Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Project Planning - What do Homeowners Want in 2016??

As I work on layouts and designs for our next project, I always like to look at trends in the housing industry, to see what people want.  And of course there are lots of predictions at the beginning of the year!  So here's what I you agree or disagree??

The American Institute of Architects does an annual survey and has identified a couple of key elements that I need to consider.

For instance, there is a big increase in the desire for walkable neighbourhoods - with easy access to shopping, dining and public transportation.  Check - we've got plenty of that, plus a nice beach!

They also found that people are more interested in smaller homes - but that they want them to have a real emphasis on style.  A simple, blank box room won't do, they want architectural features and high quality finishes.  Check - we'll include lots of that, we always do!   Remember this project - our Craftsman Bungalow?

The website Houzz did their annual predictions and some are really intriguing:

Source:  Sarah Richardson Design
Kitchens - two tone cabinets.  Simple white for the top and then something different for the lower cabinets.  I've been toying with the idea of a reclaimed wood island.  Maybe I should give that some consideration this time.

Farmhouse styling - I really, really like the mix of old wood and natural materials in an old house.  Don't you love this mudroom foyer??  Our little cottages don't have enough space for a mudroom this big, but there is some nice inspiration here.   Look at those weathered beams!

Farmhouse Entry by Roxbury Architects & Building Designers Haver & Skolnick LLC Architects

Sunrooms - Yes!!! Maybe it's our cold Maine winters, but having a nice room to sit with the sun streaming in seems like the ultimate luxury to me. Love this idea!

Beach Style Sunroom by Philadelphia Photographers Gridley + Graves Photographers

I've also read that there is a huge increase in the desire for a home office, as more and more people work from home.  Is this something that makes sense to you as well?  Should I make sure this project has space for a home office?

We will be starting our project in a few weeks, but in the meantime, I'm trying to take some of these wish list items and see if they can be incorporated in our plans.

What would you do?

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  1. Welcome back from your Amsterdam adventures!

    I love the idea of walkable neighborhoods, living in Houston that's not the norm and our weather is pretty hot the majority of the year. Smaller quality-built homes are also few and far between here. You've heard everything's bigger in Texas? Very true with housing, builders love the McMansions! Love the idea of a sunroom but again, not in Houston. My husband and I both office from home so an office space is critical for us. We've worked out a good setup and were lucky enough that our home was designed with one in place.

    I think part of what we're all looking for is a sense of quality, craftsmanship, community and easier lives. Can't wait to see how you bring it all together this time.


    1. Wow - Quality, Craftsmanship, Community and Easier Lives - that would make a great bumper sticker :-) What a great way to capture what so many of us are looking for. Thanks so much!

  2. We have five bedrooms (i.e., rooms with built in closets) but two of them are in the lowest floor, a walk-out basement. We use them as offices; I make quilts in mine and my husband practices his classical guitar in the other. That still leaves us with two guest bedrooms, but if I had to give up two rooms, it would be the guest rooms. So, yes, I vote for a home office/craft room!

    1. I think any of us that work from home really appreciate how valuable a separate space can be! I've tried working from our kitchen island.....but it creates too much chaos and mess. Thanks for the input!

  3. We have a 1930's Dutch Colonial in Connecticut. Two years ago we converted half of our 2-car detached garage to use as my music room (I'm a violist in an orchestra and a teacher of violin and viola). It's been awesome to be able to teach lessons outside the footprint of our house! I would recommend using outbuildings for workspace if possible.

    1. That sounds like a great idea! In home offices are nice - but added privacy is a real luxury! Sometimes noise from home can be troublesome (we have two dogs that bark any time I'm on a teleconference :-))

  4. Personally, I am not a fan of two toned cabinets in a kitchen. I don't mind the island being different, but I do not like it when the top and bottom cabinets are different. I feel like it is a trend and in years to come it will date the kitchen.

  5. We recently bought a fairly large custom home (we're the second owners) that was built back in the 60's but hasn't been updated since the 80's. It's a slow process but I'm finding that I'm willing to give up a large dramatic entry for a larger more functional mud room. My plan is to reuse some of the old redwood paneling when I redo the kitchen and incorporate it into the island like in your photo.


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