A 2020 Guide to Valuable Home Updates

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Most homeowners can intuit the home updates that will increase value to their home — a state-of-the-art kitchen, a trendy bathroom, a well-landscaped exterior. Many of these valuable renovations haven’t changed in 20 years or more; they are simply what homebuyers always like to see in the properties they tour.
However, the details of these updates change from year to year. Homeowners that make design decisions for their remodeling projects based on outdated guides are likely to see less return on investment than they anticipated; for some, this could merely be demoralizing, but for others, it could be a significant financial hit. To avoid making any outdated mistakes with a brand-new remodel, homeowners need this 2020 guide to getting the most out of major home improvement.


Kitchens have taken the place of living rooms as the space in the home where people congregate, so in general, homeowners should want to make their kitchens as big and open as possible. Knocking down walls, removing upper cabinets, raising ceilings and keeping counters clear are all good ways to make the space feel larger and more accessible from the rest of the house. Then, when it comes to styling the kitchen, homeowners should consider these home improvement ideas:

Painted Cabinets

Kitchens with stained wood cabinets look exceedingly old-fashioned, and the visible pattern of the wood can make the space feel busy and crowded. Instead, the prevailing trend is to paint kitchen cabinets — but the color is largely up to the individual homeowner. White cabinets are clean and classic, but recently, darker colors like black, charcoal and teal have come into vogue.

Neutral Countertops

As cabinets become more colorful, countertops are becoming a bit more sedate. Homeowners should opt for neutral colors in their countertops, which should ideally be made of quartz, granite or a similar natural stone. While some natural veining can be attractive, countertops should be simple, which will help them remain attractive regardless of how kitchen trends change in the future.

Mixed Metals

Not long ago, design experts advocated for matching every single metal accent in a space: If the light fixtures were brushed nickel, the cabinet hardware, the plumbing fixtures and everything else needed to be brushed nickel. Such is no longer the case; in fact, homeowners are urged to mix their metals, combining finishes like wrought iron, brass, copper and more for an eclectic feel.


As with kitchens, bigger bathrooms are best — but it isn’t always possible to move walls and alter plumbing to accommodate a more luxurious bathroom space. Instead, homeowners should strive to make their bathrooms as on-trend as possible, which will help to give the illusion of spaciousness through comfort and appeal. Some trends to follow in the bathroom include:


Wallpaper is back in a big way — but not necessarily in bigger rooms. Instead, designers are using wallpaper to add some fun and flair to smaller spaces. Homeowners can find a large collection of peel-and-stick wallpaper, which is easier to install and doesn’t damage the walls the way traditional wallpapers do.

Small Tile

Homeowners who can’t afford a solid chunk of marble for their bathroom floors, walls and showers should consider the opposite end of the tile spectrum. Small, inch-by-inch tiles provide an interesting texture to floors and walls, which is a nice departure from the smooth, sleek look of the past few years. Homeowners can experiment with shapes and colors of smaller tiles to find a unique bathroom style.


Today’s homebuyers want to make the most of their properties, using as many square feet as possible for living space. That is perhaps why outdoor living spaces have become so popular: Homeowners can maintain attractive landscaping while adding a usable “room” for entertainment, recreation and more. Here are some ways homeowners can update their exterior living space for 2020 and beyond:

Green and Sustainable

Plants are an important part of outdoor spaces, so homeowners shouldn’t be shy about filling their outdoor areas with greenery — as long as that greenery is naturally suited to the environment. Sustainability is a growing trend in all home design, but it is especially important outside, where homeowners need to think about their garden’s impact on its natural surroundings.

Natural Materials

Plastic furniture might be more durable in the sun and rain, but it isn’t attractive. Homeowners should invest in furniture made of natural materials, like wood, stone and metal. Building furnishings like cabinets and counters, fire tables and benches into the outdoor living space will help these pieces stay intact over the years and make the space feel more organic.
Trends ebb and flow, so homeowners need to be careful to remodel their properties with an eye toward the future. By investing in upgrades that are just gaining popularity now, homeowners can ensure their home retains value for years to come.

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