Trend watch 2011: What’s In? What’s Out?

Green Home KitchensEvery homeowner has their own unique vision. Whether you’re planning to update your kitchen or bath space or create a more environmentally-friendly living space, home remodeling today is all about lifestyle. More than ever, consumers are looking for the right tips and trends for creating a design that is based on longevity. The days of the quick flip are long gone.

If you’re ready for a remodel and looking for inspiration, here are a few tips to help you create your perfect space:

1) Design to entertain: With value more important than ever, the goal here is to provide a relaxing and fun environment for your guests. Turn your kitchen remodel into the hottest new restaurant in town, create comfortable and functional living spaces, install some of the latest home automation/high-tech gadgets (think built-in iPod docking station, wine fridge, built-in espresso maker). The goal is to create a space that makes you want to stay home for dinner. On the downside, your guests may never want to leave.

2) Get in touch with your inner green: If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint, opt for energy-efficient windows, lighting fixtures and tankless water heaters that are not only friendly to Mother Nature, but will offer big savings down the road. If you want to go the extra mile consider recycled countertops, radiant heat or water catch basins. Incorporating energy-efficient products and features will not only make your home look better, but will also make you feel better about giving back to the environment.

3) Bring the extended family together in a functional way. Long gone are the days of form over function. With more families expanding their homes to meet the needs of aging parents, homeowners want to seamlessly integrate these spaces to match the look and feel of the rest of the home. Universal Design is perhaps the newest and hottest trend in remodeling today. It allows you to design a space that is functional for all individuals in the home, including those who may be in wheelchairs or need special access, but marries these functional aspects with the overall design plan to create a simply beautiful result. Put simply, home is where the heart is, and creating a comfortable living space is a trend that will never go out of style.

Now on to the fun stuff. Want to show off your home design skills to the rest of the neighborhood? Here’s an insider look into what’s hot and what’s not for 2011:

Overall Design Style

What’s in:  Transitional/ contemporary (clean lines, minimalistic design accessories, big accents) and a style that is simplified, cozy and functional. Spanish style and Santa Barbara style remain popular choices.

What’s out:  Tuscan-style design


What’s in: Grey and white are strong color choices, along with accents of chocolates and dark brown; or any splash of color that expresses your own personality.

What’s out:  Beige/taupe.


What’s in: Glass, wood, polished stone, quartz, granite, green materials (vertrazzo and recycled paper countertops), including a mixture of honed and polished finishes. Leather finish on natural stone also creates a nice touch.

What’s out:  Tile

Backsplashes for the Kitchen or Bath

What’s in:  Mosaic and glass tiles, porcelain, natural stone mosaic, 3form acrylic

What’s out: Full granite backsplashes, monochromatic, single size tile

Window Treatments

What’s in: Motorized shades as part of smart system to create ambience

What’s out: Vertical blinds


What’s in: iPod docking stations built in, smart systems, media, home automation, remote control steam showers with aromatherapy and music.

What’s out: Wires

International Flair

What’s in:  Wrought Iron, European, Spanish, distressed furniture and nail heads.

What’s out: Over-the-top accessories or themes.