Hot Trends and Lasting Value

DavidcharacterI’ve been in my home for nearly 25 years. During that time, open concept living spaces have become the norm and colour palettes have changed significantly, many times over. I continue to update my house to stay current and test how liveable new design elements actually are – the best of which inform our communities. However, I shy away from letting fleeting trends inform smart long-term design decisions.

Kitchens and bathrooms with features including cabinets, appliances and permanent fixtures are comprised of design components that can’t be easily, inexpensively or regularly changed. Considered the most important rooms, key elements in these principal spaces should stand the test of time.  While you want your home to be reflective of who you are and your lifestyle, it’s also important to consider what will work in your favour, should you decide to sell. 

In open concept designs, kitchens are typically the heart of the home. Environmentally-friendly and energy-efficient or ‘Green’ features remain a solid trend and are, in many instances, standard in new homes and condos. This makes sense given the broad selection of, and demand for, these elements. For those who love to cook and where the option is available, gas stoves are often a desirable upgrade. Where a gas connection isn’t possible, induction cooktops and steam cooking are fantastic choices. We continue to see kitchen islands and countertops as key focal points, encouraging gathering during parties and casual seating for meals. Those looking for glamour can select flashy hardware to add some ‘umph’.  

Cozy bathrooms that evoke a Zen-like spa environment, which allow you to escape and recharge from daily life are hugely popular. In the luxury market, walk-in showers with multiple jets, rain showerheads and hand-held nozzles are big. Frameless glass showers are still hot. 

Natural materials such as marble, granite, stone and slate stand the test of time, and can work well with the array of new tiles available today. For floors, the bigger the better, as wide plank wood products and large slab or long broad tiles go a long way in making small spaces feel larger. 

Your favourite colour may be purple, but remember that paint and accessories from curtains to towels, and rugs to art, are easy to change, while major infrastructure is not. Monochromatic colour palettes and a blend of matte and gloss finishes can craft a sense of calm and form an excellent backdrop for items that pop for visual impact.

It can also be helpful to consider the ambiance you’re trying to create. If you want a modern airy-feeling space, consider solid colours. Hold back on patterns or busy design details. In this case, simplicity is key. On the other hand, if you want something more traditional or classic, you can look at using finishes with more intricate detailing and darker colours, giving the room a stronger sense of presence and weight.

By all means embrace cutting-edge design that suits your personal style, but from an investment standpoint it’s a safe bet to remain fairly neutral with the large elements.

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