Natural Comfort Reigns: Top Six Building And Design Trends

Trends in the 2014 home building arena demonstrate a dynamic mix of convention and innovation. One thing is certain: people are more focused than ever on choosing homes which suit their contemporary living needs and honor the modern family. Read on to learn about six of the top trends happening right now in the world of design and construction.

1. Green Building

More and more people are trying to incorporate "green" features into their living spaces. In doing so, they minimize the carbon footprint of their home, and thus its negative ecological impact. This not only benefits the planet, but also the homeowner when it comes time to sell: buyers are attracted to green homes.

Canada is currently home to more than 1,700 LEED-certified building projects, and the Canada Green Building Council is globally recognized as a leader in sustainability efforts. Amenities such as Energy Star-certified appliances and environmentally-friendly insulation are examples of popular upgrades in today's market.

Of course, in addition to the feel-good aspects of living green, homeowners can enjoy an added benefit: lower utility bills.

2. Log Homes

Log homes and green building go hand in hand. Log homes elementally embrace the concept of going green, and promote a fluid connection with nature.

And today's log homes offer far more than the ones of frontier days. Custom log homes, for example, offer homeowners all of the customized conveniences of modern living in a natural, peaceful setting. You can learn more about this topic and decide if a custom log home is right for you.

3. It's All About Comfort and Convenience

While the 1980s may have been the era of the showroom house, today's homes place the focus on comfort, convenience and livability. Walk-in closets, built-in storage, and other features help make houses suitable for the demands of modern living. 

Not that this involves a sacrifice of form for functionality: the latest trends merge both for a space that is aesthetically pleasing as well as perfectly practical.

4. Flexibility

Gone are the days of the parlor designated just for visiting with guests and the dining room reserved for fancy, child-free occasions. Instead, it's all about the multipurpose living space in 2014. Designed for the modern family on the go, these rooms are similar of yesterday's "great rooms," but with a modern flair, and offer a space for families to come together.

5. Bringing the Indoors Out

People looking to extend their living spaces in 2014 without a huge investment need look no further than their own backyard. This trend includes the creation of luxurious outdoor entertainment areas designed to accommodate everything from intimate gatherings to boisterous bashes. 

These rooms typically feature cooking appliances, seating options for dining and relaxing, and hearth products which help extend the season beyond the summer months.

Today's advanced materials hold up better to extreme weather conditions, so look for bright, durable, weatherproof fabrics to adorn your space.

6. Gourmet Kitchens

But outdoor living spaces are by no means a replacement for the traditional kitchen. In fact, 2014 sees a greater focus on kitchen — particularly to accommodate the epicurean specialties seen on cooking shows and sites that are being recreated in homes across Canada. 

These gracious kitchens include high-end appliances designed to meet the needs of the sophisticated home chef, as well as gathering friends and family members.

As with many of the other recent trends, larger kitchens also help carve out time and space for families who may be separated due to busy work, school and extracurricular activities.

While not all of these trends may apply to your particular life or situation, adopting one, two or more can improve both your living space, as well as your overall quality of life.