Now that we are well into 2012, we can see trends in the remodeling industry that are noteworthy. Each year, designers, builders, and professional remodelers push the envelope by incorporating innovative design in their work to make space more exciting and livable.
The challenging economy has forced many homeowners in the last few years to stray away from the lavish excesses that the pre-recession period brought, to a more practical and stay-at-home centric renovation perspective. With people staying in their homes longer, they are resorting to fix up and improve their homes instead of searching for their new space requirements and changes in tastes.
The trends in 2012 will likely continue into 2013 as our personal preferences and spending habits will maintain a static level until the economy booms once more. Here are a few of the things that have been observed as trends in the remodeling industry:
Many homes, especially older homes, have closed off rooms and layouts that included narrow hallways and lots of wall area. Except for the loss of privacy in certain smaller rooms, opening up rooms can lead to a renewed sense of space and a larger feel without adding any square footage. For example, removing a few walls between the kitchen, formal dining room, and living room, can make the space feel like a great room that lives large and accommodates larger family functions.
The Great Outdoors
Even in the northern climates, many folks have been adding sliding doors to their living, dining, and family rooms to gain access to their outdoor living space. Add a few propane heaters, a large grill, some comfy sofas and chairs, and you have an instant outdoor family room or eating area. Again, it is central to a gathering of family in a safe, close environment. With the high costs associated with travel, families are traveling much less, and playing more at home.
It used to be that a mother-in-law suite was exclusively for…well, your mother-in-law. Now that we have an aging baby boomer population and rising costs associated with nursing home and long-term care, many families are opting to add new additions or basement makeovers to accommodate new residents. According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 62 percent of professional remodelers surveyed were working on projects related to aging. Watch for this trend to continue, as “Aging in Place” will be part of our lexicon for years to come.
Smart kitchens don’t necessarily mean that they make any decisions or prepare meals for you, but they do combine the attributes found in smart phones and electronic devices. What that means is: smart phones and their associated apps make everyday tasks easier and without the clutter that disorganization can bring. Customization of kitchen space is changing the way we think about the kitchen. It is an extension of the living space, so you are seeing islands and the return of the bar stool along the side extended granite counter tops.
Food prep areas no longer need to rule the space. Pantries and islands work to hide most of the kitchen gadgets and staples needed to function. Appliances will continue to leverage new technology in the way they operate, and provide the convenience and utility necessary to support a fast paced life style without sacrificing quality and ease of use.
In conclusion, as consumers and homeowners continue to opt to stay put and enjoy their home spaces. Professional remodelers are sensitive to this trend and are meeting its demand head on. With new design, fresh looks at space utilization, and an expanded use of the outdoors, homeowners may continue the trend of hanging out and living large at home.