Every passing year seems to bring a new, exciting trend to the forefront of the design world. With that comes fresh ideas, new homeowner desires, and even more personal customizations than the year before. In 2017, it was brass and gold metallic finishes. In 2016, it was extra bold prints for textiles. And every year for the past decade has been the year of all-white kitchens – but let’s be honest, that classic look will probably never go out of style (fingers crossed!). This year in particular has stood out to me because of the repeating trends I’ve been seeing on my buyers’ wish lists. Here is a short list of the top priorities of some of the first-time home buyers I’ve had the pleasure of working with so far this year.
Technology & Automation
Technology is big on the want list of clients I’ve worked with over the past few months. Living in a safe home that can be connected to at the push of a button is no longer a futuristic dream. With home security systems that sync with our phones, video doorbells with cameras we can use from miles away, and thermostats we can control remotely, we’re more connected to our homes than ever. Most of us are glued to our devices anyway, which makes it easier than ever before to achieve a seamlessly connected experience that makes us feel protected when we’re home, and confidently secure when we’re away. Plus, the ability to lock or unlock the front door, switch the lights off or on, and even remotely start the dishwasher or washing machine through our phones is extremely handy.
Flexible Living Spaces
Having a changeable space is a huge priority for homebuyers who have a changing lifestyle. For growing families, entertainers, and privacy-seekers; open concept rooms are an enormous asset in a home search. In particular, homes with bonus rooms are making a comeback because of the value it adds to a space, providing an option to add to or adapt the space down the line. In historic RVA, an open concept can sometimes be hard to come by without renovation. Taking down walls in a home tends to make for a costly construction; instead, it may be worth it to consider adding in a set of pocket doors. Pocket doors allow you to maintain the existing structure while maximizing the use of space in a home, especially when using that bonus space as a playroom, home office, or guest room.
More and more frequently I’m noticing an increase in home buyer interest when it comes to efficiency, which is driving architectural innovations to new levels – and it’s so much more than “going green” by slapping some solar panels on an inefficient house. Sustainable architecture undertakes the responsibility of reducing the negative environmental impact of each building. Through the construction of environmentally sustainable (conserving water, reducing waste, saving energy, and cutting down on natural gas emissions), economically sustainable (careful planning to avoid another costly renovation in the future), and universally sustainable (features included in the house that provide safety features and livable flexibility for occupants at any age) structures, each home is ecologically conscious and can contribute to solving the global pollution issue.
When something is truly timeless it is not affected by the passing of time or the changing of fashion. But timeless doesn’t have to mean “old.” Design is constantly fluctuating as it is influenced by trends in fashion; yet, timelessness never seems to go out of style. I believe that’s why the modern farmhouse look has become so widely popular the last couple of years: People are looking for a historic look with a contemporary feel. Seamlessly blending the old and the new is a widely popular decorating trend. Pairing a beautiful old brick accent wall with soft colors like light greys, powder blues, or neutral cream tones, for example. Crown molding seems to always be in style, adding a touch of timelessness while making a room feel more upscale.