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Design Trends: What’s New and Notable Among Buyers at Neal Signature Homes


The design experts at Neal Signature Homes help buyers create the home of their dreams with lots of personal touches. And while customization is at the forefront of everything they do, they are seeing some general design trends among clients these days.

Since everyone has been spending a lot more time at home lately, buyers are desiring space for both practical elements like offices and exercise rooms and fun additions like theater rooms and bars. Outdoor areas are also being designed with a lot of extra features.

“Customers are treating outdoor spaces like an extension of indoor spaces, with upscale furniture, huge TVs with surround sound, fireplaces and outdoor kitchens with lots of bells and whistles,” says Marcela Serio, design consultant for Neal Signature Homes.

Floorplans are becoming even more open, and kitchen islands keep growing in size and stature. “Double kitchen islands are entering the scene,” says Serio. “For countertops, quartz is in and granite is out. In many cases, countertops are simple, and backsplashes are the jewelry.”

In the bath, freestanding tubs are still popular with buyers. But so are spa-like showers with multiple showerheads and smart digital valves. “You can say, ‘Alexa, turn my shower on,’” says Serio.

On walls and cabinetry, gray is becoming less ubiquitous than in recent years, with buyers gravitating toward whites and warm neutrals. They’re also starting to think beyond just subdued shades. “I think we are going to see an influx of color to replace years of no color,” says Serio.

For flooring, buyers are thinking big, whether they’re choosing tile or wood-look options. Think large-format tiles in sizes like 18” by 36” or 24” by 24”, or wood-like tiles in an 8” by 48” size.

In terms of overall look, modern and contemporary design styles have been embraced by customers of late. But in Florida, the ever-popular coastal look is also always in vogue.

“When buyers relocate here from up north, many of them want a more coastal ‘Florida’ look that’s different than what they had been living with before,” says Janet Ladwig, vice president of Charlene Neal Pure Style, which works with Neal Signature Homes buyers. “So I don’t think the coastal-inspired look will ever go away.”