Interior design and architecture tastes are both personal and changing over time. There is a buyer to love every home, but the unique characteristics of some properties make them more challenging to find the right buyer. Homeowners can find ways to achieve a more timeless and current design to make their home more appealing to a wider buyer pool, thereby increasing the chances of achieving their selling goals.

Today's buyers are seeking move-in-ready homes. For various reasons, most buyers aren't interested in elaborate renovations to more personalize the home. That's why understanding what interior design trends and home features buyers most desire help sell your home faster and for more money. By playing up the desirable features, your home is instantly more attractive on the marketplace.

How 2020 Changed the Design Trends

We all know how the world transformed in 2020. Our homes have always served as a place of rest and entertainment, but their function increased during the turbulent year. Their use expanded into a place where we worked, taught our children, exercised, and enjoyed our hobbies.

Contemporary buyer trends reflect a post-pandemic world and the new lifestyle that has accompanied it. As we work through the list, you'll see an emphasis on features more functional for a world where we spend more time at home. Let's explore some of the new design trends appealing to home buyers.

Outdoor Spaces

As we move to spend more time at home over the long term, having an outdoor area to relax and appreciate nature has become an essential amenity amongst homebuyers.

Many home buyers are escaping from crowded and cramped living spaces, especially our new residents from California, Illinois, and New York. Especially for second and third-time homeowners, they want to "move up" and seek more space in their next home.

According to one source, about 87% of today's buyers wanted patios. The most wanted features were exterior lighting, a front porch, a back porch, a patio, and a deck.

When homebuyers see a home with a nice backyard, sometimes well-landscaped and with an outdoor seating area, they start to envision themselves enjoying time outside with friends and family. A purposeful outdoor living area increases a home's living space without a large-scale home addition.

Analyzing the outdoor space you have and brainstorming how you can make it attractive and functional makes a significant difference in attracting buyers. For small backyards, updating the light fixtures, improving railings, installing an outdoor ceiling fan or an outdoor fire pit can add value to your outdoor space. Larger backyards can be made more appealing by installing a fence, a new porch or deck, adding outdoor seating, and a fireplace.

Additional outdoor living amenities can be extra appealing to homebuyers, such as a backyard wet bar or a full outdoor kitchen.

Home Location

Homebuyers are putting new emphasis on where their next home is located. While every home buyer will have different lifestyle priorities, generally, we see locations near outdoor spaces more appealing.

It used to be that having a home located near easy access to public transportation or significant roadways was a priority. For some home buyers, this is still going to be a preference. However, now home buyers are balancing their need for access to transportation with their access to outdoor spaces.

This is especially true among families with children or millennials who want a detached home with a larger yard. If a home is situated close to significant green spaces where they can enjoy a picnic in a park or take the kids for a stroll down the bike path, that's even better for them.

Dedicated Home Offices

For many years, having a home with a dedicated office space wasn't a top feature amongst home buyers. That has changed. The home office has a new priority amongst home buyers. In terms of design, home buyers want offices that are aesthetically pleasing and functional.

When creating a contemporary home office, include several workstations to fit multiple people working at home or different working purposes. Some home buyers consider it necessary to have two separate spaces for dedicated work. The home office space should incorporate hidden storage and lots of flexibility to work sitting or standing.

For the decor and design, the trend is to use natural lighting whenever possible. Otherwise, use diffuse lighting to evoke a sense of calm in this space. The mood of the office space should be a room for focus and thought. Consider calming elements, like houseplants or natural furniture materials. For creatives, pops of color increase the energy in the room.

Interior Home Storage

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recent reports, a walk-in pantry is the most coveted kitchen feature among polled buyers. This trend stems back to our pandemic world. As people spent more time at home, they needed more space to store their additional belongings and for stockpiling.

Homebuyers are seeing the value in storage more than ever before. They want to make fewer trips to the store and to have everything they need on-premises.

For that reason, features like closet pantries, walk-in pantries, interior storage closets, and walk-in master bedroom closets may not be high on a buyer's wish list, but they become features that help sell a home.

Walk-in closets are especially sought-after among second-time home buyers. If you have a walk-in closet, make sure its organization maximizes the space and shows the buyers how they can flexibly keep all their belongings stored in one place.

Less Open Floor Plan

After spending more time at home, the open floor plan has become more of a distraction than a useful architectural design. It's hard to have a functional yet relaxing space when a family room also serves as a classroom, office, and gym.

Without walls, it's more challenging to give all the family members the space they need to accomplish the task at hand. Homebuyers now seek more defined areas to separate the various aspects of their life.

Home layouts with more of a defined space for a single-use are more attractive. This means separating the kitchen from a dining room or living room. A formal dining room is another resurging desirable feature. The act of sitting down together at a table in a dedicated space is a way of making everyone feel special while separating eating from other activities in the home.

Flexible Spaces

Homeowners are rethinking how to use the flex spaces included in some home designs. Initially, when builders created these flexible spaces, they purposefully wanted them to be multi-functional. Now home buyers are assigning purpose to these rooms.

Having an easily adaptive flexible space available is an attractive feature, as different buyers will have a distinct need for these extra rooms. For example, they are being converted into classrooms to help kids learn at school or play afterward. Some are assigned as the office space for the homeowner to work.

In the case where the flex space still needs to serve several purposes, homeowners adapt by adding movable partitions that can separate the work from the play. Others incorporate multi-use furniture, such as having a hideaway desk where the parents or the children can do their work during the day and tuck it up to play in the afternoon.


The contemporary home buyer is more concerned about their impact on the environment and the world around them. For this reason, sustainability may not be a top-item wish list for buyers, but it can help sell a home. Architectural Digest anticipates that sustainability will become an increasingly important part of home building and interior decorations.

Sustainability can mean different things. It can refer to the materials used in construction or to the interior design choices, such as using recycled textiles in our furniture and interior decor.

Home features that are energy efficient are attractive to the modern buyer. For example, having new, energy-efficient windows, adding insulation to crawl spaces or attics, or air-sealing homes to improve heating and cooling costs are seen as beneficial upgrades. If you are making any updates to appliances, look for Energy-Star qualified products, such as the refrigerator and the dishwasher. Buyers view these upgrades as ways to save on their energy costs throughout the year.

Vintage Interior Design

Some of the latest design trends combine classical elements with modern design styles to create something new and fresh. See examples by looking at Cottage core, new traditionalism, or "grand millennial" manner, all of which mix old and new elements to create a romantic or nostalgic feeling.

Vintage pieces are essential to making these particular interior design looks work. Bringing back these heirloom pieces personalizes a space and adds layers of meaning, especially when it's an item passed through the generation. These classical styles are being updated with bold color choices, contemporary hardware, and new lighting.

Artful Lighting

A new emphasis is being put on how we illuminate our spaces. The trend is to create rooms with a comforting and cozy feeling at all times of the year. Lighting is becoming a statement for our spaces.

The trend in lighting fixtures is to use black lighting or oil-rubbed bronzes. Brass and hammered metals continue to be popular materials for lighting, as they are considered "natural."

We see more use of table lamps, wall lights, and pendants to create the right mood in a space. The additional lighting work is incorporated without sacrificing energy efficiency. New LEDs can create a warm dim or glow that mimics the romantic light of incandescent bulbs.

Color Trends

Color palettes come and go, but updating a space by changing the color scheme is an easy way to bring the aesthetic in line with current buyer trends. The colors most appealing to people often relate to the overall mood or the social atmosphere of the times.

Color trends and shifts are revealed when looking at the "colors of the year" released by paint manufacturers and interior designers. The colors have experienced a subtle shift from light and pastel shades towards colors with warm undertones and shades inspired by nature. These colors appeal to our innate desire for comfort, while the warmer tones work to add energy into a room.

For a sampling, here are some recent colors of the year:

Canyon Dusk by Behr

This Color of the Year selection for 2021 was inspired by nature to bring a warm, rustic feeling to an indoor space. Interior designers describe it as a rich hue reminiscent of clay or the setting sun playing off sandstone cliffside. Canyon Dusk is neutral enough to pair well with other nature-inspired colors and textures or creamy whites. Behr recommends Canyon Dusk for bedrooms, living rooms, cabinetry, or exterior applications like a front door.

Ultimate Gray & Illuminating by Pantone

Pantone selected two 2021 Colors of the Year.

Gray is still a popular choice for interior design, although the undertones have moved more towards blue and warm. Pantone's Ultimate Gray is cited as being a "practical and dependable neutral" that is enduring and expresses strength. It works well in a variety of rooms.

When used, gray is often combined with other colors to create a sense of energy in a space. Pantone paired Ultimate Gray with Illuminating, a sunny yellow chosen for the optimism this vibrating color creates in a space. This bright color is useful as an accent in rooms throughout the house or, for bold interior designs, use in a home office or in a flexible space.

Aqua Fiesta by Glidden

This bright blue-green hue inspired by the ocean does well in small doses when combined with other neutral paint colors. Specifically, Glidden selected Aqua Fiesta to highlight accent work or millwork. It adds energy into a room.

Aegean Teal by Benjamin Moore

Another blue-green edition selected for 2021 has a grey undertone that keeps the teal modern yet calming. Benjamin Moore described the rich color as "creating harmony while inviting reflection." Aegean Teal can work well as an accent color against a more neutral interior design, on kitchen cabinets, or for bold bedrooms.

Passionate by HGTV Home

This brand's 2021 Color of the Year is a striking red that pulls from traditional design elements yet has a modern feel. It is a bold color that encapsulates the brand's "Delightfully Daring" color collection. The prediction is that vibrant and daring colors will be the trend for interior design moving forward.

Urbane Bronze by Sherwin-Williams

This 2021 Color of the Year is a strong, rich neutral color that balances gray and brown tones. It was chosen to reflect "a need for serenity and stability." The color works well as a grounding shade in living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms.

Farrow and Ball

Rather than a single color, this paint company chose 12 shades for the Color of the Year, primarily featuring earthy neutrals and rich natural colors. They're warm and organic, intended to reflect a sense of ease and familiarity. A sample includes the brown-based "Jitney," a neutral that pairs well with greens, off-whites, and mahogany. From its blue selection, "Ultra Marine Blue" is clean, fresh, and taken from the sea.

As you can see across all of these color palettes, the trends are about invoking a sense of comfort, strength, and stability. Many of these nature-inspired colors are vivid and eye-catching. Balance the more energetic shades with the more neutral tones found in the color selections for the most appeal.

Before You Remodel Your Home

You may be considering remodeling your home to maximize the value of your home sale. According to Remodeling Magazine's 2020 Cost Versus Value report, most remodeling efforts only increase your home value by 50-80% of the project's average costs. So, if you spend $10,000 revamping a family room, you may only get $5,000 back when it's time to sell.

You want to get the most for your money and focus on the features that home buyers want to see while adding value to your home. Since tastes can vary from region to region, and because every single home is different, it's worth consulting with a local real estate expert to find out what home features are in high demand in the Fort Worth area.

Remember, home wish lists are likely to change as time goes on. These trends reflect the times we are living in, which is why you should consult with a real estate expert as you prepare to list.

Your real estate agent can walk through your home and pick out what features to play up that current homebuyers will like. Our objective is to make your home even more attractive through clever positioning and marketing.

Talk to the Chicotsky Real Estate Group experts about how we can assist with your Fort Worth home sale. Even in a seller's market, we can take measures to increase the potential value and buyer pool for your home.