Home Improvement Trends To Watch for in 2022
The stage is set for a renovation renaissance. We checked with the experts, and here's what they say are the home improvement trends to watch.
It’s Dollars and Sense
“Between inflation, interest rates and rising construction costs,” said Bjorn Freudenthal, homeowner advisor and VP with New Spaces, “market forces are driving buyer behavior to renovate instead of buying or building a new house.”
Freudenthal explains it like this: “The current real estate environment is overheated, and because valuations are increasing, consumers have confidence in remodeling their spaces. They look at other new or existing properties and decide the price is too high, and if they focus their efforts on remodeling, they don’t lose any of their existing home’s value.”
“People should do whatever meets their needs for living in their home,” says Beatrice de Jong, real estate broker and consumer trends expert with Opendoor. “But for many, they need to consider how remodeling will affect the resale value of their home.
“The rule of thumb is to stay in line with the surrounding properties. It’s easy to go above and beyond on renovations,” said de Jong. She recommends that renovations follow function. She notes that, “You may not want real marble for example, as you won’t see a return on that.” It’s wiser to choose materials that look good but offer function and easy maintenance.
Aging in Place
“We’re really seeing a hot trend toward aging in place,” says Jolynn Johnson, owner and designer at Crystal Kitchen and Bath. While this trend has been growing, baby boomers are retiring in huge numbers, but most, 87 percent, according to AARP, prefer to stay in their homes as they age.
Renovating kitchens and baths are the core of Johnson’s business, and combining safety, convenience and comfort is imperative. “Even if you’re 40, we’ll put grab bars or supports in the walls for the future,” she said.
Making It Personal
“People want each façade of their home to be different,” said Matt Mosher, co-founder of Dzinly an online remodeling design firm. Those differences are all about personal style and taste.
“What we’re seeing is a combination of natural horizontal- and vertical-plank stained-wood facades contrasting with other areas of the home.” In other words, according to Mosher, about 60 percent of his customers want a truly unique exterior that isn’t in the typical one-siding-fits-all.
Exterior Dimension and Texture
“We’re seeing a lot of requests for decorative bells and whistles on a home’s exterior,” says Mosher. “Things like little pieces of wood trim, small gables, wood brackets, metal window awnings and the like. Before, your house maybe had shutters, now we’re building in little elements that add dimension and personality,” Mosher said.
Bathrooms were the most popular renovation targets in 2021 according to KBB, a national kitchen and bath industry group. Johnson is seeing her business reflect that, especially when it comes to adding comfort and convenience in the bathroom.
Today’s bathrooms have spa-like features that appeal to every age. “We’re installing heated floors inside the shower, heated towel bars, lots of freestanding tubs, steam showers, curb-less shower entries and bidet toilet seats. It’s all about personal hygiene, relaxing and meditation,” said Johnson.
“With the pandemic, we also awoke a foodie culture,” says Freudenthal. “As we see more interest in cooking at home, actually in doing all sorts of stuff at home, families are forced to take a hard look at their kitchen and many are seeing a need to make improvements.
“The local newspaper ran a story about auxiliary or butler kitchens about a year ago,” Freudenthal said. “That’s been born out of our business. In our design pipeline we’re seeing projects that have that second kitchen or a scullery. Many want a secondary oven, another water source and the like.”
Warm and Inviting
All of our experts noted that cold, white and sterile is out. “Neutrals are here to stay,” says de Jong. “Although we’re leaning to warmer colors, they’re still light to keep things bright and open up the space.”
Johnson agrees that colors are back, and while she still sells about 60 percent white kitchen cabinetry, “they’ll add in a contrasting island in wood or paint.” She notes that blue is a hot kitchen color today, ranging from deep navy to soft baby blues.