St. Cloud real estate—like all real estate—is a supremely local activity. Area homeowners who like to keep an eye on Minnesota and national trends do so because some of them may surface in future buyer preferences. For St. Cloud homeowners in a remodeling frame of mind, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of “what’s hot.”
When it comes to nailing down the latest home design trends, there’s no shortage of commercial firms whose publicity departments are determined to make convincing arguments that their products are in the vanguard. Since the National Association of Realtors® isn’t selling anything, that’s one good reason to give special attention when Realtor Magazine puts out its annual “Home Design Trends” roundup.
This year, though, much of what they reported had more to do with American community and social environments than with the kind of details St. Cloud homeowners will find very useful. Those wider trends included a continuation of consumer preferences for “walkability”—in suburbs as well as in urban areas. Homes “far from everything” lose out in the “walk scoring” calculation. In a similar vein, as more and more people spend more and more time on social media and in front of computer screens at work, there is growing awareness that typical Americans crave more actual live human interaction: hence, proximity to social gathering places (clubs and clubhouses; community centers) is being newly emphasized in real estate sales materials.
But some more traditional kinds of home design trends were mentioned, as well, such as the finding that “taupe is the new gray” and a movement toward “naturally renewable, warmer surfaces.” Taupe’s slightly rosier tone conveys a friendlier feel than plain gray, which fits in with the turn away from colder black, white, and metallic palettes. Natural cork is one low-maintenance material offered as an example: it adds aesthetic appeal to walls and flooring. (Besides, it bounces back when dented)!
Other specifics include a shift toward away from traditional log-burning hearths to natural gas and even alcohol-burning fireplaces. St. Cloud homeowners who have done without fireplaces entirely may take note: since they don’t require vents, alcohol burning hearths can be installed just about anywhere with minimal construction expense.
One home design trend that is definitely applicable in St. Cloud is a consequence of the ever-diminishing size of today’s electronic technology tools. For those whose careers make working from home at least part of their professional work week, it means that the necessity for a full-room home office is gradually waning. Now almost any corner of the home can suffice. When designers speak of “dual-purpose areas” with “dual-purpose furnishings,” they probably have this trend in mind. A further step into the future is the “movable wall concept.” That’s not here yet: it’s projected for the futuristic Home of 2050. (I, for one, am willing to wait).
One trend that’s unlikely to change is the advantage to both buyers and sellers of being able to count on the services of an experienced St. Cloud Realtor. I’m always just a phone call away!
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