New housing trends emphasize clean architectural lines, flexible floor plans and low maintenance “green” materials. Overall, home building trends are moving towards quality vs. quantity, distinction over conformity, well-designed space vs. simply SPACE.
Defined spaces. Half walls are now favored as a way to define space. They are being used to separate the kitchen from living and dining rooms. In the bathroom, spaces for the tub and shower are being separated. Transitional spaces such as hallways are sheltering home work stations, laundry alcoves and hobby nooks.
Green materials. Green products are flourishing in today’s new homes. Synthetic/engineered materials (for countertops, flooring, siding, exterior trim and decking) all are increasing in popularity. Traditional exteriors are popular, while the materials used to create them are increasingly eco-friendly.
Energy efficiency. Home buyers appreciate options for energy efficiency, sustainability features and low maintenance products. Alternative home insulation such as structural foam insulation panels or sprayed foam insulation, extra insulation in the attic, double and triple glazed windows, human scale ceiling heights of nine feet are all signs of the new energy-efficient home.
Accessibility. Improving accessibility in the home is a rising trend. First-floor master bedrooms suites, ramps and elevators, multi-level counters, as well as easy-to-use handles and faucets are favorites of aging-in-placeadvocates. In Newport Cove’s LIFEhouse, a home designed for all of your life, an inobtrusive brick ramp, pictured at right, leads to the front door.