Home & Garden

Now’s the time to think about home remodels. Here are 3 of the 2019 trends in Wichita

Today, in the age of Marie Kondo, everything’s seemingly about simplifying.

Declutter, detangle, de-you-name-it.

And as you might guess, that mindset tends to spill over into home remodeling, as would-be renovators are looking for clean, modern looks for 2019, according to Austin Cooper, a consultant with Wichita Home Works LLC.

Local homeowners also seem to still be transfixed by the “farmhouse” look popularized by another popular television show, “Fixer Upper,” he said.

“We’re still on the trend of everything white – clean colors, white cabinets, white and gray tones, subway-tile backsplash, still kind of along that line,” Cooper said.

The 2019 Wichita Home Show is next weekend (Feb. 7-10) at Century II, an event featuring about 240 exhibitors who can help you with any reno-related inquiries.

Wess Galyon, president and CEO of the Wichita Area Builders Association, said the show sold out of spots for vendors, and organizers “expect it to be one of the better (home shows) we’ve had in the last decade or so.”

“Everybody lives someplace, and they’re all wanting to do something to change the way they live,” Galyon said. “All of this helps people make a better buying decision so when they spend their money they know they’ve made the best buying decision they can at that time.”

Seemingly every year new home trends emerge.

Here’s what’s in style now in Wichita homes:

A cheaper kitchen remodel

Kitchen remodels can be expensive — tens of thousands of dollars, typically.

So some Wichitans are doing quicker and cheaper renovations that don’t necessarily break the bank.

One popular way to give the kitchen a new look without completely tearing things out is to change cabinet doors.

In particular, shaker-style cabinet doors are a popular, timeless look, Cooper said.

“That’s basically all we do now,” he added. “There’s not a lot of dark woodworking or stained stuff anymore. Everything is moving to that ... farmhouse look, to an extent.”

Another way to maximize the kitchen you already have is to install custom-made slide-out drawers.

Phil Davis has had his own business specifically catered to installing these drawers since 2006, Slide Out Shelf Solutions.

“Especially with base cabinets, you’ve got the bottom shelf and you’ve got that half-shelf that’s kind of worthless,” Davis said. “We’ve got custom-made slide-outs that... double that half-shelf space.”

Davis said that particular style is popular in patio homes, which “a lot of folks are moving into.”

“With slide-outs, at any age, you can just pull it out and slide it back in,” he said. “You don’t have to change what your menu is because you can’t find the right pan.”

Goodbye tubs, hello showers

Davis said bathroom remodels are probably ten times more popular than kitchen remodels, because “kitchens typically are a little more expensive to do.”

And in the bathrooms he’s seen, people are increasingly taking out bathtubs and replacing them with walk-in showers.

“Especially if you have more than one bathroom in the home,” he added.

Walk-in showers are becoming an increasingly popular bathroom fixture — many new downtown apartments in Wichita only have showers in their bathrooms, with no full bathtub.

“There’s nothing to step over — you can walk right in,” Davis said. “Or if they’re planning for the future, if they needed to have a wheelchair, they can roll right into the shower.”

Buhler’s Bartel Kitchen and Bath has also removed a lot of bathtubs recently to install walk-in showers, as part of the “aging-in-place” movement.

“Getting rid of the tub gets rid of a safety issue,” said Chris Bartel, owner of Bartel Kitchen and Bath. “Putting in a shower, you can put a bench inside of it — that way if you do happen to end up with a walker you can still get into a shower by yourself.”

On another note, the Jacuzzi tubs popular in the 2000s are definitely out.

“The large corner bathtubs that you see around Wichita a lot, we tear those out on a regular basis and haven’t put one in in 10 years,” Bartel said. “The larger tubs tend to be going away because nobody uses them, partly because it takes 50 to 80 gallons of water to fill them.”

Retro styles come back – modified

After years of homeowners trying to pry the stuff out of their houses, wallpaper is back in style.

Cooper, the consultant with Wichita Home Works LLC, said with a laugh the staple of the 1970s is “starting to make its comeback, unfortunately.”

“We do some for accent walls, and in a lot of powder baths, people will order paper,” Cooper said. “That’s definitely coming back.”

Another retro classic – wall paneling – is being frequently requested, Cooper said. This kind of paneling (otherwise known as wainscoting) is not quite what you’d expect, though.

“We do a lot of paneling for dining rooms, and it’s more of an upgraded shaker style,” Cooper said. “It’s not the old ‘70s paneling you’d see.”

2019 Wichita Home Show

When: 1-8 p.m. Thurs., Feb. 7; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Feb. 8-9; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun., Feb. 10

Where: Century II — Expo and Convention Halls, 225 W. Douglas

What: Show featuring 240 home-remodeling vendors, informational seminars and more, sponsored by the Wichita Area Builders Association for the 65th year

Admission: $10 adults, $8 seniors, $4 children 7-12, free for children 6 and under

More information: www.wabahome.com

Matt Riedl covers arts and entertainment news for the Wichita Eagle and has done so since 2015. He maintains the Keeper of the Plans blog on Facebook, dedicated to keeping Wichitans abreast of all things fun.