Hot Trends in New Home Design and Decor

New Home Style Trends for 2011

Today, we were asked by a reporter from The Patriot News in Harrisburg to talk about the structural and décor trends for 2011. Here’s what we are seeing!

Top Structural Trends for New Homes

You know you want one:  a spacious kitchen island. While this is not a new trend, we’ve seen a recent evolution: the kitchen island is becoming a new gathering space in the home. It’s where families gather to talk and eat, and it’s often where guests hover when you are entertaining.


What’s new and hot for kitchen islands? We are can hardly make them big enough now. Many island designs are two tiered—meaning one half is counter height and the other is bar height. This creates a place for food prep and a sink (counter height) and a place for dining (bar height) – making it more convenient for you and your guests.

So why is the island the it-spot in the home? Rob Bowman, President of Charter Homes & Neighborhoods, suggests that there is a comfort and security of the island. It’s an easy place to stand, plus it’s not too formal or too informal.When attached to the comforting rituals of preparing food, sharing snacks, and chatting with friends, the kitchen island is a natural gathering place!

Dream the day away on your front porch. No matter where you are, people seem to love front porches. While the front porch often brings up images of days gone by, the front porch has made a major comeback recently. Back in the day, front porches brought the entire neighborhood together, and were the best place to stay cool on hot summer nights. In the post air-conditioning world, the front porch has seen a resurgence, as buyers demand more of a community feel as they look for a new home.


What’s new in the world of front porches? These days, more people are choosing elevations which give them a deeper and taller porch. Rather than just have a small porch with room for one chair and a flower pot, the front porch has evolved into its own room. These days, many home buyers’ ideal front porch is big enough for people to be comfortable and to gather with friends and neighbors.

Another upcoming trend? As front porches make a resurgence, a new idea has emerged—we see rear porches instead of decks as the new best choice for home buyers. Why? Several reasons—architecturally speaking, the rear porches looks more thoughtful and comfortable than a pressure treated deck. And, when a rear porch is made big enough, the wonderful shade and protection from the elements provided by its roof means that a pause in great weather does not mean you have to go back inside.

The last emerging trend we see? Light up your life with windows - larger, more abundant, more energy efficient ones. Now, here at Charter Homes, we can never say enough good things about the value of natural light and windows. We believe that the more natural light in your home the better and healthier you feel – and medical experts do too! We take great light seriously at Charter Homes: we always build our homes with bigger windows and by count, many more windows than our competitors. Plus, our low-E windows mean you don’t have to trade off energy efficiency for natural light!


What’s the latest trend in windows? First, beautiful trim and details on the sill. Second, people are more often picking the wall of windows option on the lower level of our homes—which adds significant more windows to a wall! Imagine being able to sit on the floor and see right out your windows and you’ll understand why this option has become so popular.

Top New Home Décor Trends

As we enjoy the holiday season, we are excited by the growing popularity of fireplaces. The fireplace is, when available, often the top gathering spot in cooler temperature months. And, when it’s warm outside- the fire place and mantle (called the hearth) is a great focal point and decorative addition to a room.

What are we seeing now in fireplaces? Actually, it’s all about the mantle. New home buyers want larger mantles with more detailed trim to make more of a statement when they decorate. The mantle serves as a great space to decorate during the holidays – but why not start with a great canvas?

Little finishes are huge, and polished brass is out! Yep, we are talking to you brass door knobs, hinges and bathroom fixtures. People really want brushed nickel or oil bronze – they stay cleaner and are easier to maintain – and, hey, let’s face it: they just look better. We have heard this so strongly from our new home buyers that we now offer brushed nickel finishes as our standard lighting and fixture option!


What do you think? What trends are you seeing in new homes and decor? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!