Friday, April 22, 2011

Building, Remodel & Decorate: Trend Watch – Image Magazine

The Spring 2011 issue of Image Magazine, distributed to homeowners in 46 towns along the CT River Valley in New Hampshire and Vermont, features a unique section called Trend Watch, a homeowner’s guide to building, remodeling, and decorating. In this regard, we see the same trends in conventional homes as we do in timber homes.

When asked about current home design and building trends, NH Architect Jeremy Bonin pointed to home size.  “Smaller is definitely a trend,” said Bonin, Principal Architect of Bonin Architect & Associates in New London. “The size of the custom house is coming down.  We’re seeing fewer rooms and more multi-use spaces.  Instead of two separate rooms with several hundred square feet each, these are combined into one slightly larger room.”

Another trend, says Bonin, is maximizing outdoor space.  “We design many lakefront homes in the Sunapee region.  These homes have a lot of interaction of the indoor living space and the exterior landscape or lake side of the home with views and outdoor activities.”

Energy efficiency is another front-runner in design and building trends.  Bonin, a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional), uses his training in sustainable design in each and every project.  “For energy efficiency and sustainability, we use guidelines from LEED and Energy Star,” adds Bonin.  “The building envelopes are well-insulated, we specify durable low-maintenance materials, high-quality windows and doors, and homes are sited to take advantage of passive solar as well as views.”

Other building and remodeling trends Bonin notes:
  • Open kitchen, dining, and living areas
  • First floor Master Suites and one story living
  • Incorporating three-season porches with energy efficient windows to use year-round
Jeremy Bonin has contributed to many publications.  Click the link to read some of his articles on green building.

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