“Form follows function,” an idea that Louis Sullivan, the founder of modernism, brought to light with his breakthrough in building design. Adapting existing form to fit more tightly to the new function of rooms is a trend we will continue to see in real estate in general, but also on the small-scale of patterns for particular rooms.

Kitchens and bathrooms have historically been areas of the home that see the results of adaptability first. Countertops get replaced with more “modern” materials, cabinets are like a Rubik’s Cube for personal preference. In bathrooms, sink fixtures and bath or shower enclosures evolve along with innovation. The introduction of necessary accessories like low-flow toilets or showerheads have led movements based on environmental concerns, with adaptations of the original to follow.

“Micro-housing” is dotting the unique culture of urban landscape. This minimal-space dwelling might not be the ideal scenario for everyone, but we can see it influencing broader trends in interior design. Micro-housing is the ultimate exercise in function determining form and design.

The ensuing trends encompass five essential aspects:
1. Effortless user experience. We see this phrase related to e-commerce shopping surveys, because if the site were difficult to navigate, we wouldn’t be returning anytime soon. Kitchens are embarking on the same journey. Make the space accessible and user-friendly.
2. Open shelving. In micro-housing, shelf or cabinet doors take up space, so why not just remove them? For bathrooms and kitchens alike, open shelving provides sleek, clean design lines as well as a flexible structural component.
3. Uber-neutral color palettes. The resurgence of black, white and gray continues into 2016 for both kitchens and bathrooms. Variations of white for wall colors with accents or hardware/appliances in grayscale remain perpetually chic design aesthetics.
4. Incorporation of technology. Mobile devices are just that — mobile. They go everywhere. Kitchens and bathrooms are using technology both in design and accommodation. Docking stations and Bluetooth-enabled controls will find their way into more kitchens and bathrooms. Invest now in power strips or showerheads that play music to stay current.
5. Furniture-look pieces. Countering the adaptation of technology is the continuing trend of furniture in the kitchen and bathroom. Furniture pieces like dressers provide shelving options while softening overly rigid design schemes.

Kitchens and bathrooms are the forerunners of reusing existing spaces in the house. High-use areas demand the judicious application of alteration. In other words: change it up, make it yours.

Clean lines and simple colors add a rejuvenated ambiance to any room. Plus, for you to appreciate this new space, clutter has to be minimal. In the new year, you will win the clutter battle!