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Home Trends: What's In (and Out) for 2016

January 05 2016

home repair plansBreak out the hammer and nails: 2016 is predicted to be a strong year for home remodeling, according to a studystudy by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. The report anticipates that annual spending growth on home improvements will increase from 2.4% in the third quarter of 2015 to 6.8% by the end of 2016's second quarter.

Agents and brokers looking for potential listing leads can use this as an opportunity to connect. How? Here are a few ideas that immediately come to mind:

  • Create a board for renovation ideas on Pinterest
  • Blog about renovation projects (again, you can mine Pinterest for ideas)
  • Share info about home improvement fairs in your area
  • Touch base with former clients and ask if they need contractor referrals

But how do you know what's "in" (and what's not) this season so that you can better engage consumers? A recent report from Zillow DigsZillow Digs, which factors what consumers are looking for with insight from home design experts, points to the following trends. You can use these ideas as a starting point when looking for content to share.

Farewell, Farmhouse Chic

The rustic, intentionally shabby look of the "farmhouse chic" trend seems to finally be on its last legs. In its place come sleek, elegant accents reminiscent of the 1920s.

Texture Trends

What's Out: Say goodbye to burlap details, which Zillow's design experts say is too harsh for indoor use.

What's In: Instead, homeowners are looking to softer textures like nubby wool rugs or other natural fibers. The typically neutral colors of these fabrics are the perfect balance to bolder colors.

Wall Trends

What's Out: Chalkboard paint, while neat in theory, is often more messy in practice. Think smudged chalk and decor that looks less than classy unless rendered in stylized handwriting.

What's In: Encaustic tiles are intricate, patterned tiles that get their coloring from clay or minerals rather than clay. Zillow Digs points to this trend as a beautiful, natural focal point that's at home on kitchen backsplashes, bathroom showers, accent walls, and fireplace mantles.

The report also says to expect modernized art deco-inspired patterns and shapes to pop up in everything from wallpaper to artwork for instant 1920s glam.

Accent Trends

What's Out: Mason jars, that Pinterest staple of brides-to-be and DIYers, have finally run their course.

What's In: Instead, homeowners are trading their jars for unique, one-of-a-kind items (or "artisan accent pieces," as Zillow puts it) that they've unearthed in flea markets or brought home from travel. Minimalism and thoughtful decor is the name of the game here.

An Opportunity to Connect

You can use the ideas above as a client nurturing opportunity. Call up a former client and ask how life at 123 Elm Street is going. See if they have any renovation plans, or chat about the home improvement trends we just mentioned.

To connect with a larger sphere of homeowners and home design enthusiasts, consider setting up a free profile on Zillow DigsZillow Digs. It's similar to Pinterest in that you can set up boards to share photos of listings and home renovation ideas. For an excellent example of Zillow Digs in action, check out the Boyenga Team's profileBoyenga Team's profile.