At a time when a Pinterest post and a Houzz feature can circle the globe in an instant, it stands to reason our design world is getting smaller. Today’s trends extend nationwide; crossing demographic and geographic boundaries. Designs showcased in New York are equally at home in Florida.
Today many people are turning their home into their haven. Looking for calming respite, white on white is today’s popular pallet of choice with soft and taupe grays remaining in demand. People favor pops of personality driven color versus entirely bold color schemes to showcase independent style. Ocean hues from watery celadon to vivid blue are fan favorites, while soft yellows and cream continue their appeal. Contemporary Clean lines dominate the home. Dark finishes, mirrored accents, glass, gold, copper, steel are all mixed together for a dramatic effect. Anything organic, such as driftwood cocktail table or woven char, brings a much sought after natural element to the home.
Printed fabrics remain popular and mixing and matching is a must. Layering patterns of all scales such as intricate structures paired with large open geometric design has a sophisticated appeal. Contemporary florals, bold graphics, and detailed prints all play a role in fabrics today. Walls and ceilings are your blank canvas. Go beyond paint. With neutral wall colors, applying details to the walls creates dimension and design. For clean lines, add square flat stock to walls painted in a high glass finish. To add a warm dimension to the room, incorporate a raw wood or stone tile detail.
Wood flooring continues to be a favorite, with light woods such as ash and white wash taking center stage to create the light open space homeowners seek today. Tiles which simulate wood planks offer the appeal of wood with the durability of tile. Alternately, larger tiles which mimic Calcutta marble or slate grey create luxury living at a reasonable price.
Kitchen cabinets continue to trend white, rubbed with a hazelnut or butter cream glaze adds an elegant finish. Painted cabinets, grey in particular, make their mark and darker tones remain popular in urban settings. Squared off and shaker style doors are popular while slab fronts provide a contemporary clean look for your kitchen. Coutertops are light with granite as the new standard and man made composites the upgrade. Crushed stone, glass, reclaimed materials and concrete are the new normal. Kitchens and bathrooms feature accent tiles metallic and geometric shapes.
Adding chandeliers to almost every room adds self-expression and jewelry for the home. Bold and dramatic, finishes are mixed from metals, capiz shells, and fabric. Hang chandeliers in bedrooms in lieu of ceiling fans and add multiples in dinning room and living rooms.
By Kay Green
Today, multi-generational living is the new normal. Are we maximizing our homes to target this growing audience? And what are their must haves?
Kay Green Design and Schumacher Homes were honored to receive a Gold National Award at the 2015 International Builders Show in Las Vegas for the elegant design and spectacular architecture of this outstanding home.
Multi-generational homes only work if each generation wants to use the space created for them, so when designing the home the question must be “will they want to spend time here?” Today’s buyers want it all; a large family room spacious enough to accommodate everyone for the weekend football game, as well as a separate retreat where family members can get away.
So what are their hot buttons?
Privacy is key
Privacy for each family member is a top priority, and enough space to buffer between the multiple generations is appealing. Consider the location of the additional living space and its access point for maximum privacy. It should be from a low traffic area of the home such as a front hallway. For larger homes, a separate casita attached by a breezeway is idyllic, and regardless of the home size a separate entrance is preferred.
At least one large gathering area
Having a space where the entire family can get together and connect is essential. The home’s central living space should be able to accommodate everyone, and ideally the primary dining space should be large enough to host every family member as well. If space is an issue, an open concept kitchen provides the necessary common area for families to gather.
Balance the square footage to optimize functionality
The square footage of the home dedicated to the multi-generations, especially live-in parents, should be proportional with the home’s overall size. With a smaller home, a bedroom suite with an extended sitting area is a nice option. As the home grows, consider adding a separate, dedicated sitting area with a coffee bar to the suite. To further enhance the space, add a kitchenette and a private outdoor retreat such as a balcony or patio.
Accommodate every generation
Master suites, man caves and fem dens are critical in a multi-generational home. They balance the use of space and create a nice retreat for the primary homeowners. Creating multiple common areas allows younger generations to have their own space, providing peace for everyone in the home. This may be a study area outside the secondary bedroom for homework, or a bonus room with separate beverage stations for teenagers to hang out.
It doesn’t have to be on the first floor
With 55 percent of Millennials boomeranging back into the home, (read this article for some staggering statistics), lot sizes shrinking, and master suites growing, second floor multi-generational options must be considered. First floors have many demands placed on them, but with today’s move-in parents being more active and healthy, second floor living is a possibility. Or if needed, an elevator can improve accessibility. With a master downstairs, the second floor living can accommodate the college kid or the twenty-something rebounders and provide the privacy both generations prefer.
Finish it right!
Many move-in parents invest their retirement dollars in the purchase of the home and their space should reflect this with size and finishes. The quality of flooring, finishes and countertops in the secondary living space should be on par with the main living areas. Giving the secondary living space the same level of detail as the main home sets the stage for family inclusion.
Live-in parents and returning kids alike want their own personal space, which provides a huge sense of relief for both generations. At Kay Green Design, we take a “whole home” approach to design and have been redlining plans and facilitating charrettes for our builders for over 40 years. Please contact us for a free consultation on your upcoming home plans.