Tuesday, November 13, 2007

New Trends in Home Design

As most people do, I often wonder what the new and greatest trends will be in the housing industry in years to come. When I enter a kitchen in a house that was built and still looks like the 70s, I laugh at things like a pea soup green oven. Now there are "bronze" appliances making their way into homes. Will we be smirking at that product in 10 years?
It's so hard to say but I imagine our children will joke that they grew up with "granite countertops" much like the way my sister and I used to joke about our huge Zenith TV with three button "clicker". I would call it a remote, but it really did click!
One thing's for sure...the times and products are always changing. Here are some of the newest trends in home design and remodeling:
1. Earth-Friendly Designs--Perhaps the most exciting and most important trend in home design is the increased sensitivity to the environment. Architects and engineers taking a new look at ancient building techniques that used simple, bio-degradable materials. Far from primitive, today's "earth houses" are proving comfortable, economical, and rustically beautiful.
2. Healthy Design--Some buildings can literally make you sick. Home designers are becoming increasingly aware of the ways our health is affected by synthetic materials and the chemical additives used in paints and composition wood products. The most innovative homes aren't necessarily the most unusual; they are the homes constructed without relying on plastics, laminates, and fume-producing glues.
3. Storm Resistance--Every shelter should be built to withstand the elements, and engineers are making steady progress in developing storm-ready home designs. In areas were hurricanes are prevalent, more and more builders are relying on insulated wall panels constructed of sturdy concrete.
4. Flexible Floorplans--Changing lifestyles calls for changing living spaces. Tomorrow's homes have sliding doors, pocket doors, and other types of movable partitions allow flexibility in living arrangements. Dedicated living and dining rooms are being replaced by large multi-purpose family areas. In addition, many houses include private "bonus" rooms that can be used for office space or be adapted to a variety of specialized needs.
5. Outdoor Rooms--An increased interest in eco-friendly architecture is encouraging builders to incorporate outdoor spaces with the overall home design. The yard and garden become a part of the floor plan when sliding glass doors lead to patios and decks. These outdoor "rooms" may even include kitchens with sophisticated sinks and grills.
6. Abundant Storage--Closets were scarce in Victorian times, but over the past century, homeowners have demanded more storage space. Newer homes feature enormous walk-in closets, spacious dressing rooms, and plenty of easy-to-reach built-in cabinets. Cathedral ceilings are becoming passé because families tend to prefer usable space below the roof. Garages are also getting bigger to accommodate the ever-popular SUVs and other large vehicles.
7. Eastern Influence--Feng Shui, Vástu Shástra, and other Eastern philosophies have been guiding builders since ancient times. Today these principles are gaining respect in the West. You might not immediately see the Eastern influences in the design of your new home. According to believers, however, you will soon begin to feel the positive effects of Eastern ideas on your health, prosperity, and relationships.

*Courtesy of About.com

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