Today's kitchens are where people congregate. Spacious kitchen islands, banquettes, better technology, and integrated offices give families space to hang out, work, and dine in one central space.
As the kitchen has evolved into a type of living room, islands have become a popular feature because of their versatility. They can serve as the primary work space, a secondary work space, extra storage, or a spot for multiple cooks to spread out.
Home for Entertainment
Single-family homes are getting smaller, with fewer formal rooms and more casual living spaces for the whole family to enjoy. Whether in a living room, great room, or basement, a well-appointed gathering place with comfortable furniture, technology, and entertainment is a must-have in today's homes.
Open, Connected Floor Plans
The walls have come down. New construction features comfortable open living spaces with several functions to meet the needs of all family members. Furniture, built-ins, and multiple entry points are easy ways to designate activity zones in combination rooms and make the space feel open and inviting.
Spa-Like Bathroom Features
Bathrooms are no longer strictly functional spaces; today, they are luxurious and relaxing retreats. New bathroom designs separate the tub and shower spaces. Popular bathroom improvements include adding multiple showerheads, creating a dedicated grooming area, and installing heated flooring.
Making every inch count is a popular philosophy in new homes. Practical ideas throughout the home include creating intimate pocket spaces from nooks and alcoves, putting transition spaces to work with built-ins, outfitting home offices, and investing in main-level laundry rooms with storage for art or hobby supplies.
Better Outdoor Living
Indoor porches, patios, and decks inspired by interior design principles are replacing the traditional backyard. Homeowners want outdoor kitchens, living rooms, and gardens to relax, entertain, and dine in style. The best arrangement places the outdoor kitchen and dining area close to the indoor kitchen. Not only is this convenient for outdoor gatherings, but it also helps homeowners feel connected to the outdoors when inside.
Health and the environment matters to homeowners, and they're using more low- and no-VOC paint, eco-friendly materials, and energy-efficient appliances.
Scaled-back square footage calls for savvier storage options. Previously overlooked spaces are being tapped into for extra stowaway space, including stairways, window seats, and walls.
Homeowners concerned about their heating and cooling bills are paying more attention to their windows. They want windows that perform consistently under always-changing conditions, are easy to maintain, block harmful UV rays, and enhance home design. Builders and designers recommend Energy Star-rated windows that feature multiple panes, low-E glass, inert gas between panes, and frames with warm-edge spacers. Better insulation such as foam is also making new homes dramatically more energy efficient than older homes.
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