By Erica Christoffer, REALTOR® Magazine
Smaller spaces, energy efficiency, Earth tones, and outdoor entertainment are all the buzz as the latest design trends debut at the International Builders’ Show in Orlando this week.
A survey of 2,000 consumers conducted by Better Homes and Gardens found that buyers don’t want any “wasted space” in their next home. They are seeking more value for their dollar, said editorial director Jill Waage, who presented the study’s findings Thursday. Affordability remains a high priority as well as energy efficiency, which was ranked highest to 68 percent of the consumers polled.
“Consumers are once again dreaming about their next home as well as planning ways to make their current home reflect their personal style and needs,” said Waage. “They are also setting priorities and watching their wallets in the process.”
The top ranked living space features listed by consumers are a separate laundry room, additional storage space with walk in closets or build-ins, a home office or workspace, outdoor living areas, at least one bathroom with its own private bath, and everyday eating space in or close to the kitchen.
“Today’s family wants a hive area where they can move seamlessly from mealtime to tech time to game/entertainment/hobby time to homework time,” said Waage.
Kay Green of Kay Green Design echoed Waage’s findings in her International Builders’ Show presentation Friday. “People want more of a clean line look with contemporary interiors,” Green said. “Stainless steel continues to be popular.”
Here are more design trends taking hold in 2011:
- Outdoor amenities such as grills, sinks, showers, and entertainment areas.
- Freestanding tubs with a separate stand-up shower in the bathroom.
- Color schemes – Earth tones, blues and blue greens, chocolate browns.
- International design influence, especially Asian design in both décor and functional products.
- Ceiling details accenting rooms within open floor plans.
- Media space for flat screen TVs and gaming systems, and living areas wired for technology.
- Organizational features, built-ins, and smart storage areas throughout the home.
- Universal design features incorporated in subtle ways.
- Artistic tile in kitchens and baths, often emulating organic patterns found in nature.
- Energy efficient products – washing machines, dish washers, toilets, and showerheads.
- LED lighting incorporated into sinks, showers, and medicine cabinets.