Home Trends in 2016
The way that we live in our homes has changed over the decades. Homeowners have moved from formal living rooms to open floor plans. Great rooms that open to the kitchen have increased in popularity since the 90’s, demonstrating the desire for more gathering and connecting in our living spaces. Many designers are predicting that the kitchen spaces, as we have always known them, will disappear with even more “open-concept” designs.
The need for dedicated rooms has switched from living spaces to rooms with specialized purposes, like offices, craft rooms, exercise rooms and music. Even pets are receiving the attention of specialized spaces in our homes. The trend for smaller, but smarter homes also continues, including the kitchen.
Kitchen Trend Forecast 2016
Be sure to check out my Pinterest boards for design inspiration! Several home design trends have a direct effect on the kitchen. As we move into the middle of the decade we are seeing changes in Kitchen Design:
- Eco-Friendly Design. Glass walls, French and sliding doors, and large windows are desirable in today’s kitchens, to bring the outdoors in. Patios, decks and “outdoor rooms” are ideally suited directly off the kitchen. Reclaimed wood is hot, and bamboo is growing in popularity for more than just floors. Bamboo countertops are showing up in kitchens.
- Repurpose and Upcycle works just as well in the kitchen as the rest of the house. The big trend is the industrial look. Using industrial light fixtures works well in the kitchen. Repurposing large industrial pieces like shelves or cabinets for use in a kitchen is also very trendy.
- Universal Design, or Inclusive Design. Many homeowners are thinking about selecting a style they like today, and will still like in the future. Aging in place is becoming important to boomers, as well as multiple generation households. Design trends include fixtures and features that are ideal for aging in place, like touch-activated and pull-out faucets, widened door and hallways, multi-level cabinets and non-slip flooring.
- Streamlined Looks. Minimalist and uncluttered. Cabinetry is following the “less-is-more” trend with clean lines and simple moldings and finishes, which are easier to maintain as well. Flat-panel and Shaker doors are popular. People are also mixing it up with horizontal cabinets. Hiding appliances behind cabinet doors is a continuing trend, in keeping with the minimalist trend. Open shelving is becoming more popular, with fewer cabinets and easy access to items.
- Kitchen Color Trends. Modern kitchens are open to the living spaces of the home, and have a need to blend in with the rest of the decor. Kitchen colors are moving away from stark whites and more toward creamy neutrals, with pops of color. Nature is a strong influence on color choices today, with greens, blues and browns popular. Gray is still the hottest neutral, and is showing up in kitchen cabinets.
- Cabinet color choices include painted, stained and matte finishes, with muted earth tones and pastels as popular choices. When cabinets are on display from the other living spaces, color choices open up from the usual wood finishes, although still popular and with more choices than ever, to colors that are in keeping with the whole design. So it’s not surprising that darker cabinets are becoming popular. Mixing uppers and lowers is also a trend.
- Countertops are more varied than they ever have been. Granite is still popular, but so are other hard surfaces, like quartz and silestone. Many home owners are opting for a combination of surfaces, depending on the task that is at hand.
- Task specialization is a growing consideration in kitchen design, with
thought to smarter, if smaller spaces. Pot fillers, built-in cutting boards, coffee and drink stations, appliance “garage” storage spaces, pull-out drawers instead of traditional cabinet doors, warming drawers, and specialized home management spaces are examples.
- Backsplashes of glossy ceramic, porcelain or glass tile in either subtle or bold color combinations – sometimes even a combination of both are in demand. Again, kitchens are increasingly “on display”, so more thought is put into the design of each aspect. [Coffee System image from Sharon’s Style Portfolio]
- Natural flooring materials such as ceramic, stone, hardwood and cork are favorites, along with reclaimed and distressed wood finishes in wider, hand scraped planks.
- Appliance Trends. Stainless steel appliances have been popular for 2 decades, longer than most design trends. They are still very popular, but we’re beginning to see other popular options in growing demand, like brushed nickle, pewter, copper, polished chrome and oil rubbed bronze. French door refrigerators, and bottom freezer drawers are still most popular. Professional-style appliances such as free-standing stainless steel gas ranges, the trend for years, are being outpaced by sleek induction cook tops paired with double wall ovens. Under-counter options are a growing trend, with drawers that double as refrigerators, wine storage or a pull out microwave.
- Kitchen Sinks are no longer one of two choices, stainless or white. Colors are coming back into style in today’s sinks. Colors that will blend with the rest of the decor are being considered.
- Lighting is another aspect of kitchen design that has changed over the last few years. There is no longer a sense of “right and wrong” lighting. As our kitchens are on display from several living areas, people are choosing light fixtures that are not traditional kitchen choices. Whatever you choose, just make sure that you have adequate lighting for three types of needs: overall lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. As with appliances and cabinets, there are a plethora of colors and metalics to choose from in the coming years.
- Technology in the Kitchen is increasing, with Wi-Fi enabled appliances, Energy Star rated appliances, and low-E windows. This app —> goes with the above coffee system, an example of smarter appliances! Look for more home-centered technologies in the next few years, as the “internet of things” increases, and more and more new tech products receive crowd-funding.
For Fixtures and Finishes Throughout the Home in 2016: . Follow The Highland Group’s board Fixtures & Finishes for Home Decorating Trends 2016 on Pinterest. .
Plan Your Kitchen Design or Redesign Carefully
Remember the basics in kitchen design. While kitchen trends come and go, some things will always need to be considered. Design specialists refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle, the area of greatest activity which requires careful planning and lots of access. When in doubt, it may be worth it to consult a professional designer. Botching a kitchen design or renovation can be a very costly mistake. Many of the large home improvement stores have design services and software that could prove to be very helpful.
Why You Should Care About Decorating Trends
If you are thinking about selling your home in the near future, making updates, whether small touches or renovations, can go a long way in helping you sell your home. There are several reasons why updating your kitchen is worth the effort:
- A home that is outdated will be less appealing to today’s buyers. There are sure to be other homes on the market in competition with yours. Presenting your home in the best possible condition will give you a competitive edge.
- An home that is outdated is judged more harshly by buyers. Buyers tend to draw the conclusion that other items in the home have not been kept up either, like maintenance and care.
- Even small updates and decorating choices can send a subliminal message to buyers…that the home is up-to-date and well-kept.
- Staging a home for sale can help the home’s presentation, allowing buyers to “see” themselves living in the spaces in the home.
- Kitchens and baths are important rooms in a home, often requiring the most money to update. When a buyer sees an outdated kitchen, if they aren’t deterred, they start to subtract from the offering price.
- It can be amazing to see a home be transformed by a little bit of decorating and staging, that is in otherwise great condition!