Spring is just around the corner and if you are itching for an upgrade you should aim for a light and modern aesthetic according to a Bettendorf design expert.
“Everything has gone to really clean lines and lots of white,” said Andy Seitz, Vice President of Housing at Advance Homes.
Gone are the days of strolling through a local neighborhood and seeing beige siding, dark wood, and flashy paint schemes. Home design trends have moved more and more to the ever-popular catchall phrase “modern farmhouse.”
The modern farmhouse has become a term to describe many different things when it comes to home design, but Seitz says it mostly represents a simple, curated look. Many people are gravitating towards a ranch-style home instead of a two-story one, and from there, choosing light color schemes and natural, geometric designs.
Whether you are looking to build a new home or just spruce up where you already live, Seitz offers his insight into creating a cozy home with a modern feel.
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Taking a Lighter Tone
“We’re starting to see a lot of white walls. It’s always been popular to do a light gray wall, and things are going even lighter,” said Seitz.
Design trends are moving towards lighter tones in more than just paint. Many home buyers are choosing white trim, and light oak is replacing the dark wood that reigned popular 4-5 years ago.
For the kitchen, consider white cabinets with quartz countertops. Quartz mimics the look of white marble but offers a more durable surface.
“Natural stone isn’t always a great kitchen surface because it’s very porous,” said Seitz. “It’s prone to etching, which dulls the finish, and has a tendency to scratch because it’s very soft. The quartz manufacturers have done a great job of mimicking the look of natural stone but providing the durability of granite.”
When to Go Bold
Not every room in the house has to be white.
Seitz said that with so many more people working from home, they’ve seen an increase in requests for home offices. This is an ideal space to add a pop of bold color.
“There’s a lot of people asking for another bedroom they can use for their home office,” said Seitz. “We’ve done quite a few home offices where you take that one room and paint it a dark, bold accent color.
Consider charcoal, navy, or dark gray paint to create a fierce space that ignites your productivity.
Clean and Simple
You’ll see cleaner lines within the lighter-toned trims and cabinets.
“On trim and cabinets and such, you used to see lots of detail and molding and ornamentation. Now it’s more square, boxy, sort of geometrical,” said Seitz.
People are also liking these geometrical lines in the shaker doors in their kitchen. Consider switching the shaker door up with a little varied edge to give the door a different profile. Seitz says intentional mix and matching when it comes to design will create a curated, deliberate look.
Curating the Light
Even light fixtures can fit into your modern farmhouse, minimalist feel.
When choosing your fixtures, start with an exposed bulb. Seitz is seeing an open, bold style for the structures of the fixtures themselves.
“Maybe you’ll have a thin, matte black structure or a cage,” he said.
The finish of the fixtures matters, whether it’s for your lighting, cabinet handles, or appliances. Matte black and brass are popular right now. But don’t worry¬ – you don’t have to choose between the two. Mixing finishes is a popular trend right now.
“Before, you’d see oil-rubbed bronze. Now you’re seeing a lot of mixed metals and mixed finishes. You might see black paired with brass, or you might see a black paired with polished chrome,” said Seitz. “It gives you more of a curated look rather than having everything match 100%.”
Every team will approach building a home differently. When you begin design meetings, it’s always a good idea to bring along photos of existing designs you like or look through your builder’s portfolio to see their capabilities.
“People have a hard time visualizing what different features and details could look like,” said Seitz. “People bring in photos from Pinterest, or we look at a catalog of our previous work we’ve built to use as reference points.”
Choosing the features of your home is a daunting task. Some design teams prefer to take one day and pick out everything. Seitz recommends making selections as you build.
As you choose your home’s details, your designer should guide you to make decisions that function and look the best within your home. They shouldn’t make those decisions for you.
“Their design will evolve. They get more comfortable as the process goes on. That’s why we like to take it slow and make those decisions over the course of the process,” said Seitz.
Questions and Answers
The most important question to ask – what did you do to generate my price?
Seitz says figuring the price of a home-based on a price per square foot isn’t the best way to price a home.
“What steps were taken to price my home? And for that price, what all am I getting included?” he recommends asking your builder. “We have very lengthy and detailed meetings upfront in the planning phase.”
Your builder should have a formula for generating a price sheet and work off those plans to guide the building process. While complications may arise while building, the pricing of your home should be transparent.
New Trend, Old Home
Even if you are not looking to build a new home it doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate new design trends into your current living space.
To bring lighter aesthetics into your home, paint is your best bet.
“One of the most cost-effective things that can be done to a home is paint. Paint is going to be a dramatic change with very little cost,” said Seitz.
Changing your hardware and light fixtures to fit with the aforementioned trends can also freshen up your design without an expensive structural change. Keeping your home up-to-date is accessible to everyone with intentional design choices.
NOTE: This story appeared in the Winter 2022 edition of Bettendorf Magazine
Homes in Bettendorf are trending towards lighter tones and simple design