Home Trends in 2007
Americans are spending more time at home and are spending their time and money to make their homes comfortable, efficient and beautiful. Just look at how many do it yourself and home makeover shows are on television and cable television and the growing popularity of home-improvement stores such as Lowe’s, Expo and The Great Indoors, just to name a few. Other trends we are observing involve green construction and special-use rooms.
Owners today are designing their interiors with more detail than ever before. They are paying special attention to finishes, using a variety of materials, colors and textures. They are mixing stone, glass, wood, copper, concrete, tile and other man-made materials. More attention is being paid to details on windows, doors and moldings. Homeowners are paying extra attention and dollars to large elaborate front doors and entranceways, the first impression of the home. Large double iron doors with glass inserts are very popular. Owners are paying attention to the interior doors as well — they are much taller to match the scale of the still popular high ceilings. Lighting is being used for ambiance and safety, and attention to energy saving is popular. High-tech smart homes with electronics to operate lighting, temperature control and security systems are also popular.
Consumers are using products that are designed to keep our homes healthier. Green products are designed to be healthier and conserve our limited resources. The use of green products is expected to exceed $12 billion this year, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Products include recycled countertops, renewable bamboo surfaces, and furniture made from recycled automobile seat belts. Rain-water collection tanks and filters for gray water are also being used to conserve water.
The kitchen has always been the center or heart of the home. Kitchen trends for 2007 include adding beauty as well as function to the room. It is the best investment in terms of adding value to your home. Function today is a lot more high-tech than ever before. Chef-quality appliances have found their way into the home. Many kitchens have zones: an area for preparation, a different area for baking, a zone for serving and an area for cleaning. Many kitchens include areas for the kids where there are lower counters with space to do homework and cabinets at kids’ levels for snacks and lunch making. There are kitchens for those who like to entertain — many include beverage zones that have icemakers, wine chillers and coffee/espresso bars.
Designers suggest that kitchen design should be updated but not too trendy so that it stands the test of time. Who can forget the harvest gold and avocado colors that were the trend in the 70s? Stainless steel appliances and natural and man-made stone countertops are good choices that won’t look dated.
Kitchen islands have also become a big trend Some are used for food preparation and others are for entertaining guests. Consider having two levels on an island — this helps hide clutter when cooking/cleaning and keeps guests out of the cook’s way while allowing them to watch.
Cabinets are what define your kitchen’s personality. Darker wood finishes have passed maple in popularity. Furniture-style cabinets are a big trend and new glazing techniques are being used to finish cabinets, especially in the Old World and Tuscan-style kitchens. Glass upper cabinets are very popular. Be careful to install lights and glass shelves so that your items can be seen. Be sure you have beautiful things to display in them and that you have enough closed cabinet space for unsightly items. Frosted and obscure glass is also an option. A focal point of many kitchens is the hearth over the cook center. Metallic tile is a popular option for back-splashes, and hoods are now a big design element. Beyond venting, they include warming lights and filters that can go into the dishwasher for cleaning. Hidden features like spice towers, pop-up appliance shelves and dish caddies that allow you to easily carry dishes to the table or the dishwasher are an appreciated convenience. Many of today’s kitchens have more than one sink — one for food prep and another for cleanup. Many have inserts such as colanders, cutting boards and drying racks.
Technology is part of the 2007 kitchen. Convection ovens convert traditional oven recipes and are quicker and more energy efficient. Some have probes that when inserted into meat tells the oven to stop cooking when the meat is the desired temperature. A new oven can act as a refrigerator, and at the programmed time turns into an oven so that your dinner is done before you arrive home. New dishwashers are available that release soap without having to fill the soap after each use. Dishwashers, microwave ovens and refrigerators now are offered with drawers, which can be customized to meet a family’s needs. Sinks can be equipped with filters for drinking water and a light to let you know when it is time to change the filter.
Heating and cooling are at the top of most consumers’ priority lists. There are new heat pumps that control temperature, humidity, ventilation, air quality and fan speed. These can be controlled from one keypad and each room can be customized to fit the use of the room and the times the room is used. This unit also tells you when it is time to replace the humidifier pads and the air filters.
Hardwood floors are bigger and better than ever. The new floors are easy to install and maintain. Many are pre-sanded and pre-finished at the factory and are tongue and groove that is easy to snap into place. Exotic woods are often being seen including Brazilian cherry, and cork and bamboo are also frequently used.
Garages are not just a place to store the car any longer; they are incorporated into the overall design of the home. It makes sense since they make up 30 percent of the exterior of the home. Wood garage doors are popular and many have the look of an old carriage house. These doors look like they swing open but operate like a standard garage door and have higher-end hardware reminiscent of the carriage house.
Outdoor kitchens are still very popular and resemble the kitchen inside more than ever. They include ovens, stoves, sinks and refrigerators, in addition to the grill.
Another new trend is the spa or Zen master bathroom. Families are bringing the spa home by outfitting their bathrooms with luxuries including jetted showers, foot baths, steam rooms and jetted tubs. They are decorating using the Asian influence with materials that mimic nature such as bamboo, frosted glass and wood.
Flexible floor plans are more popular that ever. Lifestyles are changing and the home design needs to accommodate this. Home theatres, game rooms, libraries, meditation rooms, home management centers and hobby rooms are very popular. Guest quarters remain very popular and outdoor living is still big. In addition to outdoor kitchens, many homeowners are building outdoor entertaining areas that incorporate outdoor theatres and fireplaces.
It is no wonder Americans are spending more time at home. Going home to a gourmet kitchen and spa-like retreat bathroom, add the conveniences of today’s technology, and home-sweet-home resembles a visit to a resort.