Top 9 kitchen renovation trends of 2021

As 2021 comes to a close, it feels like trends are shifting more quickly than ever.

According to Gen Z, side parts are out and middle parts are in. Skinny jeans are so 2020 - and we’re even seeing low rise pant styles creeping back onto fashion models.

As the popularity of home renovations rises, so does the speed at which certain design trends become the “new thing” to have in your home, and then they fall away just as fast.

The last thing you as a homeowner want to do is center your home design around a passing fad - even worse, one that’s design quality won’t last a good while.

In this article, we’ll give you designers’ and contractors’ expert opinions on the kitchen renovation trends that are on their way out, and which trends you should use for your upcoming home remodel instead.

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Trends That Are On Their Way In

Some homeowners are more comfortable with trendy home renovations, while others tend to go for a more classic look every time. But one thing is for certain: some trends are better than others.

I think we can all agree that jello salad should probably stay in the past. But track suits? No wonder they made a comeback as we all began working from home this past year.

Listen to the expert opinions on which 2021 renovation trends you actually should buy into.

Appliance Storage

A clean, simple look is certainly on-trend, but it can never really be a bad thing to have less clutter.

More and more, folks are gravitating toward kitchen designs that feature storage for all sorts of appliances, leaving space for clear countertops.

Concealing kitchen appliances also helps focus more on the actual space for gathering with family and entertaining guests.

Here are a few ways to hide appliances:

Placing appliances inside drawers

Fashioning the range hood to blend into the wall tiles or cabinets.

Adding decorative finishes & fronts to appliances that mimic your cabinetry.

“Most of our designs lately have custom storage and drawer pullouts for microwaves, toasters, coffee pots, etc.,” says Erik Kobielnik of Marquis Fine Cabinetry.

“Cleanliness and simplicity seem to really win buyers over,” says Max Cohen, President of FL Home Buyers.

Natural Accents

Natural wood, lighting, and nature-inspired accents are slowly starting to overtake all-white when it comes to style.

Not only is a natural look more practical, it’s warmer and more inviting. Designers recommend sticking with neutral colors, but adding in natural elements to give a space some personality.

Large plants or accessories can also work to “break up” the room into sections reserved for unique purposes.

“This could be through the addition of plants, large windows, and skylights,” says Erik. “You can also decorate your home with stones and crystals. Another way to bring nature into your home is to add furniture and accessories made of natural wood and fabrics.”

Bringing natural elements indoors will also continue to be popular, according to Alan Weiner, COO of Elegant Strand.

“Wicker and rattan furniture, carved wood tables and woven baskets have been popular the last few years and will continue to be so,” Alan says.

Although many were once in favor of all-white kitchens, wood finishes are becoming more popular once again.

Rich, Bold Colors

This could be a direct rebuttal to the all white trend, but designers are saying that homeowners are becoming more and more open to deep, dark pops of color in their home design.

Adding pops of deep color in small doses can make your space a lot more visually interesting. Wall accents and fun wallpaper in kitchens is a great way to add these colors.

“Homeowners are gravitating toward warm, rich colors like moss green, deep blues, plums, and teals,” says Tyler Forte, CEO of Felix Homes.

Homeowners are even starting to incorporate black into their color schemes.

Black walls, cabinetry, and work surfaces are all becoming popular. When paired with dark woods, the dark colors offer a rustic and cozy charm.

Even black appliances may appear more attractive than standard stainless steel. It appears that darker colors have arrived, while white is on its way out!

Mostly white tiles with the odd black tile thrown in for contrast, matching the flat black sink fixtures is a super popular combination, according to Ralph Severson, owner of Flooring Masters.

Contrasting Colors

Along with rich and bold colors, color contrast is also trending. Mixing pink and green, orange and blue, or yellow and purple can add interesting visuals to your kitchen wall space.

Great places to add contrasting pops of color are appliances, cabinets, islands, flooring or tiles.

Functional Technology

Smart home technology has been on the rise for years now, but designers are now starting to see an increase in once luxury technology features for more average renovations.

A smart kitchen integrates technology into every appliance, from the faucets to the fridge and lighting.

Like, for instance, USB wall plugs. “We install USB compatible electrical plug-ins across our homes as well as in areas that would be popular for electronic devices,” says Jeffery of Shipwash Properties LLC.

Or under cabinet lighting. “Under cabinet lighting at one point was something found in high end expensive homes. Now, you will find under cabinet lighting as a standard,” says Eric, owner of The Lighting Tutor.

Other easy technology add-ons include:

Motion sense-equipped kitchen faucets that can sense the presence of hands underneath.

Refrigerators that can alert you when your groceries items are running low.

Programmable coffee makers.

Lighting controlled from your smartphone.

Twist on Industrial Style

While traditional industrial style is a bit overdone, lots of homeowners are looking for chic, sophisticated twists on their industrial kitchens.

Rather than taking a heavy-handed approach to this design trend, there are lots of ways you can add pops of the “factory look” in a new and modern way.

For example, you can replace kitchen cabinet doors with steel mesh, or add popular metallic accents, like cabinetry hardware.

Instead of the typical statement lighting, you can add lighting with unique, local construction or materials - that can almost function as an art piece in your kitchen.

Mixed Metals

While mixing gold and silver was once seen as faux pas, designers are now incorporating mixed materials in floors, cabinetry, and countertops.

This trend is especially popular now for hardware and accessories. For example, choose a nickel for knobs, a brass for your faucet, and a different metal for a lighting fixture.

Kitchen Larders

A kitchen larder was originally a room used to store and preserve foods. Nowadays, it has transformed into a stand-alone cupboard or pantry.

The pandemic has taught us all the values of storing and organizing goods. Today’s kitchen trends incorporate roomy pantries with plenty of shelving.

Many popular cabinetry styles double as effective storage solutions - which is a win-win for you!

Open Shelving

On the flip side of enclosed, organized pantry shelving is open shelving, but it can be just as trendy depending on your personal preferences.

Open shelving allows you to showcase your kitchen wares and heirlooms to “curate” your unique kitchen style.

Plus, the ability to display your items in the open also makes them easy to find in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Tips For Keeping Up with Renovation Trends

The downside of following renovation trends, is that unlike clothes, you probably don’t want to renovate every year or every other year. Most people will complete one major renovation and then do minor updates every so often.

So, how can you keep your home space looking as sharp as your home design Pinterest board year round?

Here are some basic tips:

Update decor regularly: Buying new plants, wall-hangings and other decorative items is a great way to freshen up your space to stick with current trends that doesn’t require an expensive project. Consult with a designer before renovating: Designers and architects have their finger on the pulse of the renovation industry. They’ll be able to tell you if your ideas are a little too trendy, or if the current trend is impractical. Go for bold paint colors: Painting interior walls is a fun and easy way to switch up the style in your home - that’s easy to change. Exterior siding, tiling, or other more complex changes are harder to switch when you get tired of them Put an emphasis on quality: No matter what your style is, high quality materials are always going to look better and last longer. You can’t go wrong with good value.

Trends That Are On Their Way Out

Obviously, the most important opinion you should factor into your home renovation project is your own. After all, you’re the one that’s going to live in your home for the next few years.

Therefore, if you’re only picking a certain style because you think it’s the “trend,” try to imagine how you’ll feel with the same style in five years when some other design takes its place on the Instagram Explore page.

On the other hand, if you are renovating and are in love with a trend that experts say is “on it’s way out,” screw em’! They aren’t the ones paying for your renovation and the ones that will get to enjoy it after.

All-White Kitchens

This trend was a flame that burned out quick. While it’s been all the rage for the past few years, interest in this minimalist color scheme is starting to wane, according to designers.

Not only is it boring, it’s not practical.

“Homeowners like to personalize their kitchens because it’s one of the places that the entire household utilizes together, and it’s important to reflect that communal spirit in a creative and inspiring way,” says Grace Tsao Mase, Founder of BEYREP. “This is especially the case for families with young children, because all-white kitchens can be difficult to maintain.”

Oftentimes when trends get so popular that they totally dominate the interior design space, this can be a sign that they’re not there to last.

“[All white] felt ‘on-trend.’ It felt to me that it was something that would not age well,” says Max Cohen, President of FL Home Buyers.

Farmhouse Style

Your Instagram feed and your Pinterest board have seen enough of this rustic, kitsch look. Sure, every influencer and HGTV contestant’s done it, but that doesn’t mean you have to.

Experts also say that some aspects of this style aren’t exactly functional.

“The farmhouse trend is on the verge of becoming overdone and outdated in my opinion. This look has been the go to trend in newer construction homes, but the sacrifice in functionality is beginning to catch up with buyers,” says Jeffery of Shipwash Properties LLC. “For example, barn doors look amazing, but you are limited to using these in non-privacy areas.. In addition, the parts typically fail in a short amount of time, resulting in a costly repair.”

Still in love with this look? At least limit it to homes where it fits - like actually old farmhouse properties. “While this look may be suited for some homes, in general, it is an outdated look for new constructions and more modern homes,” says Tyler Forte, CEO of Felix Homes.

Open Floor Plan

The open floor plan has been the first request for contractors completing home renovations recently, but it’s possible that the pandemic has changed homeowners’ minds about this more modern look.

While the open floor plan is still popular, some designers think that interest has shifted back toward more separate areas on the first floor.

“As people have spent more time at home they have come to appreciate zoned floor plans,” says Andra DelMonico, the Lead Interior Designer for Trendey. “This new approach creates a balance between too open and too walled. Areas are separated enough to create a cozier and more comfortable space.”

If you’re still yearning for some openness, consider a mix between open and separate for your floor plan that fits your lifestyle.

Industrial Lighting

Exposed Edison bulbs, pendant lights, pipes, track lighting, and that familiar heavy-duty copper look has truly had its moment in the renovation space.

While the occasional old Brooklyn one-bedroom lends itself to an industrial look, your 2010 suburban build would probably look better with a different lighting style.

“Its rustic and commercial nature makes a statement, but it’s style-specific and isn’t very versatile,” says Andra. “This limits how you decorate your home or add to the decor naturally over time.”

Tiered Kitchen Islands

While it was a unique design, kitchen islands are perfectly useful with just one tier. Homeowners aren’t as interested in two levels anymore. They’re large, bulky, and unnecessary.

“If there are any 2 tiered counter heights they are very minimal,” says Erik Kobielnik of Marquis Fine Cabinetry. “They aren’t near the height difference as they used to be.”

Overall, while you want to keep your home design up-to-date, it may not be practical to lean into trends so heavily. Instead, try to focus on your own unique personal style and lifestyle when you are picking out finishes for your home renovation.

After all, unless you’re an Instagram influencer, you and your family are going to be the ones enjoying your renovated home, not your followers.

Looking for a way to finance your kitchen renovation project? Check out RenoFi’s guide to financing a kitchen remodel.

Styles That Date Your Home

You’re not a trendster – you’ve too much sense (and not enough money) to keep chopping and changing your home’s decor and furnishings. But let’s face it: Some styles and fixtures do date or outlive their function. And that can make your home look tired at best and affect its resale value at worst, by turning off potential buyers.

There are a few outmoded features that are especially egregious, making people think that the home is older or in worse condition than it really is. Luckily, changing these features often isn’t expensive or time-consuming. And the transformation from passé to pleasantly modern (or better yet, timeless) can be enjoyable whether you’re planning to put your house on the market, or just want to prioritize remodeling projects to enhance your own living.

Here are seven styles that scream “out-of-date” and ways to update them.

1. Light-colored, imitation-wood cabinets

Light-wooded, fiberboard cabinets with a distinctive raised design were a kitchen and bathroom standard for a long time, along with plain light woods like pine. But they’ve fallen out of fashion now — and possibly in literal ways, if yours were the latest thing when you got them.

“We recommend clients replace their ‘80s cabinets as they are typically falling apart anyways,” says Ariana Lovato of Honeycomb Home Design in Pismo Beach, California. Depending on their condition, “sometimes it is more costly to paint the cabinets and update the hardware than it is to replace them entirely.”

The trends now are toward cabinets in more luxurious materials and/or exotic finishes, such as cerused white oak or driftwood (if a pale look is what you prefer). However, it is still possible to economize with less-expensive engineered materials, including more modern (and realistic-looking) forms of fiberboard and wood veneers, in which thin panels of quality timber are affixed to a plywood core.

While you’re at it, consider a frameless cabinet, which offers a more sleek, streamlined look (​​because the door hinges attach directly to the sides of the cabinet box, instead of to a face frame in front). “Plus, a frameless cabinet will provide more useable storage throughout,” since it lacks a center stile in the middle of the cabinet doors, Lovato notes.

2. Intense or trendy wallpapers and paints

Wallpaper can be a beautiful addition to a room, but it can be hard on the contemporary eye if it is in a print that had its heyday a few decades ago — or is executed in colors that evoke a certain era, like the 1970s (I’m looking at you, goldenrod, olive green and burnt orange). The same goes for hues of paint. “One of the most dated design elements are muddy colors: beige, khaki and dim yellow,” says Megan Hersch, an interior designer and the co-founder and COO of roomLift.

You don’t have to entirely neutralize your decor. But if you strategically pick some of the loudest or most unusual wall treatments to replace, using warm grays, whites or off-whites, you can give your home a bit less of a time-capsule look. “A fresh coat of white paint — my favorite these days is Valspar Bistro White — will bring updated life into a space immediately,” Hersch says.

3. Analog thermostats

A traditional analog thermostat with a simple knob to move the temperature up or down can really look older than it is, simply because so many homes have converted to a digital-style thermostat.

And it’s not just about a display that makes the home look younger. Contemporary programmable or “smart” thermostats will make the home function better too. Their sensors can adjust the temperature based on the time of day or number of people in the house (judging by the degree of movement); they can be set to a schedule based on your family’s preferences and activities. Either way, your thermostat works to avoid waste, boost efficiency and save money, while also making it look like your home is a “smart home” — and what could be more au courant than that?

4. Cluttered rooms

It seems like the look of “minimalism” is here to stay. If you’ve let your home become overfilled with knick knacks, bric-à-brac and decorative furnishings, a great design choice is to work on cutting down on the clutter. Keep only the pieces you use most and like best, and spread things out to take advantage of space. There are even suggestions having a decluttered space can feel less stressful and boost productivity, making the benefits greater than just a home update.

Which isn’t to say your rooms have to be barren. “Timeless trends most definitely include house plants (more O2!),” says Hersch. Just be sure to get ones that “work with your exact space and ability to care for them (let’s be real).” Also, splurge for some “great-looking bins” or baskets to contain papers, magazines, mail and the other flotsam and jetsam of daily life, Hersch says. “Life can be messy but when everything has a place, everything can fall into place.”

5. Carpeted bathrooms (and, depending on age, carpet in general)

Unlike hardwood, which is both in vogue now and forever — it’s able to be refinished in ways that make it “like new” — carpet gets old. Too old to be anything but dated. In particular, very few homes can have carpeted bathrooms and still feel up to date.

“More of our clients are drawn to engineered wood floors throughout the home and less people are wanting carpet due to allergy issues,” explains Lovato. “We typically will install the same flooring throughout a home, except for the bathrooms and sometimes a laundry room, where we will install tile.” Other options include a waterproof hardwood-look laminate, or a sturdy stone flooring that is easy to clean. If you fear that’ll frost your feet on cold mornings, you can always add underground heating to the floor.

As for other parts of the house, carpet may still fly — though discolored, damaged, or unusually loud patterns or colors are all going to be red flags signaling age. Carpets can also retain odors, particularly from pets or smoking. So one way to simultaneously remove the smell at its source and update the look of the house is to put in a hardwood floor or a hardwood-looking vinyl planking.

6. Tired kitchen countertops and hardware

Up-to-date (or up-to-date-looking) kitchens are always in demand. But certain details can date them. Case in point: tile countertops. However cool-looking they were upon install, they get impractical fast, due to dirt accumulating in the grout. Kitchens need to be a breeze to wipe down, and with an uneven or even fairly smooth tile surface, it’s hard to keep it looking clean and fresh.

As an alternative, “we recommend installing solid surface countertops throughout (either a natural stone or an engineered quartz surface). It’s easier to clean and looks 100 percent better,” says Lovato.

The hardware on your cabinets and drawers also has a big impact on the room’s appearance. “Updating the ‘cabinet jewelry’ can really go a long way to instantly improve the look and feel of the rest of your kitchen,” says Lynne Tocchet, Director of Interior Design at Pacaso, a San Francisco-based property broker specializing in second homes.

“For a timeless look, think sleek and sophisticated,” she advises. “Chrome always has a place in decor and never seems to go out of style so that is a good choice if you are looking for a light option. In the dark hardware category, matte black has officially emerged as the new ‘oil-rubbed bronze’ alternative for the next 30 years.”

7. Heavy drapery

Thick, dust-gathering drapes do date a space, giving off a grandma’s-living-room vibe. In fitting in with the trend towards clean living (both literally and stylistically), many homeowners prefer the sleek look of hard window treatments, like shades or blinds, especially if they’re the automated or smart variety.

That doesn’t mean it’s curtains for curtains, though. Just swap out your thick fabrics for lighter, airer options like linen or rayon — and don’t let the texture fool you: Just because they’re gauzy doesn’t mean they can’t filter out light and heat.

“This is a quick fix as so many retailers sell pre-made drapery panels that you can possibly even hang on your existing rods,” says Hersch. RH (Restoration Hardware), West Elm and Annie Selke are among those she recommends.

Final word on updating your home

Of course, you should always do home remodeling for yourself first, and for sales second. And if you’re happy how everything looks (and works), don’t chop and change for fashion’s sake. But if things are looking tired, getting the decor up-to-date now can meet less work and expense later. Focus on the features you’d like to update most, especially in key areas like kitchens and bathrooms. Ideally, you can execute some home decor ideas that both benefit you in the near term and boost your home’s desirability down the road.

11 Home Renovation Ideas (Home Remodeling Tips)

Home Renovation Ideas

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 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 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 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 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 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 designs

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 , 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.

6. Multi-generational and universal design

There’s a growing preference towards both multi-generational living (as the grandparents may move in to help raise the grandkids, or as there is sometimes a need to take care of an aging parent) as well as universal design, as more and more are buying “forever” homes and hope to age in place. Universal design means widening hallways and doorways (so they are wheel chair/walker accessible), making it easier to enter and exit bathrooms and shower areas reducing the height of thresholds and tripping hazards), seating areas within showers, consistent flooring levels across surfaces and rooms, and when possible building a Master bedroom on the main floor. Sometimes, in larger homes with multi-generations, you will also see 2 sections of the home, each equipped with its own kitchen.

7. Higher ceilings and more interesting ceiling treatments

This is a really fun trend and in some cases, it’s an easy way to add some flair to a home without a major remodeling project. In rooms that have higher ceilings (or large double floor entryways), we are seeing more and more interesting and varied ceiling treatments. Sometimes this is as simple as adding exposed beams and woodwork. Sometimes, builders are adding in coffered, vaulted or tray ceilings. Sometimes, it’s even as simple as adding some elegant crown molding. It is amazing what can be achieved with these sorts of projects and how this often overlooked area can make a room look extra special.

8. Farmhouse and rustic decor

What’s old is new again, and nowadays, rustic and farmhouse style décor has been reinvented to the max. This style isn’t for everyone, but for those that love it, it’s more than just a décor style…it can become a way of life. Modern farmhouse style incorporates light, neutral and soothing colors from whites, grays, light blues and greiges, as well as shiplap walls (thanks in part to Joanna and Chip Gaines and their hot TV show, Fixer Upper). We have been seeing a resurgence in sliding barn doors, farmhouse sinks, windmills and everywhere you look on Pinterest, you’ll find farmhouse signs and the farmhouse script. You will see items that are “upcycled and repurposed” for unusual décor combinations…in lights, wall décor, coffee tables and accessories. It’s an informal and welcoming décor that is meant to make your guests feel at ease and create closer family connections. Multi-generational living & universal design.

9. Cool colors, especially gray, navy and other blues

Yes, gray still remains the most popular wall color, by far. Gray (and greige…which is a combo of gray and beige) dominate the wall pallets as they are so neutral making it easy to decorate with and allowing for accent colors galore. The gray tends to pair well with dark hardwood floors (which is the most popular), as well as white washed and even mid brown and light floors. The new and rising star color is navy. Navy is also a cool color and coordinates so well with gray. Navy has become the 2nd most popular area rugs and it is such a great accent color, so it's perfect for pillows, accent chairs and accent walls. When used as an accent color, it's a great way to add some color depth without making a room look too small or dark.

10. Deep colored accent walls

Painting is one of the easiest renovations to do, and it can have a huge on the look and feel of your home. As homeowners are painting more, they are also getting more daring with accent walls. Accent walls are a great way to add depth and dimension to a room, as well as color. For accent walls, we've been seeing more dramatic and deeper colors including dark grays, navy and even black. But, it can be any color that you love. When you choose a darker accent wall (especially if it's in the same color family as the rest of the wall), it,creates depth illusion so it appears to push the wall back and make the space look a bit larger (if it's just done in 1 area). Accent walls can be fun, and it can be a way to renovate a room every few years by just changing the color of one wall, along with switching out an area rug and pillows.

11. Intricate patterns and small spaces (backsplashes, powder rooms, accent walls)

We are also seeing more and more mosaic patterns in small defined spaces such as kitchen backsplashes or powder rooms. And, occasionally, we are seeing shapes and textures on an accent wall. The most popular shapes are hexagons, chevrons, harlequin diamonds, and moroccan tile shapes. We are seeing these in tiles (floors and walls), removable neutral wallpaper (in small areas such as an accent wall), area rugs, pillows and window treatments. We are also seeing a surge in stenciling, so that these patterns can be painted onto walls. For the floors, we are also seeing a resurgence in vintage black and white patterned tiles.

12. Mudroom additions (or conversions)

Most busy households with kids are renovating the main entrance area for the kids into mudrooms with stylish tiles and comfortable sitting areas so that the kids can take off their dirty shoes (and boots) before entering the main area of the home. This makes cleaning and organizing much easier. Many are turning this area into a command center where each kid has their own cubby space and items for the next day can be stored in this area. And, for some, it also becomes an extra storage area for bikes and other outdoor equipment.

13. Home office remodeling

More and more people are choosing to work at home, or to work at home part time (or a day a week), so they are converting spaces into a comfortable working environment. Often, this involves converting an extra bedroom, den or even a dining room into an office. Some are even using a section of the kitchen for this, especially if they have a larger kitchen and are remodeling.

14. Hardwood flooring...and wood looking floors

Hardwood flooring is the preferred flooring surface, and it continues to grow. And, interestingly enough, the 2nd most popular choice is to get floors that look like hardwood. The two most popular choices for this are 1) wood looking tiles and 2) engineered vinyl plank flooring. The latter has been an innovative product called Coretec Plus made by US Floors. This new product looks like wood, but it's waterproof, and it has a cork underlayment, so it's softer on your feet and provides a bit of insulation. In terms of colors, dark flooring is by far the most popular (think ebony, espresso, dark walnut and blends of these colors). The tones are darker and browner and there a strong move away from reds and red undertones. This is followed by very light hardwood floors, especially paler and lighter tones that drown out the yellow. Natural is the by far the most popular when it comes to light, and many are gravitating towards high end water borne polyurethanes as they look more natural and do not show the yellow that you would see with an oil based poly.

Grays and whitewashes are the next most popular shades. It's certainly more challenging (and expensive) to get these tones with hardwoods, and they tend to work best on white oak and maple, rather than red oak. Satin and matte finishes are the most popular. They are also the most practical as they show dents, scratches and dirt less. Shiny and semi-gloss finishes are dated and show the imperfections more. Check out this article on 2019 Hardwood Flooring Trends to keep up on the latest flooring styles.

15. Clean lines and simplicity

Yes, "less is more" and it certainly holds true in design. We've been noticing that there is a trend towards simplicity and streamlined designs throughout the house. In the kitchen, this sometimes translates to removal of upper cabinets in some allow more space, light and breathing room. In paint colors and flooring, it translates to more consistency of flooring surface and paint colors throughout the home, especially on the main level of the home. We are also seeing a preference towards less intricate molding. Most home owners love nice base molding and crown molding, but the preference is for cleaner lines and fewer ridges and grooves. Many are learning that decluttering relieves stress as well as make the area look larger, so we are just seeing more space, and often less furniture...and less "stuff" on that furniture. Many are removing built-ins, and bookcases, as these tend to take up space and add more visual distraction from the items place in or on them. Some people take this to an extreme via minimalism. But, for the majority, it's just a paring down and simplification.


So there you have the latest home remodeling trends for 2019 and beyond. It's a great time to remodel as prices on materials are reasonable and the technology keeps improving. Because of this, there are just more options available both in the value and luxury segments of the market, so it's easy to find a project can have a big impact on your home and work with your budget.

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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