Several home design trends are hitting 2014 with full force. The concern over green materials and building practices seem to be fueling a major trend for more efficient and smart homes this year. Families are also looking for rooms which serve more than one purpose and are flexible in their design. Some families may also need room for aging relatives that give both the family and mom or dad privacy. Today’s homes are also places to relax and unwind. All of these factors influence this year’s design trends. Here are the top five home design trends.
Energy Efficient Homes
With energy costs on the rise homeowners are looking for ways to incorporate energy savings into their new home design. Lot orientation to take advantage of solar energy, or to minimize exposure to the hot sun are now issues designers are discussing while planning new home builds. A passive home design is also an upcoming trend. This type of home design utilizes construction and insulation methods which help to hold heat in during the colder months, and dissipate heat during summer months. This is done through an air tight envelope around the home, and ventilation systems with a 75 percent heat recovery capability.
Haven for Relaxation
Today’s families are on the go and exposed to an enormous amount of information during their day. Homeowners today need a haven to relax and unwind after a hard day. One of the biggest trends this year is the addition of a whirlpool tub in the bathroom. Bathrooms are becoming mini-spas in many homes as owners focus on the benefits of relaxation and rejuvenation. Steam showers, multiple shower heads, bathtubs with televisions, and other amenities are making today’s bathrooms a place to unwind and relax.
Multiple Use Rooms
Flex rooms are very popular in new home design this year. These rooms give homeowners the option to use them for more than one purpose, and to change the room’s purpose down the road. Aging parents, income restrictions, and changing lifestyles are the driving forces behind this trend. Flex rooms give families the option to use the spaces in their homes for what they need, not what is traditional. These rooms are well organized and make use of every inch. They can be tailored to give an aging relative privacy from the rest of the family, or these rooms can also have a more interactive function for the entire family.
These aren’t the old mobile homes you see in retirement communities. New prefabricated homes and buildings are cost and energy efficient. You may have already seen prefabricated homes and not even realized what they were. Today’s designs are much more sophisticated and cost much less to build than homes built from the foundation up on site.
Center Stage Kitchens
Kitchens are now taking center stage in new home designs. No longer is the kitchen stuck back behind a wall and partitioned off from the rest of the home. Today’s kitchens are areas to cook, eat, meet, plan, and play. Families are gathering more and more in the kitchen space and home designers are meeting this need with larger more organized and functional kitchen design. The kitchen area may house a small office, game area, eating area, and of course a well-appointed cooking facility.
These are some of the top design trends for houses in 2014. Which ones would you like to see incorporated into your next home? Today’s home is vastly different than the homes most people grew up in, and today’s home plan designers must keep up with trends so that they can meet their client’s expectations.
Kathryn McDowell is a freelance writer specializing in home design trends. She enjoys researching new trends in house plans and reporting them for her readers.