Question: We are thinking of remodeling our kitchen and need ideas in regard to overall coordination of colors and materials. Can you help?
Answer: Several manufacturers have gotten their act together, and set up a joint "Success Systems" at P.O. Box 2256, Fort Worth, Tex. 76119. They have issued publications on the integrated usage of their products and materials for kitchen and bathroom designs.
American Standard features the various plumbing fixtures while Kitchen Aid furnishes the home appliances. Maddington Floor Coverings provides the vinyl sheet flooring and Wilson Art furnishes the laminated kitchen tops and built-ins. Together, their concepts are truly outstanding in that they play on the new, light, fashionable colors and have designed some outstanding ideas that can be applied to any kitchen or bathroom remodeling project.
The new trend is toward the European style in both kitchens and baths; however, not the cluttered concept or any concept in which the decor is not practical for American usage. The new lines are spectacular and the usage of colors are excellent.
Q: My contractor suggested that we put our spa inside the house by adding an atrium. He says that it would be better climate-wise to do this.
A: There is a strong tendency toward this concept, particularly in the East. Your contractor probably has been influenced by looking at many of the recent home-improvement publications which show the practicality of the indoor spa concept, particularly now that low-cost atrium additions to homes are available. One of the advantages, of course, is that the spas can be drained on a regular basis and therefore there is no need to clean or chlorinate them.
I do not really know how necessary this would be here in California where we have outstanding weather. However, I really think it is simply a matter of personal preference.
Fontaine is president of the Western Regional Master Builders Assn. and a director of the American Building Contractors Assn. He will answer questions concerning home improvements. Phone 213/653-4084 or write him at 6404 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 850, Los Angeles 90048-5510.