Outdoor living areas and screened in porches
Some homeowners have taken outdoor living and relaxing to new heights these days. A trend that has started to emerge with more force in the last five years is looking outside of the walls of your home for entertaining and peaceful areas that include, but are limited to, comfortable seating areas, fire pits, big screen TVs and better surround sound systems than your living room. The benefits of adding a screened in porch to your outdoor living areas is that you are able to enjoy the smells & sounds of nature without the bugs, adding an extra benefit.
Double-duty home furnishings
With baby boomers moving into condos and a lot of the American population scaling back and opting for smaller, more efficient spaces, having home furnishings that are multi-purpose are more important than ever. Kitchen islands that fold out into full seating tables, ottomans that can be used for storage as well as extra seating areas for your guests and couches that instantly turn into a bed.
Lighter wall colors
Because of American opting for smaller spaces their creativity must increase as to how and make their space look bigger. Painting light colored walls in your home will give the illusion of your rooms being larger. Adding more natural light with additional windows will also visually increase the size of your living spaces and also serve a double purpose as a vitamin D mood booster.
Who says that cooking a meal for your guests means slaving all day in your indoor kitchen? Not anymore! Outdoor kitchen areas have begun to pop up all across the country from 1-story ramblers to multi-million dollar homes. Some outdoor kitchens keep it simple with a nice built in grilling area while others are adding storage, sinks, pizza ovens refrigerators, granite countertops and let’s not forget beer taps. One of the cool new gadgets that the guys must have for their outdoor kitchens is a hybrid grill that permits cooking with gas, wood or charcoal. It’s the trifecta people!
Home energy conservation
Every dollar counts these days when you are paying on average $4.30 a gallon and experts anticipate that it could rise even higher this summer. Home energy efficiency is a big way that you can put green back pockets by recycling water throughout your home with a rainwater harvester, allowing you to use this for toilets & lawn watering. Investing in new appliances in your home and also taking a look at your furnace and air conditioning units can save you up to 20% a year in energy costs.
“Green” building products
Sustainable products still maintain front and center position when it comes to home remodeling projects. This is especially true when it comes to paints, countertop and flooring. Benjamin Moore has jumped on board with the green movement adding paints that have zero-VOC (volatile organic compounds) and odor free paints to use in your home. Bamboo flooring has also made huge jump in residential flooring options because of its sustainability and fast growing forests.