WINTER 2016 NEWGARD NEWSLETTER: Which features should you include in your new home?

Although home building trends do not ebb and flow as quickly as fashion or popular culture,  the modern home is always evolving.  It is important to be informed about the newest trends, and evaluate which features you should include in your home or renovation.  Here is our roundup of the most popular trends on the North Shore for luxury home building in the upcoming year.

50 Shades of White.  Benjamin Moore has declared Simply White (OC-117) to be the color of 2016.  White is still the preferred color for kitchens, cabinetry, and trim.  What’s different now is that white does not have to be sterile — homeowners are mixing in grey and beige and other pops of color to add texture and depth.

“Jetsons” Ready Home. Homeowners are spending extra to include home technology in their new homes to centralize control of the HVAC, lighting, sound and entertainment.  Prices have come down for technologies such as mobile or web-controlled security cameras and motion sensors. Newer models are also easier to install and operate, since many are powered by batteries.

Sports CourtSport courts are the new “must have” luxury.  Typically incorporated into the basement of a new home, the ceilings of the Sport Courts range between 16 to 20 feet to accommodate a half basketball court with regulation hoop.  Other options that can be included are a batting cage with a pitching machine, volleyball net and climbing wall.  The main reason the Sport Court has gained in popularity is our climate: with our long cold winters, it is a great place for kids and adults to play all year round.

273 OGB Sport Court (Large)

Luxury Toilets. A trend coming our way from Asia, luxury toilets, such as the Toto Washlet, are being installed with more frequency in homes. The luxe toilets boast heated seats, automatically closing cover, bidet cleanse functions and an air-purifying system that deodorizes during use. Though not yet the norm, upgrading to a luxury toilet is gaining a cult following.

Brass and Bronze. Although nickel and pewter were considered the standard for the last decade, warmer metals such as brass and copper have made a full comeback.  With the trend going towards warming up cold spaces, brass and copper finishes are becoming popular with lighting, plumbing, hardware and accessories.

Everything in its Place. Homeowners are building specialized storage in various areas of the home to minimize clutter. Some examples: master walk-in closets with customized shoe and bag storage, jewelry drawers; supersized pantries for bulk shopping trips; and dog areas. “Custom” storage or built-ins to suit a homeowner’s specific needs will be an ongoing trend.

Charging Stations.  With the shrinking size of electronic devices and proliferation of Wi-Fi, homeowners need a dedicated space for charging their devices.  The most popular locations for charging stations are a near the kitchen, entrance from the garage, and the mud room.

Greige: The New NeutralThe combination of grey and beige is a full-on phenomenon in interior design. HGTV has labeled “Greige” to be the new neutral.  The appeal is in the ability of warmer shades of beige to liven up cold gray interiors.  Greige works well in any room and gets along very well with any other color, such as a pop of orange or calming blue tones.  My favorite Greige colors:  Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter (HC-172) or Rodeo (1534).  In one of our recently built movie theaters (pictured below), we chose to combine grey and beige to create a warm and calming interior.

894 Grove Movie Theater (Large)


As mentioned above, while it is fun to be ahead of the curve with the newest trends, it is also wise to put these trends in perspective for your family. The ultimate decision as to which features to include in your new home or renovation should depend on your needs and budget.