Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

New Year – New Home Project?

Hancock Park home projects

The greater Hancock Park area is known for its fine historical homes built mainly in the 1920s and 30s, most of which are protected (on the exterior) by historic preservation guidelines that seek to preserve the neighborhood’s original character and historical integrity.

Inside these treasures, however, an owner’s personality shows through and the advent of a new year often inspires homeowners to try a new home project.  It could be a major backyard renovation, a new kitchen, or simply repainting a powder room, but the new year often motivates us to change. As in technology, fashion and numerous other industries, remodeling and design seem to come with their own annual trends.  Below are a handful of home improvement trends for 2014.

FLOOR PLAN This has been a buzzword for some time now but it still reigns true: people crave an open floor plan. We want our kitchen open to a family room, so that when company arrives we can gather in a central location (not to mention keeping eyes on the kids while they watch Spongebob).  As a result formal living and dining rooms are being de-emphasized in many cases, in favor of that central gathering spot.

Benjamin Moore's Old Navy is used as an accent color in this home featured on
Benjamin Moore’s Old Navy is used as an accent color in this home featured on

COLOR Sitting in my office lately I was suddenly struck with the idea of painting it blue.  Little did I know how prescient I was being, as blue – particularly Navy Blue – is considered in some circles to be the “it” color of the year.  It is a strong color that works well in a variety of rooms, and also provides a great starting point to match with accessories (think gray or yellow accent pillows on a couch in a blue room).

“OLD TO BOLD”  The dining room that used to be painted solid “off white,” might now have a black, textured wallpaper, with metallic fixtures to off-set.  It seems trends in both wallpaper (which of itself is a back-in-fashion trend) and accessory rugs are moving from solids to patterns.

Red cabinetry sets off this new take on an old fashioned kitchen.
Red cabinetry sets off this new take on an old fashioned kitchen (photo:

KITCHEN I’m reading and seeing three common threads in kitchen remodeling this year: cabinets painted in bold, gemstone colors, chrome and brass accents, and unusual lighting fixtures. Additional items that continue to gain popularity are warming drawers, wine fridges, ice drawers and pot fillers.

BATHROOM  The trend toward going spa-like seems to continue this year.  And why not?  What better way to start your day then with some serenity before the onslaught of a busy schedule.  Clean lines are the theme this year, and floating sinks are hip again.  Mosaic tiles can add depth and a feeling of luxury, to make it seem for a moment like you really are back at the Bacara spa.  Large walk-in showers are also in this year, as well as modern touch faucets.

Home project U socket
A U Socket allows charging of tablets and phones directly into the wall via USB cable.

TECHNOLOGY This area is probably the most significant trend in home remodeling –  after all –  we’ve just seen a thermostat manufacturer (Nest) get purchased for $3.2 billion from Google.  Clearly, home design is starting to catch up with technological advances, whether it’s controlling your home temperature with an app on your cell phone, upgrading your electrical system to accommodate an electric car, or my personal favorite – U-socket electrical outlets!  U-sockets have a traditional electrical plug, but also two USB ports, so you no longer have to scramble around looking for your iPad charger that your kid borrowed, let alone compete with them for charging space!

There are a host of great design trends out there and you can find ideas from all kinds of sources – including attending open houses of recently remodeled homes.  I do have this one suggestion: there’s nothing wrong with choosing cutting edge designs and products.  But try to make choices that are unlikely to go “stale” in a relatively short period of time.  Today’s ultra-hip can be tomorrow’s obsolete.  Timeless always plays well.

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Chase Campen
Chase Campen
Chase Campen is a Realtor with Keller Williams Larchmont. A Windsor Square resident for the last nine years, he resides with his wife Angelique, son Hunter (9), and daughters Paris (9) and Scarlett (7). When he's not representing buyers and sellers of real estate, Chase enjoys giving back to the community in a myriad of ways. He's a Past-President and Advisory Board member of the Wilshire Rotary Club, belongs to numerous other organizations, and enjoys coaching little league teams across a variety of sports. To reach Chase, pick your favorite method: 323-788-4663, [email protected],, @chasecampen"

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  1. great idea about the U-plug! I’ve been thinking of adapting a place in my kitchen into a “charging station.” An expert on digital security spoke at my daughter’s school (Archer School for Girls) talked about the value of having one central place to charge all the electronic devices devices. Kids have to recharge and when they do, they might talk to their parents!


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