Open plan living and kitchen area

© Luxy Images/Getty Images

2018 Trends: How the Hottest Design Fads Evolved

December 28, 2018

Let’s face it: Looks matter to home buyers who are trying to make a connection with a property. Even in a competitive seller’s market, which characterized real estate in 2018, proper staging is essential to getting homes sold. Staging can even increase a property’s value by up to 5 percent, according to the National Association of REALTORS®' 2017 Profile of Home Staging, the latest report available. Did you catch on to any design trends this year to improve your listing’s appearance? These were the hottest staging styles and tips of 2018 featured in REALTOR® Magazine’s Styled Staged & Sold blog.

Young woman at home

1. Dos and Don’ts of Hiring a Home Stager
The right professional stager needs to complement your selling strategy, support your sellers’ goals, and be able to work with the home’s existing decor. Audra Slinkey, president and founder of Home Staging Resource, breaks down the questions you should ask a stager and how to judge his or her professional experience to make sure it’s a good fit for your listing.

Audra Slinkey outdoor space

2. Jaw-Dropping Transformations of Outdoor Spaces
Home buyers are increasingly judging the livability of patios, terraces, and other outdoor entertainment areas. These spaces—not matter how small or large—can be a selling point, so it would be wise to explore outdoor staging for your listings. As an example, see how this once-drab outdoor space became a central entertainment area that extended the home’s appeal.

Woman using tablet with smart home control functions

3. By the Numbers: Home Features Buyers Sprung for in 2018
Open floor plans remained all the rage, while smart homes grew in popularity. Having a pulse on the latest design trends can help you anticipate what buyers will be seeking in their next home. Were you on top of the styles that took center stage this year? Refresh your memory with these infographics; you never know—they may spill over into 2019 home design trends.

Kitchen island

4. The Secret to Kitchen Envy: A Stylish Island
The star item of many kitchen makeovers is the center island. It's not only a gathering spot for cooking but also for eating, working, and socializing. To make it even more of a focal point, many homeowners are freshening up the look of their islands, moving from traditional colors to eye-popping designs. These stylish examples will inspire you and your clients.

Patti Stern

5. Before and After: How Staging Makes the Difference
When staging a home, there’s a lot to consider: the potential buyer’s needs, the original purpose of the space, the layout, and the latest design trends. The wrong furnishings can make a space feel cramped. Professional stager Patti Stern offers her best insights—along with before and after visual examples—for how to stage in a way that will attract the largest buyer pool.