Exterior Accents Are Moving Inside
Exterior accents and materials are now appearing inside the home.
Less Volume, More Skylights
In the East, buyers are seeking less volume but asking for more skylights.
Pay Attention to That Rear
The sides and rear of the house are becoming more important to the overall design of a house. The entire community benefits when attention is paid to the design of these areas.
Offering More Designs Is Better
Here’s a tip from the New Urbanists: when deciding what to offer in a new community, try offering six to eight different architectural styles that “fit” your region rather than one design or one style of home. By offering multiple designs, you will reach and satisfy a wider variety of home buyers and avoid creating a “cookie-cutter” community.
This approach may be difficult to achieve, however. Making a floor plan fit different architectural styles and exteriors is hard to apply. So builders should use authentic design elements.
North vs. South: Solid and True to Form
Regional designs are breaking out of their regions. Designs from the South are making their way to the North and vice versa. This works well if the designs incorporate solid materials and are true to form.
Multifamily Goes Contemporary, Garden-Style
Multifamily design is moving away from “one big building” approach. Instead, garden-style designs and contemporary exteriors are becoming more evident, especially in East Coast multifamily residential projects.
Drywall Niches Are Making Way for Furniture
Drywall niches for televisions and entertainment centers are still in demand, but the trend now is to make them “disappear” and have them look more like furniture, i.e., built-ins and cabinet systems. These systems are also being offered in garages.
Destination Spaces Needs More Attention
Don’t take destination spaces for granted. Buyers want more attention paid to those special/intimate spaces such as sunrooms located off of master suites, library spaces around a corner, hobby rooms, Internet niches and commercial style kitchens.
Big or Small? It Depends on Where You Build
Homes are getting bigger in North Carolina, Louisiana, New Jersey, Texas and Colorado. They’re getting smaller in Ohio and the Southwest.
What to Do If the Market Slows
From a design and building standpoint, one solution is to use better, less expensive and more aesthetically pleasing materials, as well as include affordable details and add custom touches to production cabinetry. In addition, price adjustments can be made with upgrades and options.
Builders, even in a slower market, should offer new designs even though they may have to scale down their overall budgets. Sound design can be simple and attractive and can and should be incorporated into all price points, especially since buyers are more knowledgeable about good design and expect it in their homes.
Emerging Market: ‘Cultural Creatives’
Builders should focus on emerging markets, including the hot buyer segment called “cultural creatives.” This segment wants more compact spaces and natural materials both within and outside of the home. What’s more, these spaces must be functional. Design is more natural, so use indigenous materials and weave a thread through the entire house…quality, character, patina, etc.
To read, "Design Trends to Watch: 'Friends' Entries, More Courtyards," Part 1 of this series, published on June 14, click here
- To read, "Inside Design: Smaller Rooms, More Creativity, Flex Space," Part 2 of this series, published on June 21, click here.
For more information about the NAHB Design Committee, click here, or e-mail Michelle Persinger Matuga.
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