At South Shore Millwork, we’ve been working with New England’s best interior designers, architects, and luxury builders to create custom woodwork for homes, businesses, and historical structures for over 20 years. We love being part of inspired residential construction or remodeling projects where we can create unique features that are not only beautiful, but also make homes easier and more pleasant to use. So of course we enjoyed this article in The Atlantic: Cities about the evolution of “custom” home design, and where the industry may be going in the future.
The article follows the progression of supposedly custom homes, from the McMansion boom of the 1990’s, era of the towel warmer and other frivolities, to the current home design climate of smaller houses, in-fill lots, durable and low-maintenance materials, and the recent penchant for porches. AIA’s chief economist, Kermit Baker observes, “I always interpret it as of one of the obvious manifestations of the New Urbanism movement, where there was more outward emphasis on homes integrated into a larger community, homes where people would interact more with their neighbors, going back to small-town living…Rather than isolation and security and safety, where everyone had their own privacy, their own big yard with big fences around it, where they were trying not to interact with others.”
So we’ve gone from the ultra-private McMansion to more community-affirmative housing, from generic “custom” homes designed for resale to truly custom homes designed for a more stationary breed of homeowner, and from sprawling excess to embracing smaller spaces and energy efficiency. Now what?
According to the article, the next design wave will be focused on meeting the needs of aging Baby Boomers. Universal design, or design that is created to meet the needs of users with differing abilities, is already becoming a huge force in the home design world, with more and more architects attempting to create homes that can age with the occupants, rather than requiring massive retro-fitting or a move to a more handicap accessible environment.Baker foresees elevators, first-floor master suites, non-slip flooring and other safety materials, as well as handles and faucets that are easier to use.
Where do you see residential design going in the next 10 years? Do you think we’ll look back on the design trends of the 00’s like we do now on the trends of the 1990’s?
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