Every decade has left its design mark in both interior design and the actual layout of the home. Sunken living rooms scream ‘70s. Ranch homes were a big trend post-World War II. The 21st century saw the rise of lots of storage (via cabinets) and surround sound.
What do buyers want now? And how has décor changed through the years? When buyers are on the hunt for a new home or are looking at the trends in décor to renovate that new home, check out the 2021 home trends for layout and design so you can educate your buyer!
All About the Layout…and the Features!
Buyers’ needs and desires change with the times. The layout and features of single-family homes has evolved with technology and trends. What do buyers want in their homes now? The wish list may depend on the needs, desires and interest of the individual buyer. However, here are some popular trends in the market.
Internet of Things
New construction may include smart features or The Internet of Things. Homes can be wired to work with smartphones and other devices.
Lights and fixtures may sync to gadgets that turn the home into one collective computerized dream home. Homeowners can even install cameras to see who is at the door.
Fixr’s Single-Family Home Construction and Remodeling Trends study reported that outdoor kitchens were desirable for 2020. Fixr talked to industry pros “…in the home construction and remodeling fields” for the study and, 41 percent reported that the outdoor kitchen was the trend in which they expected clients to invest.
As many (or most!) families spent 2020 hunkered in their homes, this really should come as no huge surprise. Home became the sanctuary, and many homeowners likely want to expand their recreational space. It makes sense that homeowners would want to spend more time outdoors and that the demand for an outdoor kitchen would be popular.
Open Floor Plans
Fixr’s study revealed that 90 percent of professionals (who participated in the study) reported that the most popular home layout was an ‘open floor plan.’ The two-story floor plan was the second most popular.
Buyers will likely continue to demand the open-floor plan, which can be found in both single-story and two-story models. Those who responded to the report could choose two options, so perhaps the two-story open floor plan is really the most desirable.
What was the least popular? Asymmetrical and split-level.
Energy-savings and efficiency also was touched upon in the report. Homeowners are gravitating to green homes…or green features. When asked about green construction investment, the majority of respondents (62 percent) said that more homeowners would be investing in “low-energy homes.” Solar power was the next popular (33 percent). Only five percent responded that homeowners would invest in ‘cool roofs.”
That being said, homeowners can turn their current home into a “green home.” What about REALTORS® looking to list greenhouses? Green leads require research and perhaps even a special certification; in fact, the National Association of REALTORs® Green Designation is a top designation for REALTORS.
The Changing of Interior Design
The ‘50s offered lots of aqua and pink décor, while the ‘70s favored hues like avocado green and forest gold. The late ‘90s and the turn of the 21st century saw the rise of pattern mixing (florals paired with plaids). While some trends were better off left in the past (like shag carpet), other trends stayed for the long haul and remained classic (like exposed brick…real, of course!). So what’s popular for décor in 2021? Here are the latest interior design trends.
The Rise of ‘Granny Chic’
Insider explains ‘Granny Chic’ as the kind of design that could have filled the homes of the millennial’s grandparents. Break out the floral wallpaper and antiques! Homeowners can take inspiration from the décor choices of grandma and grandpa. While Insider quotes a design expert that notes the ubiquitous floral wallpaper, china and antique paintings as key touches, homeowners could expand on this design choice to include anything that grandparents might have chosen for their own homes.
Depending on the generational pull of a homeowner’s grandparent, this could include heavy dark wood furniture, homemade quilts or maybe even Tiffany-style lamps. Nod to nostalgia and the feel-good throwback of a Sunday afternoon spent at a grandparent’s home and decorate the space accordingly.
Yellow and Gray
Homes and Gardens includes yellow and gray as color trends for home spaces in 2021. This should come as no surprise as Pantone announced that its Colors of the Year were Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (a bright, cheery yellow).
How can homeowners integrate these hues? Gray walls could be a stylish choice for a living room or bedroom. Yellow kitchens are especially sunny. Or incorporate a pop of yellow with throw pillows or a blanket.
Color trends come and go, and changing the hues of furniture or opting for trendy colors for major purchases might not always be the most practical idea…especially for homeowners on a budget. However, homeowners who really want to embrace the changing yearly color palettes can adapt their spaces by sticking to neutral furniture and then adding in pops of color with pillows and other accents.
Wall art, paint hues and window treatments also can be easily updated as trends change.
Head to the Tropics
Homes & Gardens also cites the Hawaiian décor trend—called “Distant Shores”–as something to watch for 2021. With most of the world stuck at home, the allure of the ocean and a tropical escape may be at a fever pitch. Homeowners can decorate the home with a touch of a tropical oasis.
The “Distant Shores” style is highlighted by “…tropical brights, subtle monotones and soft lemons.” And, of course, florals and the greenery of Hawaii also are a part of this trend.
Homeowners can adapt the look to suit their own aesthetic preferences. While an example of the décor trend shows deep blue walls with muted yellow palm trees, homeowners could take the idea of a tropical design and run with it.
Perhaps out of “Distant Shores” comes wilder design trends. Could homeowners opt for pink flamingos dotted along pale aqua walls? Or maybe a tiki-themed bedroom? Paradise means something different to everyone. Their key may be to design a space that relaxes the senses and transports homeowners to somewhere lush and exotic.
While conserving energy is always en vogue, one of the design trends is actually…green. HGTV (Canada) predicts homeowners will be saying yes to plants this year.
If buyers don’t have a green thumb, they shouldn’t fret. Instead, they can opt for easy indoor plants. Succulents may require less maintenance. Those who have a love of greenery, though, may opt for more bountiful varieties. Hang plants or set them on end tables. Greenery adds to the ambiance of a room. Choose flowering varieties to infuse pops of color (and maybe even a little fragrance!).
HGTV (Canada) also notes that earth tones are the trendy hues. Homeowners can choose color palettes that nod to nature; brown, gold, rich burgundy, yellow, green.
While the site didn’t mention the ‘70s, similar hues were very popular back then, too. Don’t worry, though, Harvest Gold isn’t set to make a comeback! Some earthy hues tend to be neutral and could offer a bit more staying power.
Trends & Resale
Talking about design trends might make REALTORS® utter a collective sigh. After all, trends do not always translate to an easy sale. Even a home layout can affect its desirability on the market. While split-level homes were once extremely popular, the floor plan has very much fallen out of favor.
Should homeowners zap the idea of revamping their home to look trendier when they want to list? Throw pillows and other décor accents can lean into the trends without being overbearing or turning off buyers.
However, many REALTORS probably have experienced taking a potential buyer into a home and watching them recoil at a wall hue. REALTORS can help homeowners who are ready to list their home decide what trends can help the sale on the market and what design trends may cause the home to sit a little longer.
New Buyers…Get Creative
REALTORS working with buyers might have it a bit easier. Once the buyer closes, they may be excited to embrace new design trends and transform that home. Wall can be painted a trendy color (like Illuminating) and the tropical design trends may be used to invigorate the look of a bedroom.
Trends in design and even in-home layout come and go, and change with each decade. Buyers’ demands also change with technology. Home theaters were once on many wish lists (this still may be the case), but today’s buyers also are interested in smart homes. They want a home that features amenities that can tap into their devices.
Home layouts still favor two-story open floor plans. Although some buyers may just prefer a ranch style… the open floor plan still dominates. The design trends of 2021 nod to nature and serenity. And REALTORS® who are listing homes may suddenly see these décor trends on the rise.