With more people looking to minimize their environmental impact, the housing industry is reaching new levels of sustainable innovation. As new homes are constructed, home builders and designers are paying much closer attention to energy efficiency and how materials are sourced and manufactured. Trends in home decor are following suit, combining natural design elements with a touch of vintage charm.
From natural stone to natural light, find out which eco-friendly new home design trends buyers are looking for.
Homes built prior to the 1990s were typically constructed with separate rooms designed for distinct purposes. These days, homebuyers gravitate toward floor plans with fewer dividing walls, which create a more spacious, modern feel. You’ll also find wider doorways and hallways. These touches open up the space while accommodating mobility aids, to allow for aging in place. Other benefits of open-concept floor plans include:
To accentuate the feeling of space, you’ll often find newly built homes with large windows and sliding glass doors. Not only do well-placed windows provide more natural light, but they also connect us to the outdoors. And today’s higher quality glass blocks UV rays while minimizing the amount of heat entering your home.
Concrete is one of the greenest countertop materials you can use, thanks to local availability and the ability to recycle. It can add a soft, modern look to kitchens and bathrooms despite its hard surface. Available in many colors and textures, concrete has made its way into kitchen countertops, floors and even sinks.
From deep-soaking tubs to sleek sinks, many homeowners are looking to bring the soothing, minimalist design elements of the spa into their homes. Living plants and natural tones also contribute to the serene vibe. Along with that, home builders are looking to increase water-efficiency in the bathroom by upgrading fixtures and installing low-flow toilets.
"In recent years, brass has made a comeback in a dramatic way. You can get away with brass fixtures in your kitchen and bathroom, and if you like, you can find matching cabinet pulls or be bold and mix metals (which is a trend we will never get tired of!). If you do not want to commit to brass in a more semi-permanent way like a fixture, you can use brass finishes like a paper towel holder or light fixture."
Beatrice Fischel-Bock | CEO & Co-Founder of Hutch
Wallpaper is back and available in more patterns than ever thanks to modern printing technology. Tropical prints, geometric designs and distressed metallic are on the rise, often seen in bathrooms, bedrooms and on fireplace walls. And temporary options like Tempaper Removable Wallpaper allow homeowners and renters to easily transform the look of their home.
“Don’t be afraid to go bold! An accent wall is the perfect way to make a statement. Since it is smaller you can be bold without being overwhelming.”
Amanda Luthman | Tempaper
To create terrazzo, chips of marble, glass and other fragments are embedded into tinted cement and then polished, resulting in a truly unique material. Known for its historical charm, you’ll find terrazzo tile everywhere from the Hollywood Walk of Fame to the Art Deco styles of the 1920’s and even the ancient mosaics of Egypt. Available in a variety of colors and designs, terrazzo is built to last.
Art Deco design influences, 1970s interior styling and mid-century furniture combine for a vintage feeling in many modern homes. And whether you inherit it or pick it up at a garage sale, repurposing older furniture is a more environmental option than sending it to the landfill. Whether old or new, velvet sofas are in increasingly high demand. You’ll find many of them in deep gem tones, like Nicola Broughton’s Instagram-famous green velvet sofa pictured below.
"Many people don't buy velvet sofas because they are afraid they won't last; yet they are so on trend for 2018. In my experience, velvet sofas these days are fairly robust (I have two young kids so mine gets a fair old battering), and I'd rather have a beautiful velvet sofa than a bland beige one.”
Nicola Broughton | The Girl with the Green Sofa
This home building trend is an entertainer’s dream. Many new homes are constructed with sliding doors, creating a seamless transition between your indoor living area and the outdoor patio. Not only does this design element help connect us to nature, but also expands the overall living space.
Easy to clean and maintain, hardwood floors are certainly not new to the home. But in past years, carpet was a more popular option for bedrooms and living rooms. Now, however, many people are opting for the natural look in place of carpet, which needs to be replaced every 5-15 years. To soften things, you can add a plush rug to compliment the style of the room.
From security cameras and lighting controls to voice automation, smart home gadgets are becoming much more sophisticated. Increasingly popular for energy efficiency, smart thermostats make it easy for homeowners to control temperature levels for each room. The programmable features also allow the thermostat to use less energy when you’re away from home.
Sustainable home trends are constantly improving and we can’t wait to see what happens next. Stay up to date on the latest home building trends in the For the Home section of our blog.