“It’s definitely a trend to combine reclaimed wood with a contemporary steel frame,” Walter said. “It’s an interesting play between old and new. People like contemporary lines, but they want the warmth of bringing in an older element into their home, especially the kitchen where people have an emotional connection with their childhood kitchen.”
While stainless-steel appliances continue to be popular, new variations with a matte finish or slightly darker tone make them easier to keep clean and free of fingerprints, Procopio said. The good news is that the new stainless-steel appliances blend with older stainless finishes so you don’t have to replace everything at once.
Rustic-tech chic is hot, particularly with millennials who like the yin and yang approach to home decorating.
“D.C.-area buyers are ahead of the curve in terms of their high expectations for their homes,” said Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties in Washington, who also works with local developers to design new homes. “But there’s only a very small market here for ultra-modern homes. Most D.C. home buyers have transitional tastes that cross over between traditional and contemporary style.”
Barn doors seem to crop up more and more often in new or remodeled homes, sometimes as sliding doors to define spaces but allowing them to be entirely open and other times in smaller iterations such as a closet or pantry door.
“Farmhouse sinks and mix-and-match faucet handles were everywhere at the Kitchen & Bath show,” said Stacy DeBroff, a brand strategist and chief executive of Influence Central in Boston. “One company at the intersection of rustic style and innovation is Stikwood, which takes recycled wood and turns it into peel-and-stick natural wood siding.”
Susan Matus, director of project development at Case Design/Remodeling in Bethesda, said Stikwood could be used on one wall as a focal point or in a mudroom or laundry room.
“That kind of rustic look is turning up unexpectedly in places where you want to mix textures such as natural wood next to something shiny and sleek,” Matus said.
Julia Walter, showroom manager at Boffi Georgetown, an Italian luxury kitchen and bath designer, said Boffi displays a rustic wood shelf with a modern shape, a metal sink below and a big mirror above it.