Home Show Offers Advice on Living

Home Show Offers Advice on Living

Instead of a bathroom lined with ceramic tiles, criss-crossed by grout lines that let water seep in over time, Marblex of Fairfax is focusing on full slab materials made of limestone and marble for bathroom walls and floors.

"Instead of grout lines, you avoid all that," said Kira Della-Penna, Marblex spokesperson.

Penna will be at the Home & Design show at the Ritz-Carlton Tyson's Corner on Memorial Day weekend with her full slab materials along with honed surfaced materials that are the new thing, Penna said.

"It does not have the high gloss shine," she said. "It's a more earthy look."

The earthy, neutral look dominates in the paint world as well. Color selection is influenced by age and the transient nature of housing in the Washington, D.C. area.

"People are nesting, they're not traveling as much," said Will Knicely, decorating supervisor for Color Wheel, a McLean decorating store that will be at the show.

Knicely divides homeowners into the youthful group, teens and twentysomethings, to the older group, who are into reds, golds, greens and chocolate brown.

"These are comforting colors," Knicely said, while the youthful group is into vibrant colors."

OVER THE WEEKEND, more than 100 other exhibitors are displaying everything from Colombian exotic flowers to a Steinway grand piano for the affluent homeowner, according to Sharon Jaffe Dan, editor of Home & Design magazine, which is presenting the show.

Conservatories, sunrooms and remodeled basements dominate the agenda at Sun Design Remodeling in Burke. With the high price of real estate, more homeowners are renovating or building additions.

"Our clients are going for more sun inside, more openness," said Karen Marlette, director of communications at Sun Design.

Around the kitchen, Marlette is seeing the solid stone or granite finishes as well as softer woods. The earth tones are popular in the additions but the kitchens are dominated by warm or cold tones. Stainless steel appliances are big too.

"A lot of our clients think linoleum is outdated," Marlette added.

Jim Gardiner of Courthouse Kitchens & Baths Design, has clients who favor the open kitchen too, incorporating architectural styles in the kitchen as well.

"Now it's part of a living space," Gardiner said.

Luxury showers with benches, steam, and multiple shower heads are taking the place of tubs, Gardiner said. Time is a factor with homeowners.

"We're tearing out tons of these oversized tubs. With the tub, it takes a long time to fill and a long time to use," Gardiner said.

The show also features seminars on Feng Shui, tips on integrating the home media system, or one-on-one help from interior designers. Actress and artist Jane Seymour will be on hand as well. Seminars include kitchen and bath designs, gardens, home technology, the dream home, and landscaping.