Many homeowners wonder how they can turn their bathrooms or kitchens into something worthy of making the rounds on Pinterest or Instagram.

Kohler Kitchen & Bath tapped into a large brain trust of designers and product experts to identify three leading kitchen and bath design trends for 2017:

- Patterns play a big role in how large a room appears and what features are accented or emphasized. Don’t be afraid of blending — or mixing — patterns. Be bold!

- Two of the most striking colors to appear in kitchens and bathrooms these days are velvety blues and vivid greens.

- Warm up the whites with tones of brass, gold or bronze. Subtle touches can create an ambiance that softens the look of an all-white space.


What to do with a worn-out cooling system

Summer temperatures can heat up the repair or replace debate for homeowners living with an older cooling system.

The experts at Champion offer some tips:

You may be able to repair if the system is less than 10 years old, the repair is covered under warranty, or repair will cost significantly less than replacing the system.

It may be time to replace if the system is older than 10 years, the cost frequent and repeated repairs equals or exceeds the cost of replacing, you have very high energy bills, or the unreliable system is affecting the comfort of your home and causing you stress.

Modern cooling systems can be more than 50 percent more efficient than ones made a decade ago, Champion says.


‘Monster’ size, mega-luxury

When it comes to the size of their decks, the majority of Americans feel bigger is better — as multiple surveys indicate the decks are getting larger and more luxurious, RealtorMag reports.

Size, design, materials and amenities combine in the trend of “monster” decks:

Size — Monster decks are big — really big. Mark Kalady, decking sales manager for TAMKO Building Products Inc., says he’s recently seen residential decks grow to 3,000 square feet. Depending on the amenities included, a deck 1,600-1,800 square feet could be considered monster.

Kitchens/dining — Cooking and dining areas are among the most requested luxury features.

Water/fire — Fire and water features such as hot tubs, lap pools, fireplaces and fire pits bring the indoors out.

Multi-story — Monster decks often include multiple levels, each serving a different theme or intended use.

Technology — Many of today’s larger decks include living room areas equipped with big-screen TVs, wireless speakers and gaming systems.


How to declutter your entryway

Decide what belongs in your entryway and what doesn’t. The size of the space will influence this decision. If your entryway is a spacious mudroom, you might choose to store shoes, boots, umbrellas and backpacks there. If you have a modest foyer, you may decide you only have room for car keys. Remove anything from the space that doesn’t help it serve its purpose in your home.

Add storage/organization that helps the space meet its purpose. Wall-hung key racks can keep important keys at your fingertips. Shoe racks are available in a variety of sizes and styles to fit your space and décor while keeping footwear organized and off the floor.

If space allows, adding built-in storage such as cabinets and shelves can help keep an entry space organized and visually appealing.

— Brandpoint