Clean Sweep

We just can’t get enough of pristine kitchens and baths.

Ask interior designers what’s hot in kitchen design, and most will tell you that a pristine palette reigns supreme. “Simple, elegant kitchens with clean, white tiles and marble or marble-look countertops are here to stay,” says tile expert Sandra Vasquez of Design With Tile in Morristown.
Natalia Diaz, of Faithful Countertops in Paterson, says, “For kitchen counters and bathroom vanity tops, our clients like white and creamy white with grey veining. I prefer quartz because you can get the countertop look you want at a competitive price.”

Eileen Barna, co-owner of True Leaf Kitchens in Basking Ridge, says, “Natural quartzite has always been at the forefront, because each one-of-a-kind piece offers more life than man-made quartz for a bigger wow effect. When people stand around the kitchen counter, you don’t want to look at a boring piece of stone.” Barna’s clients also request a clean farmhouse look with mixed metals and the white/grey/blue palette popularized by retailer Serena & Lily.

Although quartz does not require regular maintenance, natural marble and quartzite must be treated with sealant to retain the original luster. Worn or stained stone can often be polished to its original appearance by an expert such as BMP Marble & Granite Restoration in Verona.

But which major-appliance finishes best complement a classic white kitchen? Ellen Schwartz, of Karl’s/Ferguson Appliance in Fairfield, says that most manufacturers prefer stainless steel and are phasing out of white appliances, because it’s virtually impossible to exactly match a white stove or refrigerator to an all-white kitchen.

Sculptural soaking tubs are stealing the show in formal, white bathrooms.

Bathroom designs continue to trend in the same less-is-more direction. “Sculptural, free-standing soaking tubs and custom-glass, barn-door-style shower enclosures are the go-to look right now,” says Phil Doremus of Moe’s Distributors in Morris County. “Our customers are absolutely embracing this trend.”

TOP TIPS FOR KITCHEN AND BATH

When choosing countertops, advise your renovation consultant of your family’s lifestyle and needs.
● Marble and quartz countertops are popular, but wooden butcher-block island counters are picking up speed.
● Natural wood floors can be damaged by water. Try high-end, virtually indestructible faux-wood tile.
● Mirrored and 3-D tiles can be customized in many shades and installed as backsplashes in kitchen, bar and bath areas.
● The retro, black-and-white vibe is back in a big way. In fact, 2018 is the year of black and white kitchens and bathrooms.
Tips courtesy of Sandra Vasquez, Design With Tile, Morristown

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