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Welcome to the New American Home: Simple, Clean and Sleek

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Published On : 02-04-2014
Author :Brian Toolan

Look for Simple, Clean, and Sleek Lines in the 2014 New American Home


As the 2014 New American Home is unveiled in Las Vegas at the NAHB International Builders Show, here are some hot trends to expect in home building, design and floor plans.


The Clean, Simple, and Sleek Look


From exteriors to interiors, the trend is toward the simple and sleek look – very modern with classic touches and accents. Architects are looking at house plans with less ornamentation, less wall cabinets in the kitchen and living areas, and more open shelving. 


A landscaped entryway leads to the covered front door of this attractive, modern two-story four-bedroom home (top).  There are great views from the living room/kitchen areas (above) … and access to the outdoor deck (below).  Check out the modern kitchen’s clean and sleek lines (bottom).    



High Performance Building


As consumers seek more efficient homes, energy efficiency and durability are now a necessity in the home building industry. From walls, windows, doors, roofs and basements, designers are integrating green or organic products into the overall house plans.


In today’s environment, planning and communicating with architects and builders ensure that the home design is energy friendly and conducive to efficient construction. For starters, it is recommended that the team determine the exact measurement and needs for the foundation to guard against an over-designed foundation that ultimately wastes concrete and wood. 


Spend money on good windows and insulation. Fiberglass windows perform better than vinyl and casement windows – which are sealed on four sides - are popular because they are attractive and energy-efficient.


For healthier and greener homes, the trend is to avoid plastics or chemicals in construction. And for optimum durability, homeowners are using brick and stucco for exteriors and other natural materials that are resistant to natural disasters.


A metal roof, rock/stone and stucco over the wall structure complete the exterior of this contemporary house plan. Inside the two-story home are four bedrooms (two on each floor) fireplace, open floor space for the kitchen/living and family areas plus a swimming pool.


Open Floor Plans and Flex Space


The trend is toward contemporary/modern designs with flex space and open floor plans, especially for the kitchen/living and dining areas.


An open floor house plan that connects the living, dining and kitchen areas. Take a look at the minimalist design.


There are several options for the flex space. The most common is transforming the space to accommodations for young children, older ones who have chosen to live at home, and in-law suites. With sliding doors or a moveable wall, the flex space can also be utilized as a den or home office. 


A sliding door separates this home office from the open floor plan ( A bonus room that can be converted into another bedroom, hobby/computer room, or an in-law suite.


Outdoor Living Spaces


Beyond terraces, decks and patios, the screened porch has become very popular with homeowners who want to create the perfect connection between their home and the outdoors. Today’s screened porches not only keep insects out and allow great views, they have become more multi-purpose.      


A spacious porch (left) and patio (right) appropriately furnished for outdoor entertaining.



Two screened porches perfect for year-round living with great views and shelter from the heat and cold. (top) (below)


Screened porches can be furnished like open porches – with comfortable seats, area rugs, dining tables, fireplaces – for year-round living comfort. Some screened porches are also equipped with a sink, refrigerator and hybrid grills for cooking with gas and wood.  Some of today’s house plans include chef quality BBQ porches… with high-efficiency glass windows and doors to make them energy-smart and seamless with indoor rooms.


Watch for these defining trends in house plans and designs in 2014 and well into the future. 






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