By Erica Christoffer, multimedia Web producer, REALTOR® Magazine
The Web has democratized good design and made it accessible to the masses. Home owners are perusing online, finding the best from past and present styles, then sharing images on social networks where friends and followers offer opinions. This is resulting in more design-savvy customers than ever before.
“There’s so much dreaming going on right now,” says Jill Waage, executive editor of home design with Better Homes & Gardens. In fact, of the 4,000 respondents to Better Homes & Gardens’ annual consumer survey, 55 percent (up 5 percent from 2010) said style upgrades for countertops, flooring, faucets, and fixtures are important in their next home purchase.
The utility look is continuing to expand from kitchen trends into bath designs through tile, reclaimed wood, and metallic finishes in cabinetry and flooring, says Waage, who presented the survey’s findings Thursday at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando. “Statement tubs are still big, even in a smaller footprint,” she says.
Contrasts such as detailed tile next to cool metal and bold patterns with soothing colors are growing in popularity. As for lighting, Waage says it’s “the new jewelry of the room.” Industrial lighting is an especially hot trend this year.
Other priorities buyers have for their next home include:
- Affordable price: 78%
- Energy efficient heating and cooling: 68%
- Energy Star rating: 61%
- No wasted space/smart design: 56%
What are some of those extras that buyers dream of?
- A separate laundry room: 80%
- Additional storage: 76%
- Outdoor grilling living area: 63%
- One additional bedroom and bath: 62%
What home improvement projects do home owners have planned for their current homes?
- General repairs and maintenance: 51%
- Updating décor: 48%
- Creating a new look: 35%
- Energy efficiency upgrades: 31%