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This Year’s Biggest Design Trends

Michelle McQuade | October 26, 2016

In architecture and home design, a trend is no fleeting, transitory thing. It represents a shift in mindset, a response to changing needs and realities. This year, we’ve been seeing a number of trends take hold and we’ll probably see more iterations of these in the years to come.

Reclaimed Materials

Once an emerging trend, the practice of using reclaimed materials in everything from flooring to countertops is here to stay. Reclaimed wood boards, for example, are becoming increasingly popular because they are durable and add a lot of visual texture, giving a space more character. The fact that they also have a positive environmental impact is icing on the cake.

Reclaimed materials also often tell a story and this history is something that many homebuyers find appealing. Plenty of building materials are getting reused these days, including windows and doors, plumbing fixtures, knobs and hinges, bricks, and so on.

More Disaster-Resilient Homes

With the weather becoming more unpredictable and storms more destructive, architects and builders are looking towards designing and building homes that are more resilient. New standards are already being set for resilient construction.

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and Architectural Testing, Inc. have partnered to create FORTIFIED Home™, which is “a set of engineering and building standards designed to help strengthen new and existing homes through system-specific building upgrades to minimum building code requirements that will reduce damage from specific natural hazards.”

More information on the FORTIFIED Home™ program can be found here.

Healthy, Sustainable Homes

With diminishing natural resources, rising energy prices, and concern about the impact of the built environment on health, it’s not surprising that the demand for healthier, more sustainable homes is increasing. The idea of a house that’s more comfortable and is able to save and/or produce energy at the same time is one that many homeowners and homebuyers are getting behind.

This trend is resulting in homes that have a tight building envelope and that are constructed with sustainable, low-VOC building materials.

Blurred Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

These days, many homeowners are bringing the outdoors in and vise versa. With the technology for making bigger retractable openings having become more mainstream and affordable, it has become easier to opt for entryways that blur the distinction between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Impressive bathroom designed to suit modern woman's needsMore Spa-Like Bathrooms

For today’s homeowner, it’s all about comfort – and the place they want to be the most comfortable in is the bathroom. Spa-inspired bathrooms have been a rising trend in recent years and the demand for more comfort in the bathroom is not likely to go away. Something that’s probably going to go mainstream in the near future is the use of universal design principles, which results in features such as low or no-threshold showers and well-placed grab bars.

Affordable Luxury

Homeowners want quality materials, but don’t always have the budget for it. This need, along with the fact that some materials are getting scarcer and construction costs are getting higher, has resulted in building material choices that are more affordable, but still look luxurious, such as terra-cotta veneers.

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