Remodeling the kitchen or bathroom is consistently top of mind for homeowners.  But both types of rooms are expensive to renovate and can be overwhelming for the homeowner. Additionally, there is the pressure of designing a space that will still feel fresh and contemporary years from now. According to Remodeling Magazine, a major kitchen remodel costs around $59,000 – $120,000; a major bathroom remodel costs about $17,000 – $57,000. Making smart, long-lasting decisions is important so that your hard work and effort lasts a long time,  even if you don’t plan on selling anytime soon.

1. Clean & uncluttered

Clean, uncluttered spaces are always en vogue for kitchens and bathrooms. These are the rooms we associate with hygiene, so it’s important that they don’t harbor dust-collecting tchotchkes. When remodeling, think about how to store equipment and supplies in dust-free areas (like drawers or cupboards) and allow countertops to be relatively free. If you like to DIY, consider adding a ladder shelf DIY for additional storage as well as a stylish addition to the space. For both rooms, create a good space to store and keep cleaning supplies as well. This area should be easily accessible yet not so easy that small children can tamper with the toxic supplies.

2. Neutral palettes

Every homeowner wants to incorporate their favorite colors into their kitchen and bathrooms and this is easy to do with colorful walls, linens, and decor. But to get the most longevity out of these renovations, choose fairly neutral colors for the expensive elements like countertops, cabinetry, flooring, backsplash, and appliances. Understandably no one wants a plain vanilla room, so think about using interesting textures or patterns with neutral colors. Or use neutrals from opposite ends of the color spectrum, like ivory and chocolate brown, or white and charcoal gray.

3. Energy efficient appliances

More and more, homeowners are interested in appliances that look good and save energy costs. Focusing on refrigerators, microwaves or ovens that offer good long-term value is important. So are low-flow water fixtures or on-demand water heaters. Look for the EnergyStart logo when shopping for appliances and talk to your contractor about other ways to save on your monthly energy and water bills.

4. Maximized spaces

The layout of your kitchen and bathroom should be functional and space should not go to waste. Design for efficient movement within the rooms and good placement of storage. Invest in pull-out drawers or hidden storage spaces – it will help fit more into the space and keep everything organized. Don’t get hung-up on the actual size of the kitchen or bathroom; whether or not a room is functional has more to do with layout and design than the amount of square footage.

What are your favorite remodeling trends? Share your thoughts by commenting below.