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2012 Home Design Trend Overview


Curious which design trends are currently finding their way into homes across America? The National Association of Home Builders recently presented the highlights from their Best in American Living Awards. ( These winning spaces illustrate features that appeal to American home buyers and determine which elements many builders and designers strive to include in their projects.

The following five trends are relevant to a home’s design no matter which housing market it is in.

1. Classic, yet contemporary style and comfort is key. Instead of an overly ornate and heavy design style, the trend is for simplicity and elegance. You will continue to see a blending of traditional styles with modern elements in home design. Comfort remains a priority to homebuyers in home design.

2. Outdoor living space remains essential. Despite geographic location, an inviting outdoor space is a must have for many home buyers. Although the features and amenities may vary, a place to relax, enjoy the outdoors, and socialize is key.

3. Less formality. As an ongoing trend, open living space is coveted by all buyer profiles across the country. The kitchen and living space are combined into a more all-purpose living area. Formal dining rooms are not necessarily required by home buyers but often a “flex space” adjacent to the living area is included to meet individual customer needs.

4. Beautiful kitchens with plenty of light. Kitchen areas have retained their priority in the overall design with an emphasis on ensuring that the space gets plenty of natural light. Designers are creating unique solutions to eliminate items that inhibit any view and access to natural light, such as misplaced overhead cabinetry, to allow the maximum amount of sunlight into the kitchen space.

5. Useful green. Consumers now want a certain level of green design in their new homes that reflect both livability and reduced operating costs. It is now assumed that a builder will include features that make a home more energy efficient – good for both the homeowner and the environment. There are several additional elements that NAHB included their list of prominent design trends. Visit their website for the full article. ( Do you feel that these reflect the priorities of homebuyers? Are there any elements that you think are missing from this list? Rebecca Malik is the Founder and President of (, an online source for contemporary furniture, lighting, and home accessories. Find her at The View from 17th and Riggs (, via twitter ( and on facebook ( Choose From More Than 400 House Designs and House Plans We offer house designs in a wide range of styles and sizes. Some of our more popular house designs include European-inspired Georgian and Palladian homes, English Manor house plans, Tuscan-style Italian villas, French chateaux, and Colonial house plans. Our Tuscan-style villas range from 1800 sf to 13,600 sf. Our Newport Classics house designs are gentrified New England-style cottages that range from 1500 to 5000 square feet. Our starter castles, mansions and estate homes are designed in the grand tradition of some of the most impressive homes in the world. Please feel free to search our house designs or browse our photo gallery to get a sense of the many styles and types of house designs we offer.

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  • Joanne Loftus
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