What I Learned About Design Trends at the Houzz.com Event

Last night I attended a Houzz.com event here locally.  It was sponsored by and held at PDI, a new kitchen and bathroom showroom here in Nashville. Attendees included designers, builders, architects, and other home professionals who have business profiles on Houzz.com.

houzz event

I dragged Mr. Man along under the guise of a “date night,” but I’m not sure he bought that . . .

the decorologist at pdi showroom nashville

Mr. Man is my personal photographer

There was food, networking, and an interesting presentation by Elyse Jordan of Houzz.com.  The stats she shared related to Houzz.com are staggering.  They have 20 million unique users each month on their site, and they are the largest residential data base for home-related professionals.

pdi showroom bathroom

bathroom at Nashville’s PDI Showroom

Did you know that in a recent survey of Houzz.com users, 83% of those looking for design professionals made their choices based on reviews by previous clients?  67% look for “experts in the field,” and 59% look for someone whose personality they feel they can work with.

bathroom trends

PDI Showroom

According to Houzz.com, the latest bathroom trends include tubless remodels (40%) – it’s all about the oversize walk-in shower! I wrote about this emerging trend in younger homebuyers in an article for Houzz a while back, and I got a lot of negative feedback from readers saying I wasn’t right.  Don’t you ever wish you could go back and say, “I told you so?”  80% are using glass enclosures for their showers, and over 50% of those are using frameless glass.

kristie barnett and elyse jordan

Elyse Jordan of Houzz.com with Kristie Barnett

Kitchen trends include mixing pendant lighting over islands, using two types of countertops, and integrating the “statement” stove in a different finish.  Stainless steel appliances are still going strong.

Are you a Houzz junkie, like millions of others?  I know plenty of my clients found me there. Have you found home design pros there, and how did that work for you?


  1. Gwen

    Kristie couldn’t agree more about the tubless bathroom. We are planning a remodel in the next year and plan to take out the tub for a nice big shower! Great post. Thanks for being right! 🙂

  2. Kath Barry

    I am one of those 20 million Houzz junkies…and find the reading most interesting– both article-writer and
    reader-responses….along with the pictures……I saw your article there. That’s where I must have found you?……You turned me onto Downton Abby, too!!! I thank you kindly, Kristie. We had the builders put one tub/shower and two walk-in wheelchair accessible showers. 9 months later I would say that that was a great idea.
    I did not find my decorator there but I read articles on HOW to find one and what to know before hiring any decorator. And bought your courses on placing furniture, Kristie. (while we were building.)
    Great advice and I picked a gem of a decorator. She is also a stager….. I live in Melbourne, Fl,. if anyone is looking for a referral. I found her through my Realtor.
    I must learn how to download pics. I did it once on Houzz-can’t remember how I did it. I guess the event was a hit with Mr. Man.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thanks for sharing that, Kath! It’s always interesting to learn through what channels we get connected. And I’m glad I turned you on to Downton!!!

  3. Kathy

    At the end of the day its realizing you can’t please everyone so find a middle ground. I also learned what people say they love in your home they might not want it in their own home. Even one couple one would want the large shower the other wants the tub. I think I’m referring to my home hahaha. I really don’t like treads nothing dates a house more than following trends. On hgtv people are having a fit because the house was built 14 years ago. The original homeowner went with trends that had a very short life span.

    • Kristie Barnett

      There are choices that are more timeless than other, and those are what I recommend to clients who may be selling their homes within the next several years. But I personally believe that in homes built in the last 40 years, it’s impossible to choose completely timeless features – most are tied to a certain decade or generation (even color combinations, right?). To me, there’s a difference between “on-trend” (10 year lifespan) and “trendy” (2-4 year lifespan). I steer clients away from trendy on expensive or fixed elements. If you don’t change anything for 20 years, it’s gonna look dated. Which is fine if you still love it, but don’t kid yourself that you don’t have a bunch of trends in your home.

  4. Natalie

    I have been following the Decorologist for a few days, so I didn’t read the predictions about the tubless bathrooms. As a designer working with several builders and remodelers, I was notified of that trend a while back and even implemented it into my custom home built over a year ago. I miss my tub like crazy:(. I have a huge walk-in shower with custom tile walls, floor, ceiling and bench, but there’s no relaxing tub, like my last custom home. Even though there is another full bath on the same level, I’m not going to walk over there and use it. Both me and my husband wish we could go back and put the tub in the plans. On another note, I agree that Houzz is the bomb, and I get many clients from my professional account there:)

    • Kristie Barnett

      Hi Natalie,
      Personally, I could NEVER give up my tub – but I’m beginning to be in the minority, it seems. I would totally use a bathtub in another room of the house if I didn’t have one next to my bedroom. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. carol

    I agree. My garden tub just collects dust. I never use it. I do have a second bathroom with the typical shower/tub combo. I don’t need a tub in our master bath. Totally wish I could remodel right now.

  6. Jacquie

    I may or may not have commented on Krisite’s tubless bathroom post but I wanted to warn anyone thinking of this to check with their local building code, especially if you ever plan to sell your home, which includes almost all of us. Ohio building codes require at least one tub in every home and when a home inspector inspects a home for a new buyer, they will advise their buyer of any code violations which will cost the seller in the long run in either remedies or a lower renegotiated selling price. Just make sure to know the facts…
    As a side, we love having only a shower in our Master but one of our other bathrooms has a tub. 🙂

    • Kristie Barnett

      Thanks for the info – I’ve never heard of such a building code. I would NEVER recommend eliminating every bathtub from a house – but just consider that younger buyers prefer larger walk-in showers, and it can be more handicapped-accessible than a tub for the elderly. There definitely needs to be at least one bathroom with a tub option in every home, in my opinion. But folks are LOVING the tubless in the master and Houzz has the stats to prove it!

  7. Loroy

    If I could have my way, I’d take out our gigantic Jacuzzi type tub (we don’t have enough water in our water heater to fill it!) and replace it with one of those pretty and smaller stand-alone tubs. My shower is big enough (don’t want to have to clean a larger one), but I would replace the built-in with some type of tile. I will be updating our bathroom this winter and changing some simple things, but unfortunately a total remodel is not in the budget. I too am a Houzz junky and have gotten a lot of decorating ideas from it.

  8. JL

    I am saving up to somehow squeeze a smaller sized tub into my master as part of a remodel to a very dated (lights hanging from chain draped over both sinks) bathroom. A 20 minute soak after a long day being momma to three little boys in some super hot water with three handfuls of Epsom salts is just what I need. Now, there is a tub in the boys’ bathroom, but I have no intention in the future of sharing a tub with three teenage boys after they’ve showered in there!!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Haha, that is pretty funny!!! There is nothing like a good soak at the end of a long day. I take a tub bath every night!!!!

  9. Joanne G.

    We recently moved to a home with a master bathroom containing an enormous garden tub and the tiniest fiberglass shower I’d ever seen. My husband would have had to step out of it and turned around to wash the other side of himself! After much discussion, we decided to do what fit best for our lives now and in the future. We ripped out both pieces, rearranged the room, and installed a huge walk-in shower with frameless glass. We thought ahead by making a very low entry and by placing a large built-in tile seat with a hand-held showerhead nearby which will work well as we age. Then, we put in a regular showerhead for my husband and a rain showerhead for me. We love it. Our glass contractor told us about a glass with a coating that repels water, and the shower has been easy to clean and maintain. It’s so pretty, too! The glass has the added benefit of making the room look larger and brighter.

    We did consider resale value, but the bottom line was choosing what worked for us and made us happy. There are two other tubs in the house if we needed them.

    We couldn’t have imagined such an attractive room without our designer. She wasn’t on Houzz, but a review from one of her clients was, and that gave me the reassurance to hire someone unknown to me.

  10. Joanne

    I don’t use a tub anymore and want to take it out, enlarge the shower and add more storage. My concern is that when I go to sell, the next lady may love a big tub. I do have one in the guest bath but as I’ve read some of the comments, I realize that your own personal tub can be a refuge at the end of a busy day. I’m quite torn.

  11. Jenny B.

    Looks like a fun event. I would love to do a tubless bathroom makeover. Our jetted tub is currently used to hold our luggage. We would be much better served by replacing the tub with a bigger shower, and turning the current shower into a closet for the luggage. 🙂

    • Kristie Barnett

      That’s funny, Jenny! Actually, now that you mention it, my sister used to use one of the extra bedroom showers for storage.

  12. Stephanie R.

    Ok, I admit it. I am a Houzz addict. Love all the pictures and articles. When we built our house 3 years ago, we had them build the masterbath with only a large walk-in shower. We put a large tub/shower combo in the girls bathroom. My builder thought I was crazy for not putting a separate tub in the masterbath, but my husband and I are both shower people. A tub would be a complete waste of space for us both. It’s nice to know that I wasn’t crazy after all. I was just ahead of the times.

  13. Bea

    On the tub issue…while I realize it is trending, I was the victim of it and hate it. I bought a builder’s lovely and well-made and well-designed 1974 New England style home that HAD a shower separate from a 6′ cast iron claw foot tub in the master bath. However, both were torn torn out and replaced by a huge 4 person shower in a complete master bath remodel by the second owner simply to put the house on the market. I HATE my gargantuan glass shower and no bathtub in the master. When I bought this house, I should have thought more of the ramifications a gargantuan shower without a tub. I am young and healthy but I could have never guessed that in 7 yrs, I’d have two surgeries from injuries and two other medical conditions, where a shower is troublesome, and a tub soak could have helped my healing, I loathe, and swear about, owning a stately home without a tub in the master. There is one other tub in the house…in the former 1974 kids’ bathroom…small and not anywhere deep enough for soaking and not long enough for me to stretch my legs. I will be ripping out the gargantuan shower and putting back in an esteemed soaking tub suitable for this house, and suitable for adults, with a regular size shower in the master bath. When the time comes, it will help resale value much more than a gargantuan shower without a proper soaking tub in the master because my house will probably be purchased by a family with young kids and that nice soaking tub will be very helpful to a young family…and to that mom, at the end of a tough day. Don’t do it…resist the temptation to remove your master soaking tub even if you don’t use it now. Life happens.

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