This week, I'll go over 10 home trends that I saw at the 2016 International Builders Show in Las Vegas.
1. Multigenerational Home Design
2. Flexible and Multipurpose Rooms
3. Indoor Outdoor Living
4. Aging in Place Features
5. Energy Efficiency and Green Building
6. Brass is Back!
7. Practical Luxury
8. Optional Formal Living and Dining Rooms
9. Mix and Match, not Matchy Matchy
10. Laundry Rooms Near Bedrooms
But before we get to that, let’s start with our pro term.
GREEN BOARD is a type of drywall that is used for damp areas. Contrary to what some people think, it should NOT used in highly wet applications, such as shower stalls.
It’s similar to regular white drywall, but it comes with a thicker coating of paper that’s protected by wax for water resistance. The exterior paper is green and that color just helps workers distinguish it from standard drywall.
Green board is water resistant – it is not water-proof. It’s highly efficient in bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements and kitchens where moisture is frequently in the air, but it is not the drywall that should be set behind the tile in your shower surround or any other areas where it can come in direct contact with water.
CEMENT BOARD is a better solution for use around showers and in locations that are going to get very wet. But even cement board needs a moisture barrier behind it.
So green board is the drywall that should be used for damp areas and cement board is needed for wet areas.
Now, let’s get to those 10 design trends…
Several home design trends were highlighted at the Builders Show, but let’s talk about 10 of them.
10 HOME DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2016
1. Multigenerational Home Design.
There are many reasons why people are considering a multi-generational design. Parents of small children decide to live with their parents so the grandparents can help with the kids. Or sometimes the grandchildren will go to grandma’s house for extended stays.
Young adult children might move back home after college, primarily for financial reasons. And as our population gets older, aging parents are moving in with their adult children because they no longer want to live on their own or because they can’t afford the cost of living in senior housing. And finally, in the United States, we have a multiethnic population and it is not unusual for some cultures to live with three generations under one roof.
In the US, almost 57 million people are living in a multi-generational household.
House Plans designed for multiple generations or with In-Law Suites should include a balance of private and shared spaces. In addition to private bedrooms and baths, small kitchenettes and living areas can be included to encourage independent living.
You can design these separate but shared living areas in several ways.
In the New American Home 2016, the showcase house they I toured at the International Builder’s show, there was what they called a “VIP suite.” It was essentially a second master with a private bathroom and kitchenette. It was in the main house but on a the second floor, and the primary master suite was on the first floor.
Your house design could include casita (which is Spanish for “small house”). The casita’s that I’ve seen are like a small studio apartment but they are connected to the main house by an interior door. Most casitas also have exterior door that allows people to come and go as they please. Casitas are often seen in Texas and California, here in the United States. But I think its a really good option for families anywhere who sometimes want to share their space and at other times want a private retreat.
For even more privacy, homes designed for multiple generations could have an over-the-garage apartment, or an attic or basement apartment.
Before your start construction, though, check with your zoning board to make sure that your accessory dwelling is still considered a part of the single family home. Sometimes zoning boards might classify a single family home with an accessory living area as a multi-family unit, which is not allowed in some single family home neighborhoods.
Typically you can comply with zoning for single family units by running the separate dwelling on the same electric meter as the main house and designing it with a kitchenette instead of a full kitchen. But have your house plans reviewed BEFORE you start construction.
2. Flexible and multipurpose rooms — suitable for a variety of uses. Because the needs of those in the household will often change over time, flexible spaces are being designed in new homes. Include a window and a closet if you want the room to be considered a bedroom for resale. But a flexible room can function not only as a bedroom, but as a home office, a room for crafting or sewing, or an exercise room. Spaces used as playrooms for toddlers can morph into homework rooms for children and lounges or game rooms for teenagers.
Many flex spaces can also do double duty. Think about the guest room/home office that would include a desk and a sleeper sofa. Or the laundry/craft room where the folding table can double as the craft table.
How you intend to use the space is entirely up to you. But thinking about how the home’s design can adapt to your future needs should be a prime consideration before you build.
3. Indoor—outdoor living continues to be a hot trend for 2016.
French doors and slider doors that can be left wide open as family members and guests move back and forth from indoor living areas to decks, balconies, covered patios and courtyards. That way there is a seamless flow between the indoors and outdoors, allowing for additional living and entertaining space. These outdoor areas are being design large enough to accommodate dining tables, and sofas and chairs for lounging.
An area around 6 x 6 feet is just right for a small bistro table and two chairs or an large outdoor chair with side table.
Spaces around 12 x14 feet tend to work well for a long rectangular dining table and chairs. More space will, or course, allow for more guests and better flow. If your space is limited, just make sure there is a minimum of 3 feet around the table for comfortable circulation.
A circular area 12 to 14 feet in diameter is a good size for a fire pit with seating completely around the fire.
Outdoor living rooms can be used all year long when covered and paired with a fireplace or outdoor heaters. Outdoor living rooms are comfortable at 16 x 16 feet— that way there is enough room multiple seating options and a small coffee table.
4. Aging in place features
As we get older, many of us want to stay in our homes rather than go to assisted living facilities or moving in with relatives.
Designing your home now so you can age in place in the future is very much on trend.
Homes with aging-in-place features can look just as chic as any other home. And many aging-in-place features are not only convenient for aging adults, but are also more comfortable and ergonomic for young adults.
Door levers instead of door knobs, grab bars that double as towel or soap holders in the bathroom, elevated wall ovens and dishwashers that are easier to reach into, minimal steps, first floor master suites, no threshold showers with built-in seats, comfort height toilets which are about 2 inches taller than traditional toilets makes sitting down and standing up easier, doorways and hallways at least 36 inches wide to accommodate wheelchairs (42-48 inch hallways would be much more comfortable).
Especially if you are about to build your forever home, consider incorporating some aging in place features.
5. Energy efficiency and green building are going mainstream.
Green home building is projected to account for as much as 38% of the U.S. residential market in 2016 according to a study by McGraw-Hill Construction and the National Association of Home Builders.
Many custom homes are being designed with the most energy efficient features that the homeowner can afford. We’ll go into the specifics of energy efficient design in an upcoming episode, but for now know that the areas that make the biggest differences in energy efficiency include framing, insulation, water heaters, heating and cooling systems, windows, appliances and lighting.
Homeowners may be paying a higher price up front for these options, but they know they make that money back in reduced utility bills often in just a few years after construction.
6. Brass is back!
Can you believe that?! Brass and other warm metals such as copper, rose gold, yellow gold and bronze are gaining popularity again.
Now, wait a minute, don’t reject the idea of warm metals immediately. Its not the shiny lacquered brass/gold that was popular in the 1980’s, remember that? Yikes. Instead, the warm metals today are typically left unfinished. They are more understated and more refined. Gone are those high gloss golden cabinet pulls, door knobs, and bathroom fixtures.
Now, settle matte or aged finishes are what we’re seeing.
These warm metals are being used in faucets, cabinet hardware, range hoods, and home accessories, like mirrors and picture frames.
Since the brass and gold metals are TRENDING and not necessarily TIMELESS, use these metals thoughtfully— in applications that can be changed out, if styles change. You may want to be a bit more thrifty when purchasing those warm metals. Look for sales and floor models. And do your splurging on what’s classic …items like hardwood flooring and stainless steel appliances. My advice is not to splurge on trendy warm metals but to look for good deals or use them in just one or two rooms, but not the whole house.
Now, for those who don’t really like the warm metals, no problem, chrome and nickel are still very popular and they’re classic choices. They looked great in the 1920’s and they will most likely look great in 2020. Timeless, that’s what chrome and nickel are.
7. Practical luxury.
People are no longer adding luxurious features to their home simply for bragging rights or to keep up with the Jones. Many home designs, even tiny home designs, still include indulgent extras, but only if those extras will actually be used.
Not a movie buff? Well, ditch the plans for dedicated media room. Don’t drink wine? Then why in the world would you build a wine room? Why include a steam shower in the master bath if you and your spouse hate being too hot?
Think about what indulgences are important to you and include only those things, as your budget allows. Splurge on things that are important to YOU, but not on things that are simply important to your neighbors.
8. Formal living and dining rooms are optional.
Open concept living with a great room as the center of the home continues to be on trend. Since the great room includes the kitchen, a living area and usually a dining area, many home designs are eliminating formal living and dining rooms all together.
If you do a lot of formal entertaining or have fancy holiday dinners, then you will probably want the option of a formal dining room.
However, if you want like to interact with your guests while you cook and load the dishwasher after dinner and if your family and friends are more laid back than formal, you CAN design your home without formal living and dining spaces.
Many great rooms that I’ve seen lately include a space for a large dining table that can be used for everyday meals or holiday dinners. Just think about how you live and design your home accordingly.
If you feel uncomfortable not including a formal living or dining room in your house plan because you are afraid it will affect the resale value of your home (in some areas of the US, homes are expected to have formal living and dining rooms), you can design your home with a formal space that you and your family can use as a flex space, like we talk about earlier. It can be a billiards room or a home office while you are living there. Then you can stage it as a formal living or dining room when you put it up for sale.
9. Mix and match, not matchy matchy
Homes are being designed with mixed metals, mixed cabinet colors, mixed countertops and a mixture of rustic and polished finishes.
In the kitchen, for example, people are combining quartz countertops with granite or butcher block countertops. They are mixing stainless steel appliances with brass cabinet hardware. Even lighting fixtures within the same room can vary. Over the island lighting doesn't have to match the lighting fixture that you place in the breakfast nook. As long as everything GOES together, everything doesn’t have to match.
Think about a women who wearing a navy blue dress with navy blue shoes, navy blue earrings and a navy blue scarf. Ok, so she’s matching, but its not very interesting. Now imaging how a nude shoe and a red or yellow scarf would make the outfit pop. That variation gives everything a little more impact. The same is true for our homes.
10. Laundry room near bedrooms.
Instead of locating the washer and dryer in the basement or in the mudroom near the kitchen, a newer design trend is to put the washer and dryer near bedrooms, so dirty clothes can be easily moved from hamper to washer and clean clothes can be moved easily from the dryer to closets and drawers.
Some home designs even have the washer and dryers within the master closet or in the hallway near their children’s bedrooms.
These are some of the trends that I noticed at the 2016 International Builders Show. Incorporate the ones that make the most sense for you and your home. And add your own design ideas to make your house uniquely yours.
Ok, let’s see what you learned today. Here is today’s 2 question quiz…
1. How wide should a hallway be to accommodate a wheelchair?
No less than 36 inches, but 42-48 inches is ideal. This is just one of the aging in place features you can include in your house plans.
2. True or False? Green board is water proof.
FALSE, Green board is drywall that is water resistant not waterproof. It’s best used in damp areas but not wet areas.
Well, that’s it for today. Thank you for spending some time with me today. I hope you’ll come back for the next edition of BYHYU.