Staying current on home design trends can help you advise buyers on the value they’re getting for their money and assist sellers in getting top dollar for their home. Find out what’s trending in luxury homes from Mauricio Umansky, founder and CEO of The Agency in Los Angeles.

An essential part of being a great real estate agent is to make sure you keep up to date on what’s trending in the design world for both your buyers and sellers.

It can help buyers advise where they can either ask for discounts or explain a particular property’s price. 

On the listing side, you can help sellers demand top dollar for a home by suggesting upgrades and improvements to incorporate current design trends as they prepare to bring a home to market

Below, I have outlined five design trends I am seeing in the market today. 

1. Work-from-home spaces 


Open-floor concepts proved popular in recent years, but with working from home here to stay, finding a quiet space away from the hustle and bustle of family life is a must. We now see a shift from totally open floor plan designs to more spaces with closed doors away from busy common areas such as the kitchen, living and dining rooms. 

Additionally, I am also noticing more requests from buyers for homes with office space that provides a private entry and exit to keep business operations from interfering with home life and vice versa.

recent New York Times article on how the pandemic is shaping home design revealed a high demand for home offices, with “task” lighting (lighting designated for a purpose rather than ambient lighting) gaining popularity, as well as flexible spaces for home schooling.

2. Natural materials

asbe / Getty Images

From incorporating rich woods and natural stone throughout a home to showcasing atriums as a focal point of the layout, getting back to nature is trending in 2021. 

There’s a flurry of newly built homes on the market that complement the natural environment and feature materials. We’ve seen warm tones of Danish white oak, rich walnut-paneled walls, eucalyptus accents, white onyx, natural-hued marble and much more. 

Replacing some more dated elements within a home with some newer, natural materials will elevate the look and feel and make the home much more attractive to trend-focused buyers. 

Additionally, The American Institute of Architects published a recent survey that revealed a rise in the popularity of low-maintenance materials and those that improve both energy efficiency and air quality. Health and nature will remain top-of-mind for home design in the future.

3. Inspirational elements 

onurdongel / Getty Images

With the mounting stresses and pressures in life — and especially after the year-plus that just passed — we could all certainly use some zen in our lives. This sentiment is showing up in the home design space, with an increased focus on areas envisioned specifically for relaxing in mind.

We’re seeing designated areas for unwinding in the primary suite, with plush seating areas for lounging on a chaise or curling up on a sofa by a fireplace replacing the jumbo television. 

Spare rooms are becoming gyms, yoga rooms, massage rooms or even quiet meditation areas. I have also seen more saunas and steam rooms in bathrooms or designated gym areas (or both). I even have a listing with inspirational quotes by Muhammad Ali cut into the sink surfaces for some extra daily encouragement when needed.

4. (Home) farm to table 

JodiJacobson / Getty Images

Leading a healthy lifestyle and cooking meals at home also came into focus this year, and now there is no turning back for homeowners with a refined palate and a green thumb. 

In California, citrus trees are always a popular feature in a backyard, but now we are seeing more sophisticated, professionally planned home gardens with intricate irrigation systems for a perennial bounty. 

We also see people enjoy their outdoor space and incorporate much more than just the standard barbecue for their outdoor cooking setup. Outdoor dining, cooking, and lounging areas are now punctuated with state-of-the-art grills, full-service bars and even wood-burning pizza ovens.

5. Rise of the rooftop 

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In Los Angeles, we have seen a rise in the fully equipped rooftop. Making use of all living space possible and taking advantage of sweeping views, most newly built homes and townhomes come with amazing rooftops. We are seeing these spaces largely fitted with built-in amenities, including grills, bars and even Jacuzzis.  

These five design trends are lifestyle-driven and very much a result of pandemic life. As we start to get back to daily routines, it’s encouraging to see that the lessons learned and the positive shifts we made look like they are here to stay.

Mauricio Umansky is the founder and CEO of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with him on Instagram.

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