What goes into your home shapes the impressions that come out, so choose materials carefully.
Jeremy Oury, AIA, shares the latest trends.
5. A Call for Concrete
Concrete has moved inside! From flooring to countertops, this versatile material is making a powerful presence in home decor. "Concrete is a great, unexpected option," says Jeremy. "Granite is often overdone, so it's nice to use a fresh alternative."
Although concrete can be somewhat expensive, its ability to withstand heat and scratches make it incredibly durable. In addition, it's now available in many colors and patterns. If you don't like the look of pure concrete, consider the new hybrid designs that feature concrete combined with other materials, such as recycled glass.
6. Material Montage
Variety is the spice of life, so why not combine several different materials and textures in your home?
"Some log home owners believe that every surface in their home has to be wood," says Jeremy, "but if you do this, it'll become overwhelming." To mix it up, incorporate other materials (think stainless steel, tile or soapstone) in areas such as countertops, flooring or fireplace surrounds.
7. History Revisited
Past meets present in today's log homes as home owners turn toward reclaimed lumber and recycled logs. "Many people want to create a house that looks old, as if it's been there a while," explains Jeremy. Not only does reclaimed wood capture a sense of the past, it's an eco-friendly choice, too.
Recycled wood is being used in everything from flooring and cabinetry to structural components.
Another blast from the past is cork flooring—popular in the early 20th century, the resilient flooring material is making a comeback. This renewed interest in cork reflects home owners' sense of environmental awareness, as well as their nostalgia for the styles of yesteryear.
8. Window Shopping
As the eyes of your home, windows are one of your home's most important elements in its overall design. While walls of glass are still popular great room features, two other window trends are moving in.
First, consider new windows that look old. These period re-creations have modern-day features juxtaposed with antique-style detailing and hardware. The second trend is European-style windows—designs that slide, crank open and tilt in. While these windows add character, they can be pricey.