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The 5 home renovation trends dominating this year

It’s another strong year for remodeling and sustainable materials, universal design, natural elements and outdoor living are dominating the home renovation trajectory.

Technology is driving the renovation industry in a fresh direction. Along with more options, manufacturers can also adapt materials for new uses. Smart devices and home automation are increasing home efficiency and green building technology is changing the way we think about our material sources and building practices.

Kitchen remodeling is leaning towards open concept layouts and smart technology features.

Workhorse kitchens. Open concepts continue to dominate so that activity in the home can be centralized. And smart technology is quickly becoming a must in kitchen remodeling. Dedicated work areas, hidden charging stations, creative new storage options and integrated appliances are maximizing space — and making more room on counters for notebooks, school projects and laptops.

Outdoor living. A top priority for homeowners this year is outdoor kitchens. They fit in with the greater trend toward exterior remodeling and landscaping projects. Now that we can carry our movies, TV shows, books and news in our pockets, we’re free to indulge in both sunshine and entertainment at the same time. Other popular accommodations include outdoor-rated TVs, speakers and eating areas to create an extended livable space.

Bigger bathrooms. A perennial favorite, size has been moved high up on the “must” list. Bigger, more accessible bathrooms and walk-in showers are in demand — both because they increase accessibility and safety and because they add an element of luxury.

Sustainable everything. Designers and homeowners agree: Sustainability is becoming the new standard for remodeling and materials. The millennial generation is really driving this trend, and folded into it are energy-efficient home features and appliances, locally sourced and/or eco-friendly materials, and even home automation.

Au naturel. As material and production technology improves, opportunities to incorporate these elements have multiplied. Tiles can now mimic the look of wood and stone without the associated price tag and maintenance. Wood plank tile is in high demand as a flooring option, as well as for other surfaces.

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