By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
LAS VEGAS — Contemporary touches are what home owners and buyers desire in 2009, according to a panelist of designers at a session Tuesday on “Design Trends Marketplace” at the International Builder Show. Today’s minimalist design may mix straighter furniture elements, two different colors repeated throughout (e.g. white and green) and a mix of fun, bold accessories (such as a red chair) or a traditional element (such as an antique mirror).
Indeed, contemporary architecture is even spreading to suburbia (see examples from Agave’s energy efficient contemporary homes in Austin, Texas).
Here are some of the common design trends growing in demand.
1. Lighting options used as pieces of art in funky shapes (see examples: www.lightcrafters.com). A variety of lighting options can be used that are decorative yet functional.
2. Outdoor living that serves as an extension of the inside of the home with outdoors that boast comfortable seating, audio, TVs, a fireplace, and artwork to punch up the space.
3. Design accessories reflecting nature speak to buyers who are more aware of preserving the environment. For example, tree designs are popular, such as via an art sculpture, painting, or even reflected in a table (see www.palecek.com).
4. Green design elements, such as water-efficient appliances and LED lighting under the kitchen cabinets, continue to gain traction and offer cost savings.
5. His and her amenities are increasing, such as even separate garages and vanities with his countertop higher than her’s for a more custom look.
6. Car lifts offer compact storage of vehicles and are expected to grow in popularity as lot sizes grow smaller. A basement built under a garage can allow for the car to descend into the basement until you need it. Or a garage with a higher ceiling can stow the car above.
7. Windows can serve as focal points of a room as well as boost energy efficiency. Floor-to-ceiling windows can add drama to a room.
8. Wood in dark or light stains and in various materials are being used throughout homes. For example, wood details on the ceiling can enhance the architecture and Palmwood, which comes from coconut palms, can be used to add a featured wall in the room.
9. Mirrors add glamour to a room and help buyers see themselves in the space–literally. Mirrors add a focal point, enlarge rooms, and can be an important detail to include in homes (see www.mirrormatecommercial.com for examples).
10. More electronics are being sprinkled everywhere, such as iPod docking stations throughout the home and TVs in practically every room (e.g. kitchen, study, and bathrooms).