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Portland-Based Interior Designer Featured In Home Builders Association News

A HUGE Thanks To HBA For Featuring Garrison Hullinger Interior Design

GHID was so excited to see our photo and Garrison's perspectives in the front part of the HBA News digital magazine! We wanted to take the time thank HBA a ton for featuring in our work and believing in us. Also, thank you to Jon Bell for writing an informative and relevant article!

Remodeling takes center stage in May

National Remodeling Month arrives with a positive economic outlook and exciting trends

By Jon Bell for the HBA 

Tom Kelly returned from the recent Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies Remodeling Futures Conference with a bit of a renewed spring in his step. The reason? The center is forecasting 20 percent growth for the remodeling industry across the nation this year.

“They have a pretty positive outlook for the next three to five years, which is very encouraging,” said Kelly. “I’m more optimistic than I have been in five years. I’m just really excited about what the future brings.”

Such renewed optimism comes at a good time for remodelers, many of whom, like their homebuilding counterparts, haven’t had as much to be excited about over the past few years. Not only is May National Remodeling Month, as made official by Gov. John Kitzhaber – but new data, new trends and an improved economic outlook are all pointing to good things for remodeling this year.

“My phone started ringing first Monday of the year and I’ve never had so many calls,” said Patrick Richardson, owner of Murrayhill Remodeling. “I’m seeing a lot of pent-up demand, where people are saying forget it, I’m not scared anymore, I’m going to do what I’ve got to do.”

Richardson’s take it backed by a recent survey conducted by the popular remodeling and design website Houzz. The site’s 2013 Houzz & Home survey, which included 100,000 responses, found that 53 percent of those surveyed believe that now is a good time to remodel; 58 percent of those planning projects in the next two years will hire professionals for the job. The survey also found that fewer homeowners are delaying their projects because of the economy.

“ I don’t want to use hyperbole here or anything,” Kelly said, “but it feels like we’re finally putting the slowdown and the recession behind us.” 

Trends of the times

Along with the upswing in remodeling have come some popular trends in design, architecture and renovation. Garrison Hullinger, principal at Garrison Hullinger Interior Design, said there’s been a big focus on practicality of late. “Our mantra is really bringing practicality to every project,” he said. “That means using practical surfaces and materials that are aesthetically pleasing but also easy to use and care for over the years.”

One example: new porcelain tiles that mimic natural stone. Not only are they more cost-effective and easier to care for, but they look like the real deal.

Hullinger has also seen a shift away from dark wood flooring back to white oak and lighter finishes. Though the ebonized flooring is nice to look at, Hullinger said it shows scratches and dirt much more than other options –“ and most families just don’t want to deal with that.”

Last fall, Kelly asked his designers to put together their list of design trend predictions for 2013, and many of them have materialized. Among them: the rise of quartz as a preferred countertop over granite; cleaner, more contemporary kitchen cabinets; engineered wood flooring; and renovations aimed at both aging in place and home efficiency. He said he’s also seen a rise in the popularity of Accessory Dwelling Units, in part as a result of local government regulations.

While it may not necessarily be a widespread trend, Richardson said he’s recently talked with three different clients about building wine cellars in their homes. The success of the Oregon wine industry has helped fuel its popularity, and Richardson said that, in a way, is having a small impact on some remodeling projects.

“I think the success of Oregon wine just makes more people want to buy wine and join wine clubs,” he said. “And when you buy wine, you’ve got to have a place to store it.”

Additionally, Hullinger said many homeowners have been keen on the transition between inside and outside the home. That means large lift and slide doors – some as tall as 16 feet – that invite in natural light and help seamlessly connect indoor and outdoor living spaces.

He’s also seen a new desire for products made in America – “there’s a widespread feeling that people really want quality,” he said – as well as homeowners who’ve become much more knowledgeable thanks to the internet and sites like

“They don’t have to spend $200 on magazines to come up with ideas for their kitchen anymore,” Hullinger said. “ They are definitely more aware of what they want.”

Read the entire articles here.

Thanks again - it is such an honor to have our work in your HBA magazine!