12 Design Trends Featured in the BALA Awards

Filed in Awards, Committees and Councils, Design, Multifamily by on January 25, 2016 4 Comments
The Hyde In Arlington, Va.,

The Hyde in Arlington, Va., designed by Cunningham Quill, features repurposed wood accents, one trend among BALA honorees.

A record 117 single-family, multifamily, remodeling and community projects were honored at the 2015 Best in American Living Awards (BALA) Gala held during the 2016 NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. And each winner offers an important glimpse into the homes tomorrow’s buyers will choose.

“BALA continues to be a snapshot and a directional for the way forward in home building and design,” said Heather McCune, co-chair of the BALA Subcommittee and director of marketing at Bassenian | Lagoni. “Something in each year’s winners will help you do your next project better – no matter who you are. That’s the power of a program like BALA.”

Among the trends evident in this year’s winners:

Intimate Outdoor Spaces. Many single-family custom and production homes include intimate outdoor gathering spaces, seen as a trend in many industry surveys, and complete with outdoor fireplaces or fire pits and cozy seating. These spaces are geared toward smaller gatherings, as opposed to the extended family-size back yards of the past.

Mid-Century Modern Detailing. Mid-century modern is now 21st Century chic in furniture, elevation design and detailing. Particularly in California and Nevada, more homes reference this easily recognizable style.

Indoor-Outdoor Convergence. What was once a distinct line between two living areas — indoor and outdoor —  has been replaced by floor-to-ceiling retractable glass walls and screens. Families can both visually and physically move between these areas.

Troughs and Spouts. Outdoor tables with open, trough-like water channels add interest, often culminating in a delicate waterfall off the edge of the table into a pool or water feature below.

Board and Batten Used Inside and Out. More often used as exterior cladding, board and batten is being featured inside quite a few homes now as well, adding a three-dimensional layer to interior finishes and providing an interesting alternative to paint and wallpaper.

Copper Bathtubs. These are a popular bathroom feature in quite a few award-winning homes. These tubs are a striking addition in any home, from rustic to modern to traditional.

White with Exotic or Repurposed Wood Accents. Many winning interiors feature stark, modern white paired with rich wood accents, a striking combination in flooring, ceilings and cabinets.

Modern Industrial Accents. Making its strongest appearance in multifamily projects, this trend combines sleek lighting and furniture with the brick, glass and steel elements of a building’s shell and skeleton. Vibrant pops of color offset the cooler color palette of metals and whites.

Barn Doors. Barn doors are appearing everywhere, from kitchens to mudrooms to closets. These offer an alternative to traditional left- or right-hung doors and become a design feature of the home, unlike pocket doors that tuck away.

Intricate Stairways. Overall, stairways are becoming more prominent and sophisticated. BALA winners featured curving glass railings, detailed iron newel posts, unique stair accent walls, glass treads and intricate tile work.

Low-Impact Design. Many BALA winners and entrants included sustainable and green features in their designs, including permeable pavers, rain gardens and landscaping with native species.

Waterfall Islands. Still trending are waterfall-edged islands, in which the kitchen bar is inset into the cabinetry rather than extended beyond it. These islands, whether made of wood, granite or marble, emphasize clean, modern lines.

For additional information about the BALA, visit the awards website.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Excellent trends to integrate into your land plan and landscape plans!
    Select the best team to build the best design which can lead to enhanced sales and closings when properly executed harmoniously with the architecture and Mother Nature!
    Don’t fool Mother Nature!

  2. Amy says:

    I love all the trends towards improved and more functional outdoor living spaces! I can see more new construction giants starting to offer upgrades like fire pits and transitional living spaces as add-on’s.

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