At Hoskins Interior Design we do not take the idea of “trends” lightly. Our approach to interior design is based on creating value for our client’s investment. Many times what are termed as trends are actually fads, which are short-lived and therefore require another investment sooner rather than later to remove the now out-of-date look. Unless they are prepared to redesign their space in 3-5 years, we advise our clients to stick to classic traditional or classic modern designs that suit their everyday needs.
There are, however, useful interior design mega-trends that we have seen developing over the past few years through our work in renovations and new construction. These style characteristics are shaped from the evolving way people live—the functionality that surrounds their daily lives. Below we note the trends we feel will stick around and prove to be a solid investment for our clients:
1) Smart Homes – More and more we are being asked to incorporate the latest in home technologies into our design schemes. We are now beyond placing an intricate entertainment system in one room. Wireless technology allows homeowners to consume their media from anywhere in the house. Creating functional workspaces all over the home is now what is important. Also, central brain systems for smart homes are becoming more popular. We are staying on the front end of the internet-of-things trend as more advanced capabilities are emerging from lighting, heating and cooling, and appliance industries.
2) Organization – As lives have become more complicated, we are seeing a desire for organizational solutions in all areas of the home, but particularly in home offices and mudrooms or laundry rooms. The traditional room by the front door is no longer cutting it for the remote worker or entrepreneur. We are now turning those offices into highly-functional spaces designed around how the person works. The goal is to have everything they need at their fingertips. Are they a “piler”? We make sure there are plenty of built-in trays where they need them. Do they need to see everything they are working on at once? We install a large work surface. Is filing their preferred organizational style? We place many file cabinets within their reach. Designing for increased productivity and easy technology use is the goal behind today’s home office design.
We are also creating central hubs for home organization. Homeowners have moved from the messy desk in the kitchen to the organized arrival center designed around how the family lives. The main non-public entryway, usually a mudroom or laundry room, tends to be the perfect place to create this space. The needs of today’s families have surpassed installing some lockers for the kids’ boots and backpacks or cabinetry above the washing machine and dryer. Computer stations, mail processing areas, key landing space, pool area prep and even a central workspace for projects or home-based businesses are being included in these highly functional spaces. Another benefit is the ability to hide your family mess from public view!
3) Simplification – Whether homeowners are downsizing or just looking to declutter their lives, we are seeing a growing demand for smaller, more functional spaces. This trend has led to new homes being built with fewer, larger rooms that serve as flexible spaces that can evolve as the homeowners’ needs change. Also, millennials and empty nesters alike are moving into cities. They are having to do more with less space, driving them towards simplification and functionality. Design schemes include clean lines in simple, uncluttered and informal spaces, with built-in organization systems that hide mess behind cabinet doors. These homes are being designed to support how the occupants live, creating a space to escape the harried pace of the outside world.
4) Sustainability and Energy Efficiency – As Americans shift toward healthy, local options to put in and on their bodies, that sensibility is extending to their homes as well. While natural, sustainable and healthier home improvement materials have been around for a long time, we are seeing a growth in the number of clients asking for these products. This increased interest may be influenced by recent graduates of design schools who are even more educated on this aspect of design.
5) Outdoor living – While one generation downsizes, the next buys up those large houses from the 60s and 70s and makes them their own. The desire for simplification noted above applies to these homeowners as well. As they design their interiors as a place for respite, they are also looking to their outdoor spaces to do the same. The “staycation” that emerged during the recessions is still popular, as is entertaining at home in an outdoor room. The goal is to sit around a fireplace, pool, or outdoor living area that is as well-designed as the interior of the home. We approach these outdoor design projects just like interior projects as we are still designing a room; it just happens to be outside!
6) Aging in place – Many people want to stay in their home as long as possible as they age. Aging-in-Place is a design movement that has emerged over the past decade to support this trend. Best practices now exist to create a home that is safe and comfortable for both homeowners and visitors with limited mobility.
We encourage our clients who like to have the “latest” look in their homes to embrace that desire! However, we advise them to add those unique elements through smaller investment items like throw pillows, accessories or paint color. Replacing those touches in a few years makes freshening the look less costly than having to redesign the whole space. In the meantime, we will continue create interior design schemes that suit their aesthetics and functional needs while adding long-term value to their homes.
What design trends are you looking to bring into your home in 2017? Leave a comment below to let us know!