Builder Magazine’s Top Design Trends Of 2011 Could Have Been TreeHugger’s

Builder Magazine’s annual roundup of the top design trends usually doesn’t have much to say to TreeHugger types, but his year is very different, as the ideas we have discussed for years make their way into the mainstream. Trends include Make Mine Mini (malist), the shrinking of apartments and houses. People don’t need as much; one architect notes that “These kids use the city as their living room and their tiny apartment as their crash pad,They own little but their digital gadgets.”


Granny suites are still on the rise


It’s a response to several different scenarios: married kids moving back home, grandparents moving in, or a sibling coming to stay for a while to regroup and share expenses….This multi-generational trend has far less of an effect on living areas than it does on the bedroom plan. For the multigenerational buyer, he says, “sleeping arrangements are always the first concern.”


Green Roofs

Whether it’s because growing your own food is thrifty, eco-friendly, or just plain satisfying, homeowners are obviously taking a cue from a foodie trend (restaurants with roof gardens) and from a longtime urban practice (community roof gardens in high-rise buildings).

Other trends that I like include green laws, like the new International Energy Conservation Code, Mad for Mid Century modern designs, Open Up the space in living areas for multiple functions, and Think Small, Live Large:

“I call it the Mini Cooper phenomenon,” says John Torti, principal at Torti Gallas and Partners in greater Washington, DC, who’s seeing a call for better, but not bigger…”Essentially, it’s about interior architecture and using every square foot to maximum efficiency.”