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Upgrade Your Home With These 2024 Design Trends

One of the best parts of owning a home is the freedom to make it truly your own with design choices that reflect your personality and lifestyle. Whether you lean toward contemporary design or a farmhouse aesthetic, your home is your canvas.

Even so, it’s always smart to think about the long-term impact those decisions might have on your home’s value. Choosing over-personalized or unpopular materials and finishes could make your home less appealing to future buyers. And selecting out-of-style or overly-trendy elements could cause your home to feel dated quickly.

To help inspire your design choices, we’ve rounded up some of the top trends we’re watching in 2024. Keep in mind, not all of these will work well in every house. If you plan to list or renovate your property, give us a call. We can help you realize your vision and maximize the impact of your investment.


      1. Spa-Like Bathrooms

We could all use a little more relaxation in our lives—so why not bring the spa into your home? In 2024, more homeowners will remodel their bathrooms to turn them into personal oases.1,2

If you’re undertaking a renovation, consider upgrading fixtures and materials. Handmade tile and custom cabinetry can add a touch of style and luxury. Trade stark whites for warm neutrals to create a more relaxed feel—think light wood tones, creams, and beiges.3 Complete the look with soft ambient lighting from a backlit mirror or pair of decorative sconces.2,3

If you want to maximize the mind-body benefits of a relaxing bathroom (and have the budget to spare), you might consider installing a steam shower, infrared sauna, or cold plunge tub. Not looking to spend as much? Even minor upgrades like a massaging showerhead or heated towel bar can add some pampering to your morning routine.3

But remember, if you’re modifying your bathroom, it’s always wise to work with experienced and licensed professionals to avoid water damage that could lead to costly repairs. We can refer you to a trusted contractor for help.



      2. Maximalist Decor

In 2024, maximalism is back in vogue, contrasting the neutral aesthetic that dominated design in recent years.4 While maximalism can be summed up as “more is more,” there’s nothing sloppy or cluttered about this look. Instead, it’s all about intentional curation.5

Hallmarks of maximalist style include rich and saturated colours, bold wallpaper, statement rugs and furniture, and lots of art. And forget matching—maximalist interiors often include plenty of contrasting colours, textures, and patterns selected to complement one another.5

If you’re trying to embrace maximalism on a budget, check out thrift stores. They’re often a great place to find unique furniture, colourful rugs, and interesting art or collectibles. Before you invest in rolls of vintage wallpaper, though, it’s important to note—if you plan to sell your home in the near future, the maximalist look won’t appeal to every buyer.

We typically advise sellers to remove clutter and personal items to help buyers imagine their own future lives within the home. Sometimes, that means repainting or redecorating in a more neutral palette. Of course, this shouldn’t stop you from embracing your own style now—just be aware that you may need to walk back your aesthetic prior to selling. We can advise you when the time comes.



      3. Japandi Style

Not quite ready to embrace maximalism? Japandi style, which blends Japanese and Scandinavian influences, offers a more subdued approach that still has plenty of character. The look dates back about 150 years to a time when many Scandinavian designers were travelling to Japan for inspiration.6

Japandi style brings together clean lines, simplicity, and a focus on natural elements and light. It emphasizes the beauty in imperfection, or “wabi sabi,” and a deep connection to Mother Earth. And like Scandinavian decor, the look prioritizes comfort and a sense of sanctuary in the home.6

Interested in playing with Japandi? Common features include calming colour palettes and organic materials like raw wood and bamboo. Try softening harsh edges with softer textures, like cozy blankets and ceramic pieces.

The look also minimizes clutter, but that doesn’t mean you need to be a minimalist. Instead, Japandi style embraces storage solutions like baskets, folding screens, and sofas with built-in storage to give everything a place.7 If you’d like some help implementing Japandi-style organization in your home, contact us for a list of recommended professionals.



      4. Mixed Metals

Mixing metals used to be a “no-no.” But in 2024, it’s definitely a “yes.”

According to designers, mixing the colours and finishes of metal fixtures and hardware can bring visual interest to a room—as long as you go about it the right way.1,8

The most important rule to keep in mind is to stay away from near matches, like brass and gold—that’s more likely to look accidental than intentional. Instead, go for bold contrast: Think polished nickel and matte black.8

Some designers recommend using each metal at least twice in a room to make it look cohesive. Another good rule of thumb is to stick to two types of metals in a small room and two to three in a larger space.8

Finally, you might think about playing with undertones (brass is warm, chrome is cool) to change the “temperature” of a room. And don’t be afraid of a little shine—many designers predict that a retro, high-polished look will replace matte finishes in 2024.9

Want some help sourcing fixtures and hardware in a variety of finishes? Reach out for a list of our favourite retailers.



      5. Wood Cabinetry And Accents

The all-white kitchen has been ubiquitous in recent years. But in 2024, classic wood cabinetry is back in a big way.10 In fact, industry professionals surveyed by the National Kitchen & Bath Association predict that wood cabinets will be more popular than white in the next three years.11

Natural wood tones offer a sense of warmth and natural beauty. And today’s cabinets aren’t anything like the heavy, dated versions of the past. Instead, light to medium versions—like white oak and walnut—and warmer undertones are trending.12

The addition of wood-grain accents to painted kitchen cabinets—like with a contrasting island or range hood—is another popular option. And wood continues to be a favoured choice for flooring. A recent survey found that 40% of homeowners opted for either hardwood or engineered wood when renovating their kitchen floors.13

You can also expect to see more wood in bathrooms in 2024. According to Houzz, last year, wood vanities surpassed white in popularity for the first time in recent years, and designers expect the trend to continue.14 While white countertops and walls still dominate bathrooms, a wood-grained vanity brings a relaxed, organic element into the space.

Dreaming about new cabinets or hardwood floors? We’d be happy to share a list of recommended trade professionals who can help.



      6. Timeless Renovations

In its latest Kitchen Trends Study, Houzz found that “nearly half of homeowners (47%) opt for a timeless design as a sustainable choice during renovations.” Respondents cited long-term cost-effectiveness and environmental consciousness as their main motivators.15

In a rapidly changing, technology-driven world, it’s no surprise that homeowners want a nurturing space with lasting appeal—especially if they plan to stay in their homes for years to come.14

Traditional materials and quality craftsmanship lie at the core of timeless design, which some designers are calling “quiet luxury.”16 Think of enduring classics, like hardwood floors, hand-crafted tiles, and marble countertops.14 A timeless colour palette will also often include warm neutrals and muted shades of blue and green.17

If you’re thinking about remodelling, it’s wise to incorporate as many classic elements as you can. These stylistic choices tend to hold up well over time, which can prolong the life of your investment and make it easier to sell your home down the road. If you’d like advice on an upcoming project, contact us for a free consultation.



BEAUTIFY YOUR HOME WHILE BOOSTING ITS VALUE

If you’re thinking about making design changes—whether that’s repainting or a full remodel—it’s important to be informed about how your choices could impact your home’s resale potential. Buyer preferences can vary significantly based on your home’s neighbourhood and price point. Before you begin your project, reach out to discuss your plans and how they could impact the value of your home.


The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.


Sources:

  1. HGTV -
    https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/2024-home-and-garden-design-trends
  2. The Spruce -
    https://www.thespruce.com/2024-design-trends-8411457 
  3. The Spruce -
    https://www.thespruce.com/2024-bathroom-design-trends-8380169 
  4. Calgary Real Estate Board -
    https://www.creb.com/News/CREBNow/2024/January/interior_design_trends_2024/
  5. Homes and Gardens -
    https://www.homesandgardens.com/interior-design/maximalist-decor-ideas 
  6. The Spruce -
    https://www.thespruce.com/japandi-design-4782478 
  7. House Beautiful -
    https://www.housebeautiful.com/room-decorating/a45851530/japandi-interior-design-style/ 
  8. The Spruce -
    https://www.thespruce.com/4-rules-designers-say-you-should-follow-or-ignore-when-mixing-metals-in-a-room-5199031 
  9. The Spruce -
    https://www.thespruce.com/2024-lighting-trends-8365056 
  10. Toronto Sun -
    https://torontosun.com/life/homes/2024-trends-youll-see-everywhere
  11. Good Housekeeping -
    https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/decorating-ideas/a45576463/wood-kitchen-cabinet-trend-2023/ 
  12. Better Homes and Gardens -
    https://www.bhg.com/2024-kitchen-trends-840656
  13. Houzz -
    https://www.houzz.com/magazine/10-kitchen-trends-to-watch-in-layouts-features-and-more-stsetivw-vs~165050822 
  14. Houzz -
    https://www.houzz.com/magazine/28-home-design-trends-that-will-define-2024-stsetivw-vs~172317389 
  15. Houzz -
    https://www.houzz.com/magazine/2023-u-s-houzz-kitchen-trends-study-stsetivw-vs~164970160
  16. Better Homes and Gardens -
    https://www.bhg.com/quiet-luxury-home-trend-7554026
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Real Estate Market Forecast: Opportunities for Home Buyers and Sellers in 2024

Home buyers surprised everyone last spring when they shook off higher borrowing costs and showed up to new home sales in droves. The surge in competition for a still-limited pool of properties helped home prices pop and renewed sellers' confidence in their ability to get top dollar for a home. But experts caution that the 2024 housing market could unfold quite differently, especially if Canada's economy experiences another dip later this year.1

Ever since the Bank of Canada hiked interest rates last summer, home sales have dropped in many areas as buyers and sellers alike struggle to close deals.2 Canada’s economy has also softened, prompting some home buyers to move forward more cautiously.3 But with the Bank of Canada now widely expected to cut rates in the spring, competition could reheat quickly.4 

Not every neighbourhood is cooling at the same rate either, making the familiar adage that “all real estate is local” especially relevant.5 With a market this fluid, the home buyers and sellers with an edge will be those who proactively leverage a real estate agent’s on-the-ground expertise and stay flexible so that they can quickly adapt to hyper-local changes.

What does that mean for you? Read on to learn more about the current state of the Canadian housing market, the potential opportunities for buyers and sellers, and economists’ predictions for the coming year.


MORTGAGE RATES MAY DROP SOONER THAN EXPECTED

The best news we've got incoming for 2024? The extra high mortgage rates that have weighed heavily on Canadian real estate for some time may finally be headed south.

Citing a global economic slowdown and improving inflation, policymakers at the Bank of Canada opted to leave the central bank's key rate unchanged in December after pushing rates to a 22-year high last summer.6 The feds cautioned that another rate hike was still possible in 2024. But now that Canada's economy is slowing down, market watchers widely predict that the central bank is more likely to cut rates instead—possibly as soon as March.7 

Fixed mortgage rates could slide even more quickly. Market expectations have a big impact on bond yields. So, if traders expect a rate cut from the feds, bond yields are likely to drop even further. “It's all about expectations,” said Ratehub CEO James Laird to Global News.8 

Already, the bond market has cooled significantly since autumn. As a result, Canadians with great credit may now be able to secure rates closer to 5% than 6%—and possibly even lower.9  

If rates fall as expected, that could have an energizing effect on the housing market. As mortgage expert Clay Jarvis told Nerdwallet in 2023: “If fixed rates dip below 5% next year—and we’re not in a full-blown recession—it’s likely Canadians will return to the market fairly enthusiastically. The pent-up demand and FOMO will be too strong for many to resist.”10 

What does it mean for you? If you're a prospective home buyer, declining mortgage rates could give you the opening you've been waiting for to purchase a home with a more affordable monthly payment. And if you buy before the market reheats, you could secure an especially good deal. To find the lowest rate, it pays to compare lenders. Ask us to refer you to a mortgage broker who can negotiate a competitive mortgage rate. 

Sellers also have reason to celebrate buyers' lower interest rates: As the barriers for entry to the housing market decline, sellers could enjoy more or better offers. Reach out to discuss how we can help you maximize your home’s sales potential.


DESPITE LOWER RATES, A WEAKENING ECONOMY COULD CHILL DEMAND

As pent-up demand continues to build, surveys show that Canadians are still deeply interested in real estate. For example, a recent survey by Dye and Durham found that a growing number of Canadians are thinking seriously about buying a home in 2024.11 

But with interest rates so high, buyers with typical household incomes often need either a substantial amount of cash saved or a lot of home equity to buy at today's prices. And the softening economy may be shaking buyers' confidence. According to the Conference Board of Canada, Canadians are feeling more pessimistic about their employment and finances.12 

Meanwhile, many home sellers remain stuck in the recent past and are slow to let go of outdated prices. As a result, home buyers and sellers in many regions are locked in a persistent stalemate and the volume of home sales has dropped considerably.5 

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), new listings are now outpacing purchases in some of the country's biggest housing markets as market loosening spreads.13 However, the softening is uneven, with some areas still highly competitive.5

As rates continue falling, experts predict that demand for housing will increase, helping fuel a tighter market. But a slowdown in Canada's economy could complicate that scenario. “We now think that most major markets will experience softer sales and prices through the spring months, as weakness has spread significantly,” forecast economists at Desjardins.14 

What does it mean for you? The days of easy home sales with minimal, if any, prep work are long gone––at least until the market rebounds. Instead, home sales are more likely to take some legwork and planning to stand out from the competition. We can help you maximize your home’s appeal to attract serious buyers.

Home buyers, on the other hand, will have a distinct advantage in the coming months––especially if they jump into the market early while competition is limited. Call us for a consultation so we can help you plot your strategy.  


HOME PRICES WILL FACE HEADWINDS, BUT MAY CLIMB WITH LOWER RATES

Home buyers who have faced both persistently high prices and historically high rates may finally get a much-needed break this year.

With Canada's economy cooling, experts are now actively revising their pricing forecasts. For example, economists at TD predicted in November that home prices would drop 10% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the third quarter of 2023––twice what they had previously forecast.15  

As sales dwindle, the home buyers who are still around “are taking advantage of their stronger bargaining position,” said economists from RBC. “They’ve successfully extracted price concessions from sellers.” As a result, the MLS Home Price Index is slipping.16 

Analysts still expect home prices to remain higher than they were before the pandemic. However, fewer sales amid rising levels of inventory could dampen prices in some regions.16 In fact, eagle-eyed home buyers may find the best bargains in previously hot neighbourhoods that had overheated amid frenzied competition.

But with Canada’s historic supply crunch still ever-present, home buyers who wait too long to score a deal could wind up settling for a bigger mortgage in the future. As CIBC's Tal put it: “A year to two years from now when things will be back to normal—and they will be back to normal, with one million newcomers and non-permanent residents—guess what will happen? The supply will not be there, the demand will be there. The market will be crazy.”17

What does it mean for you? Homeowners with a property to sell may want to put it on the market sooner than later while there are relatively few homes for sale.  We can help you chart the best course to maximize your profits, starting with a professional assessment of your home’s current market value. Reach out to schedule a free consultation.

Meanwhile, savvy buyers with an eye for opportunity will be thrilled to know that the affordability challenges that have made home buying so difficult are expected to ease significantly. In fact, there could be a brief window when mortgage rates and home prices are both on the decline, giving home buyers who are ready to pounce a rare opportunity.  Contact us if you’re ready to begin your home search.


BUYERS SHOULD HAVE MORE CHOICES, BUT A SUPPLY SHORTAGE WILL PERSIST 

Home buyers who are eager for options should have more homes to choose from this year than they did in 2023. The share of existing homes for sale is already up in many regions as new listings outpace purchases, and more inventory could be added to the market in the coming months.13 

Many sellers out there have been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for rates to fall or for the market to pick up. If a greater share of those sellers decide they can no longer wait, the number of resale homes on offer could quickly increase. 

In addition, a growing number of Canadian mortgage holders are expected to experience some payment shock in the coming year as they renew with rates that are several points above their current rates.1 If more homeowners then default on their loans or choose to list because they can no longer afford their monthly payments, that could also lead to an uptick in homes for sale. 

But given Canada's severe housing supply crunch, the chances of a market oversaturation are low. As economists at TD Bank note: “Canada could be short over 300,000 housing units from 2023-2025 as population growth collides with a slower pace of homebuilding.”18 

What does it mean for you? With the market cooling this winter, there's more supply opening up. In the short term, buyers who can afford to jump quickly should benefit from this winter's temporary buyer's market. Contact us to discuss your goals and budget, and we can help you make an informed decision about the right time to buy.

While sellers will continue to benefit from the overall supply shortage, they should be prepared for increased competition. We can help you prep your property for the market and highlight the features most likely to appeal to today’s buyers.


WE'RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU 

While national real estate forecasts can give you a “big picture” outlook, real estate is local. And as local market experts, we know what's most likely to impact sales and drive home values in your neighbourhood. As a trusted partner in your real estate journey, we'll keep our ears to the ground so that we can guide you through the market's twists and turns.

If you’re considering buying or selling a home in 2024, contact us now to schedule a free consultation. Let’s work together and craft an action plan to meet your real estate goals.



The above references an opinion and is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be financial, legal, or tax advice. Consult the appropriate professionals for advice regarding your individual needs.


Sources: 

  1. Financial Post -
    https://financialpost.com/news/economy/canada-mortgage-math-means-crisis-looming
  2. Financial Post -
    https://financialpost.com/news/canada-housing-market-sales-prices-fall-further
  3. Global News -
    https://globalnews.ca/news/10068567/statistics-canada-jobs-report-oct-2023/
  4. Canadian Mortgage Trends -
    https://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/2023/12/bank-of-canada-preview-rate-hold-expected-as-attention-shifts-to-rate-cuts/
  5. Global News -
    https://globalnews.ca/news/10098594/canada-housing-market-home-sellers-fall-2023/
  6. Bank of Canada -
    https://www.bankofcanada.ca/2023/12/fad-press-release-2023-12-06/
  7. The Globe and Mail -
    https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-bank-of-canada-interest-rate-live-december/ 
  8. Global News -
    https://globalnews.ca/news/10142334/bond-yields-canada-mortgage-interest-rates/
  9. Canadian Mortgage Trends -
    https://www.canadianmortgagetrends.com/2023/12/mortgage-rates-under-5-theyre-coming-back-as-lenders-slash-fixed-rates/
  10. Nerdwallet -
    https://www.nerdwallet.com/ca/personal-finance/financial-trends-that-could-shape-2024
  11. Dye and Durham -
    https://dyedurham.ca/new-data-shows-canadians-remain-concerned-about-looming-recession/
  12. Conference Board of Canada -
    https://www.conferenceboard.ca/focus-areas/canadian-economics/housing-market-update/
  13. CREA -
    https://www.crea.ca/media-hub/news/canadian-home-sales-see-downward-trend-continue-in-october/
  14. Desjardins -
    https://www.desjardins.com/en/savings-investment/economic-studies/canada-housing-outlook-nov-2023.html
  15. Global News -
    https://globalnews.ca/news/10110607/canada-real-estate-td-housing-price-forecast/
  16. RBC -
    https://thoughtleadership.rbc.com/ontario-leads-canadas-housing-market-cooldown/
  17. RENX -
    https://renx.ca/interest-rates-are-coming-down-soon-benjamin-tal
  18. TD Economics -
    https://stories.td.com/ca/en/article/canada-housing-supply
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MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.