and need, and we put the package together.”
Smith agreed. “We have so many experienced designers, many with over 25 years of experience. They can see how trends evolved, and there’s a lot of value to that.” He said the team at Williams Studio can walk with homeowners, discussing different options and how they might best be integrated into an overall design or aesthetic.
“It can be overwhelming to see how much is out there,” he said. “But that’s where we come in. We’ll walk you through and show you the newest trends and what’s available.”
The experiential nature of the showroom is something Haveman said places Williams Studio in a league of its own. “We’re very accessible, and we want to do everything in our power to make sure you get exactly what you want,” she said. “We have the knowledge, experience and the delivery capabilities to make sure you’re getting a complete package.”
Plus, you’re getting expert guides who love what they do, she said. Haveman and other members of the team will sit down, have a cup of coffee and go over inspiration to get a sense of what a homeowner is looking for. From there, it’s a matter of working with contractors and builders to bring the dream into fruition. “This is going to be your home, and we want it to feel like home to you,” Haveman said.
Learn more about West Michigan’s premier kitchen and bath design resource at thewilliamsstudio.com.
Photography courtesy Williams Studio.
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