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Today, trends and preferences play a crucial role when selecting the correct finishes for a home. Looking at the latest home design trends, the emphasis on cost versus durability becomes evident as homeowners and designers work to balance aesthetics and functionality. The latest trends can be replicated and applied throughout the home, including kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, and exterior finishes.

Homebuilders should pay attention to their choice of materials for countertops, cabinets, and other finishes. It is crucial to balance the cost of the materials with the durability of the finished project. This balance ensures that in-home investments offer long-term value and require minimal maintenance.

The following charts consider the key aspects of look and feel vs. durability and cost. The yellow areas represent when cost matters more.

Most Important Consideration Among Architectural Designers for Each Material: Durability vs. Cost

Most Important Consideration Among Architectural Designers for Each Material: Look & Feel vs. Cost

Durability Most Important Consideration for Exterior Elements Among Architectural Designers for Each Material: Durability vs. Cost


Source: 2021 Annual Survey of Architecture conducted by the New Himes Trends Institute by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, LLC and Pro Builder

Kitchen:

Kitchen trends continue to be one of the fastest-evolving parts of the home. As you can see above, architectural designers place a high value on durability and look & feel as opposed to cost. As a central hub for entertaining and displaying a home, the kitchen has the potential to be a major difference maker. Some of the most popular trends right now are:

Oak Cabinetry– “The stark all-white kitchen has been on its way out; people are welcoming back wood into the space. In particular, oak has made a comeback with more muted finishes”
Waterfall Islands– “The waterfall island continues to be a statement piece… While not the cheapest option, it’s often used for a wow factor”
Accent Wood Hoods– “The wood hood trend remains strong. A wood hood helps to break up the shiny, appliance-heavy kitchen”

Kitchen features with the greatest impact on design aesthetic:


Source: New Homes Trends Institute by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, LLC December 2021 survey of 1,208 homeowners with a household income of $50,000+

Bathroom:

Bathroom trends are heavily reflected in the needs of homeowners. Preferences diverge significantly between age groups, so builders should understand what finishes blend functionality and style effectively. Some of the most popular bathroom trends are:

Showers– “Showers are consistently the most popular feature to upgrade in the bathroom, with 84 % of homeowners saying they upgraded their shower.”
Age group preferences– “Younger homeowners focus on modern stylish elements like lighting and backsplashes, while mature buyers place higher importance on functional aspects such as flooring.”

Bathroom features with the greatest impact on design aesthetic:


Source: 2021 Annual Survey of Architecture conducted by the New Himes Trends Institute by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, LLC and Pro Builder

Living spaces:

Living spaces get some of the most unique and fun design elements, blending classic design with modern trends to create unique home environments. Some examples of living space trends that balance beauty and comfort are:

Two-story spaces and catwalks– “Two-story spaces and catwalks are making a comeback… They add drama and visual interest to homes”
Fireplaces- “Fireplaces remain a beloved feature, especially in colder climates. They both add warmth and a cozy ambiance to living spaces”

Exterior Finishes:

Exterior finishes are important to homeowners, especially when balancing cost and durability. These finishes are chosen for their longevity and low maintenance costs, as well as their aesthetic appeal and practicality, ensuring homes are up-to-date with trends. Some trendy exterior finishes include:

Roofing, exterior walls, and windows– “The exterior elements homeowners are most focused on are roofing (64%), exterior walls (56%), and windows (53%)… Homeowners are looking for durability to avoid frequent maintenance and replacements.”
Style Preferences– “There’s a noticeable shift towards contemporary and modern styles, particularly among younger buyers. These sleek, energy-efficient designs are favored over traditional aesthetics.”

Today’s home finishes blend style with practicality, from the kitchen to the bathroom, and every space in between. The balance between cost and durability remains critical in decision-making, ensuring that investments offer immediate visual appeal and long-term value. These inspirational trends create a home that reflects your unique taste and lifestyle, and by understanding and incorporating these trends, homeowners can create beautiful, functional spaces that stand the test of time.

Watch our discussion on “Finishes Trends: Room By Room” here

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