As we lean closer to closing out 2017 and look forward to welcoming 2018, Petros Homes will stand ready to answer the growing call for less is more. New Home buyers are now seeking a little less regarding square footage, but an absolute maximization of space. While the newest homes may have fewer rooms, buyers want more flexibility in how the spaces they have can be used. They want less work in the yard, the kitchen and all over the house, but want more functionality than ever before. Also, they want the use of less power and water while other natural resources are a must, but not at the expense of state-of-the-art appliances and top-of-the-line finishes. Fortunately, thanks to new technologies and materials, along with sleek, open design innovations now appearing in new homes, less really is more.
One of the fastest growing trends for new homes is automation. There have been huge leaps in technology in just the past few years when it comes to home systems; they not only activate with the touch of a button but can be controlled remotely and can even learn from our habits. Smart thermostats like Nest and iComfort® use sensors and your phone’s location to adjust your home’s temperature when you’re home and when you’re away. These new devices “learn” and track information from your behavior like what time you wake up in the morning and what temperature you desire when eating breakfast on a chilly winter morning. The iComfort® measures outside temperature and humidity so that when a home owner sets it at 72 degrees, it actually feels like 72 degrees in the home. It also monitors air quality based on zip code and automatically turns on the fan to clean the air.
And new technology, such as the Control4® system allows homeowners to control everything from door locks to lights to security systems by voice commands from just about anywhere with a variety of devices. The system’s Z-Wave protocol lets you turn on lights from your smartphone before you get home or open and close a garage door to take a delivery or speak to a visitor on your property. With new smart devices, you can activate sprinklers, set security systems or control surveillance cameras and entertainment systems.
Today’s savvy new-home buyers recognize the value to the environment and their wallet of green features in the home, and are willing to invest a little in the beginning to reap ongoing cost savings down the road. Recent advances in construction techniques and components allow for energy-saving strategies from the ground up. From wrapping the building envelope to sealing ducts to radiant barrier roof sheathing, area builders are incorporating high-tech solutions starting with the mechanicals of the house. Cool roofs, made from highly reflective shingles, can stay more than 50 degrees cooler, conserving energy and perhaps extending the life of the roof.
High performance, low-E windows are more effective than ever at controlling energy costs while allowing plenty of natural light. High-efficiency air conditioners and furnaces, ENERGY STAR® appliances and compact fluorescent or LED lighting are in high demand for the energy-conscious homes of today.
Water conservation is also a high priority for today’s new homes. Dual flush, low-flow toilets, tankless water heaters and water-saving faucets for kitchens and baths are a must for new homes. Trends in landscaping, too, are toward regional native plantings and ground covers that have the added benefit of being low-maintenance.
Millennials are coming of age and bringing their own aesthetic to new home construction. The trend toward smaller homes will remain strong in 2018. But at the same time, homebuyers want more wide-open spaces in these homes, with site lines extending through multiple rooms and even beyond, to outdoor spaces. Flow is everything in new-home design. Rather than rooms bound by walls, zones are defined by subtle variations in lighting, flooring, kitchen islands, dual-sided fireplaces — all with a goal to maintain space and volume.
And more than ever, interior spaces cascade, visually and functionally, into outdoor spaces. Advances in glass technology make huge expanses of windows and doors possible, without sacrificing comfort and energy efficiency. Nearly every new home now has a screened porch, patio or in the higher prices, an outdoor extended living area matched to climate. Typically located off the main living area, it enables an open flow entertaining or family gathering area that combines functionality with total comfort.
Flexibility is also the new buzzword for today’s homes. Today’s new home buyers want the option of rooms with more than one use. By altering options ever so slightly, simply adding double doors, can transform a dining room to a study. Add a closet and a small bathroom, and the study becomes a downstairs guest room.
Along with these wide-open spaces, the trend is toward cleaner lines and sleeker finishes. This is especially prevalent in kitchens. Builders are seeing a transition from heavily decorated kitchens to a crisper, cleaner look that has longevity and can be easily updated by adding accessories with a “pop” of color to revamp a décor instead of costly remodeling or renovation down the line. Instead of adding rope moldings and elaborate trim, people want simpler more vertical, Craftsman-style lines.
Painted cabinets will continue to reign in 2018, especially the tuxedo look of one color for upper cabinets and a complimentary color on base cabinets or islands. Cabinet styles will be cleaner too, still traditional, but closer to the sleek lines seen in many European-style kitchens. Fewer curves, more angles.
Counters, as well, take on a less cluttered look, with the more subtle surfaces of quartz supplanting the busy patterns of granite. Cleaner counters with a larger or multi level ogee edge will prevail with buyers choosing contrasting backsplashes with eye catching metallic, glass and matte tiles to add impact.
Flooring trends will take a more clean and comfortable approach. Wider plank, darker, but more natural, wood floors are still on-trend, some with a subtle wash effect that showcases the beauty of the natural wood.
Matte is the finish for appliances. In stainless steel or black, these new surfaces are far more resistant to the streaks and fingerprints that can plague shinier surfaces. Copper and bronze surfaces are also becoming more popular, and homeowners are mixing it up, combining black, stainless and other finishes in the same kitchen.
Colors for walls and cabinets and backsplashes are trending toward soft, crisp shades of gray, copper or spicy bronze.
Bathrooms, as well, will be more simple and sleek in 2018. Gone are the elaborate soaking or jetted tubs surrounded by columns and arches. In their place are oversized tile showers with nearly invisible frameless-glass surrounds. Larger floor tiles and simple lines in vanities and fixtures transform yesterday’s overblown baths to today’s comfortable serene retreats.
White is bright and very in! White cabinets will remain the top pick in 2018, especially in bathrooms, where wide-tiled white floors and crisp white trim, along with white porcelain soaking tubs and white-tile decks and surrounds, all make for a sharp-focus ambiance. And bright, shiny chrome follows this new aesthetic.
More and larger windows, huge room-width glass doors and multiple skylights are all a part of this trend toward light, bright spaces. Natural light and crisper brighter finishes are working hand-in-hand with the clean lines and open floorplans of tomorrow’s new homes to make even smaller spaces feel spacious and new.
Let us transform your home inspirations into reality! Contact us today to Petros Homes to get started.