Posted on October 14, 2014 at 7:09 pm by & filed under Home Renovations.

Our homes are a physical reflection of our needs, personality and lifestyles. With each passing year, design trends change to create a fresh new energy for introducing updated looks to accommodate the varying patterns of our lives.

For many homeowners, a movement beyond the desire for private a refuge has been replaced by creating an inviting environment where family and friends are always welcome. The comforts of home have become more important over the last decade as a direct reflection of a sluggish economy and homeowners spend significantly less time out and more time in their homes. However, despite economic uncertainty, consumers still feel that home ownership is a good investment. With the upsurge of green technology, new layouts, landscape design using Pacific Pavingstone, outdoor entertainment and plenty of do-it-yourself projects, homeowners are reinventing their homes to meet the demands of new design trends.

Attitudes have changed considerably over the years, and current home design is moving consumers toward a mindset that’s more practical and more grounded in reality as they consider the function, style and efficiency of their homes. Single-story dwellings with comfortable designs and accessibility for people of all ages or abilities are on the rise in home plans. This trend makes it easier for homeowners to remain in their residence without sacrificing style or independence.

Home Layout:

Living space, and the way it’s utilized, is the number one criteria for consumers with more attention given to the aesthetics and function of a space. There is less emphasis on investing in bigger, but rather on what’s better. Today’s design trends are leaning toward smaller, well-designed homes that have all of the details and amenities a family wants, yet with little wasted space. Square footage has become less of a concern because space is a matter of perception. Vaulted ceilings and large window areas can provide a feeling of spaciousness without the extra cost of actual square footage. Current layout designs include the traffic patterns within the home and the function of its daily routine.

One of the most popular design trends in new homes is the open concept layout in which people have moved away from formal and separate rooms on the main floor. Several rooms like the kitchen and living areas are combined or integrated into one oversized “great room” that extends from the foyer entrance. The kitchen typically opens to a spacious area and designed with an island that separates the space. This division allows a zone for children to do homework or guests to chat with the cook. This feeling of expansiveness from the front to the rear of the home has become a dominant feature in many newly constructed homes, but it has its challenges too. Hanging pictures and defining different living and working areas pose an interior décor dilemma, but with a little creativity, such as distinct flooring and a mixture of lighting throughout, this problem can be resolved.

Natural light is another dominant feature for many of today’s design trend layouts. Loads of window replacement for homes done these days are to increase this feature, natural light is in. Not only does it create an overall appeal to your home, it contributes to your feeling of well-being. Newly built homes incorporate this feature for a bright and airy feeling throughout the house. If you have an older home, you may want to consider hiring a renovation company for enlarging window areas to get more light in, increase the size of exterior glass doors or add skylights for additional warmth and light.

Since economic times remain uncertain, many homeowners have decided to stay put in their current homes and renovate because more often than not, our homes aren’t exactly what we want in today’s shifting market. If you do decide to change your layout, size and functionality, then a professional renovation company that services Burlington, Oakville and Milton like Ridgeline Renovations can help you to achieve the home of your dreams. The great thing about a renovation company is that they can give you thousands of ideas and insights of what can work with your house’s footprint.

Energy Efficiency and New Technology:

According to the latest research, consumers are increasingly concerned about the cost of their energy use. Energy efficiency is the third biggest factor that goes into buying things, behind product features and price. With consumer demand on the rise for more sustainable home products, there has been a major growth spurt in the technology industry. Yet, energy consumption is rising fastest in the developing world with more than 17% of the energy consumed in Canada used to run our homes. Using less energy in your home will not only save you money, but provide a more comfortable living space for you and your family while helping the environment.

energy-efficient-electronics comparisson

Graph Credit: http://www.aia.org/practicing/AIAB104581

Appliances:

  • Fridges and freezers are energy-hungry appliances that regularly need appliances repair service and tune ups. Your fridge can consume as much as 11% of your home’s total electricity, so before buying any new appliance, check to see if it carries the ENERGY STAR® symbol. The new models use up to 50% less energy than ones built just a decade ago. Use the EnerGuide rating to choose the most efficient model, and be certain to read the EnerGuide label on the appliance to estimate its yearly electricity costs.
  • Today’s washers and dryers are considerably more energy efficient, so it’s to your advantage to invest in the new technology and money saving features. You may want to consider upgrading to more efficient units, such as a front loader. Did you know that top loading vertical axis machines are less efficient as washers that are front loaders with a horizontal axis, both in energy and water use? The benefit of using a front loader can exceed 50% in both energy and water use.
  • A dishwasher built today is about 95% more efficient than it was when it was built in the 1970s, and a fully-loaded dishwasher is even more energy-efficient than washing a full load by hand.

Lighting:

Technology has come a long way from the humble incandescent light bulb. It’s remarkable to think that the electricity used over the lifetime of a single incandescent bulb costs 5 to 10 times the original purchase price of the bulb itself.

Electric lighting burns up to 25% of the average home energy budget, but the Light Emitting Diode (LED) and Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs have revolutionized energy-efficient lighting. Both CFLs and LEDs bring more value since they last longer than conventional bulbs and the price is going down each year as the manufacturing technology improves.

cfl light bulb

Do-It-Yourself-Projects:

DYI projects not only save you money in energy costs, but they add value to your home. With people watching their budgets these days, the trend is toward homeowners learning how to manage these projects on their own. There are a number of home improvement retailers, like Home Depot that offer hands-on instructions and workshops for the novice to the experienced handy person. There are also numerous online tutorials that can provide valuable information for the DYIers to complete projects around the house.

Insulation:

Energy experts estimate that a properly insulated attic can shave 10% to 50% off your heating bill and it works just the opposite in the warmer temperatures to keep your house cool. Insulating walls with fiberglass insulation is a great behind the scenes investment because it is the easiest and least expensive ways make your home more energy efficient. Here is a link to Home Depot for instructions on this DYI insulation project.
http://www.homedepot.ca/know-how/insulation

Kitchen Facelift:

Giving your kitchen a makeover is one of the best bang-for-your-buck projects that you can undertake to bring it back to life. With some rudimentary skills, you can dramatically change the look of your kitchen. These fast fixer-uppers can be done on a weekend to give a kitchen a fresh, updated look without breaking the bank. Here are some suggestions to create pizzazz in your kitchen.

  • Nothing improves that look of a kitchen more than freshly painted walls.
  • If your kitchen has old-fashioned wooden cabinets, you can dramatically alter their look by painting them. Check out this article from Brushwork painters if you plan to paint yourself.
  • Another option you can consider is to reface your old cabinets.
  • New hardware can make a huge impact to the overall look and feel of your room.
  • Adding large area rugs can give your kitchen that added spark for brightening up your room.
  • Changing your sink faucet with a modern, sleek, up-to-date design is an affordable, fast and easy way to spruce up the look of your kitchen.
  • Improve and transform your kitchen with new light fixtures.

2015 & Beyond:

Home design trends will continue to explore structural changes in homes, new materials, new technology, restyled interior décor and a greater movement to exterior backyard entertainment centers. Our homes are evolving into environmentally friendly spaces where family and friends embrace a more inclusive way of living to share good times and precious memories.

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