PodcastBuilding ProductsConsumer and Home Design Trends

Designing with More Confidence

Dean Wehrli
John Burns photo

Dean Wehrli

John Burns

January 17, 2020

Builders can finally rely on data as well as opinion to make multi-million dollar design decisions, resulting in improved profitability.

At last year’s Housing Design Summit, the head of architecture at one of the largest builders in the country shared that consumer design preferences were changing more quickly than ever, attributing most of the reason to the Internet, and specifically Houzz and Pinterest. This was causing consternation for his salespeople, who were having to respond to customer requests for more up-to-date designs and materials.

Also at the Design Summit, Nino Sitchinava from Houzz laid out the most data-rich presentation of design trends I have ever seen. In this podcast episode, Nino shares an update on those trends, with one of the hot trends she mentioned last March already on the decline!

Featured guest

Nino Sitchinava, Senior Director, Economics, Survey and Data Science, Houzz

Here are a few of Nino's insights from the podcast

  • Colors. Shades of white continue to dominate, followed by gray. Strong accent colors are showing up in unique ways, such as on island cabinets (~40%) and in appliances.
 
  • Custom cabinets. Cabinets now comprise up to 2/3 of the kitchen remodel spending, as affluent older homeowners are opting for custom cabinets over stock cabinets. Cabinet storage in islands has become even more critical, often including accent colors of black, blue, and emerald green.
 
  • Two-person showers. Bathroom remodels include larger showers, a trend led by the new home industry years ago. We recently pointed out that this new home trend had gone too far, with ridiculously oversized showers now returning to more functional, 2-person, spa-like showers.
 
  • Fewer farmhouses. After noting a rise in farmhouse style last February, Nino has identified that farmhouse is starting to wane. In our most recent DesignLens™ webinar, we noted the same. More specifically, farmhouse continues to be popular in more rural areas and is declining in more urban areas.
 
  • Modern contemporary kitchens are on the rise, with crisp lines and neutral tones.
 
  • Smart home features are now a given. The remodeling conversation has morphed from whether to include smart home features to “which features should be included?” New home security technology is the most popular, with a 20% adoption rate.
 
  • Accessibility still not part of the conversation. For the most part, accessibility and universal design features tend to be a purchase that takes place after the remodel.

Looking into her crystal ball, Nino sees the following:

  • Big ticket remodels: Aging homeowners with a lot of wealth are big users of Houzz and will drive expensive remodels well into the future.
 
  • More homebodies: People are spending more time in the home and thus are paying more attention to home design. Our building products team has also identified this shift, additionally noting that people intend to live in their homes longer and are spending extra on more durable materials that won’t need to be replaced as often. The growth in longer-lasting composite decking in comparison to wood decking is a great example of this consumer shift.

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About The Author

Dean Wehrli
Dean Wehrli
Principal
Dean helps housing sector clients figure out not just what might work and what might not, but why.
John Burns photo
John Burns
Chief Executive Officer
As CEO, John grows, leads, and supports a team of passionate, articulate, likable, and smart experts. Together, we solve today so our clients can navigate to tomorrow.

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