4 Home Improvement Trends For 2019

De Wolde is a self-proclaimed “wannabe” designer. (She’s pretty great at it. Look at this gorgeous circa-1906 home she renovated in Alabama.) Photo: Phantom Screens.

It’s a new year; are you planning a home renovation? We had the opportunity to speak to Esther de Wolde, CEO of Phantom Screens in Abbotsford, British Columbia, about the most popular up-and-coming trends in home design. De Wolde, who’s been in the window screen industry for over 25 years, makes it (literally) her business to keep up with the most common ways homeowners choose to improve their properties. Here are her predictions for the coming year.

1. “Luxury” Upgrades

Don’t let the word “luxury” fool you. It’s not about solid gold toilets or Swarovski-encrusted light fixtures. (Though if that’s your thing, have at it!) You don’t have to spend a fortune; you can make an impressive improvement to the look of your home if you’re selective about the upgrades you choose.

“Pick things in your house that you can show off and that make you feel good, as opposed to altering the bones beneath,” says de Wolde. In a kitchen, for example, that might include repainting the kitchen cabinets with high-end paint, swapping out countertops, or even buying new cabinet hardware. De Wolde believes, “Those splashy elements just sing when you walk into a room. Those little touches don’t cost as much as re-doing a space top to bottom, but they can transform the look of your home.”

Combine what you’ve got with something new for a quick upgrade. Photo: Phantom Screens.

2. Home Automation

“The world just can’t seem to get enough of home automation,” notes de Wolde. Indeed, the trend that began with Bill Gates’ fully-automated home in Washington State has spread to us regular folks.

“Homeowners realize they can operate anything from their phone or their tablet,” says de Wolde. From security systems to lighting to temperature control, every aspect of our homes can be operated at the touch of a button. “That’s the beauty of home automation; it’s feeling in control wherever you are.”

At the touch of a button, your home can do your bidding. Photo: Phantom Screens.

3. Blurring The Line Between Indoors and Outdoors

It seems like a fitting pushback to our reliance on technology. As much as we require the ease and efficiency of high technology (see number 2 above), we also want to be closer to nature and we want our homes to reflect that.

This trend is de Wolde’s personal favorite. “Outdoor rooms expand living space,” she says. Exterior furniture is becoming more and more stylish, luxurious and comfortable. All-season rooms can work in any climate thanks to cozy fire features and sturdy screening. “It’s really cool to see what the designers and architects are doing with new homes and renovations when it comes to indoor/outdoor living space. People are very excited about it.”

Create an “outdoor adjacent” space: all the fresh air, none of the bothersome mosquitoes. Photo: Phantom Screens.

4. Maximizing Natural Light

“Seeking natural daylight is something people long for both for aesthetic reasons and because of what it does to our moods,” explains de Wolde. She’s noticed that the trend is tending toward bigger and bolder windows. “It’s an onslaught of all things glass,” she says. “The whole sliding glass wall phenomenon; they keep getting taller and wider. Double French doors are all the rage. They’re beautiful.”

Open up a wall to bring in more light. Photo: Visbeen Architects.