5 trends in home design that will stand the test of time

A lot of home design trends are over fast, making homes feel dated — think plastic furniture covers or shag carpet in the bathroom. Others have the power to endure, either because they strike the right balance of style and functionality, or they solve a real problem for homeowners.

We turned to the pros to pinpoint five trends in home design that should deliver satisfaction and value over the long haul.

1. Durable materials

Homeowners are staying in their homes longer than ever — a decade or more in many cases, up from the usual five to seven years. That’s putting a premium on long-lasting materials. A favorite among designers and contractors is quartz countertops, which can resemble natural stone but are far more resistant to staining and scratching.

Porcelain tile flooring is another hot material that combines durability and aesthetics. Wood-look porcelain is particularly popular, given the preference for hardwood flooring throughout the home, including the bathroom, where natural wood floors would be prone to water damage.

2. Low-maintenance finishes

With the pace of life continuing to pick up for most Americans, anything that reduces maintenance is sure to catch on. That’s why many designers think black stainless steel is here to stay. Most appliance manufacturers now have versions of the material, which has a warmer feel than traditional stainless steel. Black stainless steel also resists smudges and fingerprints better than traditional metal, making it a perfect fit for households with young children.

The low-maintenance trend also appeals to older homeowners, who are looking to stay in their homes as they age. Examples include self-cleaning gutters, which eliminate the need to climb up and down ladders, or low-maintenance groundcovers in place of labor-intensive lawns.

3. Smart technology

Smart home technology continues to push into the mainstream. In fact, real estate agents say it’s becoming a key selling point, especially among younger buyers. The best technology adds safety, convenience and efficiency. Smart thermostats check all three boxes, automatically controlling a home’s climate to make it more healthy, comfortable and energy-efficient. Other can’t-miss smart home technology, according to the HomeAdvisor pros doing the installations, include video doorbells, smart locks and automated lighting.

4. Outdoor living

There’s a reason building a deck or patio is one of HomeAdvisor’s most common project requests: Outdoor living is a must-have feature of today’s homes. Not surprisingly, HomeAdvisor’s latest Homeowner Happiness Index put decks and patios on the list of features that spark the most joy in homeowners, right up there with up-to-date kitchens and bathrooms.

Manufacturers have responded with a slew of products and materials aimed at maximizing the outdoor living experience, including weather-resistant countertops, backyard fire pits and folding glass doors that create a seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors.

5. Wellness features

The wellness trend is evident all over the house, starting with the kitchen. Steam ovens, for example, which are a fast and healthy way to prepare meals, are being tapped by more designers, according to data from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. Small appliance sales are also surging, including blenders for smoothies, dips and other healthful recipes, and multi-cookers that can whip up a batch of quinoa, oatmeal or even yogurt.

Beyond the kitchen, home construction pros are seeing a rise in wellness rooms, whether for yoga, meditation or a spin on the Internet-connected stationary bike. These spaces are a way for homeowners to ensure that their bodies and minds stand the test of time, as much as the home design trends listed here.