Trends in Home Design
Current Design Styles Maximize Comfort and Versatility
Writer / Dena Mayes-Marietta
House Photography Provided by Jake Duke
Design Material Photography Provided by Dena Mayes-Marietta
Trends in home design and decor are often impacted by the world outside our collective front door. After experiencing the uncertainty and unknowns of the past 18 months, we as a global community have depended more intensively on our homes as a place of refuge and calm. Our homes have also become more multifunctional than ever before, as many continue to depend on their home as an office, school, gym and place to entertain family.
As a result, design trends, like everything else that touches our daily lives, have seen a revival in the importance of feeding both our emotional and physical needs.
“This extended time at home has impacted every aspect of current home design trends, from the color on the wall, to the reworking of a home’s floor plan to allow for multi-use of spaces, to the creative blending of indoor-outdoor living spaces as a way to increase useable square footage,” says Regina Salas, architectural designer for Duke Homes.
While daily life has resumed with some sense of normalcy, there is still a demand for homes to serve multiple uses that originated during the pandemic quarantine. With many still working or attending school remotely, homeowners are seeking custom home designs that provide for multiple home offices, separate areas for student study and school space, home fitness and sport areas, as well as dedicated arts and craft spaces. As a result, homes are being designed or renovated to be multifunctional with large open spaces for family and entertaining, while also providing private, cozy individual spaces for work and retreat.
“The desire to find refuge and calm in our homes is also reflected in the move away from cooler, harsher color palettes and towards warmer, softer tones in both wall colors and furnishings,” Salas says.
While warm neutrals are still popular, beige is the new black, with cream following closely at its heels. This color trend carries over into the lighter wood tones of flooring and furnishings, as well as the move towards more use of natural fibers. When bold colors are used on walls, furniture or fabrics, it is a nod towards nostalgia, with patterns and colors you might find in your grandmother’s home. This “grandmillennial” or “granny chic” trend is an outward expression of our longing for a time when we felt warm, cared for and comforted. “Granny chic” can be seen in the use of modern decor mixed with vintage touches like antique art, chintz and floral wallpaper and fabrics, as well as classic but whimsical accent pieces to create a homey feeling.
For those who prefer a more cutting-edge element to the design of their home, smart homes with technology-driven features are increasing in popularity. High-tech homes allow the homeowner to control features from an application on their phone or tablet. This goes beyond just controlling the home’s thermostat. Today everything from lights, window blinds, door locks, appliances, faucets, security systems, and even the temperature of a pool or hot tub can be controlled with a few taps on a screen. Smart-home features are popular with homeowners who have a penchant for tech, and those hoping to reduce their carbon footprint by saving energy on heating, cooling and electrical use, especially when away from home.
“Building a smart home can also include building with eco-friendly, sustainable and locally sourced materials,” Salas says.
These building materials can include recycled materials and those that limit the amount of off-gassing of chemicals, especially volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Off-gassing occurs when building materials and furnishings release vapors or gasses into the air of a home that were previously contained in a liquid or solid form. These vapors can be released from paints, stains, glues and carpets. Off-gassing can aggravate illnesses like asthma, and result in allergic reactions and a host of other reactions. The Duke Homes staff specifically sources building materials that avoid products with VOCs, and has increased the use of heating and cooling systems that work to refresh a home’s interior air with filtered and preconditioned fresh air from outside the home.
“Duke Homes is also focused on sourcing building materials with a high insulation or R-value, Energy Star-rated appliances, energy-efficient doors and windows, and tankless water heaters that heat a homeowner’s water on demand,” Salas says.
Another current design trend is the increased demand for creating connectivity between indoor and outdoor spaces. This is achieved through design elements such as expansive, operable glass walls that blur the line between the indoors and out, and allow for extended outdoor living space. Outdoor living spaces are also incorporating features such as interior living walls, container gardens and hydroponic gardens that allow the homeowner to enjoy the farm-to-table aspect of a small herb, vegetable or fruit garden.
Overall, design trends are working to create an atmosphere of calm, comfort and security – all things we each seek and hope to create in our individual homes, no matter our style.