Top 12 trends (and their causes) we are expecting for the next year, some aesthetic and some on the technical spectrum :

Steven Secon Architect’s top 12 design trend predictions for 2022

As the new year begins, you might be making new resolutions. If you’ve been semi-stuck inside your house for nearly two years, you might be deciding to make some changes to your house or office in order to upgrade or simply to keep things feeling fresh.

Here are the top 12 trends that we expect to see in the coming year (and ones you might want to get in on, too).

  1. Outdoor improvements

We’re seeing our clients invest more into their outdoor areas. From porches to patios to backyard landscaping, exterior upgrades are in. It’s a great way to improve the look of your home and boost your use of your space.

New technology is enabling these improvements. Some clients are building outdoor entertainment systems, including new projectors and screens, audio systems, and smart lighting systems.

Weatherproofing technology has improved in recent years, as well. You can build nice weather-proof patios that allow you to host people. Some have installed heat lamps for more comfort.

If you’re looking for a cheaper and low-tech way to improve your house, you could also consider a simple paint job, or simply improving the weather-proofing of your exterior.

Rye NY Backyard
Rye NY Backyard

You’ll want to look up local planning permissions, because your outdoor area is subject to certain regulations.

  1. Smart home

Smart home assistant technologies are incredibly popular right now. There’s pretty much a smart version of every device or appliance. This trend shows no sign of slowing down,

YEP, THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT TOO!

With Amazon Alexa and/or Google Assistant, you can integrate smart devices, such as plugs, lights, locks, security cameras, thermostats, speakers, and even coffee makers and instant pots. You can then tell Alexa to turn off plugs whenever you’re not using them, or direct Google to always lock your door and switch on your security camera after 9 PM.

  1. Black windows 

Black windows were the “avocado” of 2020/2021. They were incredibly trendy — black goes with everything, as they say. Black windows can add an element of style to nearly every home.

Black windows create a modern look, both on the inside and outside of homes. Black window frames can be steel, but can also be a vinyl exterior with wood interior. Many options for this versatile window also come with weather-resistence, which is a plus.

  1. Bidets

Interestingly, we’re seeing more bidet installations in homes. It might have started with the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020, but they’re here to stay now. It’s good for hygiene, and can help you save on toilet paper in the long run.

There are standalone versions that you can buy online or at your local hardware store, and install yourself. There are also toilet seats with built-in bidet features.

  1. New electrical service

With ConEd’s 2021 new gas moratorium in Westchester, new electrical service installations are booming. The moratorium was issued because existing pipelines couldn’t meet demand, so energy providers are trying to invest in new renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. But what does that mean for your home? It means that if you’re looking at kitchen projects, HVAC, or other gas hookups, you’ll need to look at electric-only options or propane gas or decommissioning another gas-fueled appliance and transferring that “capacity” to the new item..

For HVAC, there are baseboard heaters, which are a common option. They’re powered by electrical resistance heating, just like your toaster and oven. Also, electric forced air furnaces, electric convection heaters and electric radiant floors use electrical resistance heating. Heat pumps also work.

For kitchens, there are quality induction burners and convection ovens that you can choose instead of gas-burning ones.

  1. Geothermal

Beyond the gas moratorium in Westchester, the state of New York laid out model clean energy initiatives and committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2040. In New York City in particular, former Mayor de Blasio announced that he was replacing older fuel systems with geothermal heat pumps.

We’re seeing single-family homes and other buildings choosing to go geothermal. Residential geothermal energy systems use underground pipes to harness the earth’s energy for heating and cooling buildings.

Geothermal heating and cooling is environmentally friendly

Overall, geothermal could end up being one of the cheaper options to purchase and install in your home. ConEd offers rebates for customers who buy a geothermal system. NYSERDA offers rebates and tax incentives as well. So does the federal government (about 30%).

  1. Generators

Ever since Hurricane Sandy, tri-state area residents have been turning to backup generators to keep the lights on. Hurricane Ida this summer caused mass blackouts, and many residents had to rely on their generators.

According to by The New York Times, one generator maker, Generac, saw a 70% increase in sales in 2021 over 2020. The company supplies about 75% of the U.S. market of backup generators.

Technically, many municipalities require a building permit for standby generators, because they can be noisy and emit carbon monoxide. In addition, with supply chain disruptions, many orders can get backlogged. So if you’re thinking about buying a generator for 2022 hurricane season, start looking into it now.

  1. Vinyl plank

Speaking of hurricanes, this past year, many of our clients experienced flooding, especially in their basements. One of the best ways to prevent long-term damage from floodwater is to install vinyl plank flooring. It’s waterproof, easy to clean, and scratch resistant. They are less prone to warping than other types of flooring. Plus, different types can look like hardwood or tile, for a fraction of the price.

You’ll want to make sure they’re professionally installed with proper sealing in order to prevent water from seeping in and damaging your subfloor, as well as to prevent possible mold and mildew disasters.

  1. Paver driveways

To add on to the storm trend, many homeowners are looking at new ways to improve drainage in their front yards. Paver driveways are a great home improvement idea.

A permeable paver driveway has joints which allow the water to flow into the gravel bed below the surface. This helps prevent the water from pooling on the surface of your driveway and may even reduce the burden on local stormwater collection systems. (Some states and municipalities even offer grants or tax incentives for this.)

  1. Porches and overhangs

We’re also adding more porches and overhangs to our designs. Clients want more protection for their online shopping packages, given the rise of “porch pirates.” Adding a porch to your home, or at least an overhang over your entrance, is a clever way to create more weather protection and hiding places for these deliveries.

  1. Basement gym

As COVID continues and gyms shut down and reopen — then shut down again — people are looking for alternatives to maintain their fitness regimens. An increasingly popular option is investing in a home gym. You can turn an extra room in your basement into a home gym, or build an add-on unit specifically for home gyms.

The process is not too complicated. It involves making sure that your floor is suitable, and your ceiling height can accommodate the exercise, as well as buying some nice at-home workout equipment suited to your needs. But many smart at-home fitness systems are popping up, such as Mirror, which is a wall-mounted mirror and camera with coaches. Peloton also has streamlined stationary bikes and treadmills.

  1. Less need for open floor plan

COVID has transformed our lives and work styles. With more people at home more often, homeowners are finding that open floor plans don’t work as well to meet their needs, and that separating spaces can be a valuable thing. But if you’ve been on a Zoom call with too much background noise, you know that open layout can be a nuisance.

Previously, open layouts had been a good option to maximize space. But now, we’re seeing people add walls to section off space to make home offices or play rooms for kids.

Article by Steven Secon