​2013 Home Improvement Trends and Why You Should Care


We’ve scoured the internet in search of the year’s greatest trends. The list below is certainly not exhaustive, but does include the years top trends and greatest upgrades.

After a long lull in the housing market, 2012 and 2013 have started to see a slow recovery. DIYers took on more projects and spent slightly more money in 2013 than recent years, and that trend is projected to continue through 2014 as well.

Before we get to the list, the important thing to note about home improvements is 83% of home owners made improvements to increase their own enjoyment of their home, not just to boost resale value, according to the 2013 Houzz Survey. Home owners are happy where they are, which means home improvement projects will continue to rise.

So what did they spend their money on and what new trends did DIYers add to their houses?

1. Bathrooms

Bathrooms almost always top the list of home improvement trends each year. It seems that, as Houzz puts it, even though we don’t spend a ton of time in bathrooms, we highly value the time we spend there and think it’s worth a considerable investment.

Walk-in showers and multiple shower heads have gotten a lot of attention lately, but realtors and contractors agree, the bathtub is still king.

2. Kitchens Upgrades

Like bathrooms, kitchens are always on the top of large ticket home improvement projects. New in kitchens this year was a more modern look that replaces previous cottage-chic trends. Gray and painted cabinets were preferred over the previously popular natural wood look, but most experts say white is still the front runner in kitchen colors.

In keeping with the modern look, sleek front cabinets and modern counters have phased out the more intricate look of ornate cabinets and crown molding.

3. Kitchen Islands

Along with larger upgrades like cabinets and countertops, a smaller investment with big impact is kitchen islands.

Islands range from a 4x4 butcher block on wheels to giant islands with free-standing stoves and sinks included. Islands offer consumers added counter space and storage, which are always at a premium in kitchens.

4. Gray

Speaking of gray kitchen cabinets, gray is making a comeback in more places than just the kitchen. Gray is popping up as part of the neutral pallet that has been growing in popularity over the past few years.

DIY projects could be as small as recovering old pillows with patterned gray accents, painting old lamps with some gray spray paint, or as large as reupholstering a couch or headboard with gray fabric.

Gray can also have brown undertones which blend well with another trend, natural and minimilist elements according to

5. Natural Elements

Stone tile, farm tables, real-wood doors and headboards. 2013 was the year of authenticity in the natural world.

Decor trends often try to mimic, but in this case, synthetics were no substitute for the real thing. Natural elements were found in their natural state in 2013 home improvement projects.

But remember, when nature is on the minds of consumers, so are sustainable practices. If your company sells natural products, be sure your packing includes your stance on ethical harvesting and sustainable practices.

6. Energy Efficiency is (still) Cool

It’s no surprise that home makeovers are continuing to go green. Skeptics in recent years said consumers wouldn’t pay more for green products, but the test of time has proven otherwise.

Green remodels and new homes accounted for 17% of the construction market in 2011, and is projected to hold up to 38% of the total construction market by 2016 (1).

Making homes more efficient is one of the number one reasons homeowners completed DIY projects in 2013, and there is no sign of the importance of these materials slowing down in the future.

7. Emerald is the new Tangerine Tango

Pantone named Emerald the color of the year for 2013. As a result, green accents were a constant theme in home decor this year.

Paint is often an easy fix for drab rooms, so several home improvements included an Emerald accent wall to boost the room’s appeal, and bring into the year of green.

8. Rustic Industrial

New on the scene of decor is a mix between the rustic,vintage look and the modern,industrial look. Experts are calling it “rustic industrial." We’re not sure on the name, but we are sure we love it.

Rustic industrial often features a combination of wood and metal, clean lines and antiqued finishes. Check out this slide show from for more info on this new trend.

9. Brass is Back

We did a lot of research to find the best of the best for 2013, and all sources point to one killer resurgence: brass.

Brass has been off the trend scene for quite sometime, but is back and better than ever. From major upgrades like this brass staircase to small brass accents in your rustic industrial living room, brass is back with some staying power.

10. Upcycled DIY

Refurbished and repurposed decor is all the rage on Pinterest and in our homes. It’s no longer enough to simply reupholster dining chairs, where’s the challenge in that?

DIYers are now turning retro kid’s toys into plant holders, old light bulbs into terrariums and coffee makers into fish tanks (ok, so I made that last one up, but you get the point).

Give your brand some added exposure by offering tutorials on how your products can be upcycled. Show DIYers that your products have value and versatility. High value and unique uses will win DIY Consumer loyalty for years to come.


DIY has become a trend in itself, and the bar is being continually raised. Consumers are more frequently looking for unique features that will break their homes out of the status quo. Interesting decor and unique use trends like those featured in this list will certainly keep homes looking fresh and updated.

We want to hear from you, what were your favorite trends for 2013 and what are you hoping to see in 2014?

Zach Williams is the Founder and Creative Director for Venveo, a digital marketing agency. Zach has logged countless hours creating strategies and developing brand loyalty for Home Improvement brands. Follow him on Twitter or find him on LinkedIn