When choosing the right architectural style for your new home, there are a number of factors to consider. Neighborhood lots are often sized to accommodate a specific architectural style, usually that of those in the surrounding area. While architectural conformity has been encouraged in the past, many people are now designing their homes with the goal of creating spaces that express their personalities and reflect their lifestyle priorities.
Even traditional architectural styles can be customized to make more effective use of space. One of the current trends in interior design is replacing the traditional living room with a great room that combines the kitchen with a large family room. This creates a sense of spaciousness as well as encouraging family togetherness. It also eliminates the need for a formal dining room. Some architects believe that separate living and dining rooms will one day be a thing of the past. Despite changing architectural design, five of the most popular architectural designs of past year include some traditional favorites.
Craftsman style homes are characterized by front porches, tapered columns, and multi-pane windows. Well-crafted design that makes maximum use of sometimes limited space coupled with the use of natural materials has made this style a consistent favorite. This style is ideal for those who enjoy home projects that combine structural, functional and decorative design.
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Although the term was originally used to describe housing on ranches, it's now used to describe any single story house. Ranch style homes usually require bigger lots to accommodate their single story design. Originally designed in the 1920's and becoming popular in the U.S. during the 1950's and 60's, this style continues to be popular because of its open floor plan and easy access to both the garage and the outdoors. The simple and practical design means lower building costs and the style is suitable in nearly any climate. It is especially suitable for older people who may have difficulty negotiating stairs and those with disabilities.
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Mediterranean architecture is characterized by red tile roofs, stucco walls, arched windows and balconies. This is a popular style in warmer climates such as California and Florida, and often include features such as courtyards and patios that extend the house outdoors. Interiors are often simple, including exposed beams. Because the focus is outdoors, these homes are usually surrounded by lush garden, making this style an ideal choice for those who enjoy gardening and being outdoors.
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Farmhouse style homes are characterized by tall windows designed to create cross breezes, large porches, and wood siding. The porch is often a wrap-around that extends around the entire perimeter of the house. The roof is usually steep and accented by dormers or gables. Other common features of this style home include shutters and horizontal siding. This style is most popular in rural settings that provide an expansive view of nature.
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Modern style homes are characterized by simplicity--clean lines, flat roofs, and horizontal windows. This style emphasizes energy efficiency by utilizing natural light. They are often constructed using recycled materials and include features like skylights and large fireplaces. This style is popular with environmentalists and those who value efficiency over more traditional decorative elements.
Whatever the style, one of the architectural trends of 2015 is that homes are getting smaller. According to the National Association of Home Builders, new homes now average 2,152 square feet. That number represents a 10% decrease compared to the average size of a new home in 2010. This trend is attributed to a combination of several factors, including the recent global economic downturn, rising energy costs, and an aging population.
Another trend is the customization of garage doors with features like windows and insulated doors. One reason for this trend is that 2014 set a historical new record for the number of new single-family homes that had garages or bays for three or more cars. The increase in the size of garages has increased the importance of their being energy efficient as well as an attractive extension of the family home.
Home is where the heart is, and most people choose the architectural style that most strongly evokes their own feeling of home.