You can find creativity, cost-savings and many other features in today’s most popular custom design trends throughout the Lake Norman area.
Creativity and cost-savings are the main themes driving custom design trends in dream homes today, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Let’s cover a few of these new custom design trends.
Structural Design Trends
Currently, consumers are favoring a return to traditional exteriors based on American and European precedents. Among other factors, many consumers are deciding that quality of space is as important as quantity.
Homeowners concerned about their heating and cooling bills are paying more attention to their windows. They want windows that perform consistently under always-changing conditions, are easy to maintain, block harmful UV-rays, and enhance home design. Builders and designers recommend Energy Star-rated windows that feature multiple panes, low-E glass, inert gas between panes, and frames with warm-edge spacers.
Homeowners are balancing spaciousness with intimacy. The huge two-story rooms popular a few years ago are rarely being built today. In upscale homes, ceiling heights of 9 to 12 feet are typical. Only about 14 percent of homes in the United States are built with ceilings higher than 9 feet. In taller rooms, architects are using tiered treatments and woodplank ceilings to create more visually comfortable spaces.
Living Space Design Trends
Upscale homeowners still want and demand a well-appointed living room. In moderately priced homes, however, the living room has evolved into a study or getaway space off the foyer. And about a third of potential home buyers say they are willing to buy a home with no living room at all.
In casual living spaces, builders and architects strive to tie the fireplace, media center, and storage in an arrangement that complements the home’s architectural style and offers a unified focal point.
Wood was the standard flooring material of homes built before 1960. After fading in popularity, wood is on top again. Homeowners can choose from a variety of hue or grain patterns, and wood lasts for more than a century. Eco-friendly alternatives, such as bamboo, are also gaining rapidly in popularity.
Kitchen Design Trends
Kitchens are becoming better defined as we move away from totally open plans. A visually open kitchen with a half-wall is America’s favorite kitchen floor plan.
Contrasting wood finishes keep things interesting in a larger kitchen. In an area with mostly dark wood finishes, an expanse of lighter upper cabinets can open the space and make it feel bigger.
Oversized islands are a popular feature for kitchens because of their versatility. They can serve as the primary workspace, a secondary workspace, extra storage, or a spot for multiple cooks to spread out.
Built-in banquettes are great multifunctional spaces. They can serve as a breakfast-time gathering spot, an after-school hangout, or a study area. Banquettes are an excellent way to maximize kitchen space because the seating pushes right up to the wall. They also maximize kitchen storage by providing extra space beneath the seating areas. But, formal dining rooms remain on the “must have” list for both entry-level and upscale buyers.
Bathroom Design Trends
Bathrooms are no longer strictly functional spaces – today they are luxurious and relaxing retreats. New spa-type designs separate the tub and shower spaces. Bathtubs are for soaking and showers feature multiple water-delivery devices, including a rain shower, a handheld shower, and body-massaging showerheads. These bathrooms also reduce cleanup by eliminating glass-and-metal shower doors and small-format tiles that require lots of grout maintenance.
Specialty Space Design Trends
Making every inch count is popular in new homes. Practical ideas throughout the home include creating intimate pocket spaces from nooks and alcoves, putting transition spaces to work with built-ins, outfitting home offices (found in 25 percent of all new homes), and investing in main-level laundry rooms with islands and storage for art or hobby supplies.
Consumers are asking for much clearer definition of individual spaces, as open floor plans give way to innovative semi-open arrangements. Although columns are still a popular way to subdivide, a newer trend is the use of partial walls to physically separate the space. This arrangement allows for good traffic flow and visual connections.
Innovations in home gyms have exploded in the past few years, with svelte new fitness equipment. For those of us who prefer to sweat and strain in private, a home gym is a must. No longer is this reserved for professional athletes and trainers. The well-equipped home gym is within reach for those of us who have a room to dedicate (or even part of a room), thanks to the latest modular fitness equipment.
And “al fresco” living spaces are on the rise. Outdoor rooms are replacing the traditional backyard. Homeowners want outdoor kitchens, living rooms, garden rooms, and more. The best arrangement places the outdoor kitchen and dining area close to the indoor kitchen. Not only is this convenient for outdoor gatherings, but it also helps homeowners feel connected to the outdoors when inside.
Infusing Technology into Design Trends
Now, due to major advancements in home automation technology, you can control your home by voice from anywhere. Just ask Siri, Apple’s automated assistant. She’ll explain the whole thing to you. Android phones and tablets, just like the iPhone and iPad, round out the tool kit we can increasingly use to call and control our homes from afar.
Wondering if you set your home security alarm when you left home today? Call your security system and tell it to activate. With systems like HAL (Home Automated Living), which works through your PC, you can also enjoy having your emails read aloud and even have the stock market checked for you.
And it’s not just your home’s lighting, cooling and security systems you can call and connect with. What’s that song you wanted to hear? Say it out loud, and your digital music center responds on command.
Want to hear Springsteen or the Rolling Stones in the living room while your teenage daughter blasts Taylor Swift in her bedroom? Not a problem – the automated system can handle it. Want to cue up a video in your home’s movie database? Call home… get the picture?