With the New Year under way and the cold weather here, homeowners are looking for projects to do around their home to update its look. Here are some of the top trends for 2014:
Kitchens—The Hub of the Home: today’s kitchens are where family and friends enjoy get-togethers over a meal. Spacious kitchen islands, better technology, and integrated offices give families space to spend time together, work, and dine in one central area. As the kitchen has evolved into a type of living room, islands have become popular because they serve as a primary and secondary workspace, extra storage, or a spot for multiple cooks to spread out.
Casual Dining: when not used for meals, a well-lit and comfortable breakfast area can easily double as a place for working or spending time reading a book. Banquettes are excellent ways to expand the kitchen space because the seating pushes right up to the wall. They also maximize kitchen storage by providing extra space beneath the seating areas.
Home for Entertainment: single-family homes are getting smaller, with fewer formal rooms and more casual living spaces for the family to enjoy. Whether in a living room, great room, or basement, a well-appointed gathering place with comfortable furniture, technology, and entertainment is a must-have in today’s homes.
Open, Connected Floor Plan: the walls have come down. New construction features and comfortable open living spaces provide homeowners with the functions they need to fit their needs. Furniture, built-ins, and multiple entry points are easy ways to designate activity zones in combination rooms and make the space feel open and inviting.
Spa-Like Bathroom Features: bathrooms are no longer strictly functional spaces. Today, they are luxurious and relaxing retreats. New bathroom designs separate the tub and shower spaces. Popular bathroom improvements include adding multiple showerheads, creating a dedicated grooming area, and heated flooring.
Universal Design Elements: comfortable design and accessibility for people of all ages and abilities is on the rise in home design. Single-story dwellings, wide hallways and doorways, flexible floor plans, pullout storage, and simple add-ons –such as grab bars, D-shape hardware, or task lighting—make it easier for homeowners to age in their abode without sacrificing style or independence.
Hardwood Flooring: homeowners can choose from a variety of hues or grain patterns, and wood last for more than a century. Reclaimed hardwood flooring is recycled from sources such as old homes and barns and has a worn rustic look. Eco-friendly alternatives, such as bamboo and cork, are also gaining popularity.
Multifunctional Rooms: making every inch count is a popular philosophy 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, and investing in main-level laundry rooms with storage for supplies.
Better Outdoor Living: indoor porches, patios, and decks inspired interior design principles are replacing the traditional backyard. Homeowners want outdoor kitchens, living rooms, and gardens to relax, entertain and dine in style. 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.
Healthy Homes: health and the environment matters to homeowners, and they’re using more low-and no-VOC paint, eco-friendly materials, and energy-efficient appliances.
Smarter Storage: scaled back square footage calls for savvier storage options. Previously overlooked spaces are being tapped into for extra stowaway space, including stairways, window seats, and walls.
Home Offices: as more and more people work remotely, home offices—whether located in a dedicated room or pass-through space—are a desired feature in new homes. Many new kitchens include small workspaces with built-in cabinets to corral printers, file boxes, and tech accessories within one central location.
Focus on Technology: a home that is easy to retrofit for technology is a priority among consumers. Energy-efficient washers and dryers, home security systems, and thermostats are top ranking digital essentials.
Energy Efficiency: 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.
Bigger Isn’t Better: today’s consumers consider the importance of lifestyle and community over their perfect home. Most home buyers are willing to sacrifice square footage to live in a better neighbourhood with easy access to amenities.
Curb Appeal: an eye-catching exterior is one of the hottest home improvement trends, and it’s a feasible update for both new and old homes. A front yard, fresh exterior colour, updated hardware, or a new garage door can work wonders for your home’s façade.
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