With the advent of spring, kitchen and bath remodeling projects take center stage. The executives and designers at Swan Corp., manufacturer of Swanstone solid surface products for the kitchen and bath, are predicting a return to American values and traditional styles following a period dominated by bold colors and design. The trend will be toward muted earth tones and nature-driven colors, they said.

In response to this, Swan is introducing a prairie color line that it says has the look and feel of granite for half the price. Also, the company is addressing the trend toward traditional styles with three collections: Everyday Essentials, American Classics and Metropolitan Collection.

Swan offered the following tips for changing the appearance of a kitchen or bath:

  • Focus on tradition, not fads. Countertops, vanities and sinks in classic colors and textures are never "out of style." The latest bright and bold palette could be a costly replacement in the future.
  • Look for value and style when purchasing. If you can save 50% by selecting a solid surface product instead of solid granite, make the cost-effective choice.
  • Look for renewable surfaces. The homeowner today can easily repair many of the solid surface products available if a small scratch, chip or gouge occurs. An hour's time and a small piece of sandpaper are much cheaper than replacing an entire countertop.
  • A classic white is always in style. Begin any kitchen and bath with white sinks and countertops and accent with towels and accessories for versatility at a much lower cost.