Waukesha County Home

May, 2021

Homes Plus

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COVID-19 has brought changes to every- thing, and home design is no exception. Experts are expecting to see lasting impacts on everything from the materials we use to the rooms we prioritize. Check out these and other noteworthy trends: ■ Houses over apartments: Many peo- ple who live in condos or apartments do so to be closer to the action — work, entertain- ment and shops — and never planned on spending much time at home. But the pan- demic has changed that, and more people are going to want a home that offers plenty of room and outdoor space in case they need to self-isolate again. ■ Self-sufficiency: A hard lesson we've learned is that things and services we thought we could count on aren't necessari- ly a sure thing, so items that increase self- reliance will become very popular. Expect to see more homes with sources of energy like solar panels, sources of heat like fireplaces and stoves, and even urban and indoor gar- dens that allow you to grow your own pro- duce. ■ Outdoor living: Between playgrounds closing and parks becoming overcrowded, many of us are turning to our balconies, patios and backyards for fresh air and nature. This means we're going to be invest- ing more in our outdoor spaces, with func- tional kitchens, soothing water features, cozy firepits, and high-quality outdoor fur- niture to create a much-needed escape. ■ Healthier spaces: Thanks to spending more time indoors and reprioritizing our health, we'll turn to design to help ensure our homes are safe and healthy for our fam- ilies. We'll see a rise in products like water filtration systems as well as materials that improve indoor air quality. For new homes and additions, alternatives to wood-framing like insulated concrete forms from Nudura, which offer improved ventilation for health- ier indoor air quality and an environment that's less susceptible to mold, will be key. ■ Home office space: Business experts are suggesting many companies will see that working from home is not only possible but offers tangible benefits, like saving money on office space rent. With working from home on the rise, creating a home office space that inspires productivity will be a major project many of us tackle. Luxu- ry home office furniture that feels chic and blends into your décor as well as ergonomic chairs and desks will see a major boost. ■ Custom and quality: With the hit to the economy, people are going to be buying less, but what they do buy will be better quality, while at the same time making an effort to support American businesses. When it comes to design, trends will shift to locally made furniture, custom-built homes and pieces and materials that stand the test of time. HOME MAY 2021 8 Home design trends evolve for social distancing The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on our lives in many ways. One is the decision by some to increase social distance and expand their living space, whether it's staying where they are or moving elsewhere. Hot home building trends These days, home trends are about more than good design and aesthetics — they're about creating spaces that reflect our val- ues and are more comfort- able and enjoyable to live in. From net-zero and net-posi- tive construction to tiny minimalist homes, trends are all about your family's lifestyle. Here are some of the biggest trends you need to know for inspiration. ■ Sustainable design: This one has been popular for a long time, but green design has evolved to be about much more than ener- gy-efficient appliances and LED light bulbs. Now, it's all about making sure every- thing in your home reduces your carbon footprint and minimizes any impact on the environment. Think big and get creative — install solar panels on your roof, choose building materials that don't require deforestation and upcycle old furniture instead of buy- ing new. ■ Disaster resiliency: Climate change affects us in so many negative ways, and one of the top concerns is the increase in natural dis- asters. Switching to disaster- resilient materials is an important first step. Many builders now prefer to use stronger, more energy-effi- cient materials like insulat- ed concrete forms (ICFs) instead of more traditional materials like wood. For example, Nudura ICFs can withstand winds of up to 250 miles per hour (equivalent to an F4 tornado) and offer a fire protection rating of up to four hours. ■ Outdoor living: Many choose to forgo getting a cot- tage or summer home and re-create the experience in our own backyards. This trend helps you make the most of your existing space and take full advantage of your yard or patio during the summer months. Design a full living space outside, complete with an outdoor television and comfy couches, as well as a kitchen and refrigerator for entertaining. Consider a fireplace or firepit to keep warm during cool summer nights and enjoy the out- doors through spring, fall and even winter if you're brave. ■ Home automation: This is another longstand- ing trend that shows no signs of slowing down. It has also evolved to encom- pass more of the home to make life even more com- fortable and convenient. From an oven that can be turned on remotely to pre- heat, to skylights that can open and close automatical- ly to create the perfect ambi- ent temperature, there are more ways than ever to inte- grate smart home technolo- gy into your living space. You can start small with voice assistant and smart light bulbs and work your way up to a total smart home system that includes home security, temperature controls and all your elec- tronic devices.

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