Home expo

Looking for ideas to improve your home this year? Check out the Home Improvement and Design Expo Jan. 31 at Canterbury Park. About 200 exhibitors will be on hand, with speakers covering topics such as installing crown molding, tile backsplashes and cabinet transformations.

Expo hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $6. 1100 Canterbury Rd., Shakopee. 952-238-1700. More info at www.mediamaxevents.com/pages/shakopee_home_2015.html.

How to get that look

Salivating over a look you saw in the latest design magazine? Getting that same look for less has gotten easier, thanks to a new mobile app from Nous Decor (www.nousdecor.com).

Basically, it's an interior design site that combines crowdsourced ideas with a "Same Look Different Price" automated recommendation engine.

The new app, available for iOS, lets you snap or upload a photo of an item of decor and search for similar products from hundreds of online retailers such as Crate & Barrel, Cost Plus World Market and Target, or from vintage sources such as eBay. If you like what you see, you can buy the item right from your phone or tablet.

Like the website, the app lets you browse thousands of photos of professionally designed rooms for inspiration, along with corresponding "moodboards" that translate the look into shoppable items.

So if you want to get a lamp similar to one you saw in your hotel room, you can take a photo and start comparison shopping. The app is currently available free of charge in the Apple App Store and iTunes (http://tinyurl.com/pr97tjz). An Android version is planned for later this year.

Kitchen trends

In the 1980s, white laminate kitchen cabinets were the new hotness. Now, 30 years later, what's the most popular color for cabinets and backsplashes? White. That's one of the revelations from a new study of kitchen remodeling trends from Houzz (www.houzz.com).

In 2014, a quarter of homeowners were remodeling a kitchen at least 30 years old, and 41 percent were remodeling a kitchen last remodeled 16 to 30 years ago. The study found pent-up demand, with the biggest number of remodelers saying they had wanted to remodel for a long time and finally had the means to move ahead with their project.

Storage space was a big priority among homeowners, with custom storage options popular. Pullout shelves show up in 62 percent of remodeled kitchens, built-in bars for wine or beer show up in 21 percent, and 6 percent included custom built-ins for pet bowls.

But some things don't change: Most kitchen remodeling projects go over budget. Slightly more than half of homeowners planned to spend no more than $25,000 on a kitchen, but 61 percent wound up spending more than that. The most common bill for remodeling fell within the $25,000 to $50,000 range (31 percent).

Martha Buns