The home design gurus have spoken and announced their top trends for 2014. From color palettes and room concepts to materials and technology, we have a new wave of trend predictions for the upcoming year. If you are thinking of selling your home soon and want to incorporate a bunch of these new design elements, be cautious. Preparing your home to sell is not the time to get personal and creative with these design trends. As we all know, trends have a nasty little habit of changing.
Selling a home is mostly a numbers game. Your objective is to attract the broadest range of potential homebuyers and make them fall in love with the home's features. I've scoured through the articles and found 7 home trends for 2014 that have long-lasting appeal and/or can be incorporated into your home this year with very little investment.
Contrasts (Black/White, Bold/Soft, Classic/Contemporary)
Black kitchen countertops made of quartz or black granite will be big in 2014. Combine them with white cabinetry to create a timeless look that makes food and accent colors pop. Pairing softer, paler wall colors with strong-colored furniture and upholstery will make your home feel clean and fresh. Add touches of contemporary design to seamless, classic backdrops for a little bit of modern edge.
Central Kitchens (Open and Integrated)
Lifestyle and community are trumping the desire for a perfect home. A recent survey from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate showed that most new home buyers are willing to sacrifice square footage in order to live in better neighborhood close to amenities such as schools and entertainment. With the high price of real estate in some areas, sometimes the sacrifice of space is unavoidable.
Either way, the shift to smaller quarters has placed an even greater emphasis on making kitchens more of a living space. Homebuyers are looking for big islands, open shelves or glass-front cabinets, and brighter, more-central lighting fixtures. To create a more livable-look to kitchens, appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves, and dishwashers are being integrated into cabinetry and drawers.
In a move to extend the heart of the home, more homebuyers are demanding outdoor living areas with fully functional kitchens. The advantages are numerous, especially to owners of smaller homes and lots. Without having to spend hundreds of thousands on an addition, homeowners can expand their "livable" space and keep all of the available outdoor space on their lot.
The best outdoor living spaces are designed to be relaxing, comfy, and decorated to flow with the style of your home.
Colors (Indigo, Navy blue, Neutral-Grays)
I guess a post about home design trends wouldn't be complete without a little talk about colors. Unfortunately, Pantone's color of the year for 2014 is Radiant Orchid. I guarantee that if you decide to start painting your walls this color, most homebuyers will walk right out the door due to vision preservation. If you must stage your home with Radiant Orchid, better to use tiny pops of it. Better yet, stick with one of the other 2014 color favorites like Indigo, Navy Blue, and Neutral Gray. You can't go wrong with those colors.
I hear from some homebuyers that professionally staged homes can feel a little cold, almost like a hotel. Sellers can put in a lot of work preparing, cleaning, organizing, and staging in order to show off their home's best features. However, potential buyers may not write an offer because they have a hard time imagining themselves living there.
In order to get them feeling more at ease, try adding in some rich textured accessories to your staging. Area rugs, faux-fur pillows, rich velvet drapes, and other staples of comfort will soften the home. You want homebuyers to take their time, look around, and touch things. Show them how comfortable their life could be there.
Universal design is quickly becoming a hot trend in the housing industry. It involves products and spaces that are designed to be accessible by a wide range of people - young, old, short, tall, having a disability, etc. Some of the obvious characteristics of universal design are open, main-floor living plans with large doorways and hallways.
Even if a home buyer doesn't necessarily "need" universal design in their home, the concepts have broad appeal because of the increased ease and convenience of everyday living. Other "hot" features that are becoming more common include shower benches, curb-less walk-in showers, soft-close kitchen drawers, pullout storage units, pantries with swing-out shelving, and elevators.
Smart Home Technology
The term "smart home" refers to a house with technology and automated features for things like heating, lighting, security, and electronic devices. For example, touchless faucets save on water and free your hands during prep, cooking, and cleanup. Smart home thermostats optimize themselves for your system and actually learn your temperature changing habits. Of course, smart home apps for your phone or tablet let you remotely control all of your connective devices.
Buyers will love these features and drool over the opportunity to have them.