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2020 Taste Trends Part 2: Putting the 'Custom' in Custom Homes

2020 Taste Trends Part 2: Putting the 'Custom' in Custom Homes

Part II – ‘You’ are the ‘Custom’ in Custom Homes and Renovations!

Much like the previous decade, the biggest trend is the open concept living/kitchen space and it is still going strong – it has actually surpassed trending and become a new high demand design.  However, there are homeowners who are finding it to be a challenge with the phase of life they are in or for their particular lifestyle.  2020 brings all of us new empowerment – the trend is all about you –your personality and your lifestyle!  So what works for you?

Open concepts have beautifully uninterrupted sight lines which allow for more interaction with family and friends. For the entertaining couple – the chef can still be a part of the whole ‘party’ experience, while still living up to their culinary responsibilities in the kitchen area. Combined open spaces allow for inclusiveness and most importantly, a parent’s ability to keep an eye on their young children while still managing food preparation. For many, this has become a necessity and yet for others it is simply not conducive to their lifestyle or home design. When deciding if this trend or lifestyle will work for you, you may want to consider the following:

·      Open concepts mean just that—the space is wide open and visible from all angles. Ask yourself… Are you a clean-as-you-go cook? Stacked pots and pans, dirty dishes, and food preparation are on display in an open concept design. Do you want that to be the view your guests see? If it isn’t then you may need to design your kitchen in a manner which allows you to put those dishes out of sight for the time being (e.g. perhaps two dishwashers, or a specially designed lined cabinet for easy cleaning after providing temporary storage, etc.), OR you need to adapt your cooking habits to accommodate your space (e.g. food prep a day in advance, clean as you go, etc.). 

·      If you can’t change your cooking style then you may need a strategically planned small dividing wall or cabinet section that allows you the best of both worlds, or there’s always the notion that an open concept kitchen is not right for you.

·      Visible clutter can be a significant factor within an open concept space.  If you truly live in your home, it is likely that this space will include children’s toys, laptops, homework, books, mail, and perhaps family members’ or guests’ discarded jackets or sweaters. In other words, if there is a mess you will see it - and so will everyone else! Designing an open concept home means creating storage areas to put belongings away, but ultimately the challenge may not be having the proper storage spaces but getting whomever (family or guest) to use them. Is this going to be an on-going challenge for you? 

·      Vaulted ceilings and tiled floors in open concepts can create a luxuriously spacious room but they can also allow sound to be overwhelming.  You could lose the cozy inclusiveness you are looking for and end up with a ‘warehouse’ feeling. If you have small children or entertain often, your interior design will be vitally important to controlling sound absorption so that your open concept is not an uncomfortable space and does not impact your family’s life. (e.g. sound interrupting children sleeping in evening hours).

·      Heating and cooling with Niagara’s four-season climate can be a challenge in open concepts. Keeping open spaces comfortable and cozy year-round can be more difficult than in compartmentalized homes. 

·      Simple privacy is a factor for every family member in an open concept design. These spaces are not conducive to privacy within your living/kitchen/dining space and can actually do the opposite of what they are intended to do. Instead of bringing everyone together, by its design, it can make family members retreat to other rooms. Noise from televisions, stereos, children or guests can be a challenge for those needing to study, work from home, read, or just have a peaceful cooking moment. Open concept means you are a part of it all, all of the time! Private conversations must take place in a different room - do you have another space for you or your children that does not require retreating to one’s bedroom to get a little peace or privacy. Distractions from TV or activities may be a challenge. While this design will work perfectly for some, it may not work for others through different phases of life. So, think critically, will it work for you?

Usable space in a home is a commodity and decompartmentalizing your space can eliminate unused rooms (e.g. formal living/dining rooms or dens).  But if these rooms are important to you on occasion and you do not want to repurpose them entirely, they can be redesigned and renovated to become multipurpose rooms that are usable all the time.

Your home is probably your largest investment—and making it work for you and maintaining its value is likely your priority. With the proper custom renovation design, a house can be updated to create a dream home –but it is important for every homeowner to ask themselves if an open concept is ideal for them and if that is their dream home.     


If you are looking for a custom renovation or to add on to your existing home, call us at Vanderzalm Construction Inc. (905)562-4463 or (905)684-5823.  We look forward to working with you to make your existing home your dream home!