People today seek to personalize, economize,
and make the most of their space-inside and
out. Some of these 12 home-furnishings
trends will inevitably fizzle, while others will
become mainstays of the home, but for now they are
attracting lots of industry and consumer buzz.
Here's a rundown:
trendworthy: Thirty percent more efficient than
gas or electric.
Cropping up in more and more
homes, induction cooking uses a power coil to
produce a high-frequency electromagnetic field
that heats only the contents of a magnetic pan,
leaving the surrounding surface cooler to the
touch. By maintaining a precise temperature, it
immediately stops heat generation when the cook
element is turned off or cookware is removed, and
it doesn't produce an open flame that heats up a
kitchen. One downside: Special cookware must
Why trendworthy: Popular
with green movement.
With sustainable products
continuing to draw fans, more kitchen and bathroom
cabinets are expected to be fabricated from green
materials. But it's not materials alone that make
consumers pick one line over another - where
materials come from, how cabinets are
manufactured, and whether they're finished without
pollutants will be more
Why trendworthy: Pares
the electricity consumption of a standard
Future refrigerators will be better
insulated to improve energy efficiency. The
challenge is to add insulation without reducing
interior space. Also on the horizon: New
interior lighting that's more energy-efficient and
that better illuminates dark corners without
distorting the look of the food, which is common
with the blue hue cast by LED lighting.
Integrated stone composite
Why trendworthy: They blend
seamlessly into a countertop for a cleaner look,
plus they're more durable and easier to
Stainless steel sinks are still common,
but stone composite designs built into a
countertop are coming on strong. The prime
motivator is growing consumer demand for easier to
clean, more durable surfaces that don't scratch or
Why trendworthy: To help home
owners maximize small spaces-and obtain a tax
Owners of single-family homes have
long been able to convert a bedroom, den, or
basement to an office, but down the road more
condo buyers and apartment renters will find homes
with small, dedicated spaces for business
Dual-flush, environmentally efficient
toilets, plus more healthful
Why trendworthy: Greater
recognition that liquid and solid waste have
different flush requirements.
available abroad, dual-flush toilets-with separate
mechanisms to handle liquid or solid waste-are
gaining attention. The main challenge isn't
convincing home owners to buy the models, but
getting them to remember to use the right button.
Images are becoming more lifelike.
display a beautiful picture, but they can't offer
a 3-D presentation like your local IMAX movie
theater does. The reason: True high-definition 3-D
in the home currently lacks a standard and is
still too expensive for most consumers. That
should change, in part because electronics
manufacturers are developing a standard format.
When that happens, prices should drop.