(BPT) - Thanks to foreclosures and short sales, home buyers are snatching up great houses at reduced prices and remodeling to create stylish modern homes. Lucky for those buyers, many of today's top trends are relatively easy to recreate, and will add re-sale value to their homes.
"TV interior design shows are mostly about buying and remodeling a home, versus building from scratch or finding a new property that precisely fits a wish list with plenty of personal requirements," said Dani Kohl, program coordinator for the bachelor of science in interior design program at The Art Institute of Indianapolis and a practicing architect and interior designer.
The top remodeling trends include:
n Uniting the kitchen and living space for an open-floor concept
n Culture dictating an increase square footage for entertainment, haven from a busy work schedule or modern luxuries
n Finding multi-functional uses for both spaces and furniture
On average, Kohl's residential clients are spending about $40,000 to $60,000 to renovate and remodel their homes. Most of the money is spent in the kitchens, master bedrooms and bathrooms.
"Gone are the days of the formal dining room and living room," says Kohl. "Walls are being knocked down to join the two rooms."
Parents want to be able to cook while watching kids do homework or entertaining guests. Kitchen islands most often serve as the main division between kitchen and living space, and are the entertainment centers of a kitchen.
"Kitchen islands are looking more like free-standing furniture pieces with elaborate marble tops and wood work, and interior designers are often finding functional yet hidden places to store the trash can and keep the dish washer from view," Kohl says.
Pedro Lima, an interior design instructor at The Art Institute of New York City and owner of Pedro Lima Interiors, says that temporary partitions between the living space and kitchen are also on the rise. These partitions can be of varying heights, whether it's a two-way fireplace or modern book shelving. Partitions are a great option for homeowners who want that open-floor plan for the kitchen and living room, while still maintaining a defined space for each.
Lima says that our current culture and habits are driving the changes in modern, interior spaces.
"When it comes to the master bedroom, we are looking at a more pampering atmosphere," he said. Both Kohl and Lima agree that clients want more of a spa-like feeling than ever before to create a bedroom that is a safe haven for over-worked homeowners.
"Master bedrooms now have their own seating areas and entertainment nooks, and have become personal spaces away from everything," Lima says.
An increase in square footage for closet space is another popular request, according to Lima. "We, as designers, are now looking into proper modular systems of rods and shelving, in addition to our architectural and design duties."
Closets are not just for storage anymore, either. "Now, we're looking at closets to serve as a dressing space in addition to serving as a place to store an increased amount clothes and shoes."
How are clients gaining square footage for the needs of today's residential space without making a complete renovation and creating add-ons to their homes?
Lima says that downsizing to accommodate upsizing is part of the remodel plans too.
"Designers are spending more time at looking for innovative ways to add versatile furniture that serve multifunctional purposes," he said. "For instance, coffee tables also serve as storage spaces and additional seating, wall units have built-in desks, and couches open up to beds in home offices."
Whichever remodeling trend homeowners choose to apply, all trends point toward integration, simplification and organization, as homeowners seek to enjoy their homes and share it with family and friends.