As we all know, the baby-boom generation has driven the trends for many decades. As a custom and luxury home builder in Yorkville, IL, a beautiful hidden community just minutes west of Naperville, Aurora, Oswego and Plainfield, I believe that the baby-boom generation homebuyers are looking to downsize and gain energy efficiency but are still looking for a little pampering and indulgence. For years we designed and built the McMansions, homes well over 4000 sf. and in those homes we created the incredibly large Master Suites, two-Story Great Rooms, and unused Living Rooms. Today, however, the trend is to eliminate the waste, reduce maintenance, and build smarter. Perhaps the kids are gone or perhaps there is a need to lower monthly expenses, regardless, no one wants to lose the extra touches that they have grown accustomed to over the years.
- Destination bathrooms. The master bath has evolved into the home getaway with multiple task areas: large tubs and showers, heated floors, multiple flat screens TVs, and wireless Internet so you don't miss anything as you move from bathing to grooming to lounging. If the bathroom is outfitted for serving bars, wine coolers, espresso machines and grazing snacks…all the better. Think spa!
- Outdoor living spaces that look interior. “Statement" fireplaces of cut stone, heated flooring and walkways for year-round use, entertaining-sized custom kitchens and indoor-looking artwork, fabric, and finishes that can stand up to the elements. Don’t forget the built-in entertainment like flat screen TV’s and stereo.
- Monitoring and controlling with hand-held devices. Forgot to turn off the coffee maker, close or open the blinds, turn the heat down or the air conditioning up? The latest technology lets hand-held devices open or close the blinds, turn lights on or off, or let Fido out the electronic pet door. The home owner can be around the corner or across the country and still determine what's going on at home.
- Concealed appliances. Buyers are choosing matching cabinet panels that are used to disguise the ubiquitous refrigerator and dishwasher, the latest way to integrate visually those boxy necessities and make the kitchen more non-traditional and less functional-looking.
- A home's carbon footprint. Reused construction materials and energy-friendly mechanical systems and appliances all reduce the need for fossil fuels. Home buyers are asking about how their potential new home can save the planet. It's more than a trend; it's a convenient truth.
- Off-grid homes. Solar panels, windmills and inverters are here to stay in a big way. With brown-outs and power line-damaging storms on the increase, buyers in 2008 will look for hybrid home-energy options. Even being partially off-grid beats getting expensive power from coal-fired utilities to these eco-energy users.
Living rooms. The great room has replaced the living room in American residential culture. Informal lifestyles with combined eating, cooking and living spaces let family members and visiting friends congregate for various activities makes much more sense to buyers than the forced museum. In designing and building homes for buyers, I see the ex-museum used as home offices, guest bedrooms, work-out spaces, and craft or hobby places.
McMansions. Size doesn't matter if it's not well-finished because you can’t afford to heat it. A voluminous home whose best attribute is the square footage is losing its appeal. Home buyers are looking for quality in 2008. Obese ceiling heights. We are committed to designing and building quality homes that will be sustainable and beautiful.