Creative Touch Interiors Personalizes Choices in New Home Finishes

Wide Variety of Interior Finishes, Appliances Help Make a House a Home

What could be more fun than picking out all the interior finishes for a brand-new home in the middle of a sparkling-new showroom? True, it can involve a few hours of decision-making, but with professional guidance through the multiple options, the hard work pays off in a completely individualized home perfectly suited to a buyer's tastes and lifestyle.

This is the kind of experience Creative Touch Interiors (CTI) has designed for customers of Bay Area homebuilders. CTI's private new showroom, at 5075 Hopyard Road, is a visual delight with its array of well-appointed vignettes highlighting interior choices for every room of the house - from flooring to fixtures, cabinets and countertops to appliances and window coverings.

"Our showroom is really a showcase of beautiful settings where home buyers can get inspiration and see what their selections will look like," explains manager Yolanda Arechiga. "Because of our arrangements with builders, we have everything here to choose from, so when the home is finished the owner walks into a completed project, with nothing to re-do inside."

What are the latest taste trends among today's buyers? According to CTI designer Pat Buhles, darker cabinets, stainless appliances, and organic materials like stone and wood are all in demand. "Everyone wants granite in the kitchen," she reports, adding the good news that with its burgeoning popularity, there are "lots of good-looking granites that are reasonably priced."

The vessel sink, perched on a countertop, is also coming on strong, as is the deep brown, oil-rubbed bronze finish for faucets, lighting fixtures, and hardware. For floors or walls, tile is all the rage, with designs from all over the world enlivening CTI's selection. A growing concern for "green" materials is also making its way into the conversation. "Buyers are definitely more interested in this now than they were in the past," Buhles observes.

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, CTI operates 80 design centers and six countertop fabrication facilities with a presence in 19 states. CTI is a business line of Atlanta-based HD Supply, which was spun off from Home Depot a few years ago to focus on the professional customer. With a portfolio divided into three major sectors - infrastructure and energy, maintenance and repair, and specialty construction - HD Supply has built a $10-billion organization capable of providing products, support, and services "for the entire project lifecycle, from infrastructure to construction to lifetime maintenance, repair, and remodel." In October 2008 it was ranked number two in revenue among Atlanta's top 100 private companies.

CTI includes 24 of the country's top 25 homebuilders in its customer base. The 7,100-square- foot Pleasanton showroom is an offshoot of a partnership to serve as a design center for new D.R. Horton communities throughout the Bay Area. "The Olson Company, which is building in several locations in Alameda County, also sends its customers here," Arechiga remarks, concluding, "Our model is very convenient for builders, and we work as part of their team to provide buyers with a seamless experience."

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