Few things are more entrancing than watching a DIY video at 2x speed. This year alone, you probably glimpsed clips of DIYers trying out limewash painting, one of the biggest DIY trends of 2023, to others crafting their own large-scale wall art. TikTokers and YouTubers make it look easy when they breeze through each step, but renovation professionals like contractors, home builders, and designers know that things aren’t always so seamless behind the scenes.
Still, they understand the allure of trying out a new DIY project on your own—and the sense of satisfaction that comes with completing it. Ahead of 2024, they’ve also noticed a few popular projects that are just starting to take off. So, in conjunction with industry research, the pros predicted seven of the hottest DIY trends you’ll spot in home renovations next year. Grab your measuring tape!
A return to wood cabinets
After years of ripping out honey-colored and dark wooden kitchen cabinets in favor of white and navy ones, DIYers are putting down their hammers to preserve their existing storage. Once considered outdated, wood cabinets now feel organic and warm. According to the National Kitchen & Bath 2024 trend report, natural finishes like wood grain are increasing in demand.
“Mid- and darker-toned stains are timeless, and they feel fresh after many years of the popular white cabinets reigning supreme,” says Gena Kirk, vice president of corporate studio at KB Home, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders. “Stained cabinets are great paired with creams and dramatic marble veined backsplashes to get an organic and natural look in a kitchen.”
Gabriela Narvaez, general contractor and founder of Guild Properties, shares that some of her clients are requesting new wooden cabinets be built, justifying DIYers’ quests to repurpose their own. “The wood colors are big,” she says. “I’ve been installing a lot of cabinets, not only kitchen cabinets but storage systems, with an oak-y finish to the wood.”
Old money upgrades
The old money aesthetic is all over TikTok, with 57.2 million views and counting. From clothes and jewelry to bathrooms and bedrooms, time-honored luxury is in for 2024. Taskrabbit’s end-of-year trend report concurs, noting that small-space dwellers on a budget are finding ways to bring the look into their homes with porcelain and marble accents. According to Jordan Slocum and Barry Bordelon, the restoration team better known as the Brownstone Boys, those upgrading their homes with antique glamour will opt for molding of all kinds: crown molding, picture frame molding, wainscoting, baseboards, and window and door casings.
Though the duo mostly works in historic homes, they’ve mastered bringing old-world charm into more modern builds thanks to molding. “Picture frame molding is one of our favorites, if not our top pick, to bring in charm to a space,” they add. “It’s inexpensive and easy to do. Anyone can do it by watching a quick YouTube video.”
Custom-built furniture, even if the definition of “custom” is a bit loose, is in demand as renters and homeowners alike seek to personalize and add warmth to their spaces. For an extra polished built-in look, the Brownstone Boys recommend painting the walls, shelves, and cabinets all the same color. “Make it a deep rich color to create an even more dramatic design,” they say.
Colorful tile work
The demand for blindingly white subway tiles may only come from transit agencies next year. Designers are opting for splashy tiles for both walls and floors—and novice renovators are following suit. “Bold tilework is definitely trending,” says Chicago-based designer Corey Lohmann, who recently finished outfitting a bathroom with forest green tiles. “Using colorful tilework in a bathroom or powder room is a perfect spot since they are smaller spaces and the commitment isn’t as huge.”
Patient DIYers may even opt for intricate designs. Houzz’s 2024 home trend reportmentions herringbone as a pattern on the rise. “Herringbone tile lay is one trend that we continue to watch, along with large square tile instead of the more traditional 12×24 linear design,” Kirk says.
Anything but drywall
Gone are the days when people saved room for neutral space on their four walls. Murals, wallpaper borders, and paneling, rather, are the popular DIY projects that eliminate such blankness. Murals appeared 18 percent more often in listings on Zillow in 2023, according to Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert, and she expects that number to increase in 2024.
Why hire a pro to install built-in shelving in your living room when you could fake the look yourself? More and more DIYers are hacking budget-friendly units like IKEA shelvesto make their storage look custom. It’s a trick even builders employ; Narvaez says she’ll sometimes purchase the interior framing of IKEA shelves for clients, then cover them with doors and panels from elsewhere for stylish flair.
Even if you’re not a painter yourself, you can still add peel-and-stick murals on your own. “In a weekend, you can apply a floral wallpaper mural to your home office for a stunning Zoom background or add a large landscape to the dining room to dial up the drama,” Pendleton says.
Though wallpaper has been back in style for a few years, it’s easy-to-apply wallpaper borders that AD100 designer and artist Justina Blakeney predicts will enter the arena next year. “I’m seeing wallpaper borders begin to appear in rooms—around doorways, windows, and or around the perimeter of a room,” she says. “I love the decorative accent it brings, and the borders are also fun when applied in conjunction with a contrasting or complimentary wallcovering.”
Mudroom-laundry room combos
Houzz’s 2024 home trend report cites “mud-laundry rooms” as a project that will proliferate next year. They’re exactly what they sound like: a mashup of a mudroom and a laundry room, serving two important purposes with the same amount of square footage.
Mudrooms and laundry rooms became especially important during the height of the pandemic, when people needed a “drop zone” to shed their masks and outside clothes before entering their homes. Builder Ben Neely, president of Riverbend Homes, says mudrooms connected to garages have become a priority for his clients.
“Most of the drop zones we are now designing include full cubby or locker spaces for each person in the home to hang jackets, shoes, electronics, and more,” Neely explains. “Drop zone sizes have increased significantly over the past few years as well.”
Expect laundry rooms near home entrances to get the DIY mudroom treatment. “Creating an entry area and storage in a space not really meant for that is indeed a challenge,” says designer Mary Flo Ouellette, cofounder of Squarehouse Studios, of making your own mud–laundry room. “Smart storage solutions, especially pieces that can be wall mounted to keep floor space clear, are ideal.”
Fluted wood is about to bedeck cabinets, vanities, kitchen islands, and even nightstands in the new year. Houzz’s report also underscored fluted details as a major trend on the rise. While there’s plenty of furniture on the market with the fluted look, designer Steven Santosuosso, the other cofounder of Squarehouse Studios, notes that adding fluted panels to a room can have several benefits. “Fluted faux panels can be a great way to introduce texture and dimension into a space without changing materials,” he explains. “A smaller benefit is that the shapes can also contribute to sound diffusion.”
And it’s not just wood that will get the rippled treatment, either. “I think we can expect to see a lot of fluted marble and fluted tile in the coming year as well,” adds Blakeney. It’s a great way to add some visual exuberance in a solid or a marbled surface.”