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Uber personalization is the new trend taking home design by storm.


Real estate

A projection room at home? Honey, that’s so the last decade. We need a Europe custom bar and dog feeder faucet.

New home designs are moving away from trends and leaning more towards functionality.

Home design trends come and go like fashions making their Parisian runway debut. Going the trendy route can be a tricky game of interior design, as there’s a fine line between fashion and getting in the way of resale value. But luxury homeowners are increasingly favoring personalization in their palatial abodes.

You could say that the new home design trend is moving away from the trends.

“It’s not like going to the design center and picking out a few tables and chairs from that level,” said Pamela Nicholson, a senior luxury hospitality designer at Frank Nicholson Inc., an interior design firm behind a mix of residential and residential projects. hoteliers.

Instead, Nicholson’s clients these days often focus their design plans on a creative flourish—literally. The ultra-luxury homeowners on Nicholson’s client list tend to have “really phenomenal” art collections, so they often request home designs that reflect their collections. Nicholson recently designed and implemented a design that complements a collection with Georgia O’Keeffe and French artist Fernand Léger.

Frank Nicholson Inc. designed this home to complement the owner’s extensive art collection. — Pamela Nicholson

“Most of the work we do is custom. We sit down and draw rugs and furniture and make them,” Nicholson added. “We design cabinets and rugs to coordinate and to be quiet and not interrupt the paintings.”

For those wondering, this means the furniture pieces are somewhere “in the big five figures,” not exactly a $2,000 sofa from a popular furniture chain store.

Personalization isn’t just limited to the dazzling art collections that guide the aesthetics of the rugs and furnishings, however. Local builders, brokers and interior designers point out that homeowners these days make design decisions based on how they use a space.

Spending more time at home than usual during a global pandemic meant homeowners began to view their humble abodes more as a sanctuary than a place to showcase the flashiest new interior design craze. Functionality now reigns supreme.

Even as the US economy contracted 3.5% in 2020 amid the COVID-19 outbreak, home improvement spending rose more than 3%, or about $420 billion, according to the latest data. from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

“We’ve really become more of a mixed society,” said Maggie Gold Seelig, founder of luxury boutique firm MGS Group Real Estate. “Even if people go back to the office, they are still doing a lot more from home than they were before the pandemic.”

Functionality and customization can range from home offices crafted with studio-quality lighting for Zoom calls to bathrooms built to accommodate that family’s activities, including furry members. Yes, that means integrated dog bowls with water spigots to make refilling significantly easier.

“When I’m selling a house, I spend more time discussing and/or in the lobby than anywhere else,” Seelig said with a smile.

The kitchen is another focal point of personalization in the realm of interior design and home renovation, especially for active home cooks. Laura Ciampa, founder of home kitchen strategy firm KITCHD, consults homeowners on how they use their kitchen before embarking on a build. This method allows a dream kitchen to come true, and you often end up embracing functionality over fads.

“The trend is not in fashion,” Ciampa said. “You don’t want to work for your kitchen; you want your kitchen to work for you.”

For example, tall cabinets are popular but have shelves that many people can’t reach. Ciampa will listen to customers who crave these cabinets and add an element of functionality like a sliding ladder. Other touches might include islands with adjustable heights or making sure the sinks are big enough to clean the grates found on a flashy stove.

It’s important to think about these things ahead of time rather than just taking advice from someone on a showroom floor who hasn’t looked at kitchen design, Ciampa said. “If you’re spending all this money on a kitchen, you want to be excited about it. You have to be careful who you are consulting with, because a lot of people don’t really cook.”


‘When I’m selling a house, I spend more time discussing and/or in the lobby than anywhere else’

Maggie Gold Seelig, MGS Group Real Estate

This doesn’t mean you’re steering customers away from fads entirely. Outdoor pizza ovens are popular, but Ciampa reminds people of the upkeep that goes into owning one, asking how often they’ll be used in a typical New England winter.

“My job is not to discourage,” he added. “It’s to guide people to make smart decisions.”

The current rage may be for functionality and customization, but this doesn’t mean the world of homebuilding is completely devoid of frequently requested luxury amenities.

Buyers of luxury homes at C. Stumpo Development are increasingly favoring outdoor living. Outdoor kitchens feature all the conveniences of an indoor kitchen, from running water and ice makers to refrigerators. Inside, the houses often have two kitchens: one for display that is always kept in Instagram-worthy form, while a prep kitchen elsewhere is where the actual cooking takes place. Smart home systems control everything from turning on the shower to the coffee machine.

If the house these days is a sanctuary, the main bathroom could be the altar. The showers feature smart ThermaSol systems, providing in-home wellness treatments with steam and other features.

Executive director Cindy Stumpo notes that the restroom building is getting larger and showers log into a spacious 12-by-5-foot space. For context, the International Residential Code sets the minimum shower size at 2.5 by 2.5 feet.

Other developers are seeing a surge in requests for luxury builds in amazing locations.

“People now go to great lengths to take the basement and make it look like the rest of the house,” said Matt Abrams, founder of Abrams Properties. “Not anymore, at least in the renovations, it’s just a vanilla media room.”

The basement is no longer just a storage place or where you park a spare TV and sofa. Custom moldings normally found in upstairs living areas are now included in builds. Gyms, saunas and even light wells to brighten up the space are part of the improvements to the ground floor.

Even the house bar is getting a dazzling face lift.

“Basement bars aren’t necessarily new, but these bars are next level,” Abrams said. “It’s not a three-person seating area. It could be someone who has sent a bar from Europe that he saw during his vacation ”.

It may sound like there’s no limit to luxury home comforts, whether you’re chasing fads or looking for the latest state of functionality and customization. But Stumpo cautions against getting too wrapped up in what you find on social media or in a home magazine.

“I have two schools of thought. One is that everyone looks at the photos of everyone’s houses, and their friends are there, and I think they all want to outdo each other,” he said. “But the others say, ‘I’ll never go back to the office full time. This is my new way of living.’ Those people are making a house their home.”

Send feedback to [email protected]. Follow the address on Twitter @globehomes and Cam Hope @camperance.