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Realising a property’s full potential is all about looking at prevailing trends alongside your own personal preferences. Naturally, the home you live in should reflect who you are and what you enjoy; at the same time, selling or renting a property is much easier, not to mention lucrative, when you can make it appeal to others.

It can sometimes seem like every decade, year and month brings new trends and ‘in’ home improvement ideas, so naturally not everything will appeal to you. One thing that you will notice quickly, however, is that the best ideas will often stay popular for years on end. White walls and open spaces have been consistently popular for more than ten years, though more and more people are now looking to fill their properties with colour and character.

Something to keep in mind is that if you want your redecorating, remodelling or refurbishing work to really strike a chord with buyers, it should always be done to a professional standard. Do not be afraid of speaking to a local interior designer, furniture specialist or decorator about your plans; not only will they be able to help you get them done quickly and efficiently, they will also be able to offer expert advice on making the end result that much more satisfying.

So, let’s take a look at the biggest home design trends for 2018!

White flooring

Much of the noughties and twenty-tens have been characterised by a preference for lightly coloured walls. This is a simple design scheme which lends itself to a huge number of different styles while also helping to make rooms seem more open and airy.

For homeowners who want to enjoy these benefits, but find nothing but white walls to be a boring design choice, the ideal solution could be white or lightly coloured flooring. Though a pure-white carpet can be difficult to maintain, alternatives such as tiling, painted wood and concrete are easy to clean. Even if it gets a little messy, white flooring can easily suit any design scheme you choose for your walls, as well any style of furniture or accessories.

When it comes to new flooring, it is always worth looking online for inspiration. You can also benefit from speaking with a flooring specialist about what materials will best suit your budget, along with the amount of foot traffic you can expect for the room in question. If you want flooring for your kitchen, for example, your choice will need to be more hardwearing than it would for a bedroom or lounge.

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Dark colours

Some of the most successful trends in history became popular simply because they made a huge departure from what came before. As you might expect, the declining popularity of white walls has led to a preference for bolder and darker colours in the home. Not only can they make a property seem more modern and stylish, but with the right balance of natural light to bring them out these colours can also fill a room with character.

At the moment, the prevailing preference seems to be for navy and even black. An important thing to remember is that the right choice of paint is as much about style as it is colour: a matte blue is bold, while an eggshell is glossy and reflective, and so on. It is also worth keeping in mind that if you find these colours somewhat claustrophobic, you can still enjoy the benefits by restricting them to a statement wall.

Remember, a bad painting or wallpapering job, even with the ideal choice of material, is easy to spot. If you lack experience, it could well be worth bringing in a professional local decorator to do the work.

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Different sinks

Taking advantage of a property means paying attention to the little details, right down to the choice of sink. Whereas recent years have seen a preference for white and stainless steel sinks, it appears that the current consensus is leaning more towards choices that show off bare materials or alternative metals, such as granite, concrete and copper.

Like paint and wallpaper, your choice of sink should reflect the ambiance that you want to create. For example, if you prefer a rustic kitchen, you may want to ask a local bathroom fitter to help you source local stone. You should also keep in mind that a choice of material does not have to be restricted to a single feature. If you chose brass handles for your taps, why not add them to your cupboards as well to create a more cohesive look overall?

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Smart lighting

The growing preference for smart lighting has been as much about changing attitudes as it has new technology. There was a time when ‘going green’ was seen as the sole domain of those willing to sacrifice comfort and performance to save the planet, but now advances in sustainable energy and smart technology have turned this idea on its head.

‘Smart lighting’ is a great practical way of reducing your energy bills along with your carbon footprint. In a nutshell, it allows you to control and programme your property’s lighting at home and on the go. You could get to work only to realise that you left your lights on, or you may want to have your lighting adjust itself automatically depending on the time of day. Best of all, the financial benefits of smart lighting can allow the technology to pay for itself in just a few years!

As beneficial as smart lighting can be for your own energy usage, it is also a fantastic way to future proof your property. We can say with absolute certainty that this kind of technology is only going to become more popular as time goes on, especially given the government’s commitment to saving the environment. As such, installing smart lighting and heating now could really make your property stand out. Why not speak to an electrician or home automation specialist today to go over your options?

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Patterned plants

There are plenty of reasons to bring a little more greenery into your home. As well as adding colour, plantlife can help to reduce stress and make your property seem less stale. 

Now it seems that people are taking things a step further with ‘patterned plants’, which offer distinctive natural textures and differing colours. Not only are these plants beautiful to look at, but varieties like snake plants are also relatively easy to care for.

Adding plants to your home is a fantastic idea - just remember to keep the basics in mind! A house plant needs adequate access to sunlight, as well as periodic watering. You could even score extra points by bringing in local varieties, so do not be afraid of asking a gardener in the area for some professional advice.

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Statement ceilings

When it comes to decorating ceilings often go overlooked. Granted, formerly popular choices like Artex have been distinctly, decidedly uncool for quite some time now, but it seems that people are finally catching on to the potential of what should be seen, at least as far as decorating is concerned, as another wall.

Don’t worry, there is no need to go about trying to recreate the Sistine Chapel! Using paint, textures, tiles or even wallpaper on your ceilings could do wonders for the overall ambiance of the room. Even exposed beams and rafters can add extra character to a design scheme. ‘Statement ceilings’ has become a far more popular search trend recently, so you will not be lacking for inspiration if you go searching online.

The one downside is that trying to decorate a ceiling without having a method will usually result in a messy face. To get the job done quickly and evenly, consult a local decorator.

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Improving not moving

Over the last few years, Britain’s property market has been undergoing major changes, some for the worse. Many homeowners are now choosing to improve the properties that they already have, simply because moving to the next rung on the ladder is too expensive to consider.

When you need more space but moving is impossible, the next best thing is to improve on what you have! If your property is blessed with an unused loft, cellar or garage, you could find that you have ample space for a conversion. Alternatively, if you have space in your garden you could think about building a garden office or even a flat-annexe.

Projects like this can be expensive, though some could add so much value to your property that they end up paying for themselves when you eventually come to sell. That being said, it can be worth speaking to a local estate agent before anyone else. This is simply because if your property is already highly valued compared to others in the area, adding more living space may not be profitable after all.

One last thing to keep in mind is that the most expensive home improvement projects are also the most likely to turn into disasters without proper planning. Before you start thinking about anything else, talk to a local structural engineer about your plans!

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