According to the National Association of Home Builders, low-impact design is trending among developers and interior designers.
Many [Best in American Living Award] winners and entrants included sustainable and green features in their designs, including permeable pavers, native species in landscape design, and thoughtful site design, incorporating green features into beautiful landscaping.
This home in Sarasota, Florida, designed by Leader Design Studio and built by Josh Wayne Construction, is a net-zero energy home and certified Platinum under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program and “Certified Florida Green Home” by the Florida Green Building Coalition. In addition to its low-impact design, the home features many other design trends noted at the Best in American Living Awards ceremony in January, including an “indoor-outdoor convergence”, wood accents, an outdoor kitchen and native landscaping.
(For a complete list of 2015 BALA winners, with photos and descriptions, visit bestinamericanliving.com)
The top twelve design trends for 2016 are:
Intimate Outdoor Spaces: Many single-family custom and production homes include intimate outdoor gathering spaces, complete with outdoor fireplaces or fire pits and cozy seating. These spaces are geared toward smaller gatherings, as opposed to the extended family-size backyards of the past.
Mid-Century Modern Detailing: Mid-century modern is now 21st century chic, trending again in furniture, elevation design and detailing. Quite a few homes, particularly in California and Nevada, reference this easily recognizable style.
Indoor-Outdoor Convergence: What was once a distinct line between two living areas has been replaced by floor-to-ceiling retractable glass walls and screens. Residents now have the ability to transition their own living spaces by both visually and physically moving between indoor and outdoor spaces.
Troughs and Spouts: Outdoor tables with open, trough-like water channels add extra outdoor entertaining space. The water feature often culminates in a delicate waterfall off the edge of the table into a pool or water feature below.
Board and Batten Used Inside and Out: Perhaps more often thought of as exterior cladding, board and batten is being featured inside quite a few homes now as well, adding a 3-dimensional layer to interior finishes and providing an interesting alternative to paint and wallpaper.
Copper Bathtubs: Copper bathtubs have become a popular bathroom feature in quite a few award-winning homes. These tubs are a striking addition in any home, from rustic to modern to traditional.
White with Exotic or Repurposed Wood Accents: Many winning interiors feature stark, modern white paired with rich wood accents, a striking combination in flooring, ceilings and cabinets.
Modern Industrial Accents: Making its strongest appearance in multifamily projects, this trend combines sleek lighting and furniture with the brick, glass and steel elements of a building’s shell and skeleton. Vibrant pops of color offset the cooler color palette of metals and whites.
Barn Doors: Barn doors are appearing everywhere inside the home, from kitchens to mudrooms to closets. These offer an alternative to traditional left- or right-hung doors and become a design feature of the home, unlike pocket doors that tuck away.
Intricate Stairways: Overall, stairways are becoming more prominent and sophisticated features of the home. BALA winners featured curving glass railings, detailed iron newel posts, unique stair accent walls, glass treads, and intricate tile work.
Low-Impact Design: Many BALA winners and entrants included sustainable and green features in their designs, including permeable pavers, native species in landscape design, and thoughtful site design, incorporating green features into beautiful landscaping.
Waterfall Islands: Still trending are waterfall islands in kitchens across the United States. These islands, whether made of wood, granite or marble, emphasize clean, modern lines.