With the new year comes a new blog feature – our 2016 design/build trends forecast – what you can expect to see more of in the coming months. Many of these elements have been trending since last year but we predict there will be further iterations evolving. Several of these trends will become design staples – ideas that are here to stay, that possess a timeless quality.
#Free-standing soaking tubs
Although spacious showers have gained in popularity in the past several years, more and more clients have requested free-standing soaking tubs as well. What seems to be passé are shower/tub combinations. Feinmann won a PRISM award for this bathroom where the client had her heart set on a separate soaking tub.
#Open space floor plans
Nothing particularly new here except that more walls are coming down! Last year alone we took down four walls between dining rooms and kitchens to create open, flowing spaces in projects in Newton, Arlington, Lexington and Sudbury.
Appliances keep on getting smarter. We recently installed a vent hood that “listens” to the cooktop “talk.” When the cooktop heats up, the Miele hood knows to get cranking. Other tech-savvy appliances include refrigerators, ovens and laundry machines. Many of these communicate through apps on smart phones and tablets to let you know that your laundry is finished and that the oven you set to pre-heat earlier is ready for dinner.
“Smart appliances will become more popular than when first introduced 5-10 years ago. We are becoming more accustomed to changing our thermostat or look at security remotely. So adjusting the temperature of your oven is not a stretch. Jenn-Air and Dacor have that functionality now. Every manufacturer will have it by mid 2017,” says Steve Sheinkopf, CEO of Yale Appliance and Lighting.
LEDs are leading the way for brighter kitchens, especially for task lighting. Our design/build staff loves the flexibility of LED products like those from Tech Lighting. But once again, the cutting edge is in technology. You don’t have to come home to a dark house ever again. And if you forget to turn off the lights once you’ve left the house or gone upstairs to bed, you can turn them off from your smart phone or tablet.
“Automated lighting has become one of the hottest tends in quality home building and remodeling. Imagine your lights intelligently – really intelligently – operating independently. The same is true of automated window shades. With the two combined, a house is easier to use, furnishings are protected from sunlight and energy costs are reduced,” says Brad Smith, President of Audio Video Design.
#Texture in design
Notice how in this kitchen with its sleek, modern cabinetry, our design team brought in a variety of textures and dimensions with the glass door inserts and the wavy, three-dimensional tiles from Porcelanosa? Those clean lines and minimalistic approach can feel cold without a balancing element. That’s where texture comes into play – whether with grass-cloth wallpaper or leathered granite countertops – we create the feel of a space with a variety of surfaces and appearances. The grain of wood can warm up the look of a room just as fabric plays an integral part in the overall design of a space. In the absence of traditional embellishment like fluted columns and fancy trims that provide contrast and detail, textured elements can take a room from ordinary to extraordinary.