Remodeling Trends for 2016

Ready to update your house?

Remodeling your living space doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to drive you crazy. In fact, there are a number of fresh trends that you could DIY in a weekend. Or, of course, hire a contractor to tackle the task — whatever works best for you.

This year, homeowners are stepping it up a notch when it comes to remodeling. The results of a recent Angie’s List survey among more than 2,000 members show that 79 percent of those who’ve already set their budget plan to spend as much or more on home improvements compared to 2015.

If you’re ready to bring your house up to date, check out these remodeling trends for 2016.

Gray is the new beige

Gray is everywhere. In fact, designers have coined a new word to describe gray’s ability to mix with beige tones and become the latest go-to color: greige.

“Some people can’t commit to fully going to grey from beige and will use a greige color,” says Beth Orr, designer for Dover Home Remodelers in North Olmsted, Ohio. “It really allows you to mix and match warm and cool colored rugs, furniture and accent pieces without feeling stuck on one style.”

Whether it’s a warm gray or a cool gray, the hue is here to stay.

“Gray neutrals have become very popular,” says Kristie Schneider, project designer for Case Design & Remodeling in San Jose, California. “We’re seeing a lot of interest in gray-greens, gray-blues, and the greige tones are shown throughout the exterior and interior, including cabinetry, trim and doors.”

Universal design

Creating a home that allows you or loved ones to live in it for as long as possible is a priority for many this year.

Whether it’s adding a first-floor master bedroom to avoid climbing stairs or installing a variety of accessories to make bathing, cooking and cleaning easier on aging bodies, designing a home for an occupant of any age is all the rage.

“We’re doing more age-in-place projects that will allow homeowners to stay in their houses longer,” says Geoff Horen, CEO of Lifestyle Group Residential Remodeling in Indianapolis. “And adding in-law quarters will only grow in frequency because families are making the decision to keep their loved ones out of assisted living facilities as long as possible.”

porcelain wood tile

As homeowners remodel in 2016, expect to see porcelain tiled floors that look like wood. (Photo courtesy of Case Design & Remodeling of San Jose)

Fixtures and flooring

Love the look of hardwood floors but don’t have time to maintain them? Lucky for you, the hottest trend in flooring is porcelain wood tiles.

“It’s tile that looks nearly identical to wood, but it can get wet without damage, doesn’t need to be polished, and doesn’t expand with the climate,” says Nicole J. Colin, lead designer for Chi Renovation & Design in Skokie, Illinois. “It’s a win-win for homeowners.”

When it comes to light fixtures, designers are seeing an emphasis on more traditional and industrial styles, mixing the elements of wood, metal and glass.

“Between the schoolhouse pendants and heavy, mixed metallic finishes, homeowners are adding these details to any style home,” Schneider says.

Outdoor entertainment

Homeowners are looking for ways to extend their living space, and incorporating the outdoors continues to be a favorite way to do so. Adding a solarium, sunroom or outdoor kitchen are all popular options throughout the country.

“Trends gaining more attention include California rooms and finding ways to bring the outdoors in by utilizing panoramic-style doors and continuing similar color schemes to enhance a great room effect,” Schneider says.

outdoor kitchen

Homeowners continue to remodel outdoor living spaces, adding on outdoor kitchens, California rooms and sunrooms. (Photo by John Zambito)

Make the best use of the space

“Huge spaces of all kinds are declining in popularity,” says Pat Sauer, owner of The Design Department in Lake Oswego, Oregon. “I’m seeing more folks interested in efficient and cozy human-scale space, rather than grand, impressive spaces.”

From creative storage solutions (window benches!) to transforming unused space, homeowners are focused on using every bit of square footage in the house.

Attic transformations are a big trend we anticipate for 2016,” Colin says. “So many families have unused attics that have the potential to be an excellent playroom, den or even a bedroom.”

Having a functional space that helps keep a household organized is also factored into today’s remodeling designs. In fact, 58 percent of the respondents to the Angie’s List poll cited decluttering and organizing the home as their tip priority for 2016.

“We’ve seen a lot of mudrooms in the past couple years and I think that will stay on trend for 2016,” Orr says. “Everyone’s lives are so busy they don’t have time to run around the house to find homework or shoes. Installing locker systems out of custom cabinetry in the mudrooms really helps families keep everything organized and in one place.”

Another trend that helps reduce clutter are custom built-in bookshelves or media units that can also be used as a desk or study area.

Go green with smart technology and eco-friendly options

When remodeling, more homeowners are choosing eco-friendly materials and designs.

“Homeowners are becoming more environmentally conscious as well as more budget conscious,” Colin says. “They’re re-purposing products like recycled wood floors, pennies used as countertops and crates used as coffee tables.”

At the same time, many homeowners are also investing in technology options to make their homes “smarter” — adding home automation systems that integrate everything from audio systems to lighting that can be operated remotely through the touch of a button and help with a home’s overall energy efficiency.

Schneider says as clients become aware of sustainable materials and community environmental requirements, they’re able to help with updates such as installing efficient lighting and water-saving devices.

“We’re also seeing a strong awareness of drought-tolerant landscaping, and sourcing options to be green, yet have an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space,” she says.

This article was originally published at Angie’s List.