2019 Architecture Trends: What to Expect This Year

When you think about architecture, you might imagine the timeless columns of a Grecian revival or the clean lines of a mid-century modern home. But for every classic architecture style, there are a few that didn’t quite weather the test of time. It’s why you can sometimes tell exactly when a home was built based on its architectural style alone (looking at you, 1990s ranch). The trick to transitioning from trend to style staple is choosing one or two of the elements from the style you love for your home. Resist the urge to pile all of the trends into one space. Instead, check out some of our favorite 2019 architecture trends to see which features you’d choose.

Monochromatic living room with large TV

Smart homes should blend tech with design. Image: Jodie Johnson/Shutterstock

Hidden tech

Smart homes are nothing new in the world of tech and design, but architects are learning to be sneakier about it. Today, technology exists as part of the home’s design instead of being its main feature. Building smart outlets or speakers directly into the home means you get all the tech you love without tripping over wires. It’s also important that tech is seen as a seamless part of life, rather than an add-on. Expect to see even more solutions to keep tech hidden, yet totally functional.

Living room and home office

Flex design allows homeowners to create what works for them. Image: SeventyFour/Shutterstock

Flex design

No two families are exactly alike, so why are so many floorplans the same? The idea of flexible design is one of those 2019 architecture trends we can really get behind. After all, it just makes sense that designers would start to see that different families have different ways of doing things. The result is a flexible approach to design that leaves the details up to the homeowners. Creating rooms that pull double duty (a combination guest room and office, anyone?) or getting rid of formal, less-used spaces (bye, formal dining room!) means architects can create homes where every inch is optimized for each family.

Modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances

Reclaimed wood and energy efficient appliances make a home more sustainable. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

Sustainability

Designing for sustainability isn’t anything new on the architecture scene, but the solutions architects are using are so 2019. Sustainability isn’t just about using energy-rated appliances and a few solar panels, but really considering the impact building has on the environment. With that in mind, more designers are turning to locally sourced, sustainable building materials to get started. Sustainability is being built right into the walls with more efficient fixtures and even indoor green spaces. You might not even know that your architect is a stickler for sustainability because great designers simply make it a seamless part of your build.

Tiny home in the mountains

Homes are getting smaller by choice. Image: Ariel Celeste Photography/Shutterstock

 Smaller scale

Just a decade ago, size really mattered most when designing a home. It was all about how much square footage you could get, which is why the real estate market is packed with 1990 and early 2000 “McMansions.” These are usually homes that, while large, are often cheaply finished or cursed with small lots. It’s interesting to note that one of the most common 2019 architecture trends is choosing to build smaller. It’s not always a question of budget; homeowners are simply choosing to create smaller footprints. Not only does this leave more outdoor space, but it means easier upkeep and less maintenance. It also allows homeowners to invest in good-quality finishes and furnishings so their smaller home stands the test of time.

Modern home with hardwood stairs

Open concept homes can be divided with features like stairs. Image: korisbo/Shutterstock

Segmented spaces

We all know that the open concept home has been the gold standard for the last 10 years. After decades of small, specific rooms, American families are choosing spaces that allow more room and fewer labels. But while open concept offers the most room to roam, it still has a few issues. There can be such a thing as too much openness in a home, so architects have had to learn to create defined spaces without using walls. Segmented spaces, which use architectural features like sunken rooms, varying ceiling heights and other features help to divvy up the space while keeping it open.

Backyard deck with living area

Well-planned outdoor spaces are like an extension of your home. Image: Artazum/Shutterstock

Outdoor living

The backyard isn’t an afterthought anymore. More architects are taking the time to design the outdoor living space as much as the indoor. Whether it’s space for a backyard barbecue, a sunny pool oasis or even just a kid’s paradise, expect to see more outdoor design in 2019. As architects consider the way families live and use their homes, it’s more apparent that outside is just as important as inside. Design a smart outdoor space and you’ll increase your home’s size without increasing square footage. What’s more, planning for outdoor space as part of the design and build means more efficient budgeting.

Modern black and white farmhouse

Modern farmhouse is 2019’s most popular trend. Image courtesy of Curtis Design Group.

Modern farmhouse

For the last couple of years, the farmhouse has reigned supreme as the top trend. Homeowners love the comfortable warmth and architectural interest farmhouse design brings to the table. But there were a few drawbacks, including the risk of becoming cluttered and kitschy. That’s why we’re not surprised to see modern farmhouse take over the list of 2019 architecture trends. It takes what everyone loves about farmhouse design (warmth, character) but uses clean lines and architecture to ensure it doesn’t become clunky and cluttered. It’s a perfect marriage of two design styles to create something as functional as it is beautiful — and we’re here for it.

Using every possible trend in your home is what could push your design out of the “timeless” category. Instead, choose two or three trends that you’d like your architect to incorporate and then allow him or her to work magic on your design. When done well, your 2019 home can stand the test of time and always look totally on trend.

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Pocket Neighborhoods: Why Small Developments are The Next Big Thing

It was writer Howard E. Koch who mused, “You can be a good neighbor only if you have good neighbors.” Of course, you don’t get to choose the people who live around you. Still, a new type of development can help limit the chances of living next to a dud. Pocket neighborhoods are small developments of 12 houses or fewer that are specifically designed to encourage neighborly interaction. By structuring the development around common areas and purposefully keeping homes on the small side, these little neighborhoods can have big benefits. Before you consider whether or not a pocket neighborhood is right for you, get to know the next big idea in small developments.

Neighborhood with similar houses

Pocket neighborhoods offer shared amenities. Image: Konstantin L/Shutterstock

The Basics

The idea of these smaller neighborhoods was actually the brainchild of renowned architect Ross Chapin. His idea was to create smaller patches of housing that encouraged neighbors to interact with one another. And, since he hailed from California, it makes sense that he would crave less populated areas where neighbors had more day-to-day dealings. The idea caught on; today, there are hundreds of pocket neighborhoods all over the country.

The idea behind a pocket neighborhood is to create a central meeting place or shared space that encourages the neighbors to socialize. That’s also the idea behind the magic number of homes: 12. Chapin suggested that it was the ideal number of homes for a smaller neighborhood. By limiting the homes, it’s easier for neighbors to get to know one another on a personal level. It’s interesting to note, however, that several pocket developments can be linked together in one larger development. Each neighborhood would still be limited to 12 homes and still center around a shared space.

Neighborhood homes with gardens

Gardens and walkways create a sense of community. Image: Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock

Why Cities Love Them

Larger cities love the idea of pocket neighborhoods for a few specific reasons. First, they can really use up forgotten space between commercial and residential areas. Second, they’re typically well-kept and can increase property values in and around the development. They may even be used to split too-large lots that are a hard sell for a homeowner or developer. While pocket neighborhoods might not be subject to the same covenants and restrictions as typical housing, they’re usually designed by a competent architect who knows how to make neighborhoods desirable.

Pocket neighborhoods are also a great alternative to other types of multi-family housing. Rather than apartments or townhouses, they offer the privacy of a single-family home with the amenities of a townhome or apartment development. Single-family homes are nearly always a better investment for cities — and homeowners, for that matter.

Neighborhood walking paths

Homeowners love the amenities without the upkeep. Image: Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock

Why Homeowners Love Them

Homeowners really reap the benefits of pocket neighborhoods. The amenities designed to bring neighbors together are often those they might not be able to afford in a single-family situation. Think clubhouses with a pool, gazebos and parks, shared garages or storage units and, in some cases, even guest housing. It’s a great option for families that need amenities but might not require full-sized ones or the use of them year-round. Usually, a homeowner’s association takes on the care and upkeep of amenities, freeing up time and money.

Of course, there’s something to be said about the neighborly aspect of pocket neighborhoods. Sharing amenities creates a natural excuse to get out and get to know the people who live around you. If you’re missing that in your current home or neighborhood, this might be an option you’ll love. What’s more, you’ll score interesting architecture and a desirable location that doesn’t cost as much as single-family housing. Both the smaller sizes of the home and the shared spaces keep prices much lower than traditional development methods.

Pocket neighborhoods are just the latest in thinking outside the box when it comes to architecture. With urban sprawl making its way through the country, more and more families are looking for alternatives to expensive zip codes and large, pricey homes. The neighborly aspect of a pocket development is just the cherry on top. Just like Koch says, these developments can make for good neighbors.

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No Fireplace? No Problem. 10 Ways to Create a Focal Point

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The American ideal of the cozy living room with a roaring fireplace is often easier said than done. Less traditional spaces, climate and home size might sway you away from planning your space around a large fireplace. Still, even if you don’t miss a fireplace for warmth, it does make design a no-brainer. Fireplaces almost always become the focal point of a room, making it easier to anchor the rest of the room’s decor. If you’re fireplace-free, how do you make a room stand out?

There are plenty of ways to anchor rooms without the upfront expense and ongoing cost of a fireplace. Whether you’re just renting or you’re opting out of a traditional space, check out some of these focal points to draw the eye and simplify the rest of your interior design.

Accent wallpaper

Living room with accent wallpaper

Accent wallpaper gives a room more interest. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

It’s true: fireplaces are a handy spot to break up large expanses of boring walls. But you can pull the same look off with textured or patterned wallpaper. Choose the wall with the most visual impact as you walk into the room. Then, use a bold, graphic paper to draw the eye and anchor other elements like furniture, lighting and artwork. This is especially useful if you’re a renter since today’s wallpapers are easy to install and remove.

Framing windows

Living room with large windows

Center a room around large picture windows. Image: PlusONE/Shutterstock

Stop thinking of windows as room accents and, instead, think of them as room features. Cool casings and gorgeous grids look great on display, so try grouping your furniture around a couple of windows. You’ll create a cozy nook with the best view in the house.

Gallery walls

Modern living room with gallery wall

Hang art as your home’s focal point. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

Fireplaces are a natural place to hang art or prop up your favorite mementos, but you don’t need a mantel to show off your stuff. Create a gallery wall using similar size parameters as a fireplace. Mix up the mediums by hanging art, things you’ve picked up on vacation, wood signs and even framed tickets or maps. Grouped together, your stuff makes a bigger visual impact and can act as an anchor point for your furniture.

Going graphic

Colorful living room with large art

A graphic painting anchors the room. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

More of a minimalist? One large, impactful piece of artwork can give you all the character you need in a fireplace-free home. Look for oversized works that pull in colors from the rest of your place. Use art as a tie-in to other rooms and decor in your home. Or, mix it up by playing with opposites. Try a large, graphic print in a home with bohemian flair or a colorful, delicate piece in an otherwise neutral palette.

Dramatic lighting

Modern living room with accent lighting

Interesting lighting draws the eye up. Image: Marko Poplasen/Shutterstock

If you’re on a tight budget, you might be left scratching your head. But lighting is often overlooked as a main focal point, simply because most people think of lighting as an accent only. Lighting can be an inexpensive way to direct focus in a room. Choosing a large, overhanging lamp can center a room, while an antique lamp on a table creates a cozy focal spot. For under $100, your room can take on an entirely new look based on where you direct the light.

Built-ins and storage

Living room with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves

Bookshelves mimic the shape and size of a fireplace. Image: alexandre zveiger/Shutterstock

If you’re lucky enough to have a wall of built-ins, you can use that as a stand-in for a large fireplace. Books and wood offer a great alternative to the warmth and texture of a fireplace. Still, even if you’re working with a bare wall, you can mimic the look of built-in shelving using storage units of the same color. Configure taller units at the end and a low, long unit in between to fill the space and give it a custom look.

Mirror, mirror

Living room with large mirror

Use an oversized mirror to expand the space and create a focal point. Image: Basileus/Shutterstock

Mirrors are a simple way to draw focus and make a room look much bigger than it is. The trick to choosing a mirror for your focal point is to be intentional. Instead of a builder grade mirror from the hardware store, look for mirrors with interesting frames from estate sales and antique stores. And remember that mirrors always look smaller when you put them in a space, so go larger than you think you need.

Urban jungle

Living room with houseplants

Bring plants in for a pop of color. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

If you love an organic look, use plants as your room’s main focal feature. It’s a great way to pull in color and texture without permanence. Try pulling focus by grouping plants of different heights together. Use pots and pedestals to change up the heights until you get it just right and can ensure each plant gets the sun it prefers.

Ceiling treatments

Minimalist living room

A cool ceiling treatment gives the eye somewhere to look. Image: solepsizm/Shutterstock

Not sure where to create a focal point? Look up! Your ceiling can become the main focus of your room with a cool ceiling treatment. Simply painting the ceiling an unexpected color like navy blue pulls the eye like a magnet. This is especially helpful if the room is otherwise kind of architecturally awkward. You could also install paneling or slide in some faux beams to recenter the room and give it more interest.

Go faux

Faux fireplace filled with candles

Fill in a non-functional fireplace. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

If you really miss the idea of a fireplace but can’t have one for whatever reason, try going for a faux fireplace. You can check thrift stores for mantels and surrounds that simply prop up against bare walls. Then, stack the interior of the “fireplace” with pillar candles, driftwood or even firewood remnants. You won’t get the crackle of a traditional fireplace, but you’ll still get every bit of the warmth.

There are plenty of reasons a homeowner might opt out of a traditional fireplace setup. There’s something to be said, however, for creating a cozy focal point in the main room of your home. Think beyond the traditional layout and you’ll be able to draw guests in without lighting a fire.

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Sneaky Sustainability: 7 Ways to Design a More Efficient Home

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If you’re interested in building a more sustainable, eco-friendly home, you probably already know most of the basics: installing solar panels for power, opting for water-saving fixtures in the bathroom, you know the drill. But while that takes care of some of the biggest uses of power and water, you might be overlooking some of the smaller factors. Fixtures, solar panels and sustainable landscaping can definitely reduce your environmental impact, but the very design of your home could help you shrink that impact even more. Some of the smartest ways to increase sustainability might actually be the sum of a few small changes to your home’s design. Consider these sneaky sustainability hacks for a more energy efficient home.

A two-story home is often more energy efficient. Image: Omni Customs

1. Size Matters

It’s no secret that a smaller home is typically more energy efficient than a larger one. But it might not be just the size of the home, but how you use it. Consider two homes of the same square footage: one is 2,000 square feet on one level and the other is two levels, with 1,000 square feet on each. Which is the more efficient home? Stacking your square footage is almost always more energy efficient than a sprawling space, which costs more to heat and power.

Think about how much space you need and how it can be configured for energy savings. If you can get everything you want in a smaller, more compact footprint, it’ll be more sustainable in the long run.

2. Think Passive

Your mother-in-law might be passive aggressive, but an energy efficient home should be just plain passive. Passive design means creating a home that can basically take care of itself. When your home is designed so that it takes in the most sunlight during the winter, you can spend less on heating. The same home can offer shades to draw against hot summer sun, or windows that are situated for a cool breeze. Think of the ways you can decrease your home’s energy expenditure simply by where it sits on your lot or its layout.

Modern home with landscaping

Think about shade trees to keep your home cool. Image: 186 Lighting Design

3. Smart Landscaping

When talking about landscaping for sustainability, you’re usually referring to plants and grass that naturally do well in your home’s climate. It’s definitely a great way to save money on water and energy, but you can also use landscaping for even more sneaky sustainability. Simply plantings trees so they provide your home with natural shade and coverage helps you save on energy costs. Choose a leafy deciduous for hotter climates and you won’t need to crank up your A/C. Just make sure you plant trees where they’ll block sun in the summer, yet allow the sun to keep your home warmer in the winter.

4. Reclaim and Recycle

Building a home isn’t always the most eco-friendly way to procure a place to live. Even if you’re designing for a sustainable space, having new materials manufactured and delivered to your building lot requires a lot of energy. Thinking about how you source various materials can help you lessen the environmental burden. Choosing materials that are recycled or reclaimed from other projects reduces your environmental impact while giving every inch of your home more character. You can check with local builders, scour online classifieds and even check out demo projects to see if you can find solid materials with life left in them. If not, choose materials created from recycled goods whenever your contractors offer the option. Your environmental footprint will thank you for it.

Living room with large windows

Opt for natural light whenever possible. Image: Art of Architecture

5. Let in the Light

Indoor lighting can definitely drain you when it comes to energy costs. Besides a hefty electric bill, you’re also left with the burden of buying and swapping out bulbs. Instead, ask your architect to design your home for optimal natural lighting. It’s not just a question of installing windows, but utilizing your home’s orientation to make sure you get more light without sacrificing heating or cooling.

You can also sneak in sustainability by opting for LED fixtures and bulbs. Don’t worry about sacrificing ambiance: new-school LED bulbs can cast a natural, warm light. They’ll be more expensive up front but last much longer than traditional bulbs. What’s more, they’re cheaper to use because they consume less electricity.

6. Home Automation

Making your home a smart home can seem like an unnecessary expense. If your goal is a more efficient space, however, you might want to rethink technology’s role. Home automation puts some of your home’s energy-wasting processes on autopilot. The result? A more efficient home that adjusts itself when necessary. A smart thermostat can adjust the temperature based on when you spend time at home. Smart blinds can close themselves to block out hot sun in the middle of the day. Home automation isn’t just about convenience. It can create a space that is hyper-efficient and easy on your wallet.

Bright modern kitchen

Utilize organization for smaller, smarter spaces. Image: Tim Moss

7. Organization Solutions

An organized home means everything has a place. And when everything has a place, you can use less space storing your stuff. Smart organization solutions allow you to reduce the size of your home and storage space so you make less of an environmental impact. Whether it’s installing outlets in some of your most-used cupboards and drawers or building shelves into tight corners, think about organization from a sustainability point of view. Shelving, cabinets, attic spaces and closets can be retooled so they take up less room and store more stuff for a more efficient home.

When designing a more sustainable home, it’s important to think about how you’ll live in the space. Solar panels and energy-efficient appliances are great, but day-to-day sustainability might come from a smaller master bedroom or better kitchen windows. By working with your architect, you can design a space that is beautiful, functional and energy efficient.

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Cheap Tricks: 10 Inexpensive Design Elements to Upgrade Your Home

Whether you’re building a new home or you’re looking to upgrade your space, you’ll find that little luxuries can add up. What might seem like a few bucks here and an upgrade there can totally blow your budget, especially if you have Versailles taste on a suburban budget. But you shouldn’t have to spend a ton to make your home look higher end. Stretching each dollar and knowing where to spend gives you the most bang for your buck. Try some of these inexpensive tricks to make your home look more luxurious without totally breaking the bank.

1. Install Woodwork

Wood panels warm up basic spaces. Image: Seavey Builders

Custom woodwork usually carries a hefty price tag. Still, if you use it judiciously, just a few accents can have a huge impact on the final product. Installing molding panels on one accent wall, for instance, can change the whole look of a room. By the same token, a well-placed chair rail can completely transform a room from cheap to choice.

2. Consider Built-Ins

Built-in shelves give a custom look. Image: Scheinholtz & Associates

Bookshelves and nooks make a home look more custom, and a custom home looks more expensive. Custom elements are always cheaper to install during a build, so ask your contractor to build in a few bookcases, some shelving or niches. If you’re renovating, you can mimic the look of built-ins by placing bookshelves alongside an entertainment center or beside your bed.

3. Add a Backsplash

Tiled bathroom

Use subway tile in unexpected places. Image: Distinctive Remodeling

Dollar for dollar, backsplashes are one of the cheapest ways to make a big impact in your home. They add color and texture on the cheap for a quick weekend project. The trick to ensuring your backsplash looks expensive is to choose a medium-sized tile in a classic shape, like subway tile.

Think outside the kitchen when it comes to installing backsplashes. They look equally elegant in bathrooms, mudrooms and even as an accent on neutral furniture.

4. Create a Palette

Light blue and white kitchen

Carry a color theme throughout the home. Image: Cottage Home Company

Your home is a reflection of your personality, so it can be tempting to make your mark using different colors in each room. But while different bright colors and patterns in every room is a fun way to decorate, it doesn’t exactly scream luxury. Creating a consistent color palette throughout your entire home will sustain flow from room to room for a more expensive look. The bright side? You’ll save on buying paint in bulk!

5. Tone it Down

Neutral room with pop of orange

Use accessories to color your home. Image: Fiorella Design

While deciding on a color palette for your entire home, consider going with a neutral theme. It might not be the most exciting choice, but neutrals always look classic and expensive in a home. Don’t worry, you can always add color with textiles and accessories. It’s impossible to get bored with neutrals when you have endless decor possibilities. Just think of your neutral walls and furniture as a backdrop and accessories as your splashes of color and personality.

6. Mix Metallics

Transitional living room

Mixed metallics easily add style. Image: Duet Design Group

You may have heard that matching metallics and finishes when decorating is practically the Golden Rule of design. But mixing up your finishes can give your home a custom, elegant look by directing focus. Give your most eye-catching fixtures more attention by choosing them in a different metallic than the other fixtures in your home. An elegant gold faucet will have more of a luxurious design impact if most of your other fixtures are silver.

7. Upgrade Lighting

Kitchen with wood paneled ceiling

Upgraded lighting makes a big impact. Image: Jennifer Gilmer

If you have a little room in your budget for upgrades and are wondering where to spend it, go for lighting. It’ll be one of the more inexpensive items on the upgrade list (especially when compared to things like cabinetry and flooring) and can make a huge visual impact. When your light fixtures are luxurious, chances are your guests will assume the rest of your home has high-end finishes, too.

8. Frame Your Mirrors

Kitchen with wood paneled ceiling

Disguise builder-grade mirrors with frames. Image: Workroom C

Builder-grade mirrors are notoriously basic. That’s because buyers usually focus their upgrade dollars elsewhere, leaving inexpensive but boring plate mirrors that lack style and substance. Luckily, framing mirrors is an easy project that gives your home plenty of character. You can even have your hardware store cut lumber to size so all you need to do is stain and install.

9. Emphasize Texture

Bedroom with textured wallpaper

Textured paper adds luxury without looking inexpensive over time. Image: Heather Hilliard

Something you’ll notice in high-end houses is the emphasis on texture over pattern and color. That’s because luxury builders know that while trendy patterns come and go, high-end texture is always in style. If there’s anything that the chevron craze of 2013 taught us, it’s that what was popular one year can be mass-produced and common the next.

Opt for textured wallpaper instead of patterned or decorate with neutral, textured throw pillows to warm up a room. You’ll be co-opting a high-end look without spending more than necessary.

10. Rest Your Eyes

Bedroom with textured wallpaper

Leave empty space for a clean, elegant look. Image: Wyckoff Heating and Cooling

One of the best-kept secrets in high-end homes is the principle of “resting the eye.” Designing every inch of your space so that it’s bursting with accessories, texture or intricate pattern can make even the most expensive home look cheap. Therefore, make sure your eyes have somewhere to rest. Whether it’s a warm, neutral wall, a simple piece of furniture or an uncluttered shelf, less-decorated spaces give the eye relief (and are inexpensive to create). Overdecorating is a rookie mistake, especially when you want an upscale look. Make sure you’re not adding too much of a good thing.

Choosing a few upgrades and adding in luxurious design elements might require a little more creativity, but it doesn’t have to break the bank, either. They say you can’t buy good taste, and that’s a good thing. It means any budget has room for style.

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Aging Gracefully: Timeless Design for a Classic Home

Trends may come and go, but taste is forever. When designing your own home, it’s tempting to take an “everything but the kitchen sink” attitude. There are so many exciting features and fun trends to inspire your build! But before getting whisked away on the trend train, you need to remember that today’s trend is tomorrow’s dated. It’s better to take a classic approach to designing and building your own home. That way, you can incorporate trends without letting them take over. Aging gracefully isn’t just for skin care and fashion; the same ideas can be applied to home design. Take these factors into consideration to create a timeless design for your home.

timeless design arched windows

Co-opt classic timeless design elements like arched windows. Image: Phoebe Howard

Blast from the past

There’s a reason some architectural styles have been popular for centuries. By incorporating some of these classical design styles, you’ll be sure your home will age gracefully. Ask for Greek elements by incorporating columns, or embrace French style with arched windows. Work with your architect to bring historical elements into a fresh perspective. Borrowing from the past means a chic, tasteful future for your home.

timeless design cabinets

Simple cabinets always look classic. Image: RLH Studio

Keep it simple

Clean lines and simple layouts keep your home fresh for years to come. Think about it: Yesterday’s smaller rooms seem outdated when compared to today’s open concept layouts. That’s because homes designed around specific purposes and trends fall victim to time. What worked five or 10 years ago might seem stale today. That’s why simple design and clean lines work best. After all, it’s much easier to paint over simple woodwork than to replace ornate and outdated cabinets. In design, less is more for aging gracefully.

timeless design functional

Let function be your guide for a well-designed home. Image: Dreamhouse Studios

Function over form

An architect worth their salt will be able to tell you that form should always follow function. That means you should focus on the function of your home before you start thinking about aesthetics. Sure, you might have always dreamed of a hacienda-style place, but timeless design focuses on the purpose of the home first. Talk to your designer about the way you live, work and entertain. Nail down the specifics of your home’s function first and you’ll find that its form will better stand the test of time.

timeless design neutrals

Neutral backgrounds keep your home current. Image: D2 Interieurs

Neutral backgrounds

A surefire way to make your home look dated is to use the color du jour for the walls. Sure, it’s popular now, but will it always look as fresh and current? Just five years ago, coral was the “it” color for new homes, but gray has been more popular in years since. In fact, we’d be willing to bet that there have been more than a few coral cover-up jobs since then. By using neutral colors as a backdrop for your home, you can easily swap in colorful, trendy accents. Commit to neutrals as your safe choice and you won’t feel guilty for a fleeting love of plaid or paisley.

timeless design wallpaper

Textured wallpaper adds character in a classic way. Image: Soledad Builders

Texture over pattern

One of the simplest ways to ensure your home ages gracefully is to decorate with texture rather than pattern. Patterns are one of the quickest elements to go in and out of style. Palm print might be huge this year, but next year it will be something else entirely. Instead of, say, plastering your wall with palm wallpaper, it’s better to opt for a rich textured paper instead. Texture adds just as much personality and depth as print, but it’s much less prone to trendiness. A jute wallpaper is just as breezy as palm print, and you won’t have to change it when something else becomes popular.

timeless design natural materials

Natural materials age better than synthetics. Image: Building Ideas

Durable materials

Architectural design is only part of the equation for a timeless exterior. The materials you use can definitely factor into how your home ages. The rule of thumb is to use durable, natural materials for a timeless home. Vinyl or aluminum may be cheaper, but materials like wood, brick and stone are higher quality. You may find it’s better to design and build a smaller home with durable materials than a larger one using less expensive materials. The first will always look current and the second can cycle in and out of style – and cost money to maintain and repair.

Think about all the trends your mom used to decorate. They seem hopelessly outdated today, right? Designing and building a custom home means taking every component into consideration. Choosing finishes, fixtures and elements that are simple and classic will always serve you well. Skip the flash-in-a-pan design and you’ll have a home with timeless design that looks fresh and classic – no matter its age.

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