Are you imagining a new look for your home for the New Year? Don’t “curb your enthusiasm,” as experts predict new - as well as carry-over - trends that are likely to define the home in 2015 and beyond.
From bigger family rooms to open floor plans, flexible spaces, and cleaner footprints, the 2015 home will be an indication of changing lifestyles and perspectives. With more room for casual entertaining, flexible family spaces, and outdoor living areas, exciting innovations in home décor and designs are in store for the home of 2015.
What to Expect in 2015
1. The "forever" home: average size is expected be in the 2,300-2,500-square-foot range. With the recession still fresh in mind, most Americans want homes that are big enough for their lifestyles, easier to maintain, and energy-efficient. This is also a time when they can be creative with their space – and make their homes seem larger than their real size. New house plans in 2015 will look to embrace the needs and wants of their homeowners across multiple stages of living.
Take a look at this one-and-half-story Texas-style home with 2,495 square feet of space and its charming features: a delightful courtyard entry, covered front porch, foyer, three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, patio, rear porch, great room, breakfast nook, and study (floor plan layout included). (Plan 117-1094).
A rustic ranch with almost 2,500 square feet of space has an inviting front porch, three bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, and a Great Room, casual dining room and extensive kitchen with a sizable island. (Plan 106-1274)
2. Open floor plans with limited or no walls separating rooms.A lot of flexibility comes with open floor layouts –something that allows families to use space to suit their styles and needs. In addition, the free-flowing space between the kitchen, dining and living room areas makes everyone within reach – and sight.
3. Return of special-function rooms. A recent survey by the American Institute of Architects revealed a larger demand for “functional” spaces in the coming year - like home offices,in-law suites, and mud-rooms. More people find an economic advantage to working from home, and rising health care costs for the elderly encourage families to create space in the home to care for their older relatives.
Working from home presents an economic advantage to many people. This home office (left) – separated by sliding doors – can be closed off for privacy and opened up for more space at family events. A mud room to wish for (right) features floor-to-ceiling cabinets and abundant space to accommodate laundry facilities.
4. Outdoor living areas/rooms. The idea of connecting the indoors to the outdoors continues to be popular. Homeowners and potential buyers are looking at patios, grilling porches, gazebos, and outdoor kitchens to enhance their outdoor space.
An outdoor grilling porch is made more appealing and attractive with all the greenery, flower pots and plants positioned around the space. (Plan 153-1781)
5. An energy-efficient and "green" home equals a cleaner footprint.With rising energy costs and an increased awareness in climate change issues, there is greater interest in building homes that are more energy efficient and environmentally responsible. Things to look for in a “green” home: better insulation, natural materials for exteriors/interiors and décor, solar panels, geothermal heating/cooling solutions, and even electric docking stations for electric automobiles.
A four-bedroom home with exterior wood siding has an open floor plan, lots of windows, front porch, woodstove, fabulous sunroom, and glass-filled wall allowing views of the sunroom. (Plan 146-1177). The living room (right) of a coastal home features bamboo shades and furniture made of natural fabrics. (Plan 130-1103)
6. Technology/automation solutions on the rise. As people become more familiar with new technologies - and as those technologies keep dropping in price - expect more home automation solutions in 2015 homes. Think centralized audio/video throughout the home, wireless telecommunications and data systems, automated electrical systems, "smart home" technology, and remote smartphone controls.
The 2015 home will feature automation technology (Plan 116-1081).
7. The great room continues its widespread appeal. Casual entertaining, dining, and relaxation with family and friends is best served by the open space in a home. This layout – without interior walls - combines the living, family, and dining rooms to create a warm, inviting, and comfortable area for everyone.
A view of the great room of this two story, two-bedroom country home illustrates the high ceilings and free-flowing space of the Great Room which incorporates the living room, dining area, and kitchen island/breakfast nook. (Plan 126-1287)
8. Larger kitchens with islands. Kitchen lovers everywhere will love more space to move around and entertain family and friends in the “heart” of the home. Watch out for wood cabinets, glass backsplashes, pull-out faucets, and soft color schemes.
The color scheme of this award-winning kitchen contrasts the soft beige hues of the cabinets with the brown tones of the table, stools and hardwood floors. (Plan 106-1276)
9. Extra bathrooms with a more contemporary vibe. The average home in 2015 will feature 2.5 to 3.5 bathrooms, up from the past several years. Say goodbye to the rustic look in the bathroom. In 2015, bathrooms with modern, clean lines will take center stage. Rain showers are still much in demand, but soaking tubs are turning into the hot ticket item for the bathroom in the coming year.
This contemporary bathroom includes a large tub for soaking and relaxing after a long day (Plan #101-1126).
10. More color choices and décor for the interior.Designers are predicting a variety of colors in the 2015 home, ranging from the classic beige, gray, and white to soft pastels and water colors to deep Mediterranean blues. Glass is a fashionable selection for the interior because it allows natural light to filter into the rooms. Windows, coffee and end tables of clear glass add to the feel of space and openness in a home.Other experts like the feel of mixing the modern interior décor with vintage items like antique rockers, gold mirror frames and grandfather clocks.
Sunlight filtering through the glass walls of this two-story contemporary home highlight the complementary shades of the sofa (pink/red) and the blue/beige titles. A glass-topped coffee table completes the picture of this modern Great Room. (Plan 126-1190)
As 2015 knocks on our doors, there’s an increased interest in individuality and creativity. People don't just want to build an affordable new home—they're looking for more originality in concept and design – and the residential architect who can deliver that vision.
Footnote: Photograph below is a Craftsman house with an open floor plan design (For more details, see: House Plan # 101-1873).