2017 Home Design Trends
Housing styles emerge slowly and typically appeal first to cutting-edge architects, builders, and interior designers. As a trend spreads and gains wider interest, it may go mainstream, become almost ubiquitous, and eventually lose its star power. Just look at once-favored granite, which now has been replaced by the equally durable and attractive options of quartz and quartzite.
The economy, environment, and demographics always play a big role in trend spotting. But this year there are two additional triggers: a desire for greater healthfulness and a yearning for a sense of community.
Taupe Is the New Gray – Taupe remains the top paint color choice due to its flexibility and the fact that it comes in so many variations. Though white has been upstaged by gray in recent years, this year many will be searching for a warmer tone. Taupe celebrates everything people love about this cool gray as a neutral, and also brings in the warmth of a weathered, woodsy neutral and a sense of coziness and harmony. Consider taupe as smart alternative since it performs as a neutral with other colors, cool or warm. Expect to see taupe on more exteriors as it blends well with roofs, doors, window frames, and surrounding landscape. It also will turn up indoors on walls, ceilings, kitchen cabinets, furnishings, and molding.
More Playful Homes – Americans work harder now than ever, with many delaying retirement or starting second careers, so they want their homes to be a refuge and a place to unwind. Spaces that encourage play are trending higher on their wish lists, whether it’s a backyard bocce court (the latest outdoor amenity to show up in residential backyards) or a putting green. And sports don’t have to be relegated to the outdoors. Technological advances have allowed for rapid improvement in indoor golf simulators, for example.
Naturally Renewable, Warmer Surfaces – The pervasiveness of technology throughout homes has resulted in a corresponding yearning for more tactile surfaces and materials that convey warmth. Natural cork is a perfect expression of these needs, with the bonus of being low-maintenance. In recent years, cork, a renewable material harvested from the bark of cork oak trees, has resurfaced as a favorite for myriad uses, and for good reason. Aside from aesthetics, the material is appealing since it’s resistant to mold, mildew, water, termites, fire, cracking, and abrasions. Moreover, cork can be stained and finished with acrylic- or water-based polyurethane.
Surface-Deep Energy Conservation – As energy costs continue to increase, the search is on for ways to save. Incentives to do so only increase as states and municipalities enact new, stricter energy codes. While energy-wise appliances and more efficient HVAC systems are still appealing to homeowners looking to save on their utility bills, less costly surface upgrades are gaining in popularity. New low-E window film can double the performance of glass at one-fifth the cost of a full window replacement. Other surface-changes that lower energy use and that are cost-effective and relatively easy to apply include a ceramic insulating paint coating for walls and a thermal energy shield for attic interiors.
Counter Options – Much like granite did, quartz and quartzite are predicted to be kitchen favorites until another material comes along. But other green laminate options are gaining in popularity, and they’re no longer just for the budget-minded consumer. Options that mimic stone, wood, distressed metal, and concrete are gaining in popularity. Avoid designs that include the “spots and dots” or speckled patterns from past decades.
The Transforming Office – Regular work-from-home time among the non–self-employed population has grown by 103 percent since 2005. It is estimated that number will continue to grow at between 10 percent and 20 percent a year. More people are likely to need a work-from-home space, but due to the diminished size and highly transient nature of technology tools, there’s less need for a dedicated, separate office. Almost any area of a house can become a workplace, but the most functional ones incorporate built-ins and furnishings that serve a dual purpose.