For many years as an interior designer, what would be the three major changes in consumer preferences during this period?
One thing that immediately comes to mind is the transition from dye cabinets to paint cabinets. The white kitchens are back! Customers tend to be lighter and brighter over the last ten years. Flooring has changed a lot, with more and more customers opting for luxury vinyl flooring (LVP) in their homes. LVP has arrived right up here and is now super durable, easy to maintain and looks really crazy. Third, quartz countertops are becoming the norm. I rarely specify granite. Quartz is easy to maintain compared to granite and the colors and patterns available now mimic everything from natural marble to exotic granites.
What are the future ideas and forecasts? Are there new trends in 2018/19 and beyond?
Natural woods are very popular right now: barn floors with wide planks scraped by hand, as well as openly distressed furniture. What is also beginning to present itself in the design is again a traditional style. The details on everything and the use of rich jewelry tones are hot at the same time as hot metal tones (yes, brass is back, but updated!).
What are the challenges that customers face?
Many customers are afraid to trust their style. They often fight between their heart and their brain to find out what they want. Often, they try to force themselves to change the color palettes or styles of their last home and sometimes get out of their comfort zone. I always tell customers to listen to their guts. Their home is their sanctuary and they need to feel comfortable, relaxed and to be at home.
Are there certain types of renovations that tend to bring the greatest value to the selling price of a home?
Kitchens, bathrooms and basements are still the most used spaces, increasing the value of your home. These rooms are the ones potential buyers are considering mainly because they know that it is in these areas that they will spend the most time.
I often suggest customers to send me pictures of houses, rooms, styles and products that they find on decoration sites. Often, clients do not know what their style is, so if they can show me images of what they like, then I can usually better understand them. The sightseeing tour is also a great way to find inspiration and new ideas.