What’s happening on the home design front in 2014? Here’s my take on 10 trends that Realtor Magazine says are noteworthy this year.
1. Reclaimed wood floors & porcelain floors that look like wood. Expect wider floorboards too (up to five and six inches).
2. Simpler kitchen cabinets. Styles are shifting from a very detailed traditional look to a sleeker mid-century modern feel with cleaner lines. Big drawers are replacing lower cabinets — they’re easier to access and offer more flexible storage options.
3. When it comes to color palettes, gray is the new black (especially the warm tones). One big exception: the Pantone Color of the Year, which for 2014 is “Radiant Orchid.” The rather feminine shade of lilac was chosen, apparently, because it “inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health.” Smartly, the folks at Pantone recommend that folks opting for Radiant Orchid in their interiors consider the color as an accent color or incorporate it in their home accessories. What to pair the very distinctive shade? Pantone suggests olive and deeper hunter greens, or turquoise, teal, light yellows or neutrals including gray, beige and taupe.
4. Indoor-outdoor living. More and more homeowners strive to maximize their outdoor space too, which means more French doors (and lots of ‘em). Other options: Solariums with screens or screened porches, and — of course — more elaborate patio “kitchens,” outfitted with everything from pizza ovens to flat-screen TVs.
5. Rethinking the kitchen. That means a return to bold-hued appliances, a focus on energy-efficiency, cleaner lines, the addition of tech-recharging work stations and a shift to new materials (will we finally see the end of the granite counter in favor of various metals, such as hot rolled steel?).
6. Decadent bathrooms. We’re talking TVs integrated into medicine cabinets, over-the-top showers (some equipped with built-in speakers, an IPad docking station and Bluetooth connectivity), and toilets with self-cleaning nozzles.
7. Technology taking hold. Increasingly sophisticated technology systems now control everything from lighting, window treatments and heating/cooling to home security and whole-house entertainment systems.
8. Global design influences. Expect ethnic fabrics and hand-crafted artworks (especially from Asia and Africa) melded with transitional, even traditional)spaces.
9. Quality vs. quantity. As the economy improves, folks are more focused on buying a few choice pieces that aren’t mass-produced, that suit their style and create a more-personalized space.
10. Accent chairs. Gargantuan sectional sofas will probably always be the preferred seating option by those whose TV is center stage, but smaller, more interesting supplemental seating (especially with a distinctive style or pop of color) is an increasingly popular option.