By Jennifer Riner, Zillow
Looking to stay ahead of the home design curve this year? Perhaps you’re overdue for an interior refresh, or you plan to sell and want to attract more buyers. Whatever your motivation, knowing the trending style elements can help guide your choices. To start, look to the industry experts to identify buyer trends.
Jennifer Boka, a longtime resident and agent with experience in interior design notes, “One clear trend is satin brass hardware in the kitchen. It’s refreshing and interesting, luxurious and modern without being flashy.”
Another insider agent with decades of experience in architecture and design, Gladys Montgomery, finds, “Buyers in the Berkshires love a sophisticated rural look including features like marble tile in bathrooms and wood or bamboo floors.”
Beyond these findings, another great place to explore popular styles is the Zillow Digs 2017 home design trends list. Based on a survey of design experts and popular interior photos, the report reveals what’s “out” (quote art, all-gray aesthetics and uncomfortable metal furnishings) and, more importantly, what elements are “in.”
This year, built-in bars are expected to steal the spotlight from small, rolling cocktail carts. Built-in bars are both luxurious and functional, catering to homeowners seeking fully integrated storage. Plus, they provide comfortable extra seating for classy social gatherings.
Say goodbye to dark granite countertops as homeowners lighten up the heart of the home with sleek marble kitchen countertops. Expect to see gray-and-white marble used for a variety of surfaces, including flooring and furniture. Even marble-clad household accessories, like trays and vases, will begin to pop up this year. If you’re preparing to sell but don’t have time to renovate, showcasing a few Carrara-inspired accent pieces could be a smart staging tactic.
Bring on bright colors to create unique rooms with personality. Expect to see previously popular gray tones replaced by gem-inspired shades such as sapphire blue, ruby red and emerald green. Designers say vibrant colors will appear across furnishings and in artwork.
Boka agrees. “People are adding more color into their design with furnishings and accents to create warmth and lend character. Jewel tones are the ‘in’ colors now — and with good reason as these hues are vibrant, unexpected and sophisticated without running the risk of being ‘too much.’”
For sellers, adding a few jewel-toned elements like pillows is a practical way to stand out in a sea of bland homes with neutral palettes.
The year’s go-to texture is velvet. Incorporate the ultra-soft fabric on throw pillows, headboards, accent chairs and chaise lounges. As with any trend, less is usually more. So be selective with velvet accents, whether basic or jewel toned.
Following design trends will make your home feel fresh and revitalized, and may even translate into added value. Last year, Zillow analyzed listing terms that yielded price premiums and caused homes to sell quicker than average. Homes on the market with admired features, including subway tile, barn doors and farmhouse sinks, sold for up to 13 percent more than expected.
Montgomery recognizes similar buying habits. “Listing terms such as ‘mountain view,’ ‘lakefront,’ ‘recently renovated,’ ‘first-floor master suite,’ and ‘easy distance from Boston and New York City’ are catnip to our buyers. Style assets include fireplaces, barn doors used inside a home, farmhouse sinks, and counter-tops of stone or concrete.”