This is the time of the year when we begin to look forward to the coming year and the interior design trends that will dominate the residential and commercial markets with designers, businesses and homeowners. Some interior design trends have been growing for years and will continue to become more popular as we move into the future. Others are demographically driven and will grow as more baby boomers leave the workforce, and as Millennials move into their home-buying years, and some are purely aesthetically driven.

Let’s look at four of the major interior design trends we’re seeing in the industry and with our clients.

Trend 1: Green Building

One important trend that has been growing every year is the move toward green building and healthy sustainable living. Technological innovation has given us new products that are both beautiful, unusual, and green. Whether it’s recycled materials or alternative technologies, manufacturers are taking a well-balanced approach between nature and technology.

Interior Designers are incorporating low VOC fabrics and materials can make the home healthier by reducing dangerous gasses that some older materials can emit. Beautiful material like recycled glass tile and countertops are not only functional, they’re aesthetically beautiful and environmentally sustainable. Modern furniture is using more sustainable natural materials like seagrass, bamboo, or corn.

Trend 2: Universal Design and Inclusive Environments

Another trend that has been growing in recent years and will continue to grow as more boomers retire and choose to remain in their homes is Universal Design. Basically, Universal Design and Inclusive Environments are designed to allow anyone – young, old, healthy, or with a disability, to function normally in the home. As more baby boomer retire and choose to age-in-place, and the trend in multi-generational families living together continues to increase, Universal Design will continue to trend.

Universal Design elements can include lighting, larger handles on sink fixtures, low-threshold showers, wider aisles in the kitchen to accommodate walkers or wheelchairs, wider door frames, and more.

Trend 3: Integrated Living Space

Turn on any home show on HGTV or DIY and you’ll see this new trend in all its glory! Modern home design has embraced the open concept or integrated living space. An open floor plan of kitchen, dining and living space is a “must-have” for modern living. This floor plan is made for entertaining and allows socializing while cooking, another growing trend. It’s also a great layout for families with small children, allowing parents to keep an eye on the kids while preparing meals.

Trend 4: The Flow Between Indoor/Outdoor Living Space

As we spend more time at home, the indoor/outdoor living trend has been growing and will continue. Homeowners are using elements like a wall of sliding glass panels to open their homes to the outdoors. Elements like outdoor kitchens that rival those in the home, outdoor living, and dining space, seating around an outdoor fireplace, and the use of similar natural materials to integrate the indoor and outdoor space are all popular with homeowners and interior designers.

Whether demographically driven, or influenced by major media, these design trends are here and expected to continue growing in the coming years. Sustainability is especially expected to grow as consumer’s become more aware of “green” options in both home construction and interior design.

Working with a professional interior designer, or design firm can help you to understand all of your options when it comes to your home. If you’re considering aging-in-place, make sure any design firm you choose is experienced with creating inclusive environments.