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I love what I do. I'm always learning, always transforming, always changing. -Architect Kirk Stathes

Trends for 2012 mirror last year’s requests

by Kirk Stathes in Inspiration Residential Trends

Trending. In architectural terms, the trends in residential design any given year reflect the popular design features buyers vocalize in the year prior. In 2012, we’re trending toward multi-purpose space, multi-generational living and outdoor living rooms.

Bonus rooms that serve multiple purposes are most popular among younger families. Used as extra bedrooms, craft rooms, in-home offices, bonus rooms grow with a family as needs and interests fluctuate.

The changing shape of modern families has also had its impact on architectural design. Increasingly multiple generations are calling the same address home. Carriage house bedrooms accessed by a private stair, complete with their own bathroom and sometimes kitchenette serve are enviable situations for teens through post grad students, particularly when rents are at their highest in recent history. Mother-in-law apartments bring generations together to help out with each other’s needs: grandparents are immediately accessible to watch over the grandkids; the kiddos can be closer when a grandmother’s or granddad’s health is failing.

Yesterday’s patio is today’s outdoor living room complete with massive outdoor fireplaces, pergolas, hot tubs and stainless steel outdoor kitchens. Nine-plus months a year of mild Colorado weather means these outdoor spaces get plenty of use. And there’s nothing primitive about these exterior conditions: install a plasma TV in a lockable cabinet above the fireplace, stream iPod music and cool down under the ceiling fans hanging from the beams overhead.

Bottom line, the idea room is all about fluid flow and function over the lifetime of a home.