2021 Home Remodeling Design Trends in Los Angeles

When people think about remodeling, they usually get excited about envisioning the beautiful new space they want to create.  Most people want to update their homes in order to get rid of old, worn, and outdated elements and replace them with new finishes that reflect the latest design trends.

Whether you’re planning on hiring a designer or not, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research on the latest trends in order to determine how you want your finished space to look. Once you have some ideas about your goals, you can share them with your designer or contractor so they will know your general vision for the project.

Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable general contractors, we speak to homeowners every day about planning for the design & materials of their renovation – here are some design trends & ideas that Los Angeles homeowners are considering for their 2021 home remodels.

Lighter Wood Tones Design Trends

One of the most common requests contractors get during a remodel is to replace old, outdated flooring like carpet with a wood material. Although this upgrade doesn’t come at a small cost/budget, it makes a huge impact because flooring is visible in every room in the house.  Increasingly, LA residents have been choosing to install lighter, warmer tones of wood flooring, like French Oak or White Oak styles, and staying away from the darker shades like walnut or mahogany.

This light wood is also trending in kitchens and bathrooms where designers and homeowners are using light stain wood cabinets as an accent to break up the large sections of painted cabinetry, especially in all-white kitchens.  By using a light wood style for things like shelves, open cabinets, or range hood surrounds, you can create a cool, modern kitchen look with added pop.               

design trends in LA living room

Folding or Accordion-Style Glass Doors Design Trends

Many of the custom homes being built in or near Los Angeles come with large folding glass doors opening up to the backyard, enhancing the indoor/outdoor lifestyle available in our temperate SoCal climate.  Sometimes also called accordion-style, bi-fold, or ‘nana-wall’, this kind of door creates an opening significantly larger than the standard patio or sliding door.

nana wall design trends

The cost is not cheap, and it can take up a decent chunk of your budget, but the wow factor may be worth it. If you intend to add these doors during a renovation, it’s a good idea to talk to your contractor or architect about bringing in a structural engineer to help guide the discussion.  

Brushed Gold Fixtures Design Trends

With homeowners, designers, and contractors looking to expand the options of metal fixtures from the commonly used chrome/nickel and bronze/black, we are seeing Los Angeles residents start opting for warm gold-tone finishes.  These sophisticated color tones can significantly enhance the look of any room when used on plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, or even cabinet hardware.

Design tip: Don’t use multiple shades of gold in a single room; so carefully compare the finishes on all your material selections to make sure they look good when installed in the same room. Keep in mind, the cost of gold finish fixtures is usually higher than other options, so make sure to consider this in your budget.

Bathroom tile design trends

Powder Room Treatments Design Trends

Renovating a bathroom or powder room is generally an easy home improvement project that can be completed on a small budget.  And because it’s a small space, there are some simple design ideas to create a stylish pop of color. A trend we’re seeing in the LA area is the use of wallpaper, either on all the bathroom walls or just on the wall behind the vanity/mirror. A full-height tiled wall behind the vanity can also achieve a similar look, but the cost will likely be higher.

Powder Room design trends

Design tip: using a floating vanity or all-countertop style vanity pictured here, adds to the modern feel of the powder room.   

Island Waterfall Countertop Design Trends

Most LA homeowners love to include an island in their kitchen assuming they have the space.  An island is both a practical and elegant element of any kitchen. One trend that continues to be popular and adds an extra level of style to the island is the addition of a waterfall edge countertop.

Although it will add to your kitchen budget because of the increase in costs of both contractor labor and countertop material, it may well be worthwhile.  As seen in this image, the waterfall element creates a beautiful flowing design to the counter as well as clean elegant edges on both sides of the island.   

Kitchen waterfall island design trends

Master Bathroom: Walk-in Shower & No Tub Design Trends

In the past, a master bath wasn’t complete without a big soaking-tub.  But, these days, Los Angeles homeowners renovating their bathrooms are often choosing to ditch the tub and concentrate on creating an expansive walk-in shower.

Evidently, our busy lives aren’t allowing us to indulge in long baths, so people are choosing to spend their budget on an oversized shower which may include elements like multiple showerheads, steam nozzles, or rain-heads from the ceiling. To complete the modern look, ask your contractor about creating a ‘curbless’ shower and a ‘linear tile-in’ shower drain.  

subway tile shower design trends

Handmade Style Tile & Large Format Tile Design Trends

Replacing old, outdated tile is often an important component in a home improvement project. Large-format tiles that may be as large as 24” or 36” are being used to create a refined, ‘seamless’ look, especially for larger areas like floors or full wall applications. This design trend requires the tiles to be installed with no space in between for grout lines (also called butt-joint). 

Alternatively, the trend we’re seeing for smaller spaces is a ‘handmade’ style porcelain tile, which has more character because each tile has its own unique glazing, texture, and crackle. This creates some interesting variations and textures that will make any area stand out. This design is a good fit for a kitchen backsplash or in the bathroom behind the vanity/mirror.    

Large-format tile design trends

Flat Panel Cabinets Design Trends

Both kitchen and bathroom cabinets make up a significant design element in any home renovation.  The cabinet trend we’ve seen in LA is towards simplicity, clean lines, and minimalism.  One idea for people who are seeking to achieve this look is to choose a modern flat-panel cabinetry style. Especially for contemporary remodels, flat-panel cabinets create an elegant & seamless look.

Flat panel cabinet design trends

Design tip: This look is enhanced if you don’t use any visible hardware (no knobs & pulls) but rather utilize hidden “touch” latches. Homeowners and designers are using a variety of flat panel styles, including light or white colors, dark colors, or wood grain, depending on the look they are trying to achieve.

Dark Colors Design Trends 

White kitchens, white tile, and white walls have been popular for a while now, and that design trend seems like it will continue into the future.  Recently, however, some Los Angeles homeowners are making bold design moves and choosing dark, even ‘moody’ colors for kitchens, bathroom tile or even paint color.

Contractor and designers are getting requests from remodelers for bold colors like black, dark green, or deep blue as a kitchen cabinet color. These colors pair well with another design trend, brushed gold hardware.     

Similarly, some people aren’t afraid to make a bold statement in their bathroom renovation by using similar colors for large areas of tile like a shower or wall. Alternatively, using a dark color to paint the walls or vanity is another option to create a color statement in the bathroom.

Dark Colors design trends

Large, Gourmet Kitchens Design Trends 

With open floor plans continuing to be popular in Los Angeles design trends, it’s no surprise homeowners are choosing to spend a major portion of their budget creating sizable, striking kitchens.  The most popular form of open floorplan creates a great room encompassing the family room, kitchen, and eating area. 

Since the kitchen has found such a prominent place in our homes and become a primary gathering location for families, it deservedly gets a ton of focus during any remodel. LA homeowners and contractors are designing kitchens that are both grand in size and visually beautiful with plenty of space for preparation and storage. 

Kitchen Island Design Trends

Newly renovated kitchens will almost certainly include an island (sometimes two) which allow for substantial prep space and a gathering/eating area. People are also integrating novel appliance options such as smart refrigerators, drawer microwaves, built-in espresso makers, warming or chilling drawers, under-counter wine or soda fridge, etc.

We’re also seeing many high-end kitchens include a full height tiled backsplash, farmhouse sinks made of unique materials, extra tall upper cabinetry, a multitude of different pull-out shelves, pot fillers, all adding to both the functionality and cost of today’s kitchen.        

You’ve Got Your Design Ideas, What’s Next?

Many people these days, upon deciding to remodel, will start looking online for inspiration and to find a look they would like for their renovated space.  They check out Google, Pinterest, Houzz, and other sites and save images that represent what they’re looking to achieve.  That’s a great start, but it’s also the easy part.

Most of those images don’t come with a label indicating what the product is, where you can buy it, and how much it costs. Much of the time, the pretty pictures online include items that are either custom made or only available at boutique and uber-expensive online retailers. 

So, the next step and the hard part is taking your images to the various stores and trying to find those same materials. Often, you’ll visit specialty stores for marble/quartz counters, tile, wood flooring, appliances, plumbing hardware, lighting, and other big box hardware stores, etc.

Odds are good that you won’t find an exact match of your photos and will have to settle for something similar. So, you’ll have to do your best to combine a bunch of varied materials that you ‘think’ will all look good together and hope it looks something like the image in your head (or on Pinterest). 

Once you’ve spent the time to consider your design options and decide on the style and materials you’re after, you’ll want to share your ideas with your contractor. It’s imperative to find the right team to make your vision a reality. And that always starts with working with a good contractor.

A good general contractor is absolutely imperative for homeowners that are planning a remodeling or construction project around their house. Most homeowners do not have a background in construction and have little knowledge of what a renovation project really entails; contractors have knowledge and experience with building codes, while the rest of us don’t.

Los Angeles homeowners hire a contractor when they want to do a major construction or renovation project around their home, like a kitchen remodel, home addition, pool or outdoor project, etc. A contractor will start by creating a ‘relationship’ with the client in order to understand their vision, needs, desires & budget.  This includes making sure the client is realistic about their project, timing, and budget. For example, if they meet a client that wants to remodel a kitchen but has only a modest budget, they might recommend a small ‘refresh’ instead of replacing the entire kitchen.

Next, the contractor’s job is to prepare an estimate based on the client’s plans or scope. More often than not, the contractor and client will need to go back and forth at least a few times on scope/price to ensure the client is getting exactly what they want. 

Once the job starts, the contractor manages all the various facets of the project including purchasing materials, scheduling the job, and ensuring the appropriate crew is working daily to move the project forward. Its also the contractor’s job to regularly communicate with the client to ensure they aren’t having any problems with the crew, to coordinate the selection of finish materials on a timely basis, and to give them any updates on progress or issues that arise.

2021 Home Remodeling Design Trends in Los Angeles 1

And although this isn’t really ‘visible’ to the client, the contractor is constantly reviewing his crew’s work product to ensure it is consistent with his/her standards and will meet the expectations of the client.   

Although the contractor is responsible for the project, a homeowner should check on job progress a few times per week, and at least once a week together with the contractor or project manager. When the contractor is there to walk the job with you, it’s your opportunity to ask questions and address concerns.

It’s also important to walk the job alone in order to view the project progress and take your time looking carefully at the quality of the work and the functionality of the space.  It’s also a good idea to drop by during the middle of the day unannounced…just to ensure a full crew is working daily.   

In addition to these regular reviews, you will also continually have other tasks come up during the project that require your attention.  Issues will arise with the materials you choose that will require you to shop for replacement items. The contractor will find issues on the job that require you to weigh your options and decide between various solutions.

You’ll need to regularly communicate with your contractor or staff about various project details, issues, solutions, etc.  Taking an active role in your remodel and accepting your role will ensure you’re not caught off guard with the level of time commitment required.


When it comes to finding a reputable contractor for your project – GreatBuildz is simplifying the contractor search. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners in Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura & San Diego with reliable, thoroughly screened Los Angeles general contractors and provides project support from start to finish.

Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com

2021 Home Remodeling Design Trends in Los Angeles 2
Hi, I’m Jon, co-founder of GreatBuildz. We’re a free service that connects homeowners with reliable general contractors and provides project support from start to finish. There are so many contractors out there and it’s often hard to tell the good from the bad… until it’s too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We’re always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Give us a call anytime to chat about your project – 818.317.3567

We Make It Easy To Find A Great Contractor

GreatBuildz matches you with reliable, pre-screened general contractors and takes the stress out of renovating – at no cost to you.

Subscribe to the GreatBuildz Guide Newsletter

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

What is GreatBuildz?