Trends in home design are often indicative of societal shifts. Today’s houses are increasingly designed to create social spaces and enhance the quality of their occupants’ lives as homeowners’ focus turns toward spending time socializing at home with family and friends. “Green” elements are becoming more popular alongside increased awareness of the environmental impact of daily living, and homes are becoming smaller overall, but more open and inviting.
Open Floor Plans
Rather than sectioning off rooms for distinct uses, many homes today feature fluid spaces that are not only connected, but also designed to serve multiple purposes. The kitchen, living, and dining spaces are often incorporated into one large area, sometimes with flooring or partitions to distinguish them from each other. This reflects families’ desire to stay connected to each other even when engaged in different tasks. With an open floor plan, a parent can fix dinner while one child lays out a project on the dining room table and another watches television in the living room – all within view of each other. Some floor plans are flexible rather than completely open, with larger sliding doors that allow rooms to flow into one another or remain separate as needed.
A Spa Experience at Home
The bathroom has become a room in its own right. With features such as wall-mounted televisions, built in vanities, and expansive Jacuzzi tubs, today’s bathroom designs focus on creating a comfortable retreat and a center for relaxation and rejuvenation. While overall home size has shrunk, larger bathrooms are now in vogue. Rather than incorporating tub and shower functions into the same space, these washrooms include separate spaces for each. Bathrooms now sport more elaborate fixtures such as multiple showerheads or shower chambers that double as in home saunas.
To decrease negative environmental impact, homeowners are turning to options that utilize sustainable materials, decrease energy consumption, and limit the use of natural resources. Reclaimed hardwood flooring adds character to a room and creates a use for wood that otherwise might be discarded. Energy- and water-efficient options reduce both pollution and utility bills. The health of the home also matters to consumers, who are switching to paint that’s free of volatile organic compounds that can release toxic emissions over time.
Modern design trends reflect many people’s growing sense of connection with each other and with the environment, as well as an increased focus on living well without being extravagant or wasteful. Formal spaces have given way to tasteful and stylish, but low-key and functional living areas that people can’t wait to come home to.