When it comes to remodeling and decorating your home, it’s always helpful to see what’s popular and trending. If you haven’t updated your home for a while, you’re in for a treat. Technologies have improved so that there are more durable and great looking options for more affordable prices, and many innovations have allowed more smart technology breakthroughs with more convenience. This trend report is based on what I see in the majority of higher end and luxury homes, as well as what’s trending on Pinterest and Houzz. Some of these trends aren’t new…they have been growing in popularity for the last 5 to 10 years, and others are on the brink of rapid adaption. You will also see that many of the trends are synergistic with each other. I’ve outlined 15 key design trends and decided to dig deep on the heart of the home…the kitchen.
15+ Remodeling Trends For The Home
1. Open floor plans
This trend has been emerging for years now, and I’m constantly seeing home buyers look for open concept floor plans during the home buying process…or else they are checking to see which walls are load bearing and what they can knock down the week after they close on a home. Open concept floor plans have so many advantages. Not only do they make your space look larger, but they also make the cooking, dining, and gathering spots more informal, flexible and cozy. Most often, the kitchen space is opened up into a family room space (even if that means eliminating the dining room). This way, mom can keep an eye on the kids without hovering over them. Friends and guests have an easy way to gather for coffee and chat. In addition, open floor plans allow more light into the home, so it brightens the area up and makes it look more cheery. And, it gives you more flexibility in your space for furniture, addition of an island and multiple seating areas.
2. Let the sun shine in…more windows and more lights
During the day, everyone loves to have natural light. We are seeing larger (as well as more) windows that allow natural light in as well as leverage the view of the outdoor landscape. You will be amazed at what a difference replacing and enhancing your windows can make. Many older windows have developed a haze on the glass (sometimes because the double pane has been broken) and the frames often have many layers of gunky paint. In addition, most newer windows are more energy efficient, so they will make the indoor temperature more comfortable while helping save money on your energy bills. With larger windows, more light poring in and updated white framing, it will give your room a whole new look. On the lighting front (for the evening), we have seen a revolution in lighting. Not only do we see lighting in more areas (e.g. under cabinet lighting, over island lighting, kick plate lighting), but we are seeing many pendant lights that add style and personality to a room, especially in kitchens, entry areas, family rooms, dining rooms and living rooms. These can range from rustic/farmhouse style lights to super modern and contemporary lighting options. The possibilities are endless. As a nice little side benefit, you’ll be happy to know that the new age lights are more efficient and longer lasting than the halogen or fluorescent bulbs.
3. Master bedroom suites
The master bedroom suite has really become a true sanctuary, especially among luxury home buyers. The suite includes a larger and luxurious bathroom (often spa-like), his and her large customized closets/changing areas, a larger main room, and often an extra room which is sometimes used as an office or exercise room, or temporary nursery area. Bathrooms tend to have all of the bells and whistles with an upgraded shower (i.e. larger and multiple shower heads, seating areas, glass enclosures. The vanities tend to include double bowls (undermount) and we are even starting to see smart and heated toilets, and of course radiant heat floors. Some are even opting for wireless music systems and warming drawers.
Sharon Paxson with Newport Beach real estate has some tips for turning your bathroom into a spa.
4. Smart home innovations
The appliances and homes are just getting smarter and smarter. We are starting to see refrigerators that will alert you when grocery items are running low (and soon, they’ll make it easy to reorder them, too). Coffee makers can be programmed to have your coffee brewed and ready for when you wake up. Lighting and heating systems can be programmed with to adjust based on time of day and they can be adjusted from smart phones and tablets. And, of course more and more people are using Alexa for more tasks.
5. Larger and more gourmet kitchens
Kitchens are getting larger, and they are the centerpiece for the home. It’s the key gathering spot for the family and guests, so homeowners are making this area as welcoming and versatile as possible. Most prefer open floor plans for extra space and this has enabled more and larger islands. Kitchens, of course, are also the first spot that home buyers look for, and they can make or break a home sale. Since kitchens are so central to the home buying experience, I wanted to dedicate a whole section to what’s in style for kitchen and highlight some of the latest trends.
Commercial grade appliances
Homeowners are gravitating towards commercial grade and larger appliances, especially for stoves and refrigerators. Most integrate smart technology and extra safety features. When there is space, most are opting for larger sizes. For ovens, we are seeing more convection and steam ovens which cook faster and more evenly. The appliances have also become quieter and more energy efficient.
More convenient sinks and easier access to water in the kitchen
Over the last few years, farmhouse sinks have been rapidly growing in popularity. Some people choose farmhouse sinks (often called apron sinks) solely for style purposes. Others love them because of their ergonomic benefits (they are easier on your back) and they are easier to wash and soak large pots and pans. Because they are so popular, you can now find farmhouse style sinks in virtually any material – fireclay, porcelain, stainless steel, copper, soap stone and even granites/natural stones so that they will match your counter tops.
As kitchen islands have become more common and larger, they are also becoming more convenient with sinks as well as outlets and charger areas. But, my favorite added convenience is the pot filler, so you can add the water directly into your pot on the stove (without the need to carry the pot across the room).
And, we are seeing more interesting faucets and levers…as well a touchless faucets that work with motion sensors.
Linear patterns and movement have become super stylish and you will see them in many areas of the kitchen. Most notably, I’ve been seeing linear patterns in backsplashes (the trend is towards thinner, longer and random patterns), linear movement in counter tops, wood look tiles and now even in cabinet design. You’ll also notice more linear pull handles for the cabinets. Of course if all elements a linear, it becomes too busy, but introducing this pattern in one or two select places gives your kitchen some active movement and visual intrigue for a more interesting and contemporary look.
Strong preference for white marble and quartz counter tops
Over the last several years, in higher end and luxury homes, the strong preference for counter tops has been towards marble! Yes, marble…as impractical as it may sound (marble is porous and requires a lot of maintenance). Specifically, the marble of choice has been Calacatta, which is precious and rare marble from Italy. When compared to Carrara marble, Calacatta more white than gray with dramatic veining that results in thicker and more intriguing patterns.
Each slab is unique. And, the whiter the slab, the more expensive it is. It’s significantly more expensive than most marbles and granites and it’s generally fabricated in thicker sizes…so it’s out of range for many budgets.
Now, due to innovations and technology improvements, you can find very impressive quartz counter tops that have a very similar look to the brilliant Calacatta marble, as well as several other variations that are white and light in appearance. Many homeowners prefer this lighter and less granular than granite. Not only are quartz counter tops more affordable, but they are much easier to clean and maintain.
If you are having thoughts of selling, Petra Norris of Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc has an incredible resource on bathroom remodeling trends that sell in 2018, Anita Clark with Coldwell Banker in Warner Robins Georgia has key bathroom updates to sell your home faster, and Kevin Vitali with Exit Realty in Essex and Northern Middlesex has information on staging your kitchen so it sells – hot insider tips.
White cabinets are most popular, with gray becoming the new rising star
White cabinets continue to be most popular and are still growing. Gray cabinets are 2nd most popular and rapidly growing, especially as islands are growing in size and many are opting for a different color for the island. This is followed up closely with navy and black cabinets, especially for the featured centerpiece.
There is still a strong preference towards brushed nickel and stainless steel
These elements are timeless and neutral, and they tend to go with almost all schemes. While brass and gold are starting to make a comeback, I don’t expect them to gain much traction as there is such a preference towards cool color trends throughout the home, and the cool silver colors go better with these tones. Golds and brasses just pigeon hole you and only go with a few colors. Also, most appliances, as well as sinks are stainless steel, so sticking with the silver tones creates a more unified look in the kitchen.
This year, they’ve been introducing all sorts of colorful appliances (e.g. bright blues, reds and other retro colors). These tend to be much more polarizing and I’m sure will not stand the test of time. And, given that most people buy refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers and microwaves as a set, this just isn’t very practical (unless you have the budget to switch them out every 3 to 4 years).
If you’re interested in learning more about current kitchen trends, Karen Holt Highland with EXP Realty in Frederick Maryland has written a great resource Kitchen Remodeling and Decorating Trends for Homeowners and Bill Gassett with Remax in the Metrowest Massachusetts area has kitchen home improvements to boost your home’s value.