Are you ready for the new year? As a home seller you have to ask yourself, "Is my home ready?"

Although some buyers may not be tuned into current and changing decor trends, many will.

Your home will be compared to what buyers see on reality home remodeling shows and on Pinterest and decorating blogs. Brick and mortar stores will be showcasing the latest in furniture, bedding, accessories, appliances, and window treatments.

Trending styles look young and fresh to the eye, and buyers like being on the cutting edge, rather than spending money on what looks dated

Here are the predictions that come from authorities like Houzz, Trulia and others for what's hot for next year and beyond. Whether you decide to incorporate some of these trends or just one, there's no doubt that you'll entice buyers with your attention to detail. I've narrowed the interior decor industry trends down to the ones that make sense for people with a home on the market.

Instagram-ready decor

One of the reasons people buy homes is to reassure themselves and to signal the world that they are moving ahead economically. Everyone wants to be proud of his or her home, and that means showing it off on social media. 

Now's the time to evaluate how the spaces in your home photograph. Unexpected, beautiful, and functional are three words Trulia's Jay Britto uses to describe what Instagrammers around the world are looking for in their home decor

To get your spaces "upload worthy," get rid of clutter. The camera picks up all the messy areas. Then, make sure the lighting is flattering. 

Both interior and exterior lighting are important for cosmetic and functional reasons. When interior lighting is more than adequate, your home looks bigger and cleaner. What's a beautiful room without good lighting for snapping a picture?

The National Association of Home Builders took a survey and asked people what was important to them in a home. In its current "What Home Buyers Really Want" survey, they found that almost 41% of respondents said exterior lighting was important.

It makes sense. Good exterior lighting can make a property safer by deterring troublemakers, and also by lighting the way on paths and stairs. During the winter months, homes are often in the dark by early evening, and serious buyers will cruise the neighborhood of a home they are interested in. How does your home look at night?
Good lighting, colorful surroundings, a simple composition,
an interesting subject -- these are the elements
for a winning Instagram shot. Photo: Dornob.

Moody hues

White walls may still be a safe trend, but Houzz predicts that more homeowners will be drawn to darker, cooler hues during 2018.

Clean, white kitchens are a classic that may never go out of style, but adding a touch of a trending color freshens the look.

In fact, adding color throughout the home is another prediction on Houzz's list of 2018 design trends. These are the tones they expect to gain popularity:
If you're planning to sell your home in 2018, you might want to try out one or two of these shades to add just a little bit of pizazz to your space.

The dramatic color pops here are limited to what 
the buyers don't have to buy. They're
temporary. But these colors help make the kitchen
more friendly and memorable. Photo: BHG

Dramatic color accents

Home staging typically focuses on monochromatic color schemes, but if your home is large or lacking architectural detail or scantily staged, some color can add interest.

I'm not suggesting you paint a bedroom dark purple, but adding a statement wall to a small room can make that wall recede and create the illusion of a larger room. Conversely, painting one wall in a large room an accent color can make the room feel cozier.

Because they might want to repaint, buyers will moan over rooms painted unusual colors. But repainting one wall that's a color not matching their preferences is different from painting an entire room. Often, it's a simple, DIY project that can be done after new owners move in.

Adding a dash of intense color here and there might be just what your staging needs to give it the wow factor buyers seem to crave. Look for lamps, pillows, and tabletop decor to hit the stores in eye-popping shades. And ...there's always spray paint for giving boring items a trendy makeover.

Mixed metals

Combining different metals is a trend any frugal home stager or home seller can applaud. Gone is the worry that unmatched doorknobs or lighting fixtures throughout your house will mark it as dated. So, keep your nickel hinges and chrome faucets and oil rubbed brass chandelier. They add eclectic details. And save you money.

Even if you don't mix metals in your more fixed furnishings like lights and faucets, you can add touches of silver and gold to your staging the way Diane Henkler did at her blog, In Her Own Style. She used metallic tape to add shine to her party supplies, shown in the top photograph.

Home decor follows fashion trends and women have been mixing things like silver bracelets, gold earrings and copper necklaces for the past few years. It's a kind of in-your-face-I'm-bold-enough-to-break-the-rules look, and I love it! 
This room includes pieces made from brass, tin and iron.
When mixing metals, it's best to make just one 
of them predominate.The gold-toned frames
and table are the stars here. Photo: styleathome

Sink updates

Almost 14% of consumers report wanting to add a kitchen to their outdoor space, and they'd love a sink to go with it. Lucky you if you have such an outdoor feature or can add it!

Inside, updated kitchen and bath sinks are high up on Houzz's list of 2018 home design trends. If you're looking to really draw in buyers with your kitchen and bathrooms, consider the following:
Concrete sinks
Copper sinks
Stone sinks
Bucket sinks
Trough sinks
Patterned ceramic sinks
The modern farmhouse trend is still a big one, which means those trough sinks could really up your buyer's interest.
Buyers look for spa-like baths that feel
clean and luxurious.
The trends for trough sinks, 
natural materials and  
mixed metals are apparent here. 

Pattern on pattern

A long time ago in a galaxy not that far away, pattern on pattern was a fashion taboo. Now mixing prints has made it to the list of top 2018 home trends.

Contrary to popular belief, mixing patterns doesn't need to be gaudy or too obvious. Bedrooms and living rooms are obvious places to start. Consider perking things up with a well-planned placement of pillows on a bed or sofa. I've written a simple formula for how to mix different fabric patterns

Juxtaposition of patterns isn't limited to prints and textiles. Surface textures count as patterns. For example, putting an ultra-fluffy throw blanket over part of a smooth duvet cover, or silky pillows on a velvet loveseat can give the impression of mixed patterns. And if you have a rustic twig chair and you set it on polished concrete, you've mixed patterns.

Natural materials

Materials given us by Mother Nature rather than the lab will be making waves in the year ahead. Think bamboo, cork, and reclaimed wood flooring, rattan furniture, hand-thrown pottery and handmade paper lampshades, living plants, concrete and natural stone countertops, and metal lighting fixtures.

Even if you are not planning any remodels before you sell, there are decorating changes you can make to add natural materials to rooms.

When you incorporate natural substances, you've given your home timeless style. Also, recycled and natural materials are usually more ecologically sane (greener).

Tips to remember

An estimated 63% of potential homeowners believed 2017 was a good year to buy a home. With these home design trends in your pocket, you could make 2018 another excellent year for buyers. And yourself! Try one or two of these ideas out for yourself and I think you will discover the results will surprise you, not to mention warm the hearts of buyers.

Get more advice on how to stage a home by downloading my eBook, DIY Home Staging Tips to Sell Your Home Fast and For Top Dollar. It comes with my money-back guarantee that you will learn countless ways to make your home sale profitable.

Top Photo: InMyOwnStyle; Photo below: Jonathan Rachman