Michelle Farnsworth

Remember when you stepped on your first tile floor? Or walked into a kitchen with stone countertops and a patterned backsplash? It was a moment, right? No more speckled linoleum floors and plain, white walls. Home design was elevated to a new level and homeowners across the country were able to choose different colors and textured product to individualize their home.

With today's innovations in the home flooring and surface industry, the sky is the limit to what can be installed to make a home stand out from the crowd.

The phenomenon in new home construction underway in Bismarck-Mandan and surrounding communities is the perfect blank canvas for these new concepts to be applied.

"Right now what we are seeing is a younger generation. People in their 20s building and wanting clean, simple lines," said Sara Cripe, interior consultant with Imperial Flooring in Bismarck.

"People are getting away from the brown, warm tones and trying out more cool tones," said Cripe.

A younger generation of homebuilders and homeowners are looking to have homes that are totally different and unique from the way they grew up.

Instead of the usual hardwood flooring of ten or twenty years ago, a big hardwood flooring trend is hand-scraped flooring that looks natural with nicks and dings. So when your active home life of perhaps children and pets make scratches, it all blends in and looks like it was meant to be there.

Leather flooring is also a new look. Leather floors have color, texture and are durable. Giving a home not only a unique edge, but more than likely a conversation piece when friends and relatives are entertained.

Carpet hasn't completely disappeared from homes. Everyone still wants to feel soft and lush carpet beneath their feet. Improved technology in such products such as the Mowhawk SmartStrand Carpet is completely guaranteed against bleach, red wine or pet stains. Not your grandma's green shag carpet choice of 40 years ago.

"Patterns are really big," said Cripe, "sculptured with a definite design."

Another trend that Imperial Flooring is seeing in new construction: No more large soaking bath tubs or whirlpool tubs. Soaking the days worries away in a bubble bath are being replaced with high-end, custom designed showers. Tile in all shapes, sizes and colors give clients endless design options.

"We come up with designs based on the feel and look of the entire house," said Cripe. Imperial Flooring has 13 of their own installers; three of which focus entirely on custom shower installations.

Bathrooms and kitchens are rooms where people spend the most of their time, which equates into where new home builders spend most of their budgets. New products and designs make a home come alive with style and personality. Trying new ideas can be intimidating, but will most likely result in a big payoff. Giving homeowners that moment when someone walked into their home and remarks, "Ooh, I love that."

Michelle Farnsworth loves travel, writing, photography, daily devotions, gardening, making jewelry and finding old treasures. Her greatest accomplishment is her two sons, who bring life, love and laughter to her each day.