[Note: To further illustrate the trends Boyce has identified, I have included designs from Houseplans.com. -- Editor Dan Gregory]
New-home designs may not change as fast as women’s fashion.
But, as presentations at last month’s International Builders’ Show
demonstrated, they are evolving faster than ever before. It’s difficult for
builders to keep pace.
Outdoor rooms, for instance, are spreading not just
throughout the country but throughout the house, as builders create large
second-floor porches off master bedrooms. Staircases are being used more
frequently as design elements that integrate exterior and interior
architecture. And transitional architecture that simplifies historic looks is
growing in popularity. Here are five key trends, gleaned from presentations and
award-winning home designs, worth considering for your next home series.
Morph Into Spas
Master bathrooms, which shrank during the housing recession,
are back in full swing. In several award-winning homes, the master bathroom
looked more like a spa, with a floating bathtub, natural wood elements, and
large showers, some of them with changing colors and mood music. Whether a
starter or custom home, “it’s all about the master bathroom,” says Don Ruthroff
of Dahlin Group, adding that fitting a floating bathtub into a small bathroom
is no simple chore. In higher-end homes, architects have discovered that a
second hallway entry into the master bath can be real marriage saver if one
spouse travels a lot or regularly comes
home late from work. She or he can
enter the bathroom unnoticed, change clothes, and quietly slip into bed, as shown in the master suite layout for Plan 497-46
, and at the top of this post.
Makes a Comeback
Several award-winning homes incorporated elements of Mid-Century
Modern architecture, noted Joe Digrado of Danelian Associates, a judge in the
Best in American Living Awards (BALA). Vermillion at Escena, a Palm Springs
subdivision of Mid-Century Modern homes
built by Beazer Homes (example shown above), won several
design awards at IBS. “Mid-Century detailing is unusual and needs to be done
right,” Digrado said, referring to the simple, clean lines, and bright colors
that define the look. Designing high glass into these homes, another common
element, can be difficult with roof trusses.
Here's a Mid-Century Modern style example by The Homestead Partners in Plan 917-2
Islands Just Keep
Kitchen islands just keep growing in popularity – and size. “You
just can’t make them big enough,” said David Kosco, director of design for
Bassenian-Lagoni Architects. Islands are being used for everything from entertaining, to homework,
to eating breakfast, to actually preparing food and
washing dishes. It has reached the point where so much is going on in the
kitchen that designers are seeing demand for more prep kitchens where the real
work of cooking and washing dishes is done, especially during parties. Image above is the kitchen island in Fiano, at Newport Beach, CA, designed by architect Robert Hidey for The New Home Company.Plan 928-11
by Visbeen Architects includes a secondary prep sink, ample room for bar seating, and has
a raised round counter for buffets and platters of hors d'oeuvres.
Laundry Rooms Grow
Laundry rooms have become much more than utility spaces. As
they grow in size, architects are doing a better job integrating them into
overall home designs, connecting them to spaces where clean laundry is stored –
linen closets and master closets. They are brightening the space with windows
and carving out spaces for pet grooming. In an NAHB survey of builders to gauge
the most important design considerations for 2016, laundry rooms finished
behind only walk-in master closets. Plan 48-642
offers ample counter and storage space in the upstairs laundry along with abundant natural light.
One of the first questions people have when they consider a
new home is where will their luggage go, said Dan Swift, president of BSB
Design in Des Moines. The second is where to put their kitchen appliances, said the architect, who carves out kitchen counter space for specialized appliances.
Finding room for bulk purchases, groceries, holiday decorations, and bicycles
are other important considerations. Borrowing a page from boat designers, Swift
tries to design specialized storage into every free nook and cranny of a
home, such as this example showing wine storage/display between kitchen and living room in BSB Design's Lowry East Park Cottages. In Plan 51-575
, shown below, the mud room includes a large walk-in closet for
luggage or big box storage.