It’s that time of year when we start to look back at the popular remodeling trends of 2015. We do this to keep on top of new products and technologies and to stay in step with and even ahead of tastemakers so that we can provide the best ideas and options for our clients.
This was an exciting year in home improvement and remodeling across the board. Here are a few stand-out trends:
Smart home technology is growing fast fueled by the reduced cost and wide availability of broadband access, as well as the ubiquity of smartphones (which serve has controllers), and the relative success of many smart-tech startups in raising investment through crowdfunding. Perhaps even more importantly products are more user-friendly, costs are lower, and design is aesthetically pleasing.
Let’s look at some cool new gadgets that have real practical value…
According to their website the Lockitron Bolt is a keyless entry for your doors that offers shared access, remote notifications, and proximity sensing so the door will unlock as you approach it with your grocery bags.
We love this device because it has such clear value at a great price. No more keys to lose. You can be notified when you child unlocks the door and unlock the door from a remote location for a family member or friend. Bolt uses Bluetooth Low Energy so that it will keep working in the event of a power outage.
Nest Smart-Home Thermostats
Nest is not a new player but it has become more common because of greater concern over efficiency and energy costs. Smart thermostats have more to offer than just adjusting the temperature in you heating and air conditioning system. Your old thermostat is likely programmable for time of day but what makes most smart thermostats so "smart" is that they learn from your behaviors, allow you to control the climate in your home remotely, show you energy consumption in real-time, and can even adjust themselves based on ambient conditions like humidity.
You can install Nest yourself and the internet is loaded with DIY Nest installation guides but for most people the cost of professional installation should be included in your cost benefit analysis before buying.
NuBryte Smart Home Controlling System
This touch-screen panel replaces your wall switch, and, using a small built-in camera, will automatically turn the lights on when you enter a room. It can also be used as a security camera, and you can link two or more consoles to create a whole-home network. If you are running late Nubryte can even send a message to your home’s console from your smartphone, that is pretty cool.
Bathrooms have long been at the top of remodeling trends but what is new in Bathrooms? What we are seeing in general is more personalization. Less cookie cutter design and more self expression and bolder choices.
Free standing tubs
One consistent trend in 2015 is moving away from dual shower tub configurations. "Forget about glass-encased showers—these days it's all about the soaking and free-standing tubs, so much so that we can actually expect a decline in standard tubs with shower-surrounds," according to the San Antonio Express-News.
For bathrooms, gray is also a growing trend, according to Huffington Post. And tiles are becoming more about art and aesthetics than functionality.
People are getting more adventurous and creative with tile like this chevron ombre pattern from FireClay Tile.
Bold patterns and new materials like this concrete Spanish inspired tile from Tierra y Fuego.
Kitchen remodeling trends include open shelving, double islands in large kitchens and metallic accents moving beyond door hardware.
Waterfall kitchen islands
While often used in modern spaces waterfall counters can be a beautiful addition to any kitchen (or bath for that matter).
Open shelving and natural light work together to create a more open feel. In this award winning kitchen stainless open shelving creates easy access and provide a beautiful modern counterpoint to the traditional islands in marble and rich wood tones.
Small and Tiny House
The tiny house movement gained momentum after the financial crisis of 2007-08, and it is booming. Although it represents less than 1% of homebuyers is an indicator of our continued love affair with home ownership.
One exciting aspect of tiny home architecture has been their use as accessory dwellings, second homes, guest houses and the list goes on. Most families cannot live in a tiny home but the tiny house movement will benefit the overall housing market allowing more homeownership and driving ingenuity in design, particularly in terms of the intelligent use of space. Innovations in storage, and sustainability are at the forefront of tiny house design.
68% of tiny home owners have no mortgage, although the average tiny home owner’s per capita income is $478 more than the average American. So the movement embodies more than just low cost housing, for many it is an intentional way of living for those that desire a simplified life, sustainability, fiscal stewardship, and adventure!
It's a Great Time to Remodel!
What a great year in home design! Of course more has happened this year than we could cover in one article. Overall we are happy to see the variety of solutions that our clients are choosing to make their homes more functional, beautiful and personal. 2016 is sure to bring more exciting and life-enhancing products and ideas and we cannot wait!