High design, low maintenance, luxury appliances, water saving & virtual reality seem to top the list of remodeling trends for 2016.
“In a recent Consumer Reports survey of 18- to 35-year-olds, low maintenance made the list of most desirable home features,” wrote Consumer Reports’ Daniel DiClerico. “Beauty, however, will always rank supreme with homeowners. That’s driving even more interest to quartz countertops, which come in some stunning designs without all the upkeep of marble, granite, and other natural stones.”
How about a $10,000 refrigerator?
“It’s not every year that a major new appliance brand debuts at the (Design & Construction Week) show, but 2016 saw the launch of Signature Kitchen Suite, a line of “super-premium” home appliances that includes refrigerators ($5,000-$10,000), cooktops ($1,500), ranges ($5,000), dishwashers ($1,300), and more,” DiClerico posted. Though the brand was developed by LG, it’s being marketed separately by the South Korean manufacturer, much the way Lexus stands apart from its parent company Toyota. The Signature Kitchen Suite will compete with luxury brands like Viking, Jenn-Air, and Thermador.”
Saving water is (finally) trendy!
“Drought conditions have eased up in some parts of the country, but the market for water-efficient products remains red hot,” DiClerico writes. “Smart water heaters are another possible source of savings, since they let consumers track their consumption in real time.In addition to tracking water usage, the Wi-Fi heater allows users to remotely set the temperature through their smartphone.”
Virtual Reality – Virtual Design
“Let’s say you’re planning a major kitchen remodel,” DiClerico supposes. “If you’ve done your homework, or you’re working with an experienced designer, you know to come up with a floor plan that promotes good traffic flow. But until you’re actually standing in the space, it’s impossible to know for sure that it works—and by that time it could be too late. Enter the brave new world of virtual reality, which lets you experience your new kitchen (or any room in the house) before the real work gets underway.”
Watch this Consumer Reports video about using VR in home design and remodeling:
Finally, DiClerico points out Consumer Reports is always a useful tool for finding out more about home (and other) products before purchasing.
“As you’re considering these new products and technologies for your remodel, be sure to check out the tried and true from our latest tests of appliances, building materials, power equipment, and more,” he writes.