The New Year is all about new experiences and advancements. The home improvement and interior design industry will also surprise us with various innovations in the sphere, as well as the trends you might want to implement in your home if you’re planning a remodel in the upcoming year.
From different textures, designs and materials to contemporary styles and technological solutions, let’s see what will be on point in 2017 in terms of home improvement projects.
Houzz, the home design website, released a survey at the show that found a third of homeowners report leading a healthier lifestyle after a kitchen renovation, from eating more fruits and vegetables to preparing more meals at home.
That’s creating a market for products that help homeowners grow fresh produce in the kitchen. Exhibit A: the Urban Cultivator (pictured), a climate-controlled, irrigated indoor garden that’s about the size of an undercabinet wine chiller. Bobby Berk, a designer based in Los Angeles who took home the NAHB’s 2017 Gold Award for Best Interior Design, said he has been installing the Urban Cultivator on more and more projects, especially in extreme climates like Las Vegas, where it’s tough to garden outdoors.
“It definitely caters to health enthusiasts, but also my clients who are into tech stuff,” he said, adding that he’s also put them in garage studios and wet bars (think mint juleps and Thai basil mojitos).
The Urban Cultivator includes all of the equipment needed for hydroponic growing; you just need water and electrical lines. At $2,500 the unit isn’t cheap, but given the cost of many artisanal greens, from sorrel to sunflower, you could make it back … eventually.
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, we saw more evidence of the indoor gardening trend in Whirlpool’s Zera Food Recycler, an indoor recycler that is said to use a combination of oxygen, moisture, heat, and mixing to speed up the decomposition process, converting a week’s worth of food waste into ready-to-use homemade fertilizer within 24 hours. The Zera system is expected to be available in September 2017 through Indiegogo. You can pre-order it through Indiegogo at a promotional price of $999, down from the $1,199 manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
We’ve been watching the smart home trend build for several years now, and it seems to be reaching critical mass. In 2017, 33 percent of homes are expected to have at least one connected device, and the household penetration should top 60 percent by 2021, according to Statista, a market research firm.
Home security systems and security cameras are among the most desired smart tech features to consider, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ 2017 Home Buyer Preferences report.
The company Ring, looking to build on the success of its Ring Video Doorbell, showed off its Floodlight Cam Security Camera, $250. The hardwired device replaces a traditional floodlight and includes a motion-activated security camera with built-in floodlights, a 110-decibel siren alarm, and two-way talk. Live streaming video and audio are available through the free Ring app, allowing you to monitor your home from anywhere.
Connected appliances are starting to resonate, partly thanks to voice-activation technology from the likes of digital voice assistants Amazon Echo and Google Home. For example, all of GE Appliances’s WiFi-ready appliances feature a digital assistant called Geneva that communicates with Amazon’s Alexa. So if you’re within earshot of an Echo, you can issue commands such as, “Alexa, ask Geneva when the dishwasher will be finished,” or “Alexa, tell Geneva to preheat the oven to 350 degrees.”
We also saw more home sensors that can detect leaks, along with other environmental conditions in the home. One of the most promising is Wally (pictured), a wireless home sensing solution that detects and alerts you to water leaks as well as significant changes in temperature and humidity. Better yet, a connected shutoff valve will turn the water off if a leak is detected while you’re away from home. The shutoff valve will be available this spring through the Sears website for $200. A $99 starter kit, including the hub and sensor, is out now.
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