Winning trends at NAHB's Best in American Living Awards include layering of white on white in kitchens, bathrooms; bold exterior colors; interior courtyards; amenities such as dog pools, green walls; specialty lighting; dual master baths
February 6, 2014
– The winners of the Best in American Living Awards (BALA) demonstrate that they are at the forefront of innovative design and are also a preview of design trends home buyers will see over the next several years, according to the judges who reviewed the entries in the annual competition of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Ninety-two single-family homes, apartments and condos, remodeling projects and subdivisions were honored at a gala dinner Wednesday, Feb. 5 during the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.
“The BALA winners always redefine excellence for the home building industry,” said 2013 BALA Judge Chairman Victor Mirontschuk, president of EDI International in New York City. “We are proud to recognize these companies and individuals for their creative and distinctive approaches to their work.”
Some of the trends seen in the winners include:
White on White: Cabinets, flooring, backsplashes, counters, fixtures and appliances are beginning to lighten up. Layering white on top of white is a new approach in many kitchens and bathrooms that is giving way to a fresh and light feeling. To achieve clean lines and a modern feel, designers and builders are selecting European cabinetry, adding shiny surfaces via appliance, backsplash and countertop choices, and incorporating glass walls.
Bold Exterior Colors: Bold colors are making their way to the exterior of homes. Whether it’s through paint, a mix of cladding materials, doors, windows, porches, shutters or trim, an extra layer of drama is being adding to the design of elevations, further enhancing curb appeal.
Interior Courtyards: Interior courtyards are popular in all housing types right now, including single-family homes, multifamily complexes and within communities. The primary difference is scale. Gardens are popular with home owners and often occupy community courtyards, while multifamily projects use interior courtyards to showcase private amenities such as pools and fire pits. Within single-family homes, courtyards provide private and safe outdoor living areas and are being shifted to side yards.
Out-of-the-Box Amenities: Both single-family and multifamily communities and multifamily projects are being designed fully loaded, with over-the-top amenities that appeal to home buyers. Residents want to feel as though they are living in a 4-star hotel, so builders and developers are offering features such as communal kitchens for cooking classes, pools with added wow factors such as a lazy river, a pool for dogs, electric car charging stations, spas, dog parks, concierge services, green walls and great outdoor spaces.
Specialty Lighting: Specialty pendants and fixtures are “lighting it up” this year. Regardless of whether it involves a custom or a stock fixture, designers are finding ways to showcase them as pieces of art rather than just a functional element. Lighting is being paired with wood ceiling details to further enhance the room’s design and create a feeling of warmth.
Historic Style with Modern Flair: New or remodeled homes, whether they are Craftsman, Prairie, Mid-Century Modern or another historic architectural style, are adding modern flair to their traditional designs through color, finish, fixture and lighting selection, while continuing to be influenced by the past through the use of reclaimed building materials and classic proportions and detailing.
Blurring the Lines between Inside and Out: Lines continue to be blurred between the inside and outside of homes. No longer limited to areas with warmer climates, this is being seen all across the country. Both production and custom homes have moveable glass walls, gourmet outdoor kitchens and interior courtyard pools, adding more everyday living space.
Dual Master Baths: Dual master baths are all the rage. They are glamorous, yet extremely functional. Surprisingly, this can be achieved even in a smaller space, while remaining simple, functional and clean. Dual baths often have a shared shower and continue to feature fixtures, colors and finishes with a spa-like feel.