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For many homeowners, 2024 will be the year of home improvement. With mortgage rates sitting well above 6%, most aren’t willing to enter the housing market – which would mean essentially swapping their sub-4% mortgage rates for much higher ones.

Instead, renovating their existing homes will make more sense – allowing them to hold onto those low rates while making their properties more comfortable, livable and convenient.

Are you thinking of updating your home this year? Here are the six home improvement trends you should have on your radar.

1. Biophilic Design
Biophilic design – which incorporates elements of nature into a home’s decor — has been a growing trend in recent years, and 2024 will likely be no different.

“We expect to see one of the top interior design trends in 2024 to be a marked increase in biophilic design,” says Greg Roth, senior interior designer at CarbonShack Design in Los Angeles. “The recent uptick in interior design elements that connect us to nature – either visually, physically or referentially – will grow stronger as home furnishings brand, manufacturers and designers continue to embrace the importance of environmental stewardship.”

Some examples Roth says to look out for: nature-inspired patterns, skylights that let in more sunlight and bi-fold doors that “dissolve barriers between the inside and outside.”

2. Goodbye Grays
Gray tones have been a hot decor hue for years now, but it seems the color’s days are numbered.

“The biggest trend I’m seeing is grays going away,” says Matt Boden, owner of Fresh Coat Painters in Tampa, Florida. Instead, Boden says, he’s getting more requests for vivid colors – like yellows and blues.

“With so much going on in the world, blue provides a calming influence,” says Mitchell Parker, senior editor at home design platform Houzz. Parker says that neutral colors – like beiges, creamy off-whites and rich browns are getting popular, too.

“By far the most talked-about trend happening now is the move away from cool grays and stark whites,” he says. “We first predicted this infusion in the kitchen, but the look is beginning to dominate throughout the home to offer a calmer, more welcoming environment.”

3. ADUs and In-Law Suites
Adding space for in-laws, grown children or even nannies is going to be a big priority in 2024, as few homeowners will look to buy bigger houses, choosing to expand their existing one instead.

There are many options for adding this space – including accessory dwelling units (ADUs), guest houses or even garage apartments. In 2023, interest in garage apartments surged 43%, according to The Plan Collection, a housing plan development company.

“The most popular remodeling project I see is to create a separate space for in-laws or au pairs or adult children who are returning home after college,” says Christa Kenin, a real estate agent with Douglass Elliman in New Canaan, Connecticut. “This space features a bedroom and bathroom and is separate from the main living area, sometimes with a separate entrance.”

4. Fluted Cabinets
If you’re thinking of giving your kitchen or bathroom a facelift, Parker says fluted wood cabinets – which feature vertical molding, reminiscent of Greek columns – may be worth consideration.

According to Parker, fluted details have been big at design shows over the last year and can make a bold statement under kitchen island countertops, on bathroom vanities and even as part of dining room furniture. “It adds visual texture and interest,” he says.

5. All the Office Space
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, just over a quarter of Americans are still working remotely – at least for part of the week. For this group, having a well-appointed home office (or even several) will be key this year.

“With more people still working from home, we continue to see high demand for office spaces – meaning multiple spaces and on different floors,” Kenin says.

Kenin is currently selling a home with just that – three home offices across three floors. The first office is on the main floor and offers French-door views of the family room next door. The others are housed in built-out attic and basement spaces.

“Buyers are responding very favorably to these options,” Kenin says. “Parents with young kids imagine using the office on the main level when needing to keep an eye on their children while working, and then appreciate the quieter options for conference calls and Zooms.”

6. Small Porches and Decks
Homeowners are increasingly looking to add outdoor areas for gathering and relaxing. According to Parker, searches on Houzz for “small screened-in porch ideas” are up over 500%, while searches for “small backyard patio” and “small front porch” have increased as well.

“A focus on outdoor space remains,” Kenin says. “Outdoor spaces with multiple lounging and dining areas are in demand – plus spaces for outdoor recreation.”

Parker recommends turning unused side yards or entry areas into small decks or patios, while homeowners with more space can add larger decks further removed from the house to “enjoy a more secluded retreat.”

Original Article: [Source: www.usnews.com]

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