Posted by: jimlyons | October 17, 2013

Hot Home Trends


Whether you’re looking to buy  a new home or you’re thinking  about making some home  improvements that will pay you back when you decide to sell your current home, it’s always good to be aware of the trends in home layouts and design that are rising in popularity. Here are just a few of the latest and greatest developments in home layouts:

Outdoor

  • Open it up. Homeowners are increasingly leaning toward converting their square footage from small, compartmentalized rooms and hallways to more open, useful rooms that flow and avoid wasted space.

  • Go gourmet. The foodie revolution is bringing families out of the dining room and into the kitchen. Functional yet luxurious kitchens that marry style and utility are becoming focal points for gathering and entertaining. Islands with seating are popular, and stone tile, induction cook tops, and sophisticated metal appliances are surging in demand. Homeowners who update their kitchen are finding ways to make those updates while staying within the kitchen’s original footprint in order to retain coziness. Meanwhile, walk-in pantries are also hot. Since more people are eating in, families need increased food storage where traditional staples share shelf space with gourmet products.

  • What’s old is new again. Remodeling with reclaimed or recycled materials has reached an all-time high. Installing new flooring? Think about finding wood from a nontraditional source. Home building centers are increasingly stocking reclaimed materials and there are websites that specialize in recycled building materials.

  • Go green. Environmental awareness is on the rise and with it, the advent of eco-friendly appliances and fixtures. Energy efficiency is becoming more mainstream as homeowners shore up their insulation, install new windows, and purchase new, high efficiency appliances. Low-flow faucets save on water waste, and home gardens are allowing cooks to save some money on groceries and go organic.

  • The future is now. Even a couple of decades ago, who would have imagined how much we would rely on smartphones and tablets in our everyday lives? Homes are incorporating this technology via apps that can control garage doors, security systems, and even climate control remotely. For tech-savvy families, “command centers” for the home are on the rise as homeowners seek a central docking area for charging multiple devices.

  • Customize the master suite. While master suites have enjoyed popularity for a while now, times are changing as master bathrooms phase out bulky bathtubs and opt for sleek and accessible showers instead. Some master baths now incorporate the elements of a home spa, such as a sauna compartments. And master suites are on the move. As the nation’s population ages, accessibility is a new emphasis. Don’t be surprised to see more and more master suites on the main floor.

  • Keep it in the family. Guest suites and in-law space are in high demand as more families turn to multi-generational living to save adult kids money or take care of aging family members.

  • Secondary living space. While formal parlors or sitting rooms are a notion of the past, “family rooms” are becoming media centers. And the new media room is often a teen lounge or hangout with projection systems, video games, and on-demand films and programming.

  • Take it outside. Outdoor living is all the rage right now as busy families opt for “staycations.” Outdoor kitchens, fire pits, swimming pools, and living areas are the new summer hangout space, where people can congregate outdoors just footsteps from home.

With cozy living replacing high-upkeep, homeowners are increasingly seeking quality over quantity. Square footage may be shrinking, but usable space has never been more desirable. With that in mind, new home buyers and existing homeowners can work within a more manageable space … while still enjoying all the most desired comforts of home.

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