We’re heading into the home stretch for 2014, so we decided to check into some new home trends that emerged this year. Architects and designers make predictions every year, and Pantone even selects a color of the year, but I doubt everyone ran out painted a room Radiant Orchid this year.
Predictions are just that, and the real determiner is consumer choice. A quick survey of the Internet reveals predictions all over the map; however, perhaps one of the best determiners of consumer choice is Pinterest, the social media site that is like a big bulletin board where consumers “pin” pictures of items they like.
One noticeable trend across both the Internet and Pinterest reveals that consumers desire more entertainment options for themselves and their guests. While people have always entertained by having a barbecue on the patio, the cooking equipment and furnishings are becoming more luxurious. The Weber has been upgraded to an outdoor kitchen with a cooking area, sink, and refrigerator while the patio furniture has been upgraded for a higher level of comfort. The patio entertainment space also likely includes an outdoor fireplace, as well.
Another trend is the merging of indoor and outdoor spaces. The French door has long been the sentinel between the indoors and outdoors, but a new type of door is coming on the scene. These doors are large panes of glass that fold out of the way when open to remove the wall between indoor and outdoor spaces, allowing guests to move easily between inside and outside and creating an area capable of hosting large gatherings of family and friends.
For kitchens, the mainstay for appliance colors has been stainless steel, but will stainless steel go the way of avocado green or harvest gold? Maybe. Many people are growing tired of the endless buffing to remove fingerprints stainless steel is known for. There are some rumblings about a gray color that is emerging. In fact, GE has a slate appliance finish that may seal the fate of stainless because it does what stainless can’t. And, because it blends well with stainless and traditional white, it allows for the gradual replacement of dead appliances rather than requiring a complete kitchen remodel. This one will really be interesting to watch.
And speaking of metals, Pinterest is showing a growing number of pins of brass and copper for lots of applications. Pinners are pinning backsplashes, sinks, and bathtubs of these warmer-looking metals. Also, accent pieces for rooms other than the kitchen and bath are making their appearance. These are obviously higher-end finishes and not the cheap shiny brass of past eras.
Finally, wood is creeping off the floor and onto the walls. While it’s doubtful that we will see a return to knotty pine paneling or the cheap paneling of the 1970s, walls with a soft honey-colored wood are making an appearances on design sites and Pinterest. In addition, doorframes and baseboards, which have sported a white high-gloss finish for the last several years, are also showing up in woodgrains across the Internet.
Perhaps the most fun part of owning a home is decorating it to suit your taste. While designers can offer suggestions and make predictions, home decor is really the domain of the consumers and their checkbooks.