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dimly lit kitchen with a bar area next to dining area with a wooden table2018 was a big year for smart homes, sneaky storage solutions, and spaces that are designed for entertaining. Here are 3 of the most popular home improvement trends we saw in 2018, and how you can  use them in your own spaces.


  • Every patio needs a pergola!

Pergolas were everywhere this year, thanks in large part to their convenience and effortless style. A pergola is a structure made with columns, which can be simple or more elaborate raised panels with decorative trim and timbers, and a lattice roof or horizontal beams overhead to let the light in.  Pergolas can stand alone - like a gazebo but without the walls - so are perfect whatever shape your yard is. They’re also a stunning architectural piece you can use to hang lights and plants, or to cover in trailing vines to add a romantic touch to your yard.


  • Be smart about storage.

If your home doesn’t have a ton of built-in storage, 2018 has some clever storage solutions for you. Sometimes, storage spaces are lurking in unexpected places:  unused corners, heights, open ledge storage, and any areas below eye-level can be potential potential storage areas. Or, instead of hiding it away, consider turning your storage into a feature: stack floating shelves to add storage in an eye-catching and fashionable way, or show off colourful trinkets in open shelving. This approach adds warmth and playful colours to your space, and eliminates large furniture pieces like cabinets and vanities in smaller rooms or bathrooms. If shelving isn’t an option, think rustic: wooden crates can be stacked, placed on the ground, or even drilled into the wall to create more storage.


  • Smarter kitchens for simpler lives

Kitchens took a massive leap forwards in 2018 thanks to smart appliances. You might have heard about sensor-activated lights and no-touch water faucets, but those were just the beginning! Kitchens are now seeing wild innovations like fridges that inform you when groceries are running low, and meat thermometers that alert your phone when that roast is hot enough, making kitchen chores and cooking easier than ever.

 

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