Top Home Trends Predicted for 2013


As we dive into the new year, we like to look ahead and try to predict what’s in store for homeowners and home improvement professionals. Each year, we start off by asking what trends we can look forward to. Looking back at last year’s question, we were amazed to see how accurate some of our expert predictions were.

Our designers did a great job letting us know what trends we should watch out for. This year, according to Pantone, the world’s most renowned experts on color, the number one color of 2013 has been decided: emerald green. Will we see emerald green in our homes? Which decorating trends will we see in 2013? Simplifying? Downsizing? Modernizing?

We also got great advice from our contractors and builders. Based on reports from 2012, it is clear that residential construction spending is on the rise according to the National Association of Home Builders. Will the housing market continue to improve in 2013? Even more, will current home owners be looking to accomplish specific remodeling projects?

We look to our home experts for their sound advice on what we should expect to see in 2013:

What trends will be popular this year?

Designers: What is hot right now in terms of design, color, styles, and more?

Contractors: What new materials, techniques, types of projects, fixtures, layouts, and more will dominate 2012?

Most importantly, which trends are going to last and which ones will fizzle as passing fads?

We look forward to what 2013 will bring in the home industries. Check back next week to see what our experts have to say!

Experts, post your answers in the comment field below!


  1. In the homebuilding industry we have noticed nationally the trend towards buying in Houston. Grand View Builders’ headquarters is in Houston and we serve the San Antonio, Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth markets as well. Houston has been a booming market for the past few years and we have seen this increase in our sales as well. The city is growing rapidly with an increase in new jobs and thus new inhabitants. Apartment prices have been steadily increasing in Houston and the surrounding towns, and the housing market is healthy as well. Our company had a record 2012 and we think that in Houston and across the country, this trend will be sustained throughout 2013.

    • Thanks for the comment, and we are happy to hear that 2012 was a record setting year for Grand View Builders! It was a great year for a lot of our experts and we hope that 2013 is even better!

  2. Ask 10 interior designers what will be trending in 2013 and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Maybe with a bit of overlap, if you’re lucky. My predictions for 2013 can be categorized into materials, colors and patterns. For materials, the metal of the moment is brass. I used a lot of brass in cabinet hardware and a wet bar faucet in a Show House room I just designed towards the end of 2012. Brass has a warm golden tone that paints rooms in opulence and luxury. The colors trending now are greens, purples and grays. Pantone predicted that emerald green is 2013’s color of the year. Emerald is lovely, but highly saturated, and may be hard for homeowners to stomach on a grand scale. I will use it as an accent color and in patterned fabrics like florals and toiles. I still like citron and apple green in 2013. Because they’re lighter and fresher, they’re easier to use in large scale. Purples appeared in 2012 in orchid and plum tones. These colors will continue in popularity in 2013, but I also predict we’ll see richer purples like aubergine and softer purples like lilac. Gray seems to be the neutral that will temper these bold color trends. I’m seeing charcoal everywhere, especially on walls. For patterns, I think Moroccan motifs are waning and we’ll see florals make a comeback. Chintz, the glazed cotton fabric that’s been around forever, is on everyone’s hot list. I also see lace as a strong pattern. For those who like bold strokes, we’ll see pixelated and digitized images in large scale imprinted for use as murals and wallpapers. They’ve appeared as textile prints in fashion and will follow on the home decor front.

    • We completely agree that emerald green might be hard to deal with if a whole room is painted that color, however, accenting with it, will make a room pop! We can’t wait to see how it is used. If you have any pictures throughout the year of your work with this color we would love to see it!

  3. For 2013 we see clients continue moving towards character and warmth in their spaces. The use of weathered, vintage, and reclaimed pieces will be a major contrast to the endless white walls of past McMansion era decor. Clients are particularly interested in pieces that have a history or a story to them. Decor items such as old signage, industrial storage units, and building materials (such as old brick or wood) are highly sought after. TV shows such as American Pickers combined with sustainable design practices (reduce, reuse, recycle) have created demand for anything vintage or reclaimed. These pieces tend to provide a richness of patina that new items don’t have.

  4. I’m hopeful that in 2013 the trend will be for the infrastructures we design, build and or re-build endure the unforeseen challenges nature will deliver in the future. After being blessed not to have suffered like others ravaged by Sandy on the Jersey shore, the time was yesterday that local, state and national governments, in conjunction with the real estate, building/architecture and remodeler industries, to name a few, mandate into the approval/permitting process climate change adaption and hazard mitigation (defined in 44 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Subpart M, Section 206.401 as “any action taken to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life and property from natural hazards). As Americans, we can no longer sustain our way of life by being reactive rather than proactive to climate change and natural disasters. The costs to our financial, environmental and overall health and well-being are not sustainable. Consider what FEMA Administrator and former Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management Craig Fugate was recently quoted as saying, “We cannot afford to continue to respond to disasters and deal with the consequences under the current model. Risk that is not mitigated, that is not considered in return on investment calculations, often time steps up false economies. We will reach a point where we can no longer subsidize this.” There is a measure of hope on the federal level with the recently proposed STRONG Act—Strengthening The Resiliency of Our Nation on the Ground. Introduced by Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), the bill would support local planning and help to create more resilient communities in the face of increasing extreme weather events. There is an opportunity to invest in the future — today. There are about 500,000 damaged or destroyed properties in the Northeast alone. Here’s hoping we lead the way in climate change adaption and hazard mitigation, and make the tough decisions by moving forward with infrastructure that values science, cost-efficiencies and sustainable operations.

  5. In our interior design shop, clients are purchasing our Made in USA furnishings more than ever before. There is a genuine desire to support American business, and our customers seek out small shops like ours for that reason. Reclaimed woods used in furniture are gaining broad appeal as clients desire pieces with character and enduring style. Neutral tones with an oatmeal or gray tint are sought after for paint colors and large upholstered pieces, acting as the perfect foil for each individual’s design style, expressied via art, accessories, textiles and rugs. Emerald green has been very well received, but in our coastal region the lighter willow greens and citrons remain strong. Blues are getting deeper, with the dusty blues giving way to navy and even royal blue tones.
    Quality has become the story as the backlash against disposable living continues – consumers want the advice that will help them make smart long term choices based on the quality and longevity of furniture pieces. Cleanability and durability of fabrics are important.
    Because of the buying opportunities in the real estate market, we are seeing a lot of projects that involve remodeling and updating interior finishes in bathrooms and kitchens, usually in distressed properties bought at a bargain price that the new owners wish to customize. With home prices staying low, more budget can be allocated towards remodeling and updating interiors; we expect this trend to continue for years here at the beach where people like to invest in property.
    Grays, mushroom, citron, indigo, plum and mauve- red are strong colors that are gaining momentum, while orange, rust, olive and chocolate are waning. Coral continues to be popular with Prussian blue and gold for traditional homes.

  6. The Home Improvement Trends that Zuniga Interiors loves and what we are seeing:

    Wood-look porcelain plank style tile for floors is a huge trend, that we believe will last

    Glass mosaic tiles and glass subway tiles are still very popular; not as much the 1×1 or 2×2 mosaic- now the look is different patterns in mosaic glass- for kitchen and bath

    Neutral decor is big- woods with a soft, creamy more neutral finish for trim, wall treatments, cabinets and floors. Neutrals are popular with furniture finishes as well as neutral upholstery. {check out Restoration Hardware!}

    Grasscloth- a material we love! It’s showing up not just as wallcoverings, also upholstered on furniture- coffee tables, sofa tables, bedside tables, etc. It usually has a finish applied for durability and looks great with nailhead trim!

    Painted Cabinets in Greys and other Neutrals- seen mixed in a kitchen where the island or cabinet uppers are a different painted color than the overall cabinets. A fabulous look!

    Popular colors are Greys, Blues- especially Indigo, while Peacock Blue and Turquoise are still popular. Deep Corals from last year are popular too. The colors seem very true in pigment not soft or pastel-like.

    Tribal Chic is a big trend in decor- kilim rugs, woven African and Eastern fabrics for upholstery, pillow, linens. Woven baskets and pottery from Africa and eastern countries, tribal pieces as art on stands, framed etc.

    Rooms overall are being designed to be lived-in, not for show! We believe rooms should be designed for your lifestyle and you should live with what you love! Comfortable, useable, sustainable furnishings- rooms that mean something to you.

    Zuniga Interiors

  7. Trends? I’m guessing smart survival instincts kick in this year for homeowners looking to improve their homes performance and comfort. You can install a thermostat that learns from your behavior and charts your energy usage online, but first we must keep in mind the simple things.

    How we use our homes has been changing, and the need for improvement is stronger than ever. There are well over a million homes in the U.S. and many need updating. Consider too that many new homes being built today are only our home performance problems of tomorrow. As costs to heat, cool, and power our homes rise and, budget minded families and individuals continue to consider remodeling over building new, making them a safe haven is the right thing to do.

    Remodeling with the idea of protection from the elements when the power goes out adds yet another level of importance and value to Home Performance. It may be protection from the heat of summer or the cold of winter we seek.

    As others have mentioned, grid failures in the summer can put folks at risk as much as an ice storm in the winter does. Our aging infrastructure and increased demand for energy means we are taxing the grid, and our aging housing stock.

    Given the recent events from Hurricane Sandy and the hottest year on record for the U.S., there is no better time than now to improve homes for health and safety, comfort, energy efficiency and weathering the storm!


  8. Kitchen and bath design trends for 2013 will be texture, depth of colors and finishes and even more customization, even on a small scale. Wood finishes have actual texture to them, in both contemporary applications and traditional; think of roughhewn cuts. I think this is to juxtapose the technology we all live with today.
    I do see urban projects going very modern too and chrome has made a comeback. The cabinets have paint finishes like high end cars and plenty of technology as well. I routinely use LED lighting inside cabinets and pantries that come on and off with doors or drawers opening and closing. Even the way cabinet doors slide and bi-pass each other has changed. They can now function the same way a sliding door on a minivan moves with the door actually coming forward, creating a new modern look with both doors in the same plane. If you want to keep your view but need your knives and utensils, the cabinet in the center of the island or peninsula raises up and down with wave of your hand. My favorite carpet mill has just added ten patterns of loop and cut wool available in any color you choose. The patterns are shown in one base color, every order I place is made specifically for my client in their own color. Instead of looking at 9 or 15 colors to choose from, you select your pattern and you decide what shade is best for your home. A small sample is made to approve before it is made up. As I am describing this I have to say this is really revolutionary and I’m feeling like adding the tag line, “There’s an app for that”. People are so used to being able to design their computer desktop, phone or tablet to reflect who they are and how they work, why wouldn’t this transfer to their home? As a designer, I’m having the time of my life with these changes to my industry!

  9. It is all about being Green and you will see more solar,wind and geothermal design coming on the horizon. More and more people looking to save energy. The issue with natural gas and the abundant that we have will be big in 2013. Gas air conditioning can be big if people have gas wells on there property can heat and cool for free. It is a great concept. Thank you

  10. One of the trends I believe we’ll see in home improvements will likely be in the home security field. There has been a tremendous push for more home automation and integration with home security systems. People enjoy being away from the home yet still managing their security from wherever they’re at. Several alarm companies have created mobile apps as well as various means to connect you to security system away from your home. This has several useful applications. If you get an alarm notification via an app, you can either acknowledge the alarm from your location and notify the alarm company whether you want the police to arrive or if you’re aware of the alarm and will take care of it yourself. The other thing you will see will be the ability to use an app to link to a video access control system and visually verify someone who needs entry into the home while you’re away. With the demand for automation and integration with various platforms, you will see this kind of technology matriculate into the home improvement sector.

  11. Home renovations can be an effective strategy and smart investment when looking to sell your home, because renovated, turn-key homes sell more quickly and at a higher price than outdated homes. There are a variety of fresh and creative ways, both big and small, to achieve the goals of increased functionality, visual appeal and resale value. A few recommendations include making kitchen improvements a top priority, staying neutral and cost-effective improvements for a fresh look. Below are my 7 tips to consider when renovating your home.

    1) Make kitchen improvements a top priority. Your kitchen is the most utilized room in your home, a place where families and friends gather for daily meals and holiday celebrations. The kitchen space, now more than ever, serves as a central gathering point and an extension of living and family rooms, the so-called great rooms. It’s also one of the most important areas that buyers look at when searching for a home. An updated kitchen is great for resale value.

    2) Make small, cost-effective improvements for a fresh look. Painting, whether interior or exterior, is relatively low-cost and adds a quick revamp to your home. Another way to improve on a small budget is by cleaning up and trimming landscaping, and adding new, affordable plants. Adding new plants will give your yard a pop of color and won’t break the bank. You want the best first impression and “curb appeal” for your property, and fresh flowers and landscaping will add allure to the outdoor area.

    De-cluttering is another easy step, and makes a big difference in making the home look larger. Realtor Magazine has an extensive array of tips advising sellers to be clutter-free; clear all unnecessary items from furniture throughout the house, and display accessories only in groups of one, three and five items.

    Imagine that you are a prospective buyer seeing your home for the first time, and use that critical eye as a guide for getting your property into shape.

    3) Pay attention to market trends. When looking to make renovations to your home, pay attention to what will also contribute to resale value. For example, modernized bathrooms and showers are important to homebuyers. Also, creating an open floor plan for the living space, and choosing dryscape and water-conserving landscaping can be effective. Pay attention to market trends and any new and important features for homebuyers. This will help make sure you get the best return on your renovation investment.

    4) Stay neutral. Keep your color palettes centered on neutral earth tones when renovating, while incorporating some contrast. You want to appeal to the largest selection of buyers, and neutral colors make it easier for buyers to visualize living there. Also, neutral colors can easily be painted over to meet buyer preferences. The most important thing is for the buyer to be able to visualize the home to meet their tastes after they make the purchase. It will be harder for the buyer to picture this with loud and outdated, odd colors throughout the home.

    5) Look at houses in your neighborhood that have recently sold. By checking out homes that are for sale and have recently sold in your neighborhood, you can get a better idea of where to improve. Which styles and finishes garnered the best values? Hire a licensed and experienced contractor familiar to the area. Decide which areas of the home are most important and serve as the best areas to spend your money to see the highest return.

    6) Don’t over-improve. This is a common mistake among many homeowners, especially when deciding to take on a home renovation project without the help of a professional. If you over-improve and spend money on unimportant remodeling projects, you won’t see a return on your investment, particularly if the work makes your property the highest priced home in the neighborhood.

    If you are unsure of which renovations to make, and where to spend the money, it’s best to get the opinions of professionals. Consult multiple contractors, compare notes and make an informed decision on where to improve, including the areas that aren’t as critical to be updated.

    7) If it’s too tough to DIY, hire a professional! Make sure to hire a professional before taking on a project that’s too tough to do it yourself (DIY). The last thing you want is to spend the money to start a home renovation project before realizing that you are in over your head, and need to spend additional funds and time hiring a professional to correct your mistakes. Before starting a project yourself, be 100 percent confident that you can finish the job correctly on your own. If not, you will save time and money by hiring a licensed contractor.

  12. I could definitely say that shutters have made a huge come back recently.
    While Mediterranean inspired decor has been very popular lately with an
    over 22% jump in our curtains and draperies from our “Gypsy Night” fabric

    I definitely think that from a color perspective we have been doing a lot
    of grey window treatments lately as well and definitely see that as being
    a major trend for 2013.

  13. A home improvement trend that is slipping in under the radar (perhaps
    because it is a very sensitive topic to talk about!) is the usage of
    flushable wipes at home. 1 in 4 Americas uses flushable wipes as a
    supplement to dry toilet tissue now. Here at Freshends we sell an upscale product that is suitable for use in a guest bath and not something that needs to stay under the counter or tucked away in a cabinet. Freshends flushable moist towelettes are the highest in quality available and one of only 1/2 of 1% of products that have been certified for use on board cruise lines and yachts and in all systems including sewer and septic and something that a home owner is not embarrassed to have out for the us of guests.

    • Hi Ann,

      This seems like a great product! It is amazing how far the flushable wipe industry has come in recent years. Thanks for providing those stats to us!

      – Melissa
      (Community Manager)

  14. 1) Interior wood finishing and healthier air

    Consumers are increasingly demanding “greener” choices for interior stains. However, they are not willing to sacrifice ease of application and maintenance or high quality products. Many interior coatings contain harsh solvents that release highly toxic fumes – known as VOCs, or Volatile Organic Compounds – into the air long after application. Customers are also asking for rich, vibrant colors of stain.

    2) Use wood stain on the interior to highlight natural wood grain

    Staining and clear-coating wood, rather than painting it, creates a unique, sophisticated and timeless effect inside the home. Staining wood brings out the interesting and complex character of the wood grain, which can add tremendous warmth to your décor. Maintenance is also a consideration when deciding between paint and stain. It is important to note that a properly finished wood surface will outlast a painted surface because high quality stains and clear coats.

  15. Concrete is the new and hot flooring alternative and that’s why I am developing The Concrete Floor Store , to meet the demand for concrete flooring and to be a local leader representing the products and manufacturer’s that cater to the industry.

    Two big trade shows are now a yearly event that are growing rapidly-World of Concrete in Las Vegas in February and the Concrete Decor Show in Charlotte NC, showing that the demand for decorative concrete is skyrocketing.

  16. What’s going to fade fast:
    -Globes & orb lights in backyards
    -Halogen Lights
    -Plastic & Aluminum light fixtures

    What’s trending for outdoor lighting in 2013 and will stay:
    -Color changing lights
    -More LED’s
    -More green, and energy efficient
    -Lifetime warranties
    -More homeowners are installing outdoor lighting. More standard home improvement project.

  17. Will we see emerald green in our homes?
    I am not sure that we will see any emerald green as a design choice unless it is incorporated into furnishings such as throw pillows or vases, per say. This seems to be more of a fashion color statement than an interior design choice.

    Which decorating trends will we see in 2013? Simplifying? Downsizing?
    Design choices and decorating trends seem to be headed in a modern, minimalist direction. I have seen a lot of open areas which allow for the appearance of openness and extra space. When renovating kitchens, there tends to be a shift towards as much open space as possible. This can be accomplished by eliminating upper cabinets in most of the kitchen and adding an island with large drawers.

    Designers: what is hot right now in terms of design, color, styles, and

    I see a shift towards adding a luxurious look through the use of color. Greys can accomplish this as the offset of a white trim will add a rich look to any room. I receive a lot of inquiries for “upscale hotel” looks. People seem to want their homes to be warm and welcoming but not cluttered with “things”. This is especially true of bedrooms and bathrooms.

    Contractors: what new materials, techniques, types of projects, fixtures, layouts, and more will dominate 2012?
    I think that dark wood floors are going to be huge this year. We are definitely moving away from the lighter is better phase where wood flooring and cabinets are concerned. The appeal of dark wood flooring allows people to incorporate white cabinets into their homes now (a look I absolutely love). I also see a push for opening up living spaces. Many people want to open their kitchen, living room, dining room, and outdoor spaces so that they flow as one entity as not to compartmentalize their lives.

    I honestly think we are entering into a minimalist era. People seem to feel that experience and happiness is more important than the accumulation of “things”. This definitely reflects in the remodeling and design choices that they make. It seems much more important to incorporate finer finishes, such as higher end cabinets and granite as opposed to adding a trendy item such as a wine cellar or outdoor kitchen. I think that the design choices utilized today will last a long time because they are not trendy and will appeal to the majority of people. The “inspiration” pictures that clients provide me with incorporate neutral tones that relate back to nature.

  18. What is your real estate forecast for 2013?

    We can comfortably state that the home market has gone up this year and we do expect it to maintain the same pace. With that said, however, it should be clear that the pace is very, very slow. In fact it is often less than 1% of the previous years numbers, and very far below the 2009 numbers.

    Will 2013 be a buyer’s market? A good year to sell?

    Predictable Factors that will impact the pace will be inventory of homes for sale, foreclosure and short sales on the market. Until the foreclosure and short sale inventory is reduced, home prices will not increase. If demand and prices don’t increase, then it is very difficult for home owners who are under water, to sell for a reasonable price.

    Which parts of the country will see the most recovery/growth?

    It’s always hard to pinpoint these questions, but many times areas that fell hardest climb a bit faster. The largest areas of home construction pre 2009 were areas like Arizona, Florida, Las Vegas. As the Baby Boomers continue to retire in droves, moving to warmer and less expensive areas created a high demand. After the market crashed, these areas were devastated by huge amount of inventory available. The opportunity for growth exists where the losses were lowest. Areas of strong business or industry also have great opportunity. The Tri- State area for example did not fall as hard or fast as the previously mentioned areas. So the uptick may not be as large in the bigger tier cities, these areas can be compared to Blue chip stocks. Strong, steady and as reliable as feasibly possible.

    Does the current state of the economy affect the home’s value moving forward? Are there any laws regulating original value of home versus the recession value, when a home is repossessed?

    There are no real laws around value. Value is a by product of supply and demand. Simple economics. The economy affects the housing market by allowing for growth and upward mobility. Real estate as an asset is the last to buy and last to sell. Most people do not buy a home unless they can afford to put the requirement money down and afford carrying it. Conversely, people do not dump real estate unless they are in a very bad way. Inventory affects the market. The tighter the inventory the less for a buyer to choose from. Also, the more difficult it is to borrow money, or pay for taxes, insurance and a mortgage, the less demand to buy real estate. The current economic is odd. It offers amazing rates to borrow money, but it’s very restrictive as to who can qualify. On the flip side, the inventory for a buyer is low because of people not willing to take a loss on their own, unless they absolutely must. The good news is that as the stick market continues to move upward, confidence grows, discretionary income increases and then! Real estate moves.

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