With new trends constantly popping up, it can be difficult to decide which home improvement projects are worth the time and money. To make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck, you’ll want to do some research and find out which trends are here to stay, and which trends are so last year—especially if you’re planning on selling your home anytime soon. You’ll get the most money for your home if a homebuyer doesn’t feel they need to make a lot of updates.
To make things easier, we dug into the hottest home improvement projects of 2017 for you! We’ve been keeping an eye on certain features over the years to see which are growing in popularity, which are holding steady and which are yesterday’s home décor trends.
Read on to see which features are “the new black” and worth the pretty penny you’ll spend versus the ones you might want to put off for another year to see if they make a comeback.
1. Stainless Steel Appliances: A Trend Not Steeling the Show But Holding Steady
Stainless steel has been a popular feature to have in the kitchen for many years, and it’s no wonder why. Stainless steel appliances have a sleek look and they’re easy to clean, despite the surfaces’ susceptibility to little fingerprints. Stainless steel has also become somewhat of a status symbol; guests will “ohhh” and “ahhh” if your kitchen is dressed in name-brand stainless steel appliances, such as the popular brand Viking.
Timothy Maller, a Redfin real estate agent in Baltimore, explains: “Stainless steel is usually equated with a recent remodel, meaning the appliances aren’t very old. So, very often it could help quicken the closing process on a home, since homebuyers feel like they won’t have to do much renovating in the kitchen if they see stainless steel in there.”
Not into the stainless steel look? Some homeowners are opting for other types of material for appliances, such as glossy black, brown or slate, depending on the home decor for the rest of the kitchen. Matte black or slate is another option. For those with a funkier side, retro and modern colors can be another appealing alternative for appliances in the kitchen, but keep in mind that overly personalized homes tend to stay on market longer since the next person might not want a pink refrigerator in their home!
2. Smart Homes: A Trending Smart Choice
Smart home features have been coming and going in terms of popularity since 2012. We have seen a dip over the years but it looks like smart features are starting to make a comeback, with a 40.9% year-over-year increase from 2015 to 2016. It could be due to the ever-increasing intelligence of home technology as it develops from year to year. From controlling lights and the air conditioning system with a phone, to connecting to home security systems from work, or being able to connect to multiple devices between rooms, people seem to love easy and efficient, which is the name of the game when it comes to home technology.
Lorella Martin, a Redfin real estate agent in Austin, explains, “Homebuyers are really looking for special features, so seeing something like smart technology in a home can be an added bonus when putting your home on the market.”
3. Quartz: Still a Rock Solid Choice
Quartz is one of those trends that doesn’t look like it will be going away anytime soon, and for good reason. Out of all of the materials, this is the one choice a person can make that will stand the test of time. Not only does it look fabulous in almost any kitchen but it is also easy to maintain.
As for helping out with resale value? Maller says, “Often times homebuyers don’t want to have to think of changing anything after they purchase a home. Quartz is a great choice because there is very little maintenance and it looks great, so someone might pay a little more for a home if they see quartz counter tops; this usually shows that the home was recently upgraded and won’t need to be remodeled anytime soon.”
4. Marble: If It’s Quartz vs Marble? Not a Hard Decision
Marble is great but it is also just not as popular as quartz. We are seeing a lot more homes on the market boasting about quartz over marble, which is indicative of what homebuyers are looking for.
On the plus side, marble is less expensive than quartz and still looks great in a kitchen, but if we are talking about wowing potential homebuyers, quartz is leading the charge for home improvement projects!
5. Bamboo: A Fading Fancy Floor Trend
Bamboo was the hot item over the last few years, but it doesn’t seem to have the same allure anymore. People still love their hardwood floors, but it looks like this style’s days are numbered, which is a shame. Bamboo is a very versatile material and was previously seen in homes in a variety of different colors and styles.
You could say it was in with the new (bamboo) and out with the old (hardwood flooring), but it looks like we are leaning back toward the traditional hardwood floors and other materials that look like hardwood. “We are seeing a lot of synthetic hardwood flooring, which is made of a composite material underneath and a hardwood finish on top. This is a more affordable option than 100 percent hardwood flooring,” said Maller.
While composite material looks like hardwood, nothing can beat the real thing, since you can refinish actual hardwood over and over again and it will last forever, unlike composite material, which can really only be refinished about two or three times.
6. Built-in-Bar: Nothing Trendier than a Never Ending Party!
Hello 2017, time to party! A lot of homes currently on the market are bragging about their built-in-bars, because, well, who doesn’t like to entertain a friend or five!?
This hot new trend is perfect for homeowners who like to have guests over. The addition will give you a special space for everything you could need to host a party, such as wine and cocktail glasses, cocktail fixings and anything else for a ritzy gathering. The local bars might be closed, but your built-in-bar can stay open all night!
7. Freestanding Tub: Still a Standing Trend
This trend was super hot back in 2014, but it looks like it is falling behind in the hot trends category and there could be a few reasons why. You really need to have the space to have a freestanding tub in your bathroom; this isn’t a trend you will find in most urban areas where space is limited. This is more of a luxury item since it isn’t necessarily a “needed” amenity in a home.
“This trend isn’t really appealing to homebuyers, because it isn’t something that is entirely needed. It’s somewhat of a bonus if a home has a freestanding tub, because that usually means the home was recently remodeled; that’s a plus for homebuyers who don’t want to have to do work on the bathroom once they move in,”said Maller.
8. Minimalist Living: Because Less is More
There is a lot of speculation around this trend because it’s hard to tell whether it’s just a fad or if it will stand the test of time. Millennials have been especially interested in minimalist living due to the fact that they entered a struggling job market during a recession and have a more minimalist take on how they spend their money. There are tons of articles and blogs dedicated to this type of living, which aims at the same message: Living simply is just, well, more simple.
What does that mean when it comes to home design? Think open floor plans, neutral tones for interior design, and wallpaper that looks more like a coat of a paint than the busy prints of decades past.
With the rise of micro homes and efforts to make life less cluttered, it isn’t surprising that this is a trend that has grown in popularity. It might seem like it took a backseat this past year, but we think this is a trend that won’t be going away, as millennials continue to enter the housing market. Also, the less cluttered and, well, personalized your house is when it hits the market, the easier it is for a potential homebuyer to envision living there themselves. So, it is definitely worth simplifying before putting your home on the market!
9. Breakfast Nook: Eat the Most Important Meal of the Day in Another Room!
The breakfast nook looks like it’s on its way out. While kitchen islands and peninsulas are still something people want in their homes, these areas are usually desired solely for more counter space. Separate breakfast nooks or eating areas other than the dining room just don’t seem to be cutting it in the trends department. So, if you ask us, spend the money elsewhere!
Thinking about making some changes to your home before you sell? Reach out to a Redfin agent for a free consultation using the form below.
Updated on July 15th, 2019