Carrie Locklyn, a designer and organizer who will appear on the HGTV relaunch of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” joined staff writer Jura Koncius recently for The Washington Post’s Home Front online chat. Here is an edited excerpt.

Q: What’s the next trend in cabinetry? I’m sick of gray. What other kitchen trends are you seeing?

A: We will start to see the gray cabinet trend fade out in 2020, and we’ll see more colorful cabinets in kitchens paired with metal elements. I see mushroom-colored cabinets or “greige” taking a big lead in color trends. The color is warm and neutral yet remains light and airy. I see wood-grain cabinets having a big comeback in 2020.

As far as kitchen decor trends: marble kitchen countertops, wood cabinetry, different colored appliances, kitchen wallpaper, mix-and-match metals and appliance technology. The big trend in kitchens is incorporating technology.

Q: Are you still a fan of all stainless appliances? Seems like that is all you see today.

A: I think stainless appliances will always be with us; they have been around for almost 30 years, and they are classic. However, you can now find so many different options and finishes. Black stainless steel is one of my favorites, as is the new bronze finish. Even newer white finishes to contrast darker kitchens are having a resurgence. I also love the option to customize hardware such as pulls/handles.


Q: What’s the trend for bedroom flooring? I am planning on replacing my aging carpet in the living areas with laminate, but what about bedrooms? If carpet is still big, what colors are trending?

A: I would run the flooring from your main living spaces right into your bedroom. The seamlessness of the flooring will create an overall flow in your home. If you are going with laminate, I suggest putting area rugs in the bedroom and living spaces to create a grounding effect and to keep feet warm.

Q: What’s the best way to replace a large ’90s-era jetted tub? The tub sits in a windowed alcove with a fake marble surround. I never use the jets.

A: Removing jetted tubs can be especially difficult because they tend to be very bulky; however, if you are not using the tub, it would definitely be a task worth committing to. It is a significant project; it will involve not only removing the tub, but also the framing, drywall, tile work, electrical and plumbing. I would recommend bringing in a professional to get an opinion and a quote.

Q: I have a 1950s ranch with a breezeway paneled in knotty pine. It’s the original – not the cheap imitation stuff – but it’s dark, and I’m thinking of painting it. I have successfully painted some that was in my unfinished basement stairway, which was quite banged up, and it looks great. I’m not afraid of doing it to get good results. But, in the entranceway, will it hurt the resale value if I paint over it? I have been told by some that it would be “a crime” to paint it.

A: Oh, the battle over whether to paint wood paneling. I have done it many times, and every time my clients rejoice. As a homeowner, I say go with what makes you happy and brings you joy when you walk into your home. Who doesn’t love a bright and cheerful textured wall? As a professional certified home stager, I am here to tell you that the entrance is the most important part of the home. It gives the first impression to future home buyers, and nothing says “welcome home” more than a bright and vibrant space.


Q: Our dining room is open to the foyer of our house across almost the whole width of both and open to the kitchen by a normal door-size space (no door). The dining room is carpeted (which I hate), the foyer has an engineered wood (dark, wide planks and smooth), and the kitchen and adjoining family room have an engineered wood that is standard width, lighter and scraped. I would really love to replace the carpet with a wood, but we can only find a close match to the kitchen wood, and replacing the foyer and dining room offends my sense of not being wasteful and probably makes the project too expensive. I’m worried about the look of having the two different (three visible if you count the playroom, also carpeted and open to the foyer) floorings right when you walk in. Am I doomed to replacing carpet with carpet to keep it simple and pleasing?

A: Whatever you can do to get your floors to match up is the way to go, and budget is always the first factor we need to consider. You are correct in thinking that too many different floor surfaces will create a fragmented and disconnected space. One continual floor surface will help aid in the flow of your home.

Q: I really hate stainless steel. I have white appliances, including a new dishwasher and bottom-freezer refrigerator. However, I would really like to exchange my gas range for an induction range, and it seems they only come in stainless. Are you aware of any brands that come in white? Or even a fun color – green, red, navy – that would look good with white?

A: A lot more kitchen brands are exploring colored appliances, including Viking, True, Hallman, Smeg, GE Cafe, Kenmore and KitchenAid. It’s inspiring to see brands branching out into a more colorful kitchen world.

Q: My staircase (center-hall Colonial, so a real focal point) is painted white with white posts and a shiny black banister. The molding is white, and the wall is taupe gray. I have a Dash and Albert runner on the stairs; it’s taupe with a dark brown chevron pattern. The stairs don’t look great; they look flat and not shiny, and they’re getting dirty and scratched. Any suggestions for a new paint job and runner? I’m thinking I should paint at least the tops of the stairs a shiny black, but I’m not sure precisely what kind of paint would work best.

A: I just finished painting my own banister and spindles in my home. There was much talk about how to make the stairs themselves stand out. I went with a dark charcoal gray, and I love how it contrasts with the neutral elements of my home. It sounds like your home could use a little contrast to really make the staircase pop. Your idea of painting the treads black is great. Make sure to use a durable, slip-resistant floor and porch paint. I suggest going with an eggshell finish for the paint if you want a little sheen. A new runner that is more colorful or has a different texture can also bring life to the space.