Interior design trends: what’s in and what's out
Use these ideas to jumpstart your home renovation project
by Kate Williams, Ph.D.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
To help homeowners figure out which home renovation projects are worth their investment, online real estate brokerage website Redfin analyzed millions of listings to see which search terms have grown in popularity since 2011.
Whether you’re looking for high return on investment (ROI) to sell your house or just need to give your home a more modern feel, check out the home renovation trends they uncovered.
These home renovation features saw an increase in popularity from 2015 to 2016:
Smart-home technology, including things like smart thermostats and smart kitchens, is more popular than ever. According to Redfin, the mention of smart homes in listings increased by 40.9 percent. Because new technology keeps coming on the market, this home renovation trend isn’t going anywhere soon.
Smart homes aren’t just cool. They’re functional and can save you money. As an added bonus, you don’t need to go all in with smart home features. Start small with an automated thermostat or a voice-activated device, and add more technology as your budget allows.
If you don’t want to do a full renovation in your kitchen or bathroom, swapping out your countertops for quartz can pay off big time. Beyond looking new and fresh, quartz countertops are super convenient. They require less maintenance than other materials and look great in both kitchens and bathrooms.
Stainless steel appliances
This is one trend that just won’t quit, and for good reason. Sleek-looking stainless steel appliances look modern and fresh in any home. There’s a decent chance these will still be in style years from now when you sell your house.
There’s good news for homeowners who want to enjoy the atmosphere of a bar without the inconvenience of leaving home. The built-in bar trend has seen a 7.5 percent year-over-year increase in mentions on listings. We’ll toast to that!
The minimalist living trend has found its way into new home construction in the form of open floor plans and neutral color palettes. Home renovation projects include knocking down walls and opening up living spaces. When it comes to minimalist design, less is more–which is good for the environment, good for your mental health and good for your wallet!
Trends on the way out
Redfin’s analysis also found several home design trends on their way out. These features have decreased in popularity:
Bamboo floors have seen a drop in desirability over the last few years. This could be due to the higher cost of bamboo over synthetic hardwood floors.
Alternative: Synthetic hardwood floors are less expensive in the short term, so they might be a better choice if you're planning to sell your home soon. But if you want to stay put for a while, consider traditional hardwood floors. They can be refinished over and over again, making them a wise investment in the long run.
While some homeowners still enjoy the coziness of a breakfast nook, multiple, separate eating spaces aren’t as practical or popular as kitchen islands or peninsulas.
Alternative: If you’re considering selling your home soon, opt for more counter space instead of a separate nook. Homebuyers are more interested in counter space and islands than in a separate eating area in the kitchen.
Freestanding bathtubs were really popular in 2014, but the trend has fallen as quickly as it rose. These tubs aren’t conducive for small space living. Homebuyers generally consider them a bonus but not a deal-breaker.
Alternative: The bottom line on this one is to only add a freestanding tub if you will actually use it. If it’s going to sit empty until you get ready to sell, spend your money elsewhere.
When it comes down to it, your home’s interior design has to fit your style and taste. Use these trends as a guideline to plan and begin a home renovation. If you’re thinking about selling your home soon, recognize that homebuyers will be looking for homes with some, or all, of these features and plan accordingly. Start with rooms that get the most use, such as your kitchen, bathroom or living room, for the biggest ROI.
- 5/19/17 Last Updated