Trends in Building
A nook or diminutive floor space can be creatively used as a small getaway office, sometimes in addition to a formal study or den.
Covered Grill Porch
In addition to covered and screen outdoor living areas, we're frequently providing a covered grill area to keep homeowners out of the rain while cooking outside.
Walk in Pantry
Clients are asking for larger pantries, often with deep shelving for large infrequently used appliances, and open adjustable shelves, for those bulk store purchased products.
Built In Cabinetry
This custom buffet built into an alcove acts as a focal point in this Bath Township home.
The Fifth Wall
Ceiling treatments can be an important feature. Here a chandelier creates a focal point in this Sharon Township home and draws your eyes toward the ceiling.
More clients are asking for clean and simple surfaces, but executed with luxurious materials. This soaking tub overlooking the woods provides an oasis of calmness in this contemporary home.
Advances in LED lighting allow exterior accent lighting to add beauty and security while being energy efficient.
The trend towards clean lines and natural materials dominates the show floor at the Builders Show in Las Vegas.
The passage to the lower level is no longer just a door off the back hallway. These areas are becoming points of interest and accented by special wall treatments or lighting.
Walk in Showers
By slightly increasing the size of the master shower, and carefully planning the spray direction of the water, the need for a door was eliminated.
Here’s a clever way to enliven a dark basement and add functionality. This window creates a legal bedroom space on the lower level.
Family Room Feature Wall
The focal point of this Columbus family room successfully resolves storage, audio-video needs, natural light, and a fireplace, all in less than twenty feet of this open plan room.
Great room lighting has taken center stage, with dramatic fixtures suspended above. And large scaled fixtures have moved to bedrooms and bathrooms.
Wallpaper is Back
Boldly patterned wallpaper has made a comeback around the country. It’s becoming common in custom home powder rooms, master baths, and laundries.
This linear fireplace is a focal point of The New American Home in Las Vegas. Interiors are trending contemporary and fireplace design is following the same trend lines.
Columbus Parade of Homes
The Columbus Building Industry Association puts on the best Parade of Homes in the state in my opinion. Here’s a sample of photos showing a porch surrounded by rooms, a clever traditional facade, terrific lighting around a lower level fireplace, and a sophisticated modern open floor plan.
I’m seeing more second floor gathering areas at the top of stairs. The area serves as an additional family room for teenagers or guests, or a quiet reading nook or study space.
Kitchen islands continue to function more like furniture and less like a box in the middle of a kitchen. Here are samples from the Builder Show this month in Orlando.
LED Becomes Mainstream
Small but mighty LED lighting is used in many creative ways in this Orlando model home. Every room had a specialty lighting feature. Here’s a few of the better examples.
Back to the Future
Open floor plan; walls of glass that bring the outdoors in; built in audio — commonplace today but quite novel for 1970. Finally had a chance to tour a West Akron home I’ve admired for years. Good design and functional floor plans are timeless, not trendy.
Parade of Homes
The Building Industry Association of Central Ohio hosted their annual Parade Of Homes in northwestern Columbus. It's my favorite home show in Ohio and this years offerings featured traditional exteriors, open interior spaces, soaking tubs, and a lot of interesting interior details -- reinforcing trends I've seen across the country in recent years.
110 Years of Design Inspiration
It's amazing that a house can be 110 years old and remain an inspiration to designers today. The Martin House in Buffalo, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, features open planning, windows that accent views, proper solar orientation, and exterior spaces that beckon you outside. The home has been restored and is open for tours.
7 Trends in the Best In American Living Awards
Check out this great article on the seven trends that won in the Best In American Living Awards.
If you're bold enough, there's a unique way to express the personality of a new home -- by using bright and strong colors. Siding color additives and paints have improved and permit the use of strong colors on today's exteriors -- if you're bold enough to do it!
No longer is the laundry location limited to the area off the garage entry. While that location can be convenient, we are frequently seeing them off master closets. Laundry facilities can also be tucked into pocket areas off hallways or second floor closets, and in larger homes, multiple smaller laundries on every floor.
Traditional Form and Materials
There is a wave of Neo Colonial design appearing in newer subdivisions today. Crisp, classical forms are cladding in engineered clapboard sidings and harken back to earlier times, while the interiors are open and contemporary. Here's one of many examples I found in a Dublin, Ohio community.
The Builder's Show
One of my favorite products at the Builder's Show in Orlando this month is an Italian manufacturer of porcelain. This thin, slab shaped product has the durability and maintenance free qualities of a ceramic but has the inherent beauty of a marble or natural stone. It is becoming a new trend in surfaces in kitchens, showers, back splashes and accent walls in homes across the country.
Industrial Modern is a style that is trending now. Raw and utilitarian, it often exposes elements of construction that are typically covered with "finished" materials. Here's a terrific example of that style from a bathroom of a Los Angeles home I toured last week. Raw concrete is used as wall, tub, and counter top material. Plumbing pipes are exposed. Note the modern light cove and the narrow vertical window. But this isn't new, it's a home designed in 1921 by renowned architect Rudolph Schindler. Everything old is new again!
The Combination Island
As kitchens become open to our living spaces, the island has changed from being a simple work/ cooking space to a combination prep, dining and relaxation space. Here's a perfect example from the New American Home I recently toured in Las Vegas.
Tired of Traffic?
I'm not sure this will become a trend in every neighborhood, but I spotted this time saver in Bel Air. That's a helicopter tucked onto the roof of the garage of this SoCal mansion. Contact us if you'd like to add this feature to your home!
The Fifth Wall
Here is a terrific example of what designers call the Fifth Wall: the ceiling. If the budget permits, it's a wonderful way to create interest and architectural effect and truly complete a room. Here's a home I recently toured in Orlando that carries the theme of its Arts and Crafts exterior into the primary living space.
The New Master Bath
Chandeliers, soaking tubs and walk in showers defined by tall glass --- this new master shower features three of the biggest trends in our bath designs in the recently built homes. Our clients are asking for appointments found in the luxury hotel suites on their travels and bringing them home to enjoy.
Craftsman style remains popular across the country. Here's a typical example of a modern revival of this style from the Columbus Parade of Homes.
Siding and Stone
Here is a trend I'm seeing all over the country and it is now reaching the heartland. Hardie Board, a cementitious and long lasting siding product, is becoming the most popular exterior cladding material on homes. This home was featured in the Columbus Parade of Homes and is a typical example of a cultured stone (that means manufactured, colored concrete) and Hardie Board. It is long lasting and attractive when it is detailed properly.
Malibu Millions Re-purposed
For years we've been salvaging and then eventually demolishing existing homes in order to create a new home. Some of the best lots have older homes on them and these homes often did not take best advantage of the views, sunlight, or local weather patterns of their sites, and weren't built with today's energy standards. Here's an example of this trend to the extreme: a house I discovered on the beach in Malibu that was a wonderful home in 1966 but not so wonderful today. Hopefully this can be re-purposed but that's up to the new buyer. This is on the market advertised as a tear down at "only" $31 million. True story!
Four Sided Architecture
Here's a wonderful example of a recent trend in luxury homes: designing a home with interesting architectural details on all sides of the home -- not just the front. Here the shapes of the gables flanking the entry are echoed in the barn like appendage off the garage. This traditional home is an entry in the Cincinnati Homearama.
Let the Architecture Serve as Furniture
This interesting backdrop is part structure and part furniture. I love it when there is an integration of the two that is so well done that you can't tell where one stops and the other starts. This example is in a Las Vegas home and integrates texture and lighting effects into this guest bedroom suite.
The Party Island
Our clients have enjoyed their first year in a new home we designed and built on a quiet cul de sac in Bath Township. One of their favorite features is the party island we designed the kitchen around. It functions as a catch all waystation during the week and acts as a staging area when the clients are entertaining on the weekends. It's also a beautiful way to eliminate clutter from the working island behind it. They're thrilled we encouraged it and it's become a key element of this beautiful custom kitchen.
When You Wish Upon A Star
A new home in an amazing subdivision on Magic Kingdom property in Florida pays homage to the amusement park that's about a mile away. Not everyone may go to this level of detail for a guest bath, but you can always find a way to tell a story in a special setting. Thanks to a wonderful client, I was able to get a private tour of three homes in an enclave of custom homes in Disney's Golden Oaks subdivision. The gatehouse had a gatehouse and I wouldn't have been able to see the homes without the help of my friend Halle. Thank you so much for a day I'll never forget.
What's New In Denver
For the past several days, I've had the opportunity to tour new developments and homes in the Denver, Colorado metro area. This growing area is known for it's high quality urban infill projects, but on this trip I focused on the new suburban home developments, centered upon Aurora and other outlying eastern suburbs. They really do build them differently there. I have countless new design ideas that I can't wait to incorporate in new designs back home.
Here are three "big picture" takeaways from my trip. First, they really do build them differently. The colors are inspired by the mountains and other elements of the beautiful natural surroundings of a place where the prairie meets the Rocky Mountains. Secondly, xeriscaping is not uncommon here. While not as dry as Phoenix or Las Vegas, they are not blessed with the abundance of water we have here in Ohio, and the landscaping often reflects that. Many developments have wheatgrass and rock in lieu of sod and plantings that need frequent watering. Finally, the developments are more dense. It's not a way to increase the overall number of units -- it's a way to reduce expensive development costs, making homes more affordable, and allows for more common area green space within a community. Sadly most local jurisdictions don't allow this here, and that contributes to urban sprawl.
Columbus Parade of Homes
Every year the Columbus area Home Builders Association hosts a terrific Parade of Homes. These usually feature a dozen or so high end custom homes in Dublin, New Albany or one of the northern suburbs. This year I had an opportunity to simply attend and enjoy walking through the homes. For the previous three years, I've served as a judge.
Here's a trend I've seen that started in "post-recession" homes and is really taking off right now: what I'll call the "friendliness" factor of the exterior elevations is greatly increasing. We used to build custom homes with all brick. In 2015, fiber cement siding is the current leader, especially when accented with natural stone. Here are several new exteriors from the parade that feature strongly colored siding with stone accents. The third photo is a well designed master bath that had two notable features: a zero threshold shower that you could walk or wheel directly into, and wallpaper in a strong pattern. Wallpaper has been out of flavor for over a decade and I don't know if this is a trend or one designer's taste. But the home featured multiple rooms with wallpaper. All in all it was another terrific parade by the Columbus HBA.
The Modern Farmhouse
I've always been drawn to the clean and honest detailing of traditional structures. The simplicity and authenticity of farm houses and their accessory structures have always caught my eye. I ranked this home as the Best of Show while judging the Columbus Parade of Homes. This is my third time as judge and I enjoy the new ideas I see every year. Best of all, we tour the homes without the crowds to distract us. The Columbus Building Industry Association hosts the best Parade of Homes from year to year.