Every year, as soon as the sun begins setting at 5pm, predictions about what the next year will hold seem to kick into high gear.
This year, we have been thankful for wonderful clients and trade partners. Our projects have been uniquely tailored to each client, ranging from a modern custom coffee table to a large multi-generational kitchen with island seating for 10.
The busy times brought out the best in our teams, and when we had a break, we had time to focus on adding new product lines to our collections. (More on those new products in next month's letter!)
We are fortunate that our industry is perpetually optimistic. After all, we design rooms that are always referred to as the "heart of the home". Our business is bringing people together to create new fantastic memories. For that, we are thankful.
It's impossible not to look forward and try to predict 2024 trends- and these trends all lean toward making life easier for all our clients.
Herewith, the MJ Martin Woodworking 2024 Crystal Ball
Aging in Place:
Online searches for "aging-in-place" and "handicap accessible" bathrooms have doubled from this time last year. But designing for aging-in-place is not only limited to bathroom design. Kitchen cabinet heights, countertop clearances, and even sink depths are becoming more adaptive for accessibility.
Houzz has a great article exploring this in more depth. CLICK HERE to read.
Photo Credit: Design Cafe
Sustainability Meets Longevity:
For years, we have been hearing from clients, "eco-conscious materials and appliances are important to me" and at the same time hearing push-back on the prices of American-made, VOC-free, hardwood products. We expect that what took hold this year will continue into 2024. That is, our clients will choose hand-crafted products that will last 25+ years, rather than put disposable, toxic materials in their homes. Prices have stabilized, and the quality is clear.
For more information on the toxic air quality inside overseas shipping containers, CLICK HERE.
Photo Credit: Patrick Ahearn Architect
The return of the appliance garage, integrated charging drawers and multi-function appliances are all going to keep clutter at bay in new kitchens. Appliances that are integrated into cabinets all help keep a kitchen streamlined. This photo below combines two other trends in addition to organization- wood cabinets and beverage stations (coffee or cocktails!).
Design Credit: Southern Studio Photo Credit: Dustin Peck Photography
Is this the year that downdraft ventilation finally becomes functional and mainstream in modern kitchens? It's exciting to imagine how we will design above cooktops if we don't have large hood vents to contend with.
Photo Credit: Gagneau
Mortgage Rate and Inflation Stabilization:
At the last Federal Open Markets Committee meeting, they decided it to hold the funds rate steady. This is the first time since March 2022 without a rate hike.
Inflation has come down from a high of 7% in 2021 to a more normalized 3.2% as of October 31st.
A recent Survey by Houzz found that, of the 2,500+ people questioned, 1 in 7 homeowners had put a project on hold, due to budget constraints. The good news is that over half of those are expected to begin the project in 2024.
Key economists feel as though we are approaching the "soft landing" instead of a looming recession.
We with you all a fantastic Thanksgiving!
Mike, Dave and Liz