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What’s Hot in Home Improvement

shutterstock_160905959-editMillennials (them again!) entering the housing market in increasing numbers are driving these changes, but so are baby boomers wanting to stay in their upgraded homes for as long as possible.

So what’s on-trend in home improvement this year? Same as last year.

Outdoor Cooking

Cooking is a social activity, and homeowners want spacious, open kitchens and seamlessly connected outdoor living spaces.

“Traditionally, we see outdoor landscaping as the most popular project undertaken by homeowners,” said Matt Craig, research insight analyst for the Home Improvement Research Institute. Pizza ovens are increasingly becoming part of the outdoor living landscape. So are easy-clean, smooth-top grills.

More Color

And we’re not talking walls. Farmhouse sinks, faucets, tubs and bathroom vanities are coming in a range of colors that pop.

And for the kitchen, the sleek new look of a black stainless finish has become extremely popular in both free-standing and built-in appliances. Sorry, the same cannot be said for mom’s old avocado ‘fridge.

Technology

There are already Internet-connected refrigerators, and that’s just the start.

“In the past 18 months, there has been more urgency about connectivity in the kitchen, and the belief is that the Wi-Fi chip will be standard in appliances in the next 10 years,” says Erin Gallagher, chief of insights for the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence.

Consumers are gravitating toward such products for their convenience; many can adjust home lighting, temperature and entertainment.

“The biggest trend for 2016 was voice-controlled speakers and their ability to control home automation,” said Dave Pedigo, vice president of emerging technologies for CEDIA, a home technology professionals association. He pointed to Amazon Echo as the dominant player but sees the Google Home speaker as an up-and-comer.

Customized Cooking

Home improvement experts are seeing a move toward cooktop modules that enable homeowners to customize their surface cooking options. And this means tremendous versatility, with induction, gas, grill, teppanyaki and steamer options being combined to meet individual preferences based on your cooking habits and preferences.

Easy to Clean

This just in: Americans don’t like to spend a lot of time cleaning. To cut down on cleaning time, experts suggest replacing natural stone countertops with quartz and installing touchless faucets, which have a sleeker look and cut down on water mess.

Non-odor-retaining stainless-steel tubs in dishwashers and laundry machines with overnight washing and drying cycles are also popular options.

From the LA Times

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