The family home

Leading architects are starting to see not just in design in itself, but reflective also in music and culture, that people are trying to be more optimistic.



Leading architects are starting to see not just in design in itself, but reflective also in music and culture, that people are trying to be more optimistic. We see this in colour trends, where colours have moved from a neutral, earthy palette to more invigorating, vibrant colours, those that really catch your eye and instill excitement into the space.



Michelle Workman, the woman behind the designs that have graced celebrity home, points out the link to the economy. "I think that interiors can be a way to uplift someone’s spirit, and we kind of need that right now. If you can change something about your interior to make it happier and brighter, do it."



Even if you’re doing fine, your friends may not be -- and that’s a chance to help uplift them. In the depression there were a lot of drab, boring colours. Brown and grey were huge and these were the standard colours being used in interiors at that time. Only when we started to come out of that did coluor become in vogue.





"Everybody has something about them that is happy, lively, and good. Even the most miserable people have something about them, and that’s what their home should express. The easiest and cheapest way that designers suggest: Paint. Whether it’s an accent wall or an entire room - get some colour into your home!"



Make no mistake, designers have discovered that people do, in fact, live in homes. The desire for the “McMansion,” with its unused space and constant competition with the Joneses, has gone the way of the formal dining room. Residential spaces are being designed to fit the needs of the families living in them, rather than sitting as an abstract symbol of what one is supposed to own in our culture.



Houses are becoming smaller, more efficient, and geared toward the people who reside within them; homes are becoming more open and flexible floor plans with wider doorways, main floor master suites and user-friendly kitchens and bathrooms, is a new trend. Today's modern home is being designed smarter, smaller, and simpler, making for an easier transition for the changing family.





As the house size decreases a bit we’re also seeing desire for double-duty spaces. The home office starts to move into the living room because you can now do more things on your television that are Internet-based. The guest bedroom doubles up as a home office, study or playroom, and kitchens are designed to incorporate dining and entertaining. It comes as no surprise that interactivity is an evolving trend in interior design. Like the dynamic, growing structure of social media, our homes are entering a time when public and private boundaries are in flux.



ABOVE: You don't have to spend a fortune to have a chic and stylish dining room. A simple round table from a budget home store was given a glam makeover with a coat of Rust-Oleum spray lacquer, then accented with a set of garden chairs. The chairs were already painted a dove grey, so all I did was cover the seats in this graphic acid yellow fabric. Bright porcelain dishes add a pop of colour and pattern.



BELOW: No matter how much space you have, you always end up working at the dining table. Don’t default to utilitarian office supplies. Instead, splurge on chic desk accessories, a classic phone and a pretty table lamp. Corral small items on a tray to keep your desk neat. When you’re ready to turn the desk back into a dining table, you can just lift away the tray.



The home has become nothing short of a personal sanctuary as homeowners make the choice to improve rather than move - upgrading and/or paying more attention to their current space -- making it comfortable for them, their family, and their lifestyle. While homes applied a particular style, be it modern or all traditional, the real trend is showing off your personality by mixing things up and incorporating meaningful, nostalgic pieces.





Along with economic struggle comes a slowing of new development. As a result, people are investing more in their current homes rather than building new or moving. One result is that home improvement is on the rise: The economy has greatly affected what we do.



People that still want to make improvements on their homes want to remodel rather than spending a lot of money on a new addition. We’re not going to see much appreciation on home value in the next coming years, so they’re not spending as much money on major remodels, but smaller ones -- like kitchen and bathroom renovations. It would seem that, along with simplicity, people are trying to be more contented with what they have and build homes suited to their needs.





As the green movement continues to play an integral role in design, recycled, natural, and sustainably constructed pieces and materials will play a greater role in the home. The growing trend towards do-it-yourself and furniture makeovers is just one of the indicators that homeowners are paying more attention to recycling what they already have.



"The look of simplicity is becoming very powerful, and that’s a statement. Design is a statement of what is going on in our world today, and we’re seeing a lot of clean lines and simple styles in eco-friendly materials such as bamboo, as opposed to the last 20 years, where we saw a lot of old-world style and heavier looks."