A new year is upon us! As we leave 2016 behind and set our sights forward, we’ve compiled our list of the top residential design concepts that are ready to make an impact in the year ahead.
1. Clean & Modern
When it comes to home exteriors, this sentiment represents the preference of the overwhelming majority of prospective homebuyers. While one’s interpretation of “modern” seems to differ from person to person, this tends to suggest a couple key elements: clean lines and many (often large) openings. As general concepts, these are not exclusive to the contemporary style and can enhance the appearance and quality of any home.
As a prime example, Modern Farmhouse is a prolific style that is inherently both traditional and progressive. With roots derived from humble rural vernacular of the American South, these are simple houses with subtle detailing. The monochrome color palette, minimal trim, corrugated metal roof, dark windows, and mitered siding all give them a refined edge while preserving the qualities of their forebearers.
2. Distinct but Connected
The open floorplan is the conventional model of flexible living. Its central advantage is universally known — that within an open layout of rooms, you have the capability to see and hear more from a single point. There are, however, detractions that don’t get widely broadcasted. Namely, without proper divisions, smells, noises and objects have a way of migrating to places they shouldn’t. With multi-generational homes and independent families with varying schedules becoming more typical, buyers are seeking spaces that have a dedicated use and/or more privacy.
Mobile, partial, and transparent partitions like fireplaces, pocket doors and open shelving are elements that mark the transition from one space to the next in lieu of walls. Ceiling details, glazing and cased openings delineate spaces without obstructing views.
This house is organized around a central outdoor space that distributes light and views throughout the entire first floor while providing some much-desired separation between the social hub of the Great Room and Owner’s Bedroom retreat.
3. The Adaptable Office
Our post from September covered this in extensive detail, but the key is that the fixed plan office is quickly becoming a thing of the past. As our use of technology becomes more ceaseless, we require a means to “connect” everywhere within our houses. Study or planning centers have increased dramatically in response to this shift in lifestyle — facilitating a compact, convenient locale to work while remaining immersed in the more communal spaces of the home.
Distributing a variety of these spaces throughout your house will enable you to have increased flexibility, so you can be comfortable and productive in the context most conducive to your particular task and mood. This kitchen features a hyper-functional desk and storage that can host a range of uses (from homework to recipe blogging) directly from within the room.
4. The Pantry Room
Nearly all social activity in the modern home revolves around the kitchen. This is a highly visible space occupied for long periods of time, all the time. As such, our use and storage of utensils and appliances are scripted with entertainment in mind. Homebuyers are opting for auxiliary spaces beyond their kitchens to free up additional room for seating and expand their storing capacity.
A hyphen-style butler’s pantry is the ideal solution — its compact shape streamlines foot traffic between the kitchen and adjacent dining room and provides a dedicated serving venue.
This pantry is fully separated from the kitchen as a room of its own, with the capability of being enclosed for further privacy. Its array of cabinetry and integral closet provide ample space for bulk items and large countertop appliances that would typically clutter your primary prep space in the kitchen. The window brings natural light into the space, elevating it above the conventionally dark corner pantry closets of old.
Here’s to a happy new year! If you’re considering building or purchasing a new home in 2017, we welcome your ideas and comments on its core, contemporary design elements.
Guest blog courtesy of W.C. Ralston Architects, an architecture and planning firm that has built an enduring reputation for design excellence in homes, neighborhoods and communities across the Mid-Atlantic region. Learn more at www.wcralston.com.