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We asked the professional residential designers at Neil Kelly what’s new in home design, and they identified seven current trends that are changing the form, function and future of Northwest homes:

Trend #1: Healthy Home Environments

According to the world’s leading platform for home remodeling and design, Houzz.com, nearly half of us remodel to prevent potential health problems. Whether it’s non-VOC finishes, no-formaldehyde cabinets, or better air filtration systems, homeowners realize a benefit to the family in creating a healthy living space.

Trend #2: Creature Comforts

Some creature comforts never go out of style, and many see technological improvements over the years. That’s the case with heated floors in the bathroom. “It gets pretty cold in Central Oregon, so my clients here often want heated floors,” says Kathleen Donohue. “And these clients took it a step further and added an increasingly popular feature — a heated towel rack.”

Trend #3: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Innovative approaches to sourcing have introduced a new generation of beautiful, unique and sustainable products. For example, Viridian is an Oregon company that takes beautiful old wood, saves it from the landfill, and repurposes it as a raw material. “When shipping containers make their way from Asia they look pretty rough, but with a little sanding beautiful colors and grain patterns appear,” says Neil Kelly Design Consultant Karen Richmond. “It’s versatile, bursts with personality, and it’s wood we wouldn’t normally have available to work with.”

Trend #4: Remodel vs Move

Maybe the recession taught us something. Or maybe people would rather scratch their fingernails on a chalkboard than move. Either way, an emerging housing trend is that more and more folks are opting to remodel their existing home than move to a new one. Clearly every situation is different, but many sources confirm that more folks are discovering it’s less expensive and more satisfying to stay than go.

Trend #5: And The Winning Color Is….”

Neil Kelly designers are reluctant to identify a “trending” color, because typically there are a range of colors in the current palette. Here’s a little color tip from Neil Kelly Seattle Design Consultant Diane Foreman: “If you want to know what the hot colors are going to be in the coming year don’t go to the paint store, go to a store that sells bath towels,” she says. “They will start stocking new towel colors long before those colors show up in the paint stores.”

Trend #6: Contemporary Comeback

Four hundred designers couldn’t be wrong, right? Well, sure they could, but not about this trend. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s style report, designers agree there is a move toward simplicity in a cleaner, more contemporary design. Say goodbye to rustic and hello to a more minimalist modern groove.

Trend #7: Transitional over Traditional

A few years ago raised panel cabinet doors were all the rage — they were everywhere. Now, flat cabinet panels are in. “And that’s probably the biggest component in that design shift,” says Neil Kelly Design Consultant Janel Campbell. “I think people have so much going on in their daily lives that when they get home they are looking for a peaceful atmosphere with less clutter — fewer lines — and less stress.”

Fall Into Home with Neil Kelly

If you’re thinking about what’s next for your home, you’ll find inspiration, information and fun at Neil Kelly’s Fall Into Home September Seminar Series. From kitchen and bath remodeling trends and best practices, to whole-house remodeling and historic home renovation, to energy efficiency retrofits and solar energy systems and programs; the Fall Into Home Series will address a broad range of home improvement and remodeling topics, all presented by Neil Kelly’s experienced designers and home energy experts. See the complete schedule and RSVP www.neilkelly.com/events.

Neil Kelly Company, a certified B corporation, is an innovative residential design-build remodeling firm helping homeowners care for all aspects of their homes. Services include custom homes, award-winning design-build remodeling, energy upgrades, solar energy systems, and home repairs big and small. With five Pacific Northwest locations in Portland, Lake Oswego, Eugene, Bend and Seattle, Neil Kelly is renowned for its quality craftsmanship and sustainable building practices.

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