Latest Design, Decorating & Tech Trends as Seen from a Builder’s Perspective
Like many people, I enjoy browsing the web looking at pictures and walking other builder’s model homes to see what the latest trends in floor plan design, amenities and decorating are. While manufacturers of products and interior decorators often help push the changes in trends, as the owner of a home building company I am always interested in the trends from my own clients. I have listed the top five trends I see in our custom home builds. Maybe it will give you some ideas for your next new home build, remodel or decorating project!
- Indoor / Outdoor living – It is fair to say that large outdoor living spaces have been growing in popularity for a few years, but a fairly new trend I’ve seen recently is the option to combine both the indoor and outdoor living areas into one seamless space. This is accomplished by using large sliding or folding doors on the common wall between the interior living room and the back patio. I think this design really add a new dimension to the outdoor living concept. Having large windows to gaze out onto the back patio was always nice, and you still get that with the doors closed, but now homeowners can take things to the next level and literally remove the wall that used to stand between the interior living room by just opening the doors. There are even doors that will disappear into the wall or work on ninety degree corners! Combined with an open concept kitchen/great room, this setup creates the ultimate fusion of an indoor/outdoor space for those who like to entertain.
Another up and coming trend to outdoor living is motorized shades for the patio. This feature is a hidden from view, but with the push of a button shade screens can be lowered to keep the critters out and fun in. Best of all, they can be retro-fitted to almost any patio at a later time.
- Freestanding tubs – I built homes for years without having a client ask for a freestanding tub, now I am asked about doing a claw foot or freestanding tub on every other project. While some clients seem to like the nostalgic look of a classic claw foot tub, many just like the freestanding look in a more transitional style. Whatever your taste, there is a style of freestanding tub and hardware that is sure to appeal to anyone building a new home. And while these tubs do end up costing a bit more than a drop in tub by the time the plumbing hardware is factored in, there are definitely tubs in this category that fall into reasonably affordable price points.
- Encapsulated Spray Foam House Insulation – Spray foam insulation has been around for years, but it used to be an upgrade usually reserved for very expensive homes. While spray foam insulation does still add additional cost to a project, the use of spray foam to encapsulate the entire envelope of a house including the attic has made this a popular upgrade that more clients are willing to pay for on lower priced custom homes. Even with some added up front cost, spray foam has a very good return on investment given our ever increases cost per kilowatt of electricity, and comes with the added benefit of a totally clean attic that is always at a comfortable temperature. No more pulling down the attic stairs and having loose insulation falling into your face or sticking to your shoes. Fully encapsulated foam houses will transform not only your energy bills, but also your perception of what an attic can look like.
- No More Formal Dining Rooms – Yes, open concept kitchens have certainly become popular over the last few years, but another plan design trend I see more and more in my client’s custom floor plans is the lack of a formal dining room. Many of my clients have owned several homes prior to building with Legacy Classic Homes, and they comment about how they rarely used their formal dining rooms in their old houses so they do not want one in their new home. These clients have chosen to design a much larger breakfast nook area that can accommodate a large dining table and to use this space as their only dining area. This allows them to take the couple hundred square feet of living space that would be used for the formal dining room and use it in other sections of the home.
- Interior Design isn’t a One Size Fits All Trend – If you walk most builder’s model homes located in urban or suburban areas of Dallas/Fort Worth, you will see that decorating trends have turned away from darker stain finishes and hardware, to light colors and somewhat contemporary looks often called “transitional”. This includes light colored painted cabinets and stainless door, cabinet and plumbing hardware. Also gone are the more ornate raised panel cabinet doors and trim and in their place are shaker and slab style cabinet doors and flat trim.
On the flip side, many of my clients building in the communities farther out from the suburbs lots still prefer the more traditional look of darker stain cabinets, raised panel doors, bronze hardware and profile trim. My takeaway that much like fashion trends in clothing, decorating trends in housing will not be embraced by everyone. I try to remember that when determining what type of decorating our inventory homes will have in the different communities Legacy Classic Homes builds in.