Updated: Aug 4
What types of renovations were most popular with homeowners in this past year? It’s always fun to look back at the most recent trends as the year comes to a close…but should you feel inspired by any of these suggestions, never fear. Unlike the fickle fashions of music, clothing, and cell phones (to name but a few), home renovation styles tend to change at a much slower pace. If you decide to make any of these changes, even if the calendar’s already flipped over into the new year, chances are slim to none that your future guests will dismiss the work as “that’s so 2020”.
This year’s remodeled homes were:
1. Ending Kitchen Segregation
Back in the day, the kitchen was kept separate from the living area, perhaps to contain smells or heat or just to conceal all the effort that comes with putting meals on the table. These days, though, cooking is often seen as more of a fun hobby than a chore, and the walls between the living room and kitchen are being knocked down…quite literally. These contemporary “open kitchens” have been a top trend among remodelers for the past few years, as they create the impression of a much more spacious ground floor in even the smallest homes as well as allowing for a more natural flow from one area into another.
2. Taking It Outside
Outdoor cooking is also going upscale. Rather than just a simple patio barbecue grill, homeowners are adding backyard fire pits, pizza ovens, smokers, roasting spits, and those ginormous (and slightly scary) turkey fryers. Some outdoor gourmets go all-out to bring the entire kitchen outside, with such features as refrigerators, counters, sinks, and storage space for cooking equipment and dishes.
3. Going Eclectic
One of the year’s most pervasive trends among home renovators has been mixing and matching, particularly when it comes to the old and the new. Shiny glass and steel bathroom fixtures paired with a clawfoot tub, granite kitchen countertops next to an antique Welsh dresser. This trend even extends to building materials, as homes incorporate modern composites with recycled barn wood.
4. Saying Bye, Bye Bathtub
The tub/shower combo, long a staple of the American bathroom, appears to be on its way out. Many remodelers are scrapping the tub entirely and replacing it with a large, glass-door walk-in shower instead.
5. Lightening Things Up
When it comes to flooring, dark woods are on their way out. Instead, light gray, white, and washed-wood finishes are gaining popularity, and many people are choosing to go with light-colored stone flooring or even using porcelain tiles for rooms other than kitchens and bathrooms.
6. Bold and Beautiful
Pastels are so over, and the stark industrial look is on its way out, too. Instead, the hot new decorating schemes call for lots of lively, bright colors – not just for accent pieces, but also for major pieces of furniture, appliances, even walls. Cobalt blue is popular right now, and orange is pretty hot as well.
7. Coloring It Green
Eco-friendly homes are not only trendy but also make good economic sense. Adding solar panels, geothermal pumps, and/or Energy Star appliances can not only result in lower energy bills but might even nab you a nifty tax break.
8. Staying Healthy
Today’s homeowners are increasingly putting some thought into their well-being, as well as that of the environment. “Wellness home” remodels include such elements as full-spectrum lighting, chemical-free water filtration, and air purification systems.
9. Plugged In and Switched On
Since hardly anybody these days can get by for too long without goo-gobs of gadgets – cell phones, laptops, game consoles, iPods and iPads and Kindles and such – one must-have item for many remodelers is adding more electrical outlets. And not just any outlets, either – tops on the list are the nifty new wall sockets that come complete with USB ports.
10. Accessible to All
Homeowners are, more and more, tending to plan. Even if they and their families are still relatively young and fit, they still want to be prepared for any circumstances where someone may be struggling with limited mobility. With this in mind, home renovations are increasingly taking into account the need for accessibility features such as ramps used in place of outdoor staircases and motion-activated sinks and lighting features.