The Latest Trends and Innovations in Residential Design by Debbie Crow
Being married to a custom homebuilder and working in real estate, I always like to stay up on what is new and on trend in residential design. Since the kitchen and master bathroom are two of the areas where you can make a big visual impact, either during a renovation or with a brand new home, I thought I would share some of the latest trends and innovations out there.
Over the last few years, I have seen new kitchen and bathroom designs take on a simpler and sleeker look with less ornamentation on cabinetry, lighting, backsplashes and plumbing fixtures. Slab marble in a neutral color on the backsplash or white tile laid in a subway pattern provides a clean but stylish backdrop for the cabinets. Eat-in kitchen islands are also still a big trend for both busy families and those that like to entertain. Using the same slab stone along the sides of the island gives it a more modern look.
At the same time, what was once old is new again with brass making a big come back in both kitchens and baths – now though with either a matte or unlacquered finish – not the shiny brass of old. Rose gold and copper are also gaining popularity and, like brass, add warmth and a soft contrast. Another finish I am seeing more and more often is matte black on both appliances and plumbing fixtures. I recently installed a matte black sink in my own house with an unlacquered brass faucet.
If you are wanting a more streamlined look to your kitchen, take a look at SubZero’s Integrated Refrigeration line. These refrigerators do not have exposed grills or hinges and blend in seamlessly with surrounding cabinetry, whether freestanding or built in.
The range is still a primary focal point in kitchens and now can be further customized with newer features like a French top or built-in sous vide. If you are a true foodie and cooking enthusiast, you may also want to consider adding a climatized herb growing cabinet or custom larder for a true chef’s kitchen.
Smart home technology continues to expand its uses and you can now purchase voice enabled plumbing fixtures and appliances. Kohler is on the cutting edge of this market and will soon be rolling out its Kohler Konnect network and products that will enable you to control your faucets, bath tubs, toilets, lighting and more using voice commands via Alexa, Google Home or Siri or via its smartphone app.
High-tech, smart toilets are offering features like seat warmers, automatic lid openers and slow close features, an adjustable air dryer, built-in deodorizers and even a wireless music player that automatically turns on when the lid is opened. It then shuts off when the lid is put back down.
The brass, rose gold and matte black finishes I mentioned earlier are beautiful in the bathroom too – on plumbing fixtures, lighting and cabinet hardware. Another big trend is including organic elements like bamboo, stones and wood in bath design to create a spa-like ambiance.
The steel doors that you see on homes throughout the neighborhood are also becoming popular as shower doors now. If you opt to do this, make sure to keep the rest of the bath’s design clean and simple.
LED back-lit mirrors and mood lighting, free-standing tubs, and monochromatic, soft neutrals are very much on trend too and will help you find your Zen after a long day of multi-tasking.
Just keep in mind when renovating or building that you want to have a cohesive look and less is more these days. Monochrome color schemes with lighter color tones work best in smaller spaces. Keeping these areas of your home updated will go along way for resale as well too, but don’t overspend relative to your neighborhood. Nowadays there are so many options available in varying price points that you can get the newer look you want without over-investing. Feel free to give me a call if you are taking on a renovation or new build and have any questions!
Debbie Crow is a West U resident and mom who is a consistent top producer with 17 years of experience in real estate. She is known for her expertise in a multitude of Houston’s finest neighborhoods and was recognized by the Houston Business Journal as one of the top agents in the luxury market. Debbie’s husband, David, is an award-winning custom homebuilder and working with him has given her exposure to high-end construction over the years that has proven to be invaluable to her clients. She is able to provide expert advice regarding a host of aspects related to purchasing or selling a home.