From home offices to two-toned kitchens, homeowners have been giving their homes a lot more attention since the pandemic. The Wall Street Journal recently asked home designers and bloggers to weigh in on some of the most popular design styles from the first half of the year.
Details have become more important, says Kate Rumson, who runs The Real Houses of IG, a home design Instagram account with 2.4 million followers. Consumers are scouring pictures online for inspiration, inquiring about behind-the-scenes items like wall colors, window treatments, and even background furniture, Rumson told The Wall Street Journal. Rumson says some popular home trends lately are brass-adorned kitchen cabinets, high-contrast living rooms, and a shifting focus on office areas.
Homeowners also are moving away from adopting a single style for their home by mixing and matching decor, notes Anne Colby, Houzz editor. For example, homeowners may show off a mixed style with a two-toned kitchen: a lighter cabinet color on top and a darker shade below. Or they may switch up the fixtures, mixing brass with matte black or nickel.
Outdoor projects are trending, Colby says. From fire pits to pools, homeowners want to create a space where they can unwind, no matter how big or small their outdoor space may be. They’re bringing in comfortable seating and dining areas to make it easy to relax or even work outside.
Another area that is getting more attention in home design lately: the home office. Homeowners are seeking out areas in which they can work remotely and looking for ideas to close off the main living area for greater privacy, such as sliding or pocket doors. Many households are requesting two or more office nooks for both those working remotely and kids needing to do schoolwork.
Previously, home offices were often set up in a spare bedroom as an afterthought, says William Duff, a San Francisco-based architect. But home offices are getting a lot more attention as the pandemic prompts homeowners to do more work from home.
Homeowners are willing to spend more on their upgrades too, designers note. “People may spend more money on elements of their homes because they are valuing them in a different ways,” Duff told The Wall Street Journal. Designers report greater interest in top-of-the-line HVAC systems for comfort; solid wood doors for quiet; and custom, built-in storage for extra space.
Rumson also notes an increase in interest in designing the laundry room, mudroom, and walk-in pantry. Homeowners are incorporating bolder wallpaper choices in these areas, along with vibrant floor tiles, wall sconces, and chandeliers to make these areas more stylish. “They are spending a lot of time in those rooms, and they want to make them functional and beautiful,” Rumson says.
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Source: Realtor Magazine, and “Top Design Trends of 2020: From Home Offices to Two-Tone Kitchens,” The Wall Street Journal (Aug. 13, 2020) [Log-in required.]