Between floral prints, statement floors, and Pantone declaring Ultraviolet as the color of the year, 2018 is shaping up to be a big year for color when it comes to home design and décor. Whether you want a total makeover, or maybe just a few new twists to freshen up your home, I’ve rounded up a few trends and predictions that I know homeowners here in Arlington, Virginia might want to explore.
To make room for all that’s new, Trulia predicts the list of things that are “out” this year includes exposed lighting, granite countertops and bamboo flooring. Zillow added to that list as well, naming succulents, bar carts and all-white kitchens as trends that will be fading away.
Home décor trends to watch for in 2018 are an interesting mix of old-school design, (think floral prints and grandma’s wallpaper), and cutting-edge décor that’s social-media ready, including:
- Bar cart redo. If you’re looking for something simple to update your home, don’t throw out your bar cart, just transition it to what’s in trend – coffee! Resurface your cart and restock it with all your coffee essentials for something that will be much more functional for daily use in your home.
- Floral prints are showing up everywhere, but in home design you’ll see this especially in items such as statement chairs, draperies and throw pillows.
- Statement floors. Classic hardwood floors get an update with lighter woods in different rooms, herringbone settings, or bold tile “rugs” inset into the floors that make a big statement.
- Strong accent rugs fit perfectly with the trend of statement floors, especially in dining and family rooms, libraries, offices and dens. Bold colors and patterns, and even layered rugs have been catching eyes and making statements in homes for sale in Arlington already this year.
- Light wood cabinets will be warming up all-white kitchens this year, particularly with flat fronts and clean lines.
- Matte metal hardware goes great with light wood cabinets, plus it has a warmer feel that shiny gold or silver, so predictions are strong for matte hardware in 2018.
- Wallpaper is back, but don’t worry, it’s not your grandma’s wallpaper. Contemporary patterns that fit every homeowner’s style are a great way to create a statement wall in a large room, or to turn smaller rooms, such as a guest bathroom, into a statement all its own.
While 80’s-era big hair and Miami Vice fashions have come and gone, one thing from that decade still lives on in many homes – oversize built-ins. Once valued as an element of luxury and superior design, these combination bookshelves and cabinetry are still often found in everything from kitchens to living rooms to grand master suites. Unfortunately, all that 80’s glamour tends to give homes a dated look. Homeowners aren’t sure what to do with them, and potential buyers are not impressed, moving on to the next house for sale.
All that’s needed, however, are a few simple alterations and some fresh new thinking to transform built-ins into an attractive and functional feature. Thanks to the design minds prevalent on places like Pinterest and Houzz, you can find any number of ideas to fit your design style, function of the room, and all that the modern world demands.
Here’s a round-up of ideas I’ve seen in homes here in the Arlington, Virginia area that fit every type of home and family. I hope one of them stands out for you.
>> Simplify: Fancy molding and overly detailed scrolls and curlicues are just too much. Remove all those elaborations and get down to the foundation of your built-ins. You’ll probably find classic woods that can be stained or painted to create a simple, classic, streamlined look that will complement any style.
>> Paint, stain or paper: A coat of paint, a new shade of stain, or even some creative paper wallpaper inserts can instantly, and inexpensively, transform built-ins. Try colors that match your rugs, furniture or even art in the room to make the built-in seem like a recent addition. And put some pizzazz in your built-in by papering the back of cubbies with patterned wallpapers.
>> Transform doors and drawers: Update your built-in by adding new hardware. Change the look by replacing solid doors with see-through glass, or even just removing them entirely.
>> Use creative lighting: Add light fixtures to highlight displays in your built-in and add ambiance for the room. If outlets are a problem, there are other options such as battery-powered LED lights that are inexpensive and long-lasting.
>> Go undercover: Have some fun and create a secret space for fun or functional activities. Re-arrange shelving and have special doors installed that can cover and close off the built-in until you want to use it. Inside you can create anything from a gaming or entertainment center to home office, art or crafting space for special activities you want to keep all to yourself.
After decades of popularity, open floor plans have proven themselves to be more than just a fad. But as homeowners seek their own sanctuaries of solitude to escape from an increasingly noisy world, alternate home and living styles are quickly gaining ground in home design.
Traditionally, homes built prior to the 1990s were designed with lots of separate rooms in mind. But fast forward a couple decades, and spacious homes with fewer walls are more popular than ever. Open floor plans, where walls are removed from the main living space, kitchen and dining room to open them all up to each other, have become the go-to style for family homes. Think of just about every episode of HGTV’s Fixer Upper and you can hear them saying, “All we need to do is take out these walls and open up the space.”
However, just because open floor plans are popular, doesn’t mean they are for everyone. There are pros and cons to both ways of living, and deciding on what’s right comes down to each family and their specific needs.
One of the pros for an open floor plans is the ability to socialize, or keep an eye on, other people in nearby spaces. Parties and guests can be seen and heard easily, and mothers cooking in the kitchen can keep an eye on children doing homework in the living area. Homeowners who desire lots of light and a generally more spacious feel are also drawn to open floor plans.
For people who value their privacy, and crave moments of peace, quiet and solitude, however, a home designed with separate rooms will have much more appeal. Sometimes it’s nice to sit and read a book without distractions. Or escape from the noise of shoot-em-up action films or SpongeBob cartoons for a bit.
Modern aesthetics and the digital world we live in are also changing people’s attitudes toward open floor plans. People no longer want or need giant flat-screen TVs as the focal point of their living space, with teens streaming to their own devices, and parents escaping to their own spaces as well.
Separate spaces provide the function and privacy needed to deal with different needs of today’s family. Parents who work from home need a distraction-free zone that supports focus and productivity. Children need play spaces where they can make a mess, and parents love that separate zone so they don’t have to worry about people seeing the mess. Teens, well, we all know teens crave their privacy. And at the end of the day, Dad’s love their man caves and Mom’s love their mom caves.
When it comes to home design, open areas still have value for bringing everyone all together. But to best meet the needs of today’s homeowners, construction and design trends are slowly turning away from exclusively open spaces to creating the right mix of open space and separate zones that fit each family best.
Basements can be a gold mine when it comes to optimizing the space – and value – of your home. In fact, did you know that basement remodels typically recoup about 70 percent of their costs at resale, adding tremendous value to your home? Forget about stuffy storage space, cobwebs, and spooky dark corners. We’ve gathered five ideas for fixing up basements to create fun, useful, and attractive spaces that will prove a welcome addition to your home.
#1: In-Home Theater
Basements tend to be dark, so leverage that low lighting to create a home theater perfect for movies, gaming, or even watching old home movies with the grandparents. Creating a home theater isn’t as complicated as it sounds, or as costly. A large television with a wall mount, surround sound speakers, and comfortable seating can be purchased and set for much less than a full basement remodel, which can average between $35,000 and $50,000.
#2: Children’s Play Area
Dark and scary? Not when you get through with it. Your basement can become a kid paradise with just a few creative DIY projects. First, make sure the entrance (usually stairs) is safe for children. That’s a must. Next, have a professional contractor or home inspector make sure that the basement is safe. You’ll want to check for mold, make sure supporting walls or beams are secure, etc. Finally, have fun! Install carpet or rubber mat type flooring so kids can get comfy on the floor. Use bright and light paint colors and install good lighting to keep the shadows away. Set up toy areas, gaming areas and crafting areas. Be sure to let kids have a say in what they want, as this space is for them. And if they balk at first, remind them that the kids in Stranger Things spent most of their fun time in the basement, so it’s got to be cool.
#3: Adult Happy Hour and Entertaining
No kids in the house to cater too? Great! That means you get to use the basement to create a grown-up paradise perfect for entertaining. If you love wine, it’s the perfect place to install a wine cellar. Then go the extra mile and create a beautiful bar and lounge worthy of cocktail hour. Basements that have a walk-out entrance to a patio can be ideal for entertaining, giving guests a choice as the party flows both inside and out. Consider putting in a tile for easy cleaning and to give it a finished look, then scatter indoor/outdoor rugs around to soften the look. Finally, make sure the space is finished off with attractive lighting, art, and even mirrors placed throughout to brighten the space and entertain guests.
#4: Home Office / Craft Room / Photography and Art Studio
If you have a home business, hobby, or just love to get super crafty in your spare time a basement is perfect for each of these, or even all three at once! Installing permanent walls requires permits, inspections, tax assessments and the cost of hiring professionals to do the job, so save money and stress by creating your own room dividers using palettes, screens or room dividers. (Check out Pinterest for lots of great ideas). With the right lighting, furniture and lots of space to play with you can create several areas that cater to your passions without taking up valuable space in the living areas upstairs.
If you love the inside of your home, but feeling kind of “meh” about the outside, consider sprucing up unused patio or deck areas to create spaces that add pizzazz to your property while also boosting the value of your home. Outdoor rooms are a great way to increase the feel of your home’s square footage as you let what you love to do inside spill over into adjacent spaces outside. If you love the ideas, but are unsure how to get started, we’ve rounded up a few tips to help you get started.
First, define your space.
Choose a space that is easy to access, either right out the door or within very close distance to the home. Now define the area by deciding what activities will take place in it. When you picture yourself in the new space, do you see it as a place to relax with cocktails surrounded by luxurious seating with a crackling fire as the center focus? Or maybe you see yourself cooking dinners al fresco, tending container gardens, or painting on an easel in the fresh air. The best way to define an outdoor room is by the activity that will take place in it.
Next, define your style.
An outdoor room should be functional, but it also needs to be attractive, interesting, and a pleasure to be in or you’ll never use it. Once you’ve defined what the space will be used for, think about the style of décor you’d like to follow whether it be Tuscan farmhouse, Napa vineyard, or your own personal mix of style.
No matter what you’ve decided to do with your patio or deck, there are a few classic design elements you can incorporate to punch up the wow factor. Water, for instance. The sound of water can set the scene for anything from a fun BBQ with the kids to a dinner party under the stars. You don’t have to bust your budget on having a waterfall installed, though, as even a simple birdbath or tinkling tabletop fountain can do the trick.
Every room inside has a floor, so outdoor rooms need them too. This element of your hardscape is worth thinking about as well. You can use flagstones, tile, brick, or concrete stamped or stained to look like just about anything. Another hardscape idea is to install a fireplace or fire pit in your outdoor room. They give your outdoor space a nice place to gather round, and can extend the practicality of spending more time outdoors by several months.
Whether you are transforming a spacious deck or a tiny patio, creating outdoor rooms that fit your lifestyle are a great way to ensure you’ll enjoy your home just that much more.