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Common Design Trends & Questions: Answered!

Walking through a home, have you ever found yourself asking ‘how can I shift this room around?’ or ‘what can be done about moving this wall or this bathroom?’ These are common and curious questions we ponder — but often times we do not have a concrete answer.

Did You Know?

Earlier this week, two of our rockstar designers Jen Hinesman and Melanie Grabarkiewicz spoke with realtors at Howard Hanna. They discussed design issues, design trends, and answered the aforementioned questions to give homeowners and realtors the power to make educated decisions.

Trends that we’ve noticed bring upon this ‘less is more’ concept: ornamentation out, simplicity in. In an effort to simplify spaces and make them more flexible with our everyday lives, we see smaller homes with smaller carbon footprints in better locations and neighborhoods, efficient use of space (such as not having a dining room or formal living room), and more. All of these changes sound great, but how do we get there? What steps do we need to take? How much yellow is TOO much yellow for the guest bedroom?

Many homeowners look at a home think of all their hopes and dreams. It all begins with the idea of renovating the kitchen, which ultimately spirals into a complete main floor renovation with significant exterior patch and repair. To avoid this, here are a two ways to keep your scope of work contained and in line with your budget expectations:

Pull & Replace vs. Total Gut Remodel

Pull & Replace is more than a facelift; a facelift is painting the cabinets and adding a simple backsplash. Pull & Replace is leaving the plumbing in the same locations, including gas and water lines. Other items of note are replacing cabinetry, countertops, lighting, and other finishes that you touch and feel.

old kitchen total remodeled open kitchen

A Total Gut Remodel is a much larger scale project, such as moving the kitchen to a different location in the house and moving other large things that require further design and detail. Sometimes gut remodels may not stay within the existing footprint of the home, adding more cost with new additions or reconfigurations to meet your needs.

Types of Projects

Jen and Melanie narrowed down the most impactful remodeling projects that homeowners consider to raise the value of their home and improve their daily lives. These projects include the following:

Kitchens & Baths

Examples of trends in kitchens and baths:

  • 3-toned kitchens
  • Soft-colored kitchens (not just white, grey’s more popular)
  • Wood cabinets + accents + dark-colored cabinets
  • Backsplash slabs (quartz or marble to match countertop — easy to maintain and look simple, and not as many grout lines to clean!)
  • Wood-flooring: good for people with allergies, easy to clean and maintain, and a longer lifestyle (wood flooring can be refinished multiple times before replacement)


In the end, all the sights and sounds of homeowners are subjective. But trends help us easily identify the questions we ask ourselves at the preliminary stage — and help us avoid making the mistakes that cost us money and time. Tackling remodeling projects can be a substantial task on our own, but with the advice and help from trusted design leads like Jen and Melanie from Meadowlark, you can have the confidence to make educated decisions on your home’s future!


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