Earlier this year, we held our Annual Real Estate Forecast, which explored the market trends we saw in 2020 and forecasted our predictions for 2021, based on information from reliable sources in the industry and our own decades of experience.
One element of our Real Estate Insider Forecast Edition included insight about home design trends in the future. In the real estate industry, we are viewing homes with both the present and future in mind — navigating what the homeowners of today want and anticipating what homeowners may desire down the road.
As we look forward to the design trends of the future, there are a handful of consistent themes, covering everything from the exact materials we are likely to see and overall layout preferences. Some trends are foreseeable, while others may surprise you!
Because 2020 was such a unique year, we may be experiencing one of the largest shifts in home design that we’ll see in our lifetime. Here’s a taste of what’s to come!
For decades now, granite countertops have been all the rage for homeowners. The material is prized for its durability and endless variety of patterns, colors and textures. But in recent years, granite has seen a steady decline in kitchens across the world, and its newest rival is its equally stunning cousin, quartz. Granite is a purely natural stone, while quartz is manmade — consisting of a 90% ground-up quartz, 10% polyester resin and polymer blend. This unique material has won over many granite groupies with its many benefits, including the color choices and consistency, non-porous composition, and eco-friendliness.
Colorful kitchens are back — but they look different than the ones you’re picturing from the past (avocado green, anyone?). We’re seeing a resurgence of color in the kitchen, from brightly painted cabinets to colorful backsplashes, and even colored appliances. If you were among the masses who painted every cabinet and surface in sight a stark white a few years back, there’s hope: it’s just as easy to paint your cabinets whatever color you want. Nervous to add some color to your kitchen? Get inspired by these cheerful kitchens that make a case for color.
As we discussed interior design trends for spring 2021, we mentioned friluftsliv, the Danish concept that translates to “free air life.” This is a concept reminiscent of the pandemic, when many small gatherings and holiday celebrations were moved outside and outdoor spaces became much more important. This concept focused on getting outdoors is here to stay — as we’ve all gained a new appreciation for our outdoor spaces, from our covered patios and gardens to rooftop balconies and front porches. Builders are seeing a renewed emphasis on creating homes that offer indoor-outdoor living, with big glass doors that lead to an outdoor extension of the living area.
Believe it or not, homes are being built with a less “open floor plan” — everyone’s favorite phrase on HGTV. The pandemic brought an urgent need for some personal space, as we all spent so much time at home — working, learning, eating, working out and even socializing on Zoom. As a result, homes are returning to a layout more conducive for the separation of activities. As early as May 2020, Veranda predicted that the pandemic might be the death of the open floor plan. Our Annual Real Estate Forecast contained similar sentiments, as we discussed the pandemic’s effect on not only the real estate industry — but our entire idea of home as we know it.
Builders and realtors in Northern Colorado are hearing mention of a “home office” now more than ever before. This is for obvious reasons, as we’ve seen a major shift in working from home over the last year. While we certainly expect many to return to in-person work, there are many who have moved to the area for a more permanent work-from-home setup. The mobility of the workforce allowed many to move to Northern Colorado while staying employed elsewhere. There was a renewed emphasis on quality of life, as many moved from larger coastal cities to the suburbs, seeking the amenities we enjoy here in Colorado, like the outdoors, a slower pace of life, a vibrant small business community, and various family-friendly attractions.
Builders are incorporating home offices into their designs — and homeowners are quick to transform unused areas into makeshift home offices, from basements to attics and guest bedrooms to sheds.
Another major theme from our Annual Forecast was an increase in square footage. In 2020, many decided to make changes to their living arrangements to better accommodate their new at-home lifestyle. This translated to many upsizing to larger spaces that include an extra room for hobbies, a home office, a finished basement, a larger yard and more. Plus, with the historically low interest rates we saw in 2020 (and the relatively low ones we’re seeing now), many were able to afford larger homes than they previously were able to.
We’re seeing a return to ranch-style homes with walkout basements and larger homes in general, designed by the family so it can be customized to fit their specific needs. Some are predicting a return to smaller or more moderately sized homes as we return to the office, while others think this trend is here to stay for a while.
You heard it here first: Gold is back. You may have shied away from this material out of a fear of making your home look too dated, but don’t worry — gold is back in full force, this time with a modern, updated twist. We’re talking gold faucets, door handles, mirrors and even furniture — which are all especially modern in a matte finish and a simple silhouette. Whether your style leans more traditional or modern, there are several ways to decorate your home with gold finishes.
We predict an uptick in “antiquated industrial.” We may see more high bay lighting and wide doors, with materials like metal, rustic wood, exposed brick, and sleek leather. This “antiquated” version of industrial will include vintage, old-fashioned elements, drawing on a sense of nostalgia, which has become more important in recent months. Trends like modern farmhouse are on their way out — although some predict a return to farmhouse, sans modern.
Much like the return to colorful kitchens, we expect to see more color in homes of the future. There was a major shift towards neutral and all things black, white and gray, following the more colorful eras from the ‘60s through the ‘90s. Now, we’re starting to see some brighter hues reemerge all throughout the home, from the kitchen to the bathroom and the bedroom to the office. The word on the street is that stark white with black trim will start to fall away — which is bad news for Chip and Joanna Gaines!
Color is likely to return in subtle ways, like a floral wallpaper in the powder room, a navy blue kitchen island, or various colorful accents here and there. But others may delve head-first into the trend, adding bits of color all over to completely personalize and brighten up their home.
Check out our list of 11 Spring 2021 Interior Design Trends to Incorporate in Your Home.
And if you’re looking for more insight about the future of real estate in Northern Colorado, check out our Annual Forecast page, which includes a video from the virtual event and supporting documents, like presentation slides and our annual report.