Four custom home design trends: insights from a leading builder

With the first half of 2012 in the books, Michael Lenahen — president of Aurora Custom Homes and Remodeling in Ponta Vedra Beach, Fla. — has identified four design trends becoming popular in his area.

June 28, 2012

With the first half of 2012 in the books, Michael Lenahen — president of Aurora Custom Homes and Remodeling in Ponta Vedra Beach, Fla. — has identified four design trends becoming popular in his area. Those trends include:

Colors and textures create the mood

Light, bright and airy rooms are the desired look for Florida residents. Walls in a soft, pale shade of off-white allow for the vibrant colors of artwork, accent pillows, accessories, and the richness of wood flooring and cabinetry to provide the splash of color. On occasion, the primary wall of a room is highlighted in a rich texture, such as applied stone, ceramic tile or colored fabric to act as a visual backdrop and enhance the feel of the space. This color strategy allows homeowners to control the focus in each room and provides maximum flexibility for making simple, inexpensive changes to the room as needed.

Flexible spaces for entertaining and outdoor living

Homes that provide flexible living spaces for dining and entertaining are growing in popularity. Kitchens, dining areas, and family rooms are now an integrated triangle to allow for more socialization and entertaining. This concept is being expanded to the outdoor living area where entire walls of stacking or folding glass doors are combining the indoor and outdoor living spaces. Other popular outdoor living trends include: dividing large covered porches into conversational seating areas or entertainment zones; installing an outdoor TV, pool table, fireplace, beverage center, pizza oven, fire pit and/or water feature; incorporating plush outdoor seating options with area rugs and subtle lighting; and creating raised patio terraces, sunken conversation pits and sensory amenities such as night lighting and the ambient sound of running water.

Unique task zones

Families desire unique spaces to handle their “on the go” lifestyle. The latest features include dump zones, family pet areas and command centers. The dump zone is located in the hallway coming into the home from the garage and adjacent to the laundry room. It is a designated place to dump car keys, newspapers, mail, jackets, shoes, athletic gear and any other items carried from the car inside. The family pet area is a space to accommodate the family pet where items such as water and food bowls, a litter box, leash, treats and toys can be stored. The command center is typically adjacent to the kitchen area and is a small space dedicated to working on a laptop, paying bills, charging the cell phone or iPad and handling any other items while working in the kitchen or living room.

Technology and gaming

Technology is one of the fastest changing and most popular upgrades among homeowners. Multi-room sound systems integrated with the TV, video gaming station, stereo system, CD player, DVD player, and iPod charging station are requested most often among owners. A wireless remote allows the homeowner to control all areas of the home from one device and provides uninterrupted audio/video enjoyment from room to room. Also emerging in the tech sector is the popularity of multi-functional game rooms/entertainment rooms with surround sound, ceiling-mounted projectors, comfortable seating and all the gadgets for high-tech gaming systems, replacing the dedicated stand-alone theater.

 

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