As we steam ahead into 2013, a great way to spend the ho-hum winter months is by investigating where home design is headed this year. For homeowners, staying on top of design trends is important for maintaining property value, and for making sound decisions prior to remodeling and updating. Prospective buyers should do a little homework on the trends as well to avoid buying a home that has multiple design issues. As we wait to see what the 2013 International Homebuilders Show will reveal, the Internet is already abuzz with predictions for this year’s most sought after home plan features.
Environmentally Sustainable Features-Green design is not going away and home builders are finally embracing it. For new homes and remodeling projects it is becoming much easier to incorporate environmentally conscious and sustainable components. Along with doing the right thing, homeowners are recognizing the economic benefits of including green innovations such as solar power, dual HVAC systems, fiber cement siding, recycled insulation, and more energy efficient appliances.
Filtered Light-Beams of sunshine that reach into a room by three to five feet are considered filtered light. In a home, accessing filtered light is made possible by careful calculations of the sun’s position throughout the day. This goes hand-in-hand with the focus on eco-friendly components; since it can reduce the amount of artificial light required and manage a bit of solar heating. Additionally, houseplants love it and according to many interior designers, filtered light boosts a room’s atmosphere.
Mother-In-Law Quarters-Including a separate living space for aging parents is a concern for many of today’s homeowners. In cultures where it has been customary to care for one’s elders for centuries, this is an old concept. U.S. designers are taking a new look at how a home’s square footage should be divvied up so there will be room for everyone.
Parents not to that stage yet? Another ongoing trend is that of the “Boomerang Kids”. Empty-nesters are also discovering it’s nice to have a designated spot in case anyone has to suddenly “fly home.”
Cozy Kitchens-The bold industrial look of stainless appliances and solid surfaces is finally giving way to something less stark. Lately, there has been a move towards more wood, tile, tin, and copper and less stainless and granite. The use of reclaimed river wood for flooring is huge in many areas along with brightly colored, retro appliances. Here’s what designer Peter Dunham had to say on MSN.com about where kitchens are going:
“We’re moving toward a more organic modernism with warm, modern materials that look vintage: slate, irregular floors, weathered concrete, natural crackle-glazed tiles that look handmade. Less slick kitchens!”
More Trim Please-As they say, “The devil is in the details,” so that could explain why the inclusion of more decorative trim is hot right now. Niceties such as ceiling medallions and crown molding add depth, grace and drama, plus make a room look as if money was no object!
Upscale Man Caves-Forget about outfitting this space with yard sale finds and leftover odds and ends. Hardworking guys in the Year of the Snake want a man cave that they’re proud to bring friends to and maybe one that ignites a little envy! Although a 50” flat screen and surround sound system is nice, it’s just a start. For 2013, think: high tech gadgets, sports simulators, supple leather furniture, bold original artwork, beer and wine coolers, and mini-kitchens with items such as built in grills and pizza ovens. After all, if he’s to have a man cave, it should be for much more than hibernating!
Outdoor Rooms-Identified by House Beautiful magazine as a trend to watch this year, an outdoor room is not necessarily an outdoor kitchen. On House Beautiful’s blog, designer Charlotte Moss explained that this type of addition extends the square footage of a home in a very unique way. She explained, “It can provide vistas that seem to extend the acreage, can frame a foundation like an Elizabethan collar, or create a wall of privacy placing your house at the center of your own secret garden.”
Less Formal Landscaping-In times gone by, the delineation of a home’s garden space and the great outdoors was dramatically defined with carefully controlled, clipped, and trained plantings. The effort was made to tame the landscape and separate it from its wild roots. House Beautiful contributor, Paige Johnson, author of Garden History Girls, reflected on the less formal trend for garden design in 2013, with the comment, “Today the more we view the wild as precious, the more we seek to create it.”