The New Year has arrived and with it comes the latest interior design and home remodeling trends. “Generally speaking, kitchens and bathrooms are the most remodeled parts of single-family homes,” said Marie Owens, designer with Callen. Keeping these universal trends in mind, Marie offers insight on the top ten interior design trends consumers can expect to see in the coming year.
The first trend for 2017 involves using LED lights as accent lighting under cabinets. “When used correctly, this technique actually gives the illusion that everything in the kitchen is floating,” said Marie. “Plus, not only have LED lights become more affordable, but their lifespan is substantially longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.”
Next, is remodeling for accessibility. It is becoming more common for people to continue to stay in their own homes as they grow older and a concept called Universal Design allows them to do this comfortably. “Remodeling for accessibility means making choices such as eliminating trip hazards, transitions between rooms, for example, and stairs in favor of open designs that maximize mobility,” Marie said. “Common updates in bathrooms include removing the bathtub, installing lower curb showers, using higher seat toilets, and placing grab bars in the shower.”
The make-it-your-own trend continues, giving homeowners the freedom to mix design styles in a way that’s pleasing to them. “For some, personalization means a mix-and-match approach,” Marie said. “For instance, a traditional home can have contemporary elements, which offers a nice blend of styles and provides more visual interest.”
At one time, metal was mainly used as an accent, but now the use of metal, especially in bathrooms and kitchens, has become a focus element. “Blending different color metals is a good way to ad texture and visual interest to a space in a trend-forward way,” said Marie.
“Smart homes” and “connected homes” are becoming more popular, as technological advances is a trend that offers homeowners flexibility, convenience, and even affordability (such as using your device to turn the lights on and off). There are a countless number of options, especially when it comes to wireless technology, such as refrigerators that send you reminders to buy milk, lighting ambience controlled remotely, and smoke alarms that alert when batteries are low.
Just a few years ago, combination tub and shower set ups defined the floor plan of a bathroom. But now, a larger more elaborate showering space is key to a trend forward bathroom. “Stand-alone showers often include multiple sprays and jets, as well as a bench for sitting,” said Marie.
Storage-filled basements and dark corners are long gone. Today’s remodeling trends include basements that serve as escapes, whether for visiting guests, work-at-home parents, or devoted hobbyists. “It’s a way for homeowners to remodel without an addition,” said Marie. “Lighting becomes a very important element in lower levels, as it’s important to look for ways to brighten this space to lessen the underground feeling. This can be accomplished by adding an egress window, white-painted ceilings, light trim, and wood floors.
“In addition, many designers would simply place recessed lights in the center of the rooms. This approach is not only uninteresting, it also adds a lot of glare to seating and ‘relaxing’ areas,” she continued. “A more interesting approach is to add what is called a wall-washing effect by placing recessed lights approximately 18” from the perimeter walls in an interesting pattern. This will create a coned pattern on the walls while giving a feeling of expanding the area and possibly highlighting some artwork at the same time.”
For a long time, wood has been a popular element in many homes, both traditional and contemporary. However, even in design trends of just a few years ago, it was typically limited in use and restricted to one surface, often the floor. Today’s remodeling trends include a combination of types, styles, and stains of wood in all forms – on the floor, on the wall, and in furniture. “The key to this trend is to abandon any thought of matching in favor of a mixture of grains and colors to add visual interest,” she said.
A connection between kitchen, eating, and living space continues to influence both new home construction and remodels. Advantages such as a connected family and a cook that is not isolated are why open kitchens have maintained their popularity. “Another way to enhance this connection is by incorporating an island with connected table-type seating,” Marie said. “This keeps family and guests out of the workspace, but close to the action of what the cook is preparing.”
Finally, an attic getaway is the remaining trend on the list. Similar to the basement, the attic offers a way for homeowners to remodel an existing space, instead of constructing an addition. “Attics offer precious square feet for guest bedrooms or even family getaways. The focus is less on what’s missing, such as ceiling height, and more on design tricks and aesthetic choices to make the space comfortable, bright, and personalized as much as possible,” said Marie.
For more information or to arrange an initial showroom consultation, call Callen at 414-529-5509.