Studio Brunstrum

Trending Now – Here’s the Scoop!

February 5, 2016

From his-and-hers master baths to multi-purpose kitchens and more, we had a lively panel discussion recently when I teamed up with an architect and a landscape architect to address Trends in Renovations at a North Shore open house.

From his-and-hers master baths to multi-purpose kitchens and more, we had a lively panel discussion recently when I teamed up with an architect and a landscape architect to address Trends in Renovations at a North Shore open house.   The discussion was sponsored by Luxe magazine and real estate agent Linda Martin from Coldwell Banker, who hosted the open house in a lovely home at 1010 Cherry Street, Winnetka. On the panel with me were Jeffry Harting, president of GTH Architects, Northbrook and Nate Robinson, registered landscape architect with Chalet Landscape, Nursery and Garden Center, Wilmette.  EJ Silver of Chicago’s Studio 41 moderated the event.

From left to right - Jeffry Harting, EJ Silver, Linda Martin, Susan Brunstrum and Nate Robinson. Photo Courtesy of Luxe Interiors + Design

We had a great crowd – more than 30 people showed up for a light lunch with champagne and to drink in some valuable information about the direction of home renovations. Here are some highlights:

Kitchen Evolution – Jeffry and I agree that kitchens continue to evolve into multi-purpose rooms that are a combination office, study space, entertainment center and cozy spot to surf the net for news and the latest from Downton Abbey.  Oh yes, you can also cook and eat there!

Edible Landscaping – Nate told us that homeowners want to devote more of their yards to herb and vegetable gardens as well as fruit trees and berries. It’s about eating local, organic produce and in some cases teaching children about the effort that goes into growing food. Nate and I have both seen greater interest in bee keeping too, in fact I have been to a wedding where the groom gave all the guests a jar of honey from his own hives. Sweet!

Photo Courtesy of MonicaMroz.com

White Kitchens – One audience member asked if white kitchens are still “in” – that’s a yes! Jeffry and I concur that classic white kitchens seem to be timeless, though the shades of white might vary.

Photo Courtesy of Sweet Peas Design

His-and-Hers Master Baths? Yes again! Power couples don’t want to wait for bathroom time, so completely separate master baths are on the rise. But it is possible to provide almost all the amenities of separate bathrooms in one large space, as we did for one of our North Shore clients. Instead of walling off two spaces we provided back-to-sinks and vanities, separate stalls for the commodes and his-and-hers armoires. Separate, but together!

Photo Courtesy of Sweet Peas Design

Common Mistakes? Spending a lot of money on renovations without hiring a professional designer. I know that sounds self-serving, but Jeffry, Nate and I have all had clients who tried to design a project themselves, regretted it later and had to spend more to fix it. In the long run we can help people avoid mistakes and save money.

Thanks to everyone at Luxe and Linda Martin for inviting me to join the panel!

Susan Brunstrum
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