Text by Lily Sokhi
Over the past few years, the home market has seen robust growth. The reason is simple. Mortgage rates are low and the market is flooded with home buyers. However the profile of homebuyer today is vastly different from the profile of the homebuyer a decade ago. They are a high income group of young professionals with a zest for life. Regardless of the amount of space they have, the interior of their houses look like they are right out of design magazines. All these homes have the polished look that only a professional can achieve. Homeowners are splurging on the interiors, demanding nothing but the best of everything. The latest statistics confirm that the baby boomers are not downsizing any more. They are used to big houses and, if anything, they are upgrading the houses according to their new needs.
The walls are breaking, literally. Open concept is the way to go. The living room, dining room and kitchen are now one big space and are the nerve centre of the house. Now kitchens have spaces and surfaces for TVs, computers, kids’ homework and home offices. Kitchen islands are at the centre of the house. Even sinks have moved to the islands. Mothers are cooking more with their children. With the increasing awareness about junk food and health issues, the whole family is chipping in to make healthy meals. As a result, the traditional refrigerator has given way to state-of-the art refrigerator, which not only looks cool but also keeps track of what is fresh and what has gone stale. Most of the houses now have two kitchens, one indoor and the other out. The outdoor kitchen is also complete with refrigerator, dishwasher and cooking counters.
For the flooring, carpets are still a favorite due to the warmth, comfort and safety they provide. The new nylon carpets are also highly durability and easy to maintain. However, there are several alternatives that offer interesting options. Linoleum is back in fashion and is better than ever. The modern linoleum is highly durable, easy to clean, flexible and less prone to cracking or curling. Laminate is another flooring option that is tremendously popular today. It offers a cost-effective flooring alternative that is also very durable.
Ceramic tiles are increasingly being used in bathrooms, kitchen and heavy traffic areas like foyer. With the trend moving to more natural products, stone is becoming increasingly popular. Durability, low maintenance and resistance to stains are unquestionable properties of stone flooring. Marble, granite, slate and limestone, the choice is endless. Stone and ceramic tiles are low maintenance and an excellent choice for the long run. Still stone flooring can be cold, especially in the winter. There is a solution for that, though. The new bathrooms are now coming with heated flooring! The heating mechanism is installed under the bathroom floor to keep your feet warm.
Home bathrooms are becoming more like spas. No longer just rooms for a quick shower, they are now places to unwind and relax. They even have warming drawers for your towels. Bathroom faucets are now available in a myriad of colors and finishes. Porcelain sinks are being replaced by glass vessel bowls. Used in conjunction with recessed lighting beneath the bowls they provide Zen-like bath decor. Sinks are now considered pieces of art that add character to your bathroom and are important part of fashionable fixture lines.
Master baths now have see-through fireplaces, mini-refrigerators, saunas and even flat panel televisions mounted on walls. Master baths are expanding into personal retreats and spas at home are becoming more and more popular. Whirlpools, Jacuzzi, decorative fixtures and real furniture pieces are all luxuries that are incorporated in bathroom design these days. The emphasis is on a simple, restful and tranquil environment that is pleasing to the eye and comfortable to be in.
Today’s fast paced commuters want to come back to a resting place that provides a haven of tranquility and relaxation in a hectic and fast-paced life. Homes are becoming more sophisticated by becoming simpler, timeless and more natural.