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When it comes to home renovations, style trends are always changing. Many times, Southerners lead the way in those design trends. There are entire magazines and websites dedicated to Southern-style living, and many Americans seek to emulate that lifestyle in their own home designs. What are some of the emerging style trends to come out of the American South?
Before the Great Recession, families that needed more space or empty nesters that needed less space simply packed up and moved to a new home. Now, Southern families are choosing to stay where they are, making the most of the space they have. Younger families are converting their basements and garages into extra living space and coming up with creative closet and storage designs to keep their lives more organized and free from clutter. Empty nesters are taking their newly-found extra space and using their bedrooms as offices, art studios, libraries and gyms to explore the hobbies they enjoy, without leaving the house.
In the South, mold, air pollution and other allergens can be a year-round concern for many homeowners. According to the popular home remodeling platform Houzz.com, more homeowners are starting to renovate for health. This is less of a style trend, however, and more of a structure trend. People are replacing their HVAC systems with newer, more modern systems that focus on air filtration. Likewise, they are removing older cabinets and countertops and replacing them with models that do not use any toxins in the production process and they are choosing finishes that do not emit any residual gasses. They are even installing no-touch toilets and faucets to prevent the spread of germs.
Homeowners in the South are also paying more attention to where their building materials are coming from. Many look for wood and metal that has been discarded and destined for the landfill and then repurpose those materials for their home as accent beams, artwork, door frames, mantles or even tables and chairs. In the South, where hurricanes are an unfortunate fact of life, there are lots of home designers that specifically rescue materials that were tossed after natural disasters. Many Southerners feel this is a great way to honor those who suffered loss in a storm – rather than trashing pieces of someone’s home, the materials are getting reused and enjoyed for years to come.
Southern homes have often been characterized as ornate, filled with lots of textures on everything from upholstery to walls. This trend is starting to shift towards smoother, sleeker lines in the home. While some designers have declared the “contemporary” style trend as dead, Southerners are rebranding it and making it their own, trading in raised cabinets for flat-panel cabinets, turning in their smocked bedding and blankets for smoother models, and creating spa-like bathrooms utilize ceramic and smooth surfaces over marble.
Southerners have always been trendsetters when it comes to home design. Homeowners all over the country look to the South to see what the newest style trends will be. In the coming years it appears that maximizing usable space, creating cleaner lines, and focusing on healthy homes are where Southerners are spending their home renovation dollars.
This article and its content are sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric US Inc., Cooling & Heating Division.