Since kitchens tend to get more looks than any other room in houses, let’s begin with the top kitchen trends for 2020: 

  1. Materials and colors
    1. Uptick in the use of black and white.
    2. Matte finishes
    3. Glass covered stainless steel fronts
    4. Brushed bronze and copper
  2. Technology
    1. Gourmet guided cooking tech via apps and via Bluetooth
    2. Automatically adjustable appliance so that turning knobs is no longer required

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  3. Functions
    1. Kitchen islands combine islands with dinettes for food prep at one height and lower level counters that slide out for eating
    2. Smaller, European-sized appliance choices for smaller sized kitchen spaces within smaller sized units
  4. Work spaces
    1. Natural wood cutting boards for a portion of the counter space
    2. Flexible, multi-functional surfaces
  5. Details
    1. Hand hammered finishes on stainless steel sinks for added sparkle
    2. Polished stainless steel toe kicks at the bottom of cabinets that are more protective and show less dirt/grim/finger prints.

The top home design ideas for 2020 include these twelve trends:

  1. Comfortable dining rooms
    1. Multipurpose tables
    2. Comfy chairs with high backs and arm rests
    3. Washable upholstery fabrics
    4. More study, less delicate light fixtures that have a bit of personality
  2. Great foyers
    1. Just as attractive curb appeal draws viewers to the front door, great foyers set the stage for great first impressions once viewers come into the house.
    2. Spacious enough to hang a painting or a mirror
    3. Open enough to see into adjacent rooms
    4. Foyers in multi-level homes may incorporate dramatic stairways with wide or more curved treads, risers and railings fabricated with interesting natural or unusual materials
    5. Having a skylight in the ceiling of the foyer floods the space with light…a good thing
  3. Mass timber on walls, floors, roofs as well as sculptural forms
    1. Mass timber is “smart” building material because it generates less carbon emissions than steel or concrete
    2. Mass timber is fire resistant, strong and is resistant in seismic activity according to the Mass Timber Code Coalition
    3. Mass timber is prefabricated and therefore faster to construct
  4. Home elevators
    1. Not all living spaces have first floor master bedrooms so elevators in units with multiple levels make accessibility possible for everyone
    2. Adequate space of 3.5’ X 4.5’ on every level
    3. Cost runs approximately $15,000/floor
  5. Communal oases
    1. Homeowners want green spaces and greenhouses to garden and live outside even after those homeowners leave larger homes and move into multi-family developments
    2. Large terraces add light, air and sense of space
    3. Communal oases are important in denser urban environments
  6. Graphic bathroom floors
    1. According to Nashville’s Kristie Barnett AKA the Decorologist, “When choosing a graphic pattern, it should be the lead actor in the space while other elements play supporting roles. A bathroom should still be a personal sanctuary as too much visual noise could weary the eye.”
    2. Boldly patterned floors are trending away from monochromatic spa-like settings.
  7. Remodeling prior to listing
    1. Look for “concierge” agents and/or contractors who may front the cost of painting, refinishing floors, replacing countertops, etc. and then pay for whatever costs at the time the property closes
  8. Living or plant walls
    1. Grow plants, vegetables and herbs along walls of the home, garage, outbuilding
    2. Great for downsized living
  9. Great looking performance fabrics
    1. Originally designed for outdoor spaces, performance fabrics have evolved into great design fabrics for indoor chenilles, bouches and chunky weaves
    2. Fabrics on pillow or throw accessories add new energy to spaces without sacrificing durability
  10. Simpler architectural detailing for downsizing homes and rooms
    1. Check out Sheri Koone’s new book, Downsizing – Living Large in a Small House
  11. Deeper hues take over from gray
    1. Darker colors help “calm” interiors
    2. Monochromatic rooms with singular colors on walls, trim and ceiling
  12. Hipsturbia
    1. The Urban Land Institute coined this term to describe the live/work/play way of life many consumers, particularly Millennials, want
    2. Communities with urban amenities such as walk-able downtown areas with shopping, entertainment, dining, public transit hubs and jobs


Thanks to Realtor Magazine’s Barbara Ballinger for source material.

Also read: Renovation Reality: The Moment You’ve Been Waiting For…The Big Reveal!, Home Price Growth in San Francisco Hits the Wall, Podcast: What To Expect In 2020? 10 Key Points! (Part 2)

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