If 2016 was the year of embracing minimalism, sources—NAHB, online residential design platform Houzz, and design firms—indicate 2017 is taking the contemporary trend a step further by incorporating individualism, comfort, and health.

“Clean lines, minimal but impactful accessorization, healthy lifestyle, and technology are driving merchandising right now,” says Joe Duffus, CEO of Maryland-based interior design group Builders Design. “Manufacturers are focusing on ways to accommodate healthy-at-home concepts such as air purification and indoor herb gardens.”

Looking to the winners of this year’s NAHB Best in American Living Awards, the projects showcase myriad prominent design trends that NAHB predicts will appear in homes and communities over the next several years.

Many of the winning homes and communities incorporated metal roofing and repurposed wood beams as interior design details, which is evidence that the modern farmhouse style is here to stay. Oversized farmhouse sinks and barn doors—evolving to suit a more contemporary aesthetic with glass, white tints, and mixed-metal hardware—were other popular features. Many architects and designers opted for dark brown or black frames around windows and doors to make them pop against light siding, and well-placed benches and nooks within small spaces appeared in many plans.


While a white-on-white interior palette appears universally across projects, the hue is most prominently showcased in kitchens, where white cabinets and countertops continue to dominate. According to the Houzz 2017 U.S. Kitchen Trends Survey, kitchens are becoming healthier and more customized. The survey polled 2,700 Houzz-active homeowners that are in the middle of, are planning, or have recently completed a kitchen renovation project. One-third (33%) of respondents who have updated their kitchens report a healthier lifestyle post-renovation, and although the majority of homeowners (72%) chose stainless steel appliances in 2016, 7% opted for a more recent trend: black stainless steel.


The report found that millennial homeowners are more likely to choose a modern or farmhouse-­style aesthetic in the kitchen, while boomers tend to opt for traditional finishes. Overall, contemporary just surpassed transitional as the most frequently picked kitchen style, with 22% and 19%, respectively.

Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz, notes that today, many people are renovating their kitchen space to suit their needs and lifestyle rather than to improve a home’s resale value. “With the growing trend of homeowners choosing to stay in their home for the long-term,” she says in a release, “the return on investment from a kitchen remodel is less tangible, measured in healthier habits and more face time with family and friends instead of dollars.”

Read more coverage on Houzz's Kitchen Trends Survey here.