8 Hot Design Trends With Big Pay Offs

Mark Nash, the author of "1,001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home" and the soon-to-be-published "Real Estate A-Z for Buying and Selling a Home," says home sellers should consider the trends that are going to be popular with homebuyers this year. After surveying 923 real estate agents, Nash has the following eight suggestions for making your home attractive to buyers:

  • If you're redoing a kitchen or bathroom, consider using glass tiles instead of ceramic ones. They're gaining popularity again because of reflective qualities.
  • Avoid installing bowl-shape, above-the-counter bathroom sinks. They look pretty but have proved to be harder to maintain and keep clean.
  • Use engineered stone compound for kitchen countertops. The material is less expensive than granite and is expected to be the trend this year.
  • Don't install too many glass cabinet doors in your kitchen. They look better in magazines than they do in real life, where homeowners must keep their cabinets in perfect order or suffer embarrassment.
  • Consider replacing a wooden or chain-link fence with a wrought-iron one. Wrought-iron fences portray a look of luxury.
  • When repainting trim for shutters, doors and window frames, go with bold and deep colors. And don't get rid of the trim around interior window openings -- it only looks cheap.
  • If replacing floors, avoid bamboo. This flooring was popular when it debuted, but now users are saying it is easily dented and scratched. It is also more likely to warp due to weather and humidity.
  • If you're adding new construction, don't employ concrete blocks in exterior walls. They are not attractive and are more likely to leak moisture if not properly installed.