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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.

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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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