There is no doubt that the Triangle market is hot right now and is poised to prosper throughout the new year and beyond. Due to our rank as one of the fastest growing metros in the nation increased housing demand and evolving design trends throughout 2018 are anticipated. With growth in affluence and population comes new ideas fired by the expanding palette of our increasingly diverse culture. Being a custom home builder in a jet-set, Internet-of-everything milieu, our well-traveled and knowledgeable clients are often inspired by cutting edge designs and products from around the world for their custom home. Based on what we and our clients are excited about of late, here are our predictions for luxury custom home trends for the next twelve months.

Indoor dining meets outdoor dining via two folding panel doors and a flush threshold.

Floorplan features: An advantage of designing and building a custom home is the ability to integrate features that enhance your lifestyle into the home’s layout. Art and music studios, meditation rooms, themed pubs, and pet showers have made appearances in our homes recently and we believe these bespoke features will continue to trend as people demand more personalization from their floorplans. We all know formal dining rooms are out for many modern home buyers, and in their stead oversized open kitchens are desirable. Furthering this, blending indoor and outdoor dining space is becoming increasingly popular, facilitated by large folding or sliding panel doors. In the Lodge at Avalaire, our 2017 parade home, the dining nook abutted 2 folding panel doors that opened a corner into the screened porch and outdoor kitchen. This was a big hit with the public and judges. Creative uses of “dead space” within the walls are also on the rise. Luggage hatches, concealed compartments, pocket doors, and secret rooms add extra utility to what would otherwise be unused space.

Interior Design: Mixed materials and textures were popular in 2017 and we can expect to see manufacturers and interior designers offer more interesting combinations of metals, live edge wood, stone, fabrics, and wallpaper. This will be apparent in lighting and plumbing fixture selections, premium textured wallpapers, custom carpentry, and furniture. Cozy elegance is a concept that we often discuss with our clients; it’s the idea that a home should exude luxury and familiar comfort simultaneously, encouraging relaxation and respite. Expect to see soft, clean lines and blended color combinations in 2018. Regarding color, warm neutrals like muted taupe and lavender are being contrasted with deep ocean blue, rich merlot, and black. Bathrooms are becoming increasingly bright, open, and accessible as universal design becomes more mainstream. Curb-less showers and in-wall European toilets have become very popular with our clientele lately as well.

Clean lines and open spaces in this modern bath featuring a Geberit in wall toilet. Photo via Geberit.

Home Tech: Burgeoning consumer level home technology solutions have officially reached critical mass at the end of 2017, evidenced by the more than 30 million voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant in US homes. How does this affect custom homes that typically include total home control ecosystems like Crestron or Control4? This is yet to be seen, but one thing is for certain; the status quo is changing fast. We’re confident that by the end of 2018 Wi-Fi networks will no longer be an afterthought of building a home, but rather will be designed so that the entire property is Wi-Fi enabled. This will allow homeowners to add smart devices like Wi-Fi speakers, smart bulbs, and even irrigation controllers in and outside of their home. It’s obvious that an increasing array of devices will become integrated with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, and through these integrations a new ecosystem will emerge. The question remaining: will Amazon and Google make a push toward automation and device consolidation such that multiple apps and settings can be managed through the Alexa app or Google Home? If they do, we might see a decline in more expensive whole-home software systems. Other tech areas to watch in 2018: electronic tinted glass, color changing and tunable LED lighting, and occupancy sensors for health, safety, and energy savings.