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2012 home design trends: focus on the family

The changing economy and attention to environmentalism have inspired four building trends that are rising in popularity in 2012.

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Home design trends

At the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, several trends emerged from the leading home builders and architects, which the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has published as the organization kicks off New Homes Month.

“Despite the ongoing challenging economy, home builders are still delivering new homes with exceptional design elements that serve the current financial and functional needs of their home-buying customers,” said Barry Ruttenberg, NAHB chairman and a home builder and remodeler from Gainesville, Fla.

New home buyers will be able to take advantage of emerging market trends that incorporate creative use of materials, layouts and features that provide maximum utility and beauty while being cost-conscious at the same time.

Trend one: reworked spaces

The NAHB reports that new homes are being designed to allow plenty of space for family interaction in areas like the kitchen, while eliminating formal dens and home offices that are underutilized. The popularity of “pocket offices” is on the rise, often in the family room or in large pantries.

Space is also being saved by adding window seats and alcoves for private time or reading. A popular and efficient location for laundry facilities is now the master bedroom walk-in closet, a fascinating trend.

The focus on efficiency in the home and building more open space family areas rather than separate rooms is dominating in 2012.

Trend two: expanded amenities

With the rise in popularity of multifamily living, developers are increasing the number and type of amenities to compensate for smaller unit sizes, according to the NAHB. In addition to gyms and media rooms that have been part of many new communities in the last decade, amenities like business lounges with individual workspaces and libraries are being added into the mix.

Trend three: efficiency

The NAHB reports that “Rectangular home designs are more cost effective, so new homes no longer have the formerly-popular feature of multiple roof lines or the resulting unnecessary interior volumes they created.”

New designs include modifications like using two windows in a corner with mitered glass to allow unobstructed views and maximum light, or using a mix of materials in the home’s facade like metal, wood and stone to add a modern look.

Trend four: multigenerational living

Single family home designs are offering separate living units that access the main floorplan through a door, and “shadow” units are being built alongside homes. Homes with two master suites are trending, often on separate floors with elderly occupants living downstairs.

Supporting modern lifestyles

Several trends are having an impact on building trends, ranging from a push for sustainable design, to downsizing, to families moving in together in a down economy or as parents age and must move back in.

The NAHB promotes new home builders by noting, “Safety, energy efficiency and near record-low interest rates and competitive prices make today’s new home market an attractive opportunity for many families.”

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

Design

Interior design trend: multi-functional tables

Interior design trends are changing to accommodate a shift in the American lifestyle, favoring smaller spaces. Enter multi-functional tables to save the day!

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multi-functional tables

multi-functional tables

Multi-functional tables: the perfect touch

Smaller, more well designed homes with space constraints are on the rise. Gone are the days of McMansions and 10,000 square foot homes. Couples with children who have flown the nest are looking for a more simplified and less cluttered lifestyle. We are coming into an age where our homes and the furniture that goes in these homes need to be convenient, compatible, and multi-functional.

Speaking of furniture, sometimes clients beat you to the punch and find the coolest furniture to use in their new and smaller home. Such was the the case when working on a new construction and furnishing project for a couple in the 78704 neighborhood of Austin, Texas. Before deciding to work with a designer, my clients had discovered the perfect dining room table for their new smaller home. We’ll get to that table in a second, but lets talk more about furniture.

Alongside the family room sectional, the second most important piece of furniture in a home are tables. It’s the piece where we kick up our feet, gather for family dinners, or finish our homework. But what if our tables did more than just coaster our evening glass of Pino? What if our tables performed the duty of storage, game time entertainment, or additional seating?

Now I bet you’re wondering what piece of furniture my clients found for their dining table. This is by far the coolest dining table I’ve ever seen. It is not ONLY a dining table but converts into a pool table. Hidden by its sleek design and contemporary lines, you would never know until you take its top off (see below).

The Fusion Dining Pool Table… ooooh, aaaah

pool table table

Who says your books have to be vertical?

book table

Can’t remember the components for water?

…here’s a big cheat sheet:
periodic-table

Go ahead and pretend you’re Mozart, I won’t tell:

mozart

For the NES fan boy/girls in all of us:

[pl_video type=”youtube” id=”2c3q9K4cHzY”]

And some more multi-functional tables for the road:

sofa

stool

swing

table

bamboo

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Design

Graphic patterns: hot interior design trend

Interior design impacts how you feel and function in any room, and graphic patterns is one of the keys to quality design be it in a home or an office.

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graphic patterns interior design

graphic patterns interior design

Graphic patterns make any room pop

Graphic patters, big or small are here to stay. As far back as ancient Greece, graphic patterning can be found in art, textiles, and on walls. Were the Greeks natural born interior designers or did they just understand the impact a graphic pattern could add to the room?

Think about it – have you ever heard of the ‘Greek Key‘ pattern? Derived in Greece, this decorative border is still found in every day design. Personally, I love it accented on a pillow as a trim or crown molding in a traditional living room. In my line of work, I use patterns every day, but graphic patterns can really make a room pop!

Using graphic patterns in a space can be seen as an art. When applying these graphics to a space, I take into account the size of the pattern, the color of the pattern, and it’s placement in a room. Fortunately, graphic pattern can been seen and used in endless interior design applications from wallpapers to rugs to pillows and everything in between.

Graphic patterns in themselves can be anything from a chevrons, to trellis, to simplified floral design. A mix between large graphic patterns and small graphic patterns creates a space that is visually appealing. More often than not, you like ‘that’ ad in the latest furniture catalog sitting on your coffee table because it is visually layered, and the key to layering your space is in the use of graphic patterns.

One way to begin adding graphic patterns to any space is to focus on a color. Select your main color and begin building the room.

Examples of graphic patterns

knot-rug

graphic patterns

graphic patterns

graphic pattern miami

graphic pattern bathroom

Secret to quickly adding graphic patterns

Mixing and matching pillows on your sofa is a inexpensive way to add a bold punch to your room. It may seem like an intimidating process but after you see these examples be brave and have fun!

pillows

pillows

graphic pattern pillows

bold pillows

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Design

10 creative outdoor lighting trends for fall: design trend spotting

Making the outdoors appealing as the temperatures drop is tricky, but with these 10 creative lighting ideas, you won’t be sitting in the cold in the dark!

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design

design

Bundle up, it’s getting cold out there!

There’s something about soft outdoor lighting in the fall that makes you want to bundle up with a blanket and watch the colors turn. Now that it’s actually less than 100 degrees here in Texas – and normal temperatures everywhere else – the outdoors are actually tolerable, and homeowners are looking to spend some time outside. Other regions are already experiencing snow, but spending time outdoors is still appealing to so many Americans.

If you’re considering adding a seating area to your yard, you’re going to need a way to light it. Take a look at the following outdoor lighting options, ranging from the romantic flicker of a flame in a fire pit, to ingenious walkway lighting illuminating the path to your doorstep. Then, grab a glass of wine, go outside and get cozy. Click any image below to learn more.

Contemporary garden lighting

Architectural complement

outdoor fire display

DIY: upside down terracotta pot

do it yourself outdoor lighting cheap

Year-round fire pit

outdoor fire pit

Outdoor Japanese lamp

japanese lamp outdoor lighting

Beautiful porch lighting

outdoor lighting

Creative use of rope lights

outdoor lighting

Stairway lighting for front or back yards

outdoor lighting

Ventless outdoor fire bowl

outdoor fire bowl

Pure soft light

outdoor lighting

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