I frequently get questions from clients who are taking on decorating and remodeling projects and want to ensure their dollars are invested wisely. Which looks will last for years to come, and which ones will feel dated quickly? What colors and styles are most popular among buyers in our area? How can I add the most value to my home?
So I’ve rounded up some of the hottest trends in home design to help guide you through the process. Whether you’ve planned a simple refresh or a full-scale renovation, making smart and informed design choices will help you maximize your return on investment … and minimize the chance of “remodeler’s remorse” down the road.
WHAT’S HOT NOW While 2017 was all about millennial pink, brass fixtures, and bright white kitchens, this year I expect to see a move toward warmer, cozier elements throughout the home.
1. Warm Colors A cool color scheme has dominated home design in recent years, but this year warm neutrals like brown and tan are back, along with rich jewel tones. While the pastel craze of last year is still hanging on, expect to see alternative color palettes featuring deep, saturated shades of red, yellow, green and navy. Grey will remain popular, but in warmer tones, often referred to as “greige.”
2. Cozy Elements Along with warmer colors, I expect to see a shift from stark, modern design to cozier looks. Velvet upholstery, woven textures and natural elements, like wood and stone, will heat things up this year.
3. Mixed Metals It used to be considered gauche to mix finishes, however, the look of mixed metals will be very big in 2018. Brass will continue to trend, along with matte black and classics like polished chrome and brushed nickel. Photo by amorybrown.co.uk - Browse living room photos
4. Bold Patterns Expect to see a lot of bright, bold patterns in the form of geometric shapes and graphic floral prints. These will be featured on everything from furniture to throw pillows to tile. 5. Natural Elements Look for the use of natural elements throughout the home, including wood, stone, plants, flowers, and grass. Botanical patterns will also be seen in prints, wallpaper, and upholstery. Concrete accents will complement these additions in an effort to bring the essence of the outdoors inside the home. Photo by Your Design Envy - Look for bedroom pictures
6. Feature Walls Also called an accent wall, a feature wall is one that exhibits a different color or design than the other walls in the room. Expect to see an increased use of feature walls showcasing rich paint colors, bold patterned wallpaper, and textures brought in through millwork and shiplap.
7. Statement Lighting Lighting will take center stage with distinctive fixtures, including local artisan and vintage pendants and chandeliers. And smart lighting technology will enable homeowners to customize their lighting experience based on time of day, activity and mood. Photo by Greenfield Design - More dining room photos
8. Hardwood Floors Hardwood floors will continue to dominate the market. The trend is toward either very dark stains paired with light-colored walls or light stains with darker walls. Greyish tones will remain popular, as will matte finishes, which are easier to maintain than high gloss. Expect to see frequent use of wider and longer wood planks, as well as distressed and wire-brushed finishes, which add texture and dimension.
9. Smart Homes Everything is getting “smarter” in homes, from locks and lights to thermostats and appliances. And with devices like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, you can control many of these with voice activation from a central hub. I see continued integration of and advancements in smart-home technology in 2018.
KITCHEN TRENDS While white kitchens will remain popular in 2018, expect to see more color this year in everything from cabinets to tile to appliances.
1. Two-toned Cabinets Two-toned cabinets are quickly overtaking the white-on-white look that has dominated kitchen design for the past few years. While white remains a classic, grey and bleached-wood cabinet variations are surging in popularity, along with darker neutrals like navy and green. Photo by Rebecca Hay Designs - Browse kitchen photos
2. Quartz Countertops Granite reigned as the top countertop choice for many years, but quartz is now king. It’s highly durable, low-maintenance and comes in a wide variety of styles and colors. It’s also heat resistant, scratch resistant and non-porous (unlike granite and marble) so it doesn’t need to be sealed.
3. Bold Backsplashes After years of dominating backsplash design, the white subway tile is officially on its way out. Expect to see it replaced with more elaborate shapes, patterns, colors, and textures. Tile that mimics the appearance of wood, concrete, and wallpaper is also gaining in popularity. Photo by Smith & Vansant Architects PC - Look for kitchen pictures
4. Statement Sinks While stainless steel and white porcelain are always safe bets, the trend is moving toward sinks that make more of a statement. Look for unexpected pops of color and materials like natural stone and copper. Touch-free faucets are expected to gain favor with homeowners this year, too.
5. Brass is (Still) Back Brass fixtures came back in a big way over the past couple of years and will continue to be a popular choice in 2018 along with matte black, black nickel, polished chrome and brushed nickel. Missing from the list? Rose gold, which is decidedly “out” this year. Photo by Showcase Kitchens and Baths - Browse kitchen ideas
6. Multi-purpose Islands Kitchen islands have evolved from simple prep-stations into the “workhorse” of the kitchen. Many feature sinks, built-in appliances, and under-counter storage while also serving as a casual dining area. They have become the focal point of the kitchen, and I expect to see more of them in 2018 and beyond.
7. Black Stainless Steel Black stainless steel is the hot new finish option for appliances, and it’s hitting the market in a big way. It offers a cutting-edge look and is easier to keep clean than traditional stainless steel. However, it’s harder to match finishes amongst different brands, so it’s probably only feasible as part of a complete appliance package.
8. Appliance Garages Appliance garages are counter-level compartments designed to house small appliances like blenders, toasters and stand mixers. They make it convenient to have these items readily accessible, without the look of a cluttered counter. Photo by Santa Cruz Design + Build - More kitchen ideas
BATH TRENDS Expect to see many of the same kitchen design preferences carry over into bathrooms this year, including two-tone cabinets, quartz countertops, and brass fixtures.
1. Neutral Tones Neutral shades will continue to dominate in the master bathroom as homeowners seek a soothing and relaxing retreat atmosphere. But expect to see more options than just white. Shades of brown, grey, blue, green and tan will help to warm things up. Photo by Nina Williams Designs - Look for bathroom pictures
2. Natural Elements Natural materials are particularly hot right now in bathroom design. This includes the use of wood and stone on walls, cabinets, counters, and backsplashes, as well as the incorporation of botanical design elements.
3. Large Tiles I expect to see a lot more large and slab-sized tiles in bathrooms, which have less grout so they are easier to clean and maintain. Wood-look porcelain tiles are also a favorite in wet areas, as they offer the warmth and rustic appeal of wood with the durability of tile. Photo by Deep River Partners - Discover powder room design inspiration
4. Stone Sinks Sinks will continue to be an area where homeowners like to exhibit creativity, and hand-carved stone sinks are especially fashionable right now. These may be more suited to powder rooms, where functionality isn’t as crucial.
5. Freestanding Tubs There’s been a tub resurgence in bathroom design after years of preference for stand-alone showers. Modern tastes are gravitating toward freestanding tubs that serve as a showpiece for the bathroom. Photo by MAK Studio - More bathroom photos
6. Smart Features Smart technology has entered the bathroom with the addition of features like wireless shower speakers and high-tech toilets, as well as digital shower controls that automatically adjust to your preferences in temperature and spray intensity.
ADVICE Style trends come and go, so don’t invest in the latest look unless you love it. That said, highly-personalized or outdated style choices can limit the appeal of your property for resale. For major renovation projects, it’s always a good idea to stick to neutral colors and classic styles. It will give your remodel longevity and appeal to the greatest number of buyers when it comes time to sell. It will also give you the flexibility to update your look in a few years without a total overhaul. Use non-permanent fixtures – like paint, furniture, and accent pieces – to personalize the space and incorporate trendier choices.
If you’d like advice on a specific remodeling or design project, give me a call! I am happy to offer insights and suggestions on how to maximize your return on investment and recommend local shops and service providers who may be able to assist you.