Around the House




Trend Watch: The Newest Must-Haves in Home Design

Trends in home design are always evolving. Today’s contemporary houses look a whole lot different than those that were built a few decades ago. That’s because homeowners’ tastes change over time and are impacted by how we live our lives, where we work and study, and how family members interact. Really, home trends are a reflection of the times.

Today’s must-have design trends are no different. Overall, most buyers are looking for clean lines and open spaces in a functional, livable home. Let’s take a closer look at how that overall demand is playing out in homes throughout Texas with Gonzalo Romero, Vice President of Architecture and Market Research for Highland, Horizon, Huntington and Sanders Custom Homes:

Open-concept living areas

Open-concept living. The No. 1 trend is open floorplans that do away with the traditional separation between rooms like the kitchen, dining and living area. Today, there’s a big move toward homes that feel more loft-like, without walls between the common areas. Romero says we see this trend play out in every episode of HGTV’s popular renovation shows, where the first question is always, “Which walls can we tear down to open this space up?”

Open-concept living is also hugely popular in new construction homes, where the kitchen, living area, breakfast nook and dining room all flow together in one functional, beautiful space. In two-story homes, you also see loft-style construction where the second level looks down over this great room, creating an even more impressive feeling of space and scale.

Less formal dining rooms

Less-formal dining rooms. Thanks to the move toward open-concept living, Romero says, the dining room is more often closer to—or part of—the main living area and kitchen. That’s allowing the dining table to become a space that is part of everyday living, not just used for special occasions. Now, it’s a multi-function part of the family room, perfect for homework, everyday meals, coffee and more.

Clean lines. As homeowners embrace open floor plans, they also gravitate toward a cleaner, less cluttered design aesthetic. Most like the look of bright, open rooms without a lot of columns, arches or headers, which lets the rooms flow together seamlessly. Romero says he also sees this in furnishing trends: Homeowners are looking for simple, clean interiors with streamlined furnishings—and without a lot of clutter. This makes cleaning and maintaining the home a whole lot easier.

Second floor entertaining area

First-floor media rooms. This is another big trend that’s also all about “usability.” More homeowners want media rooms that are located on the main level, closer to the other living areas, so that they can be used more often. As the media room becomes part of everyday life, Romero explains, the space upstairs is freed up for a second-floor entertaining area. In many new homes, these spaces are open to the game room, which lets the buyer use the square footage more efficiently and for everything from watching movies to doing homework.

Slightly smaller-scale homes. Finally, many homebuyers are rethinking how they utilize the square footage in their home. Some are inspired by the trend of “tiny home living,” where no square inch goes to waste. As a result, Romero is seeing buyers seeking out slightly smaller homes that use space in a smart, well-planned way with no wasted square footage.