8 modern design trends

A desire for greater affordability, convenience, healthfulness, sustainability, and old-fashioned comfort are still on the wish lists of many clients. But we have witnessing another trend: a renewed willingness to remodel.

With a mind to resale value, here are eight interior design trends that experts anticipate becoming more dominant in the new year, and advice on how you can apply these predictions to your real estate business.

1. Light, Views, and Fresh Air

Why it’s happening: Research shows that natural light can boost healthfulness, both physical and emotional, so architects and window manufacturers are responding. Top suggestions to clients are to repair or reglaze windows, add more windows, build a deck, or add on a screened porch. “It gives them an important connection with the outdoors,”. Manufacturers of Windows and Doors are debuting new product lines, such as windows mulled together for a wall of light, and minimizes framing for maximum sightlines.

We know that new glazing can make a big difference to the enjoyment and efficiency of a home, and it’s an affordable update. There is a cost, but the return on investment can be huge if it captures a view or lightens a dark space.

2. Healthier Houses

Why it’s happening: With reports of contaminants in drinking water, toxic levels of formaldehyde being released from laminate flooring, and other home health scares, consumers are increasingly concerned about how their home may affect their health. But rather than compromising health and wellness, homes can provide an opportunity to enhance lives.

Focuses on air filtration, water purification, circadian lighting, and comfort-focused technologies, all to simulate the natural outdoor environment. We wanted to get rid of stagnant air that’s two to five times worse than outdoor air, contaminated water that runs through old corroded pipes, synthetic materials that offgas, and artificial light that disrupts natural circadian rhythms. It also responds to changes it detects, such as pollutants coming in on the bottom of our shoes.

Staying abreast of new building techniques and smart home developments will help you better serve the occupants who are eager to make their homes healthier.

3. Bathrooms for Aging in Place

Why it’s happening: According to a 2018 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, baby boomers now account for the largest share of home owners choosing to renovate—and their top project is redoing the master bathroom. “A significant proportion of boomers (56 percent) are aware of the needs that arise aging in place,” says Nino Sitchinava, Houzz economist. “They are proactive about integrating accessibility features that address these needs during renovations.” Popular changes include removing tubs that are difficult to climb into and out of, adding accessible shower seats and grab bars, and installing zero-threshold entries between rooms.

How you can take action: Knowing the costs will help you serve as a trusted adviser to buyers. The median cost for a large master bathroom renovation was estimated at $16,000 by Houzz. If that’s too much, consider piecemeal changes.

4. Resiliency and Sustainability

Why it’s happening: Natural disasters are occurring more frequently and sometimes with little warning. The most forward-thinking homebuilders are developing resilient solutions for new and existing homes. The weather is getting almost biblical, and homes that don’t address that run a legitimate risk of being seriously damaged or destroyed and having their resale value put in question. Many designs include oversized gutters and downspouts that direct water to rain gardens or other landscape features that can handle intense rain. Coastal homes should add hurricane straps where the roof and walls intersect, he says, to reduce possible wind damage. Sustainable features are also critical to decarbonize the built environment and conserve resources. Kipnis favors all-electric systems, including induction cooktops, mini-split HVAC systems, and heat pump water heaters. Homeowners could take it a step further and have the garage wired to be a charging station for electric cars and add solar panels to the roof.

Consider experts who know how to build and remodel houses to withstand the weather and keep energy costs down. Also, know how and where products and materials are made, since more buyers are asking.

5. Away With Gray

Why it’s happening: Color swings keep rooms fresh, but what may appeal often depends on how trend-focused the locale is, along with the age and style of the home. According to Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams, “Grays are now in the midst of a warming trend.” It’s back to more white and off-whites. Clients are seeking a more neutral, calm background.

Learn preferences of buyers in your market, which may require asking paint store salespeople, designers, architects, and color experts. Then share what you learn with clients.

6. Natural Materials and Motifs

Why it’s happening: After so much focus on clean, spare Scandinavian design, there’s yearning for more warmth and comfort with natural touches. Sitting in your living room should evoke the feeling of lying in a hammock under a great tree on a breezy summer day. To get the look, condiser prints and florals in natural-colored tones. Butcher block kitchen countertops and a mix of warmer natural materials such as wood, leather, silk, and stone will help capture the natural feel. Some designers suggests open grain oak cabinetry, metallic linen draperies, saddle leather, and woven cotton rugs. A warmer, more natural glow can also be illuminated through new LED lights.

You don’t have to revamp rooms completely. Consider incorporating a few pieces to get the look. You can capture a concept with a single well-chosen piece. Make it bold, beautiful, and memorable, and your listing will stand out in buyers’ minds.

7. Affordable Microhouses

Why it’s happening: Affordability is in great demand, with rising home prices and a shortage of desirable downtown locations. What’s needed is more dense land planning, common outdoor space, greater acceptance of attached homes, and sometimes doing without a garage.

What’s considered livable yet affordable often needs to be larger than tiny homes, most of which are less than 500 square feet. There’s a more viable option: microhouses, which range from 500 to 1,000 square feet. They fit community codes for permanent housing, unlike tiny homes that often must be built atop trailers due to their modest square footage. Microhouses also offer equity, unlike rental microapartments. They can be constructed as narrow townhouses or as a one-story, single-family designs.

This small livable option can be a good investment for your buyers. Find out if there are any developments in the works in your market. “Many pay higher prices for lower-square-foot rentals.

8. High and Low Decor

Why it’s happening: For the millennial generation, quality supersedes quantity. But this isn’t limited to their desire for smaller, better homes. It also applies to what they choose to put inside their homes when they decorate. It’s not about keeping up with the Joneses. How they live dictates their choices. They’re very practical about the money they spend, often researching and gathering ideas from sites like Houzz and Pinterest that mix high and low, and then asking experts to cull and complete a look.

Finished projects might translate into a combination of luxury vinyl planks—which are more practical than expensive real wood boards. The benchmark isn’t how fancy or rare something is, but if it’s practical, gives them the right experiences, and nourishes their spirit.

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