Green, cutting edge, technological, luxurious, and entertaining are adjectives that best describe where housing trends are heading. While the word trends suggest a fleeting fancy, the forecast suggests that we are on the cutting edge of some fantastic innovations that are not only here to stay, but will continue to grow and evolve, influencing potential future home trends.
Scaled down Building trends are showing scaled down, smaller homes. Gone are the days of superfluous, excessive and opulent. Newer homes, as well as designs within are much more streamlined. Even the furniture industry is showing simpler, more scaled-down models. The oversized, “fluffy” couches are being replaced by models that are more minimal in style and feel, with a very mid century influence. As a result of these smaller-scaled homes people are making much more efficient use of their space. Large home offices are no longer sought after. Pocket offices are one of the top trends in home design, according to the National Association of Home Builders. The rising popularity of several generations living together under one roof may have helped to fuel the trend. Unused spare bedrooms were turned into home offices. These home offices are being converted back into bedrooms to accommodate grown children that are returning to the nest, or elderly parents needing to be looked after.
Green living This certainly is not a trend. Green is most definitely mainstream. It’s not going anywhere as it’s here to stay and we will see a rise in all things green, environmentally friendly and sustainable from building materials, paints, windows, floorings, windows, countertops, plumbing and electrical. There is an increasing demand for eco-friendly paint and adhesives. Home furnishings and accessories are following this path.
Luxury Despite the downsizing of the family home there are certain luxury items that are in demand. Saunas are once again becoming popular and are being added to master bathrooms and pool areas. Media rooms have been on rise for some time. With more families staying home, vacationing less and spending less on entertainment venues, these homeowners are investing their money in rooms designed for specifically for multimedia entertainment devices, according to the National Association of Realtors. Consumer Reports states that home elevators are on the rise, especially in well to do and multi-generational homes where elderly relatives may have a harder time with the stairs. Multi-generational living is also driving force behind basement conversions. Basements, once a place for the young to hang out and entertain, are now being reconfigured to create separate living spaces for in-laws complete with kitchens, bedrooms and a separate living space.
Moving outdoors Homeowners are moving outdoors, especially those who are spending more time at home. Porches, patios, decks, terraces and verandas are no longer just outdoor spaces; they have become outdoor living areas where homeowners go to relax, spend time with their families, dine or entertain guests. We are also seeing an increase in outdoor kitchens for cooking and dining. These kitchens are equipped with built-in grills, sinks, storage, refrigeration, countertops and beer taps. These outdoor cooking areas are being designed to resemble the indoor kitchens. High end appliances, movie screens, outdoor furnishings, fireplaces and fire pits, as well as television and audio systems are rising in popularity. Reflective of our interest in the environment and our health, outdoor vegetable gardens are also in soaring in popularity.
Clean up outdoors Following hot on the heels of outdoor dining and entertaining is the outdoor shower. Outdoor showers, and outdoor bathrooms in general are quickly gaining popularity. With creative landscaping a sense of total privacy can be achieved. 50 years ago it was uncommon for a single-family, 3 bedroom home to have more than one bathroom, now it is the norm. The outdoor bathroom too will become commonplace one day. These outdoor bathing areas are far from rustic, to the contrary, they are eco-friendly luxuries.
Homes are getting smarter Technology is becoming more and more affordable and more and more commonplace. A new type of generator, created by General Electric, can be monitored and activated from a smart phone, giving an out of town homeowner peace of mind. Touchscreen deadbolts, and thermostats that can be programmed remotely will one day be commonplace. The rise of smart appliances that are focused on energy savings will eventually make way for more affordable models thus being more readily available. At this point they are still quite cost prohibitive.
Kitchens and bathrooms are getting more stylish No matter the size of the house, stylish kitchens and bathrooms remain at the top of many wish lists. Many homeowners are remodeling their homes instead of building on to them. The latest trend in kitchen design is the transitional look which is a combination of both traditional and contemporary design. Because so much time is spent living, not just eating, in the kitchen, these rooms are being redesigned to accommodate the events that take place in the kitchen, from homework, to socializing to cooking and eating. Kitchens are designed for larger crowds, even putting its chef on display with plenty of seating for the viewers. The rise in popularity of gourmet kitchens with upscale appliances, top notch lighting show no sign of slowing down.