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What home improvements can we expect for 2019?

Kitchen and lounge extension in a property in Cardiff, South Wales

With 2019 well underway, property improvements are either planned or taking place all over Cardiff and South Wales - but what can we expect from a housing and design perspective when it comes to home improvements this year? Here, we take a look at some expectations from both an economic and stylistic point of view.

What does the housing market have in store?

The housing market experienced a small decline during the second half of 2018, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) is expecting the number of existing home sales to continue declining through 2019. In contrast, Chief Economist Robert Dietz has revealed that new-home sales and single-family starts are expected to finish 3-5% higher than they were in 2017.

Dietz claims the slowdown in existing home sales is due to familiar themes, most notably the state of housing affordability across the UK, which is currently at a 10-year low alongside lower income growth. This has run alongside a general increase in home prices over the past 5-or-so years.

He goes on to say that additional declines in existing home sales is expected, but an increase in single-family construction is likely to continue its growth. In both cases, home improvements are a hot topic. Current homeowners and new-home buyers alike are looking to improve or personalise their properties with conversions, extensions, and new kitchens and bathrooms.

How about home design predictions?

As far as home design for 2019 goes, we expect to see familiar things remain popular, as well as a number of new emerging trends.

Open floor plans have been a favourite for many years now, and we don't expect to see them drop in popularity any time soon. A Houzz 2018 Kitchen Trends Study revealed that around 50% of homeowners opting to renovate their kitchen chose to do so by incorporating other interior spaces into the design, with a completely open transition or double doors linking the spaces being the most popular choice. Glass and steel dividers are commonly being used between interior rooms to provide a spacious and open environment while still providing an element of privacy and noise control. Strong indoor and outdoor connections are also a popular choice, with high ceilings and well-placed glass helping smaller homes appear brighter and more roomy.

Kitchen and lounge extension in a property in Cardiff, South Wales

The desire for an outdoor living space is still strong, as is the blurring of lines between inside and outside, and we expect this to be a prominent design consideration - especially as the summer approaches. A recent home design trends survey conducted by AIA found that it was a top speciality area, with over 50% of architects reporting that its popularity is increasing.

Homeowners are most often choosing to improve the inside and outside relationship within their property by selecting large sliding and folding doors, which are now available in a range of different price points and styles to suit many different budgets and tastes. One in five homeowners are opening up their kitchens to the outdoors to expand the living space, so we expect to see more kitchen areas completely opening up to the garden decks and patios throughout 2019.

Kitchen and lounge extension opening up into the garden in a property in Cardiff, South Wales

Sticking with the kitchen, large kitchen islands are popular and are a feature that are always put to fantastic use when installed, so this means that builders need to be aware of what's underfoot. A strong and stable subfloor can help reduce unwanted squeaks and bounces that can be exacerbated by kitchen islands.

Kitchen diner extension with kitchen island in a property in Cardiff, South Wales

Mid-century modern architecture is also proving incredibly popular, and modern or contemporary styles are being softened with choices of wood or stone incorporated into the design in creative ways. These are choices that are especially desirable for home buyers who find true modern design a little too hard or severe.

First-floor master bedrooms are always in high demand and were one of the top features in the AIA survey. Multi-generational living is also driving the demand for master-down bedrooms, and even dual master suites, with one up and one down so that older relatives can live on the first floor. Another trend is a finished basement or lower level floor being converted into an additional living space, which is often utilised by boomerang kids choosing to move back into the family home.

Basement conversion at a house in Cardiff

Dark finishes are cropping up around rooms such as the bathroom and kitchen, with black matte faucets and black stainless steel appliances coming into vogue. Speciality finishes like brushed brass or copper tones are housing lights as well as various fixtures and fittings. Black cabinets paired with white walls, back splashes and counter tops is predicted to be a big monochrome hit for 2019.

Are you looking for local Cardiff builders to help make your dream home and ideas become a reality? If so, get in touch with RGB Construction today so that we can get the wheels in motion and discuss the building services you're interested in. With a free no obligation quotation and plenty of advice on offer, there's no reason not to! Call us on 07946 452571, e-mail or fill in our online contact form.

Photography by Shawn Eastman

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