The top renovation trends for 2018

By Katy Holliday

This year the trend is renos! And, it looks like it could stay that way for awhile. Due to a downturn in new residential construction, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) predicts that the home renovation market will grow considerably over the next three years, with an estimate of 0.4% growth for 2018, set to rise to 4.9% in 2019.

Whether you’re getting ready to sell, sprucing up an investment property to rent, or just want to breathe life back into your home and add your own personal touch, there is plenty to inspire in renovation trends for 2018.

If you’re looking for the best returns, start with the essentials - kitchen and bathroom renovations. These are the rooms that make sales and increase livability.

So what’s popular? This year we’re saying goodbye to the monochromatic look of yesteryear and we’re welcoming in a more natural palette of colours, patterns and textures.

Best kitchen renovation ideas and trends for 2018

Updating your kitchen is one of the most lucrative ways to instantly add value to your property. The heart of a home is always the kitchen, where the family gathers. No matter what kitchen style you go after, an open plan layout is right on trend this year. It creates the perfect communal space for entertaining guests and bringing people together.

Kitchen island bench trends

The kitchen island bench serves as a multi-use space where you can prep and cook, entertain or add a couple of bar stools and use it as a casual dining option. Dual-material benchtops with a stone and wood contrast reflect the current authentic and organic aesthetic of the “wabi-sabi” trend - a Japanese concept where imperfection is embraced.

You might consider durable quartz for your benches as it’s fast-becoming a better choice than difficult-to-polish granite, and more affordable too.

Cabinetry trends

kitchen cabinetry ideas

Opt for upper kitchen cabinets over open shelving. Open shelving can be eclectic and visually interesting, but it’s tricky to style. When it comes to kitchen cabinet designs, we’re seeing plenty of matte black cabinetry this year. It’s classic and sleek, stays cleaner and won’t date like glossy cabinets.

They will pair beautifully with your new dual-material benches. Cabinetry offers ample storage and keeps the room spacious, clear and clean. Inject personality with unique, oversized handles with pops of colour or wooden knobs.

Butler’s pantry trends

A butler’s pantry is one of the latest kitchen trends for Australian properties, and is quickly being seen as the new ‘must-have’ room in the house. Perfect for households that entertain a lot but hate the unsightly mess it creates, they fit seamlessly into an open plan kitchen (as long as you have the floor space).

The butler’s pantry is essentially the kitchen behind the kitchen. It’s where you’ll get the grunt work done while your kitchen remains organised and tidy for guests and family to enjoy.

See more kitchen ideas: How much does a kitchen renovation cost?

Best bathroom renovation ideas and trends for 2018

bathroom renovation ideas

Updating or adding a new bathroom is a must when renovating. Spacious and luxurious bathrooms where you feel like you’re visiting a day spa will certainly add value to your home. Double sinks where more than one person can comfortably use the bathroom at a time are ideal, as well as plenty of storage to keep the clutter away.

Stand alone tubs are on the hot list - the deeper the better, as well as ceiling showers and wall-hung toilets. If space is limited use bigger tiles to create a roomier feel, and with fewer grout lines they will be easier to maintain.

Muted colours like white and grey are still popular in the bathroom, but add texture with interesting tiles and patterns, or touches of timber. Ceramic, marble, quartz, and porcelain materials give a luxe feel.

Interior colour trends 2018

interior colours 2018

Warm neutrals like greys and beige are inviting, but the colour palette is expanding to include soft pinks, blues and greens for a calming effect. Deep moody hues and earthy shades like terracotta and grey-greens are popular and will team up well with your neutral tones.

The autumnal shades suit our Australian landscape, but they also don’t date as quickly as other colour trends.  

Metallics and matte

Move over rose-gold and copper, brass is the boss of metallic fittings this year with its natural matte finish. Matte black wares are still trending, but taps with a quartz matte finish such as grey stone or brushed graphite are new to the scene and gaining in popularity.

Terrazzo tiling

bathroom terrazzo tiling ideas

After a quick stint in the 70s, terrazzo is back and quickly becoming a rising star in both the bathroom and the kitchen. Last year it was all about classic marble, but this year terrazzo is making its speckled way into the spotlight.

Terrazzo is made up of chips of glass, stone and marble blended in with coloured cement and concrete that has been polished until it’s a shiny, smooth resemblance of mosaic or confetti!  

Terrazzo can be used for counters, benchtops, splashbacks and walls. Create intriguing flooring or get creative with a terrazzo-inspired wallpaper feature. The uses are as endless as your imagination and it really adds to the layered look that is right on trend. Go big with terrazzo, or choose to keep it minimalist.

Statement ceilings

The ‘fifth wall’ is becoming the next big thing. There’s so much you can do with your ceilings that you may never have realised. From bold colours, to textured tiles, to patterned wallpaper looks - your ceilings will be drawing the eyes up!


Matte is not just for the inside. Matte roofing and siding will withstand the elements and have a long-lasting, fresher look. When it come to repainting, creams and greys are excellent choices for the exterior. You can keep it quirky at the entry with oversized statement doors painted with a bright colour.

Outdoor entertaining trends

Sunken fire pits are on the “it list” this year and will make your outdoor entertaining area an all year-round feature. Not only are they a focal point to gather around and keep warm, but they will also open up your backyard and make it feel bigger.

Landscaping will increase the value of your property and doesn’t have to be expensive - a little can go a long way.

Sustainability and solar energy

It’s all about the solar. With rebates on solar power there is no reason not to add value to your home. Energy efficient doors, windows, siding and roof systems are important to consider too. Going green is not just a trend, but a smart investment choice for the future of the planet and your property!


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