Since 2012 we’ve seen a growth in home improvement, and 2014 is no exception. Popular and ever-growing trends include modern and universal home designs, innovative improvements to utilize existing space, and the use of sustainable materials and energy-efficient applications. This year, remodeling rates are expected to grow significantly. Here are some of the new trends of 2014.

Updating the Bathroom

The bathroom is becoming one of the most popular rooms in the house to remodel. Neutral, cool colors are in and so is the resort-style feel. People are either getting rid of their tubs entirely or replacing them with a free standing bath that takes up less space. Separate walk-in, curb-less showers with heated, tile floors, glass doors, and multiple shower heads are the novelty this year.

Modernizing the Kitchen

New kitchens are modern, sleek, minimalistic and eco-friendly. Open up your kitchen by taking out an adjoining wall for optimal utilization. It will make your home seem much larger, and you can integrate your kitchen into the rest of the house, using it for multiple purposes other than just preparing meals. Islands work well in open kitchens. Floating shelves are also popular, creating more counter space. Another trend is having the kitchen appliances blend into the background or remain hidden from view. This creates a more minimalistic, clean look and feel. Hardwood flooring seems to be the way to go. It is durable and can flow into adjoining rooms, creating continuity.

Using Sustainable Materials

There are many ways to go green in this day and age, and it is becoming much more affordable. Builders are becoming more eco-friendly, producing sustainable and renewable parts and materials. Some popular items are bamboo, LED lighting, fiberglass doors, and windows that conserve energy. Other appliances, such as toilets and showers, have become more energy-efficient. Reupholstering furniture versus throwing it out and buying brand new can save you a lot of money. Another growing trend is eco-friendly cabinetry with nontoxic glues, binders, and finishes, with no added formaldehyde.

Other Materials

Sure, the popular colors for bathrooms and kitchens are cool, neutral colors like grey and off-white, but that’s not the case for all of the rooms in the house. The fad for accent walls in bedrooms, living rooms, and other common spaces are vibrant splashes of color. This includes red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and even black. And we’re not talking light or faded colors, but full, deep tones that catch your eye from the other room.  

Brass accents are also a trend of the year. Dull, hammered brass can be incorporated into kitchens, bathrooms, lighting fixtures, and door handles. Quartz is replacing granite in kitchens, bars, and bathrooms. It is a very hard, durable material with a natural and chic look.

Electrical Socket Update

U-sockets are customized electrical outlets that contain built-in USB ports. Now you can charge your phone, laptop, or iPod conveniently. These sockets also have smart sensors incorporated so they automatically turn off when your appliance is fully charged.

Overall Trends

We’re seeing rounded designs, earthy shades with raw materials in bathrooms and kitchens, and bold colors for living rooms and bedrooms. People want their homes to be comfortable and relaxing. Self-expression is also a big thing that can be shown through wall art, layered textiles, and jeweled colors. People want their homes to fit their lifestyle and personality.

Downsizing is a change from the last few years. People are learning to utilize the space they have in their home, instead of going out and buying a larger house. They are remodeling to suit their needs and utilizing every large and small space in their home. Universal design is also very important for homeowners this year. This is making the living space convenient and usable for any age, shape, or size. An example of this universality would be having all of the living space on one floor and having large doorways and open spaces. Efficiency and functionality are two terms that summarize the trends of 2014.