Remodel & Home Additions

Design Trends for 2019

If you are about to remodel or build onto your house, here are some of the current trends to consider, whether working on your kitchen, bathroom, living space, laundry room, or outdoor area.


Everyone always refers to the kitchen as “the heart of the house”, so what is the latest and most desirable for this area? Since it is where everyone tends to hang out, we want it to be beautiful, but we all know this area can be messy!

Consider building in the hidden kitchen or dirty pantry. This can be a bonus kitchen, sometimes called the catering kitchen, or a pantry with appliances that cause clutter for items like the toaster, juicer, coffee machine, and perhaps a sink. Often times an additional dishwasher will be here, too. Smart appliances which are user friendly with apps to control them are abundant, even from a distance. 

Also, consider more color in at least some of the cabinet finishes, or tile. Don’t remain locked in to the white, which has been so popular or white marble, which is hard to maintain. There are so many surface products available now that are handsome, easy to maintain, and also available in larger sizes for those extra-large islands to not have seams. Lighting fixture finishes are more into soft, matte brass, nickel, black, and some copper; but there are a lot of uses for mixed metals.

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Health and wellness is essential here.  The bathroom should not only be beautiful, a retreat or sanctuary, but safe for all ages.  If possible, one bath in the home, or preferably all, should have large enough openings to accommodate someone who might have to be temporarily in a wheelchair or walker.  This is not to suggest meeting ADA code with all of the requirements, but simply have doors at a minimum of 32”, and block inside walls when you are under construction, to be able to add a grab bar later, if needed.  You can at least have assisted use bathrooms, even if you don’t have a 5’ turning radius.

Of course, the master bath is becoming more of a spa with temperature controlled showers, a place to sit, and multiple sprays.  People want larger showers and often a roll in shower with no curb around it.  This has to be planned in the construction stage with a slight slope and preferably a vertical drain.  Free standing tubs are kind of the art for the room.  They’re beautiful, but recognize that they cannot be used by some, as they can be difficult to navigate getting in and out of.  Technology keeps adding many new options with cryotherapy, hidden speakers and TV, touch or motion faucets, 3-D printed faucets, and even a new concrete faucet!  As in all rooms, lighting is so important, but especially here where you will be shaving and applying makeup.  Please don’t have the lighting just shining down on your head.  This is the worst application!  The best situation is to have lighting from sconces at about 6’ high, and then additional lighting from the ceiling behind you but not over you.

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Living Spaces

Automation for the home continues to grow.  In 2018, 643 million smart home devices were purchased, but by 2022, it is estimated that number will be 53 billion, so include this in your plans.

Everyone wants and should be able to control their AV, lighting, and security from their smart phone, so plan for this. Put in combination USB/electrical outlets in all places you may be working for charging, add a central charging station, and maybe, consider adding an automobile charging plug in the garage also. Do your wiring now while under construction. Put in proper wiring for adequate lighting for different uses – ambient, task and general. Also, consider wiring for those automated window treatments, especially for the high ceilings and sound throughout the house.

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Make your outdoor living a year round experience and an extension of the house. For that year round usage, provide for heaters to use on those cool days or nights and fans or misters for the warm ones. Automatic screening for porches or motorized shades to protect them from insects is great for Houston.

Consider a fire pit or fireplace and an outdoor cooking area. Artificial turf is becoming more and more popular, and while it costs a little more initially, the benefits of the low maintenance will make it worth it, if you don’t have too much area to cover.

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Laundry Rooms

Don’t forget the pets! More often than not we are including pet accommodations in the utility rooms. This can include kennels built into the lower cabinets, a shower or large sink for bathing, depending on the size of the pet, and built in storage for the pet feeding bowls. Recently, we also stashed kitty litter boxes behind a wall in the laundry to keep them out of site. This is one room that is normally not on the house tour, so use it to help you keep things in order.

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