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5 Home Design Trends for 2012

5 Home Design Trends for 2012

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2012 rings in with many exciting possibilities and events. This year we’ll see an election, and Olympics, and, some people believe, the end of the world. On the admittedly small chance that the last one isn’t actually true , you might want to get ahead of the curve on hot new home-remodeling trends for the coming year. Here are five key big home-design trends you’ll be seeing a lot of in 2012.


Many home design trends reflect the economy. Although there have been signs of improvement, it is clear that recovery is slow. One of the hardest-hit sectors has been the elderly, many of whom have seen their retirement plans altered, if not shattered. Harkening back to older days, more and more families are establishing multi-generational houses. This provides many benefits, but it is also true that it is a sacrifice of some privacy. To get some of this back, while not turning your mother-in-law on the street, many have established “in-law suites”, which are separate bathrooms and bedrooms for the parents. This gives you privacy, while maintaining a sense of comfort and dignity for them. If there isn’t plumbing readily available, certified plumbing contractors can help you figure out a way to create the extra bathroom.


This is admittedly on the other end of the economic market, but it is something that is increasingly making sense, and not for the idle rich. Movie prices keep going up, the cost of popped corn is absolutely astronomical, and you can’t go into a theater these days without the incessant chirping of cell phones. On the other side, the cost of getting theater-quality equipment keeps going down, and as any good Audio-Visual technician will tell you, it is equipment that is fairly easy to install. Combine this with studios releasing movies for renting or streaming earlier and earlier, and the way televisions and computers can interact, and it becomes affordable and practical to watch movies from the comfort and silence of your own home.


A hearth is a great gathering place, but too often fireplaces are decorative afterthoughts in rooms filled with televisions, computers, and any number of shiny screens demanding our attention. A hearth room, though, has the focus on the fire and the family sitting around its flickering warmth. Basically, you can turn an open space into the hearth room by framing it out with brick pillars, possibly with the help of a qualified masonry expert. This allows for a sense of both openness and enclosure, and spreads both the warmth and the idea that you are back in a simpler time, when you could enjoy silence, and before the cost of popped corn went absolutely through the roof.


This is another feature that hearkens back to easier times. Why this is a trend is a question best left to sociologists, rather than a mere handyman, but I think it is safe to say that people fear a growing disconnect between actual and on-line personas, and worry about what that means for the concept of self, and want to relax in the comfort of simplicity. A sun room is perfect for that! Quiet, spacious, and light-filled, a few couches and, with the help of window installation contractors, new windows, any room can be a sun room. Good book not included.


These won’t make your house look different, but they will change how it feels, and they will help make your energy bill look a lot different. These are essentially evolutionary thermostats, that will digitally tie into you energy systems so that you can monitor how, when and where you are using the most power. This will let you know when it is being wasted and when it is not, and allow you to maximize your resources. These systems are still a little pricey, but they are becoming more reasonable, and will absolutely help save you money in the long run—not to mention what they will do for the planet!

So, as 2012 comes along, no matter what you are looking at in terms of finances, there are little or big things you can do to your house to make it more welcoming, more relaxing, more livable, or just plain cheaper. And for any of this, certified contractors can help you plan, build, or remake your home. If the world does end, though, you are on your own.

Mitch Logan

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