Thanks to Pinterest, Clients Are More Adventurous With Finishes, Says Mark Danuser

This kitchen boasts a built in coffee maker (Photo Credit: Tatum Brown Custom Homes)

This kitchen boasts plenty of sleek built-ins. (Photo: Tatum Brown Custom Homes)

Would you ever consider using unique, fun colored cabinets in your kitchen? If you’re a trendsetter and a client of Tatum Brown Custom Homes, you might.

“People are getting away from doing the all-white kitchens,” says Mark Danuser, President of Tatum Brown. “They are actually starting to use a lot more fun colors, like shades of taupe, champagne and grey.”

People are willing to use more non-traditional decor and finishes than in previous years, and Danuser attributes this to social media and the popularity of home improvement shows. He says his clients can now visualize things they might not have otherwise been able to imagine themselves, and because they can see what these ideas actually look like, they are more willing to go for it in their own homes, he said.

Trendy stainless steel island (Photo Credit: Tatum Brown Custom Homes)

Industrial-looking stainless steel counters on the island are a stylish, but unexpected combination with dark wooden cabinetry. (Photo: Tatum Brown Custom Homes)

As far as countertops, Tatum Brown is installing a lot more natural materials lately. In the past, clients often opted for Caesarstone or quartz for their counters because it was more durable and it doesn’t require a sealant. It’s not that natural stone isn’t durable, Danuser said, it just doesn’t resist spills as easily and will start to absorb liquids. Nowadays, people are more laid back about minor imperfections on their countertops says Danuser, who has worked in all aspects of construction.

Kitchen styles are going back to the clean, classic lines, Danuser added, saying one home he built recently had plaster interior walls like you would have seen 100 years ago. Trends are changing when it comes to cabinets, too. Clients are using a lot more European cabinetry, with Italian or German influences, versus locally shopped ones. These modern, pre-finished cabinets are built with thicker, stronger case parts and no face frame, unlike the most common cabinet construction in the United States. The lack of face frame allows for better access to the interior area of cabinet, and it also increases storage area. To maximize counter space, instead of the traditional tile backsplash, clients are using a slab of the same counter top material because it is seamless. It gives a more elegant appearance and really makes a statement continues Danuser.

Beautiful gray cabinets (Photo Credit: Tatum Brown Custom Homes)

Beautiful gray cabinets pair well with the warm herringbone wood ceiling and the chocolatey finish on the floors. (Photo: Tatum Brown Custom Homes)

A few other trendy things Danuser has seen is the use of stainless steel islands and built-in coffee machines. People don’t want a lot of clutter on their countertops, which includes the traditional countertop coffee or espresso makers. What’s the solution? A built-in coffee maker! Of course, kitchen appliances are evolving like everything else these days. For instance, Miele steam ovens and ranges are gaining popularity with their newest products. Miele also makes a steam cooktop where there are no coils like an electric stovetop; pans can be placed anywhere on the surface.

But home building is about more than just trends for Danuser, whose mother was a designer for a custom builder at the same time he was looking to found his own construction brand. The two started working together by doing spec projects more than 10 years ago. Since then, Tatum Brown (a family name) has become the premier boutique custom home builder in Dallas, Danuser said.

“We’ve taken a more comprehensive approach — we work in pods of four people; everyone has a job, but if one person is out there are still three more sets of eyes on a project. I think that’s what differentiates us from other builders.”

A stand out exterior built by Tatum Brown (Built in coffee maker (Photo Credit: Tatum Brown Custom Homes)

This home, like many other Tatum Brown projects, has a distinctive exterior.  (Photo: Tatum Brown Custom Homes)

“We are very fortunate at the end of the day to call all our clients our friends,” says Danuser. The company is currently running 16 projects with 18 full-time staff and six part-time staff. For more information on Tatum Brown Custom Homes, visit

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