2016 was fantastic year for the HomeStars community and we hope that it was for you and your family as well. More so than in previous years, we have seen our community increase investment in their homes as the upward rise in house prices continues in Canada’s major cities.

In fact, according to data provided to us by our community, the average cost of these renovations increased from $17,900 in 2015 to $21,050 in 2016. An 18% growth is a strong indicator that many Canadian homeowners have decided to invest in renovating and maintaining their homes, instead of moving.

If you’re thinking of taking on any renovations next year, it’s good to know that the best return on investment always comes from the ‘Big 3’ renovations – kitchen, bathroom or basement renovations. These are major undertakings that you might only do once ever ten years or so, but if you’re like me, you still want to do something to improve or update your home each year.

Here are the trends that I’ve noticed as stand-outs for home updates or renovations in the coming year. I know which ones I’ll be working on in my home. Let us know if you’ll be updating your home in 2017 with any of these trends.

Bringing outdoor indoors

Natural elements are being juxtaposed with modern design and mixed materials to produce beautiful, eclectic homes that pay homage to nature. For example, the use of natural woods in countertops and islands balance the stainless steel, marble and granite used in kitchens.

Stunning zebra wood island countertop by Clean Cut Design Build

Stunning zebra wood island countertop by Clean Cut Design Build

Other ‘back-to-the-earth’ trends include copper sinks in bathrooms, tree branches used in lighting and reclaimed wood used for walls and panelling.

Upcycling – Making what’s old new again. 

Instead of buying new cabinetry, consider upgrading what you’ve got with either a fresh coat of paint or by installing new facings/veneers or handles. Also, consider upcycling to restore older furniture instead of buying new.

Kitchen Cabinet refinishing by Eco Refinishers

Kitchen Cabinet refinishing by Eco Refinishers


Lower carbon footprint products will be used more in renovations. Examples include LED lighting, energy-saving appliances and plumbing products like low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators that save water and energy. And some homeowners will use solar panels and wind generators to generate their own power, and they can sell excess power back to the energy grid.

Solar Panel installation by Herc Du Soleil

Solar Panel installation by Herc Du Soleil

Small space living is influencing design.

More and more urban homeowners are choosing condos or small downtown homes, and with it, the need to scale down and live well in small spaces. This will drive several reno trends:

  • Built-ins for all living spaces, not just closets
  • Maximizing space storage with clever ideas
  • With space at a premium, furniture and cabinetry must do double duty
  • Small, more efficient appliances
  • Appropriately-sized furniture
Lane way house by Rain City Renovations

Lane way house by Rain City Renovations

As always, when you take on any home improvement, repair or renovation job, check out the Star Score of every contractor, and read their reviews. This research will help you quickly develop your shortlist of trusted companies before you start the quoting process.

Finally, as 2016 brings to a close our tenth year in business, I’d like to thank you for making HomeStars the #1 home improvement community in Canada. It’s an honour to continue serving you and we look forward to doing an even better job for you in 2017.

Nancy Peterson

Founder & CEO, HomeStars

Posted by Nancy Peterson