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Home Renewal: On Trend

Changes big and small to make your house more stylish for you or more desirable to buyers when the time comes to sell

When buying or building a home, it is always best to be ahead of the curve. No one wants to feel their house is obsolete or outdated. But New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles Magazine is here to tell you what’s popular now and what will continue to be popular in upcoming years.

WHAT'S HOT NOW

For current national trends, Sean Killeen, co-owner of Demoran Custom Homes, said homeowners are favoring open living spaces, kitchens with high-end appliances, and large master bathrooms. Custom cabinetry and marble or quartz countertops are popular.

“There’s been a shift to quartz and quartzite because they have the look and feel of marble but are much more durable, especially for families with young children,” Killeen said.

Bo Pennington, owner of Pentek Homes, said many people want to have a merged living room/kitchen with more space. He also added that many people want this room to be in the rear of the house. This layout facilitates events like backyard barbecues and other parties where people can easily move back and forth from the backyard to the living room.    

In local trends, Killeen said off-street parking is considered a must for New Orleans houses.

“If we build a house without off-street parking, it will be a very tough sell,” Killeen said.

Killeen added that customers regularly ask for an authentic New Orleans look in their homes with solid hardwood floors, corbels outside, and detailed trim work with large baseboards and tall crown moulding.

While energy-efficient homes are becoming more popular throughout the country, Killeen said it has not caught on as much in New Orleans because the houses are very close together and the solar panels do not match the aesthetics of the neighborhood architecture. However, Killeen feels this might change in the next 5-10 years with solar panel shingles that will look more like roofing tiles and blend in better with the local architecture.

HURRICANE PROOFING

Matt Davis, a realtor with Amanda Miller Realty Group, said customers have asked about hurricane-proof homes. While area building codes were updated after the devastation from Hurricane Katrina and the levee failures, many locals who remember the financial and emotional toll that storm took on homeowners may choose to go beyond code recommendations. A recent national news story may also be inspiring the interest in extra hurricane proofing.

During the 2018 hurricane season, a house in Mexico Beach, Florida made the news for being the only home on the beach still standing after Hurricane Michael. The house was built with poured concrete, reinforced with steel cables and rebar, then re-strengthened with additional concrete. The roof was built with minimal space under it to reduce the risk of it being carried off by wind gusts. The home was also built on high pilings.

PHONE HOME

Pennington said more houses in the future will feature smart technology. It is available now, and Pennington expects it to become even more popular. People will be able to check their home security cameras and alarm system from their phones while they are away from home.  

But the technology will have uses even when the owner is at home too. People will be able to turn lights on and off from their phones. In the middle of the night, if it’s too cold or too warm, people will be able to adjust the temperature in their houses without getting out of bed and walking down the hall to adjust the thermostat.

“People are becoming more and more accustomed to using their smart phones in connection with their homes,” Pennington said.

Another aesthetic trend Pennington sees becoming more popular in the next few years is multi-colored lighting in houses. If homeowners want to create mood lighting, they will be able to use different lights for different occasions.


 

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