October 3, 2014 at 8:00 am EST | by Tim Savoy
2014 home trends: A year in review
open floor plans, gay news, Washington Blade

New construction, as well as large-scale renovations, prioritize large, open floor plans.

When working with a buyer or seller for the first time that isn’t quite sure what they are looking for, one of their first questions is simply, “What’s popular today?” This question, while simple, is much more complex as trends constantly evolve year to year. This year, though not quite over, has shown us a clear picture of home trends. From open plans to a new palette of colors, 2014 provided us with trends we saw coming as well as some we didn’t quite see.

First, new construction, as well as large-scale renovations, prioritize large, open floor plans. Open plans allow for much more diversification of space, from mixed-use living areas to flexible dining layouts. One major advantage to open floor plans is definitely the focus on interactions. With large open spaces, a home feels much more interactive than a layout that silos the home into compartments. For the future, you can definitely count on open floor plans to stick around.

Now, let’s move toward colors. As a rule of thumb for 2014, gray is the new beige. Whereas beige has been much more of a go-to base color for the past several years, several shades of gray are now topping the must have list for primary wall color for living spaces. However, vibrant accents to these grays are now more important than ever. In particular, accents of purple, royal blue, magenta, and other vivid colors are common to give a feel of modern luxury. In the private areas, warm colors such as caramel and cinnamon are popular now for a warm feeling. With beige reining supreme for some years, I think it is safe to say that change is a good thing for now.

In the bathroom, 2014 was about honesty. That is, most of us rarely use the bathtub. And thus, 2014’s construction and renovation was all about removing the tub and installing large luxurious showers complete with benches and multi-head systems. Moreover, let’s not forget the tile finishes, and 2014 has given us so much to choose from with recycled glass, stone tile, and pebble tile popular throughout the year.

One of the most noticeable changes to finishes the past year has been the continued increase in the quality of kitchen appliances. In D.C., almost every new construction project provides the buyer with high-end appliances. With stainless steel the reining preference, the price for new appliances will no longer break the budget as in the past. As the market continues to evolve, expect high-end appliances to stick around due to the cheaper costs of production and demand for luxury appliances.

Finally, one final lesson from 2014 is a step back from industrial to contemporary. Taste-specific and modern developments are no longer on the rise; instead, buyers are looking for classic design with all the modern fixings. This jump back will certainly continue through 2015.

And so, how does all of this add up? In terms of selling your property, it is important to update your home to the current trends if at all possible. Sure, creating a more open floor plan may be difficult in a home with a much more traditional layout, but a new coat of paint that keeps up with the times is an easy fix when preparing your home for sale.

For the buyers just now entering the market, it is important to understand trends in real estate as they will paint a much better picture for expectations when touring properties. Regardless, trends will continue to evolve. Will changes will 2015 bring?

Tim Savoy is a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Dupont Circle. Reach him at 202-400-0534 or timothy.savoy@cbmove.com.

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