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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Today’s High End Housing Design Trends Green

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” We lost 100 watt incandescent bulbs in 2012, which encouraged manufacturers to ramp up innovation with LED lights,” she says.

Now we are seeing interior designers, homeowners and architects using decorative lighting fixtures again. I am happy to see wall sconces returning,” she says, “As well as chandeliers in powder rooms.”

An informal poll of some of New England’s housing industry professionals tells us that sensitivity to the environment is growing.

The environmental concerns of today’s homeowners include the surface finishes of most products.

” We see a lot of interest in low VOC products; people care about how much their carpets or paints are off-gassing,” says Shannon Alther of TMS Architects of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “They also like to re-use old building parts, something that was espoused but seldom done until now, especially in commercial buildings.”

Bradford Walker of Boston’s Walker Architects sees a new interest in texture that goes hand in hand with today’s strong environmental consciousness.

Dearborn sees the new technology driving a creative evolution in which traditional lighting forms reemerge.

” It’s a great fit in a cold climate when you can get free heat from the sun,” says Horowitz.

He points out, “My clients are trying hard to not do granite countertops,” as another example of the move away from the smooth and towards the textural.

” The emergence of energy efficiency and LED lighting makes the world more fun, if you’re in the lighting world,” adds Lucy Dearborn, president of Lucia Lighting in Lynn, Massachusetts. “You get 90% energy savings with very little emission of heat in a small package, and it lasts a long time. And, LED lighting can easily be colored.”

Kelly Taylor, who operates her interior design firm out of Providence, Rhode Island, says that the shift towards sustainability is driving the biggest design trends.

This is not to say that conservation-conscious homeowners live without refrigerators.

” People are looking for reclaimed wood, wire-scraped oak, coarse and chunky textiles,” he says. “They are moving away from the look of surfaces embalmed in smooth polyurethane.”

” For gardeners, we are building basement root cellars that augment food storage upstairs,” Horowitz says. High-performance European windows, energy monitoring systems and passive house technology are all strong trends that continue to gain traction. Passivhaus, a ratings system developed in Germany, applies especially stringent standards.

” For gardeners, we are building basement root cellars that augment food storage upstairs,” Horowitz says.” Recessed LED lighting is amazing now,” Taylor continues.” The emergence of energy efficiency and LED lighting makes the world more fun, if you’re in the lighting world,” adds Lucy Dearborn, president of Lucia Lighting in Lynn, Massachusetts. Now we are seeing interior designers, homeowners and architects using decorative lighting fixtures again. I am happy to see wall sconces returning,” she says, “As well as chandeliers in powder rooms.”

Dearborn points out that the trend towards better technology and more decorative fixtures richly benefits home decors.

” Our clients are well schooled in matters of energy conservation; they come to us with a high level of knowledge,” says Stephanie Horowitz of ZeroEnergy Design, a Boston architectural firm that specializes in green architecture and mechanical design. “We are getting requests for root cellars as part of a general goal towards resilience and self sufficiency.”

” Recessed LED lighting is amazing now,” Taylor continues. When you look up, you see glass, not a bulb and space around it.

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