Check out this guest post about this year’s home design trends and how they have been impacted by the recent housing crisis contributed by Lucy Massey, on behalf of Empire Today. Thanks so much Lucy!
The housing crisis continues to impact us and has profoundly affected home design. Home design trends for 2012 reflect the changing lifestyles of today’s homeowners. While homes are shrinking in size, they are also becoming more livable, more energy efficient, and more accessible.
Before looking at the actual home design trends for 2012, let’s look at how Americans are living in the post-Great Recession era. Many young adults, with heavy student debt loads and poor job prospects, choose to live with their parents longer. Meanwhile, elderly parents are moving in with their grown children. Multigenerational living requires home designs featuring privacy, functional living spaces, and accessibility features. In addition, the economy and environmental concerns have made consumers more aware of energy consumption, resulting in an increased emphasis on sustainable building materials and energy efficient designs. Because the housing market continues to struggle, many homeowners cannot sell their homes despite their growing or multigenerational families. These factors contribute to the latest home design and remodeling trends.
Lori Gilder is an architectural interior designer based in Los Angeles with a great blog (check it out at www.diaryofarenovation.com).
I came across one of her videos detailing which home renovations give you the biggest ROI. In her opinion, the areas worth targeting are the deck, kitchen, and bathroom. Since we published our “5 Lighting Renovations That Will Help Sell Your Home” post recently, I thought it’d be a great follow-up from an interior design expert:
Get ready for some unbelievable before and after pictures.
Today’s post features a kitchen remodeling project from Rob’s Remodeling, Inc. After talking with Rob on the phone, I wished I lived closer to Northbrook, IL (where Rob’s Remodeling, Inc. is based) so I could hire him for any future remodeling projects I might have. He’s the nicest guy, and he’s clearly passionate about doing quality work. “I don’t do this for the money,” he told me. “I just love what I do.”
Rob says he uses Pegasus Lighting products whenever he can. His favorite under cabinet lighting fixture is the Xenon Triangle Light, and he is a perfectionist about making sure clients cannot see any wires once they’re installed. Best of all, he’s as big of a fan of under cabinet lighting as we are: “When I talk someone into doing under cabinet lighting,” he said, “it’s the difference between a good kitchen and a kickass kitchen.”
Without further ado, here are the pictures of a recent kitchen remodeling project Rob completed for a client.
I was taking a look at our five most popular blog posts of 2011, and I was surprised to find that every single one of them was some type of “how-to”:
1. How to Layout Recessed Lighting in 4 Steps: This one was inspired by a question we received on Twitter. It will guide you through finding a focal point, dividing up your room, and mapping out exactly where your recessed lights should go.
2. How to Choose Under Cabinet Lighting: Under cabinet lighting fixtures are some of our top-selling products. This post discusses the different features available and helps you select the perfect light fixture for your space.
3. Planning Your Kitchen Lighting – 8 Easy Steps: Written for those involved in either a new construction project or a remodeling project that will start from scratch, this post builds your kitchen lighting from top to bottom, walking you through each step.
Sometimes, it’s best to let photos speak for themselves.
Take a look at this kitchen. See the newly installed under cabinet lights nestled discreetly underneath those cabinets? If you can barely spot them, it’s because our LED under cabinet lights are incredibly low profile.
The following photos show the kitchen with the under cabinet lights turned off. For all intensive purposes, consider these the “before” photos:
The winning projects of the 2011 National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Design Competition were announced last month.
The award winners typically reflect common design themes. This year, many of the projects used natural elements in design, strong colors, a variety of textures, and detailed ceilings to create a well-designed space. Chocolate and espresso were popular hues for cabinetry. Also, there seems to be a trend toward tiered proportions through overlapping heights in island surfaces, countertops, and cabinets (See photo to the right).
Read on for more photos of some of the design winners!
Every year, designers from the National Kitchen & Bath Association gather to report the trends they are seeing in current projects and predict styles for the rest of the year.
It’s essentially a forecast for the remodeling industry! Here are the kitchen trends straight from the NKBA survey:
- Dark natural finishes in countertops, cabinets, etc.
- “Shaker style” kitchens. Named after the religious sect known for their prominence in New England in the late 1700s, Shaker kitchens are based on the premise of simplicity. Cabinets look clean, simple, and sturdy; and are typically recessed panel doors accented with simple hardware. Shaker kitchens have a good deal of storage space to minimize clutter on countertops.Wood floors with rustic grains/color variations also create the old-fashioned look. The move back to Shaker-style kitchens indicates that ornate looks (think Tuscan, French country styles) are fading away. Why? Designers say this stems from a desire to think about resale value. Apparently, the simple look is more marketable to future buyers.
If you are about to embark on a kitchen remodel and are installing under cabinet lights, follow these guidelines to determine how many fixtures you should purchase.
First, measure the length of the “cavity” under your cabinet where you are going to place the fixtures.
If you are installing puck lights…
For a 6-10 inch cavity measurement (in length), use 1 puck light.
For 11-18 inches, use 2-3 puck lights. For 19-26 inches, use 3-4 puck lights. For 27-34 inches, use 4-5 puck lights. For 35-42 inches, use 5-7 puck lights. For 43-50 inches, use 6-8 puck lights.
Our lighting roundups feature recaps of the latest news, tips and trends in the industry.
Our goal is to provide an easily accessible source for you to stay informed, so the snippets are designed for quick reading. If we’re not writing about something you’d like to see, we’d love to hear from you!
In lighting news…
The Wall Street Journal reported that mid-range kitchen remodels offer higher return on resale than upscale kitchen remodels. If you’re sticking to a budget, stay away from ultra-trendy style choices to increase your resale value. Also, check out this article on how to heat up buyer interest.
Can green construction beat the building blues? We hope so. This article from Reuters discusses the 2-year construction market slump and whether green building trend will jumpstart the industry again.
Cree made history on January 27: They developed the first LED A-lamp that is equivalent in performance to a 60-watt standard incandescent bulb, meeting ENERGY STAR requirements. Exciting!