Home decor will trend warmer and bolder in 2018, Zillow predicts, as homeowners incorporate floral prints, dramatic flooring, and light-wood kitchen cabinets.
But embracing the latest ideas doesn't require a top-to-bottom remodel, design experts for the real estate website say.
"We encourage timeless design for our client homes," says Kerrie Kelly, a Zillow Digs interior design expert. "To us, this means creating a 'backdrop' through paint, flooring and larger investments like window coverings that allows one to change out smaller items at one's whim — go ahead and reupholster that chair, throw a pillow in to celebrate the color of the year, or add your new favorite piece of artwork effortlessly."
When "editing your backdrop," keep it simple, Kelly advises. Build your room around high-use signature pieces such as a sofa or dining table, and then carefully select accents that really mean something to you, not just something bought off a shelf.
To get a new look, consider repurposing furniture you already own. "Don't let furniture names limit your creativity on how you use a piece, either — your dining room hutch can quickly turn into your library bookcase by simply changing out its contents," she says. Or, in the case of Zillow's predictions for next year, a 1960s-inspired bar cart can be transformed into a 2018 coffee cart.
Most of all, "have fun with it," Kelly says. "Don't put too many rules on it. Find your own way to incorporate the latest ideas into your home."
Here are Zillow's 2018 design predictions, based on surveys of interior designers.
Floral prints. Add color and cheer to your home with big florals, which convey optimism. Put them atop a dark, moody background, and you have a compelling focal point for a neutral wall. In 2018, Zillow says, look for a floral comeback in "heavily saturated, big-blossomed finishes" in draperies, chairs, and throw pillows.
Statement floors. Instead of four walls, think of your rooms as having six, including the floor and ceiling, Kelly says. Define a room with a distinctive rug or a utilitarian indoor/outdoor covering. Make small spaces such as bathrooms or laundry rooms pop with bold-colored geometric tile or a light-colored, herringbone-style hardwood.
Light-wood cabinets. Not all kitchen cabinets have to be white. In 2018, more homeowners will gravitate toward medium-and light-wood cabinets, particularly with flat fronts and clean lines.
Warm neutrals. "Shades of gray will continue to linger, just on the warmer side of things — our team calls it greige — a bit of gray and beige to create warmth in a space," Kelly says. In addition, expect to see warm reds to caramel browns layered on with moodier color palettes, both on walls and in artwork in 2018.
Matte metal hardware. Want a quick new look in the kitchen? Change out light fixtures and cabinet hardware. Zillow predicts that homeowners will increasingly choose matte metal over shiny silver or gold for a more sophisticated look on medium-wood cabinets.
All-white kitchens. All-white kitchens are hard to keep clean, and they may shave dollars off a sale price, Kelly says. Zillow data show homes with blue kitchens sell for $1,800 more than homes with white kitchens. If you already went all-white, add a bit of wallpaper, or paint the walls or island cabinets your favorite shade of blue.
Bar carts. OK, that Mad Men "cocktails at home" phase was fun for 2017, but now, that rarely used bar cart is simply cluttering the room. Design experts predict a shift to coffee carts, "equally trendy but far more practical," Kelly says. It's also a way to free up counter space and consolidate coffee supplies in one place.
Succulents. Apparently, popularity also is waning for those adorable tiny plants in pots. In 2018, Zillow experts predict, homeowners will incorporate a greater variety of colorful, leafy plants in their homes (although the affordable, easy-to-care-for succulents won't go completely away).