Materials, Interior Detailing, Healthy Homes

The latest trends in home building and design.

May 1, 2007

In the sale of homes, three factors have always played leading roles in making one house more desirable than another: location, price, and condition. Example: A great view has long been one of the most sought-after amenities, whether the home dates from George Washington’s presidency and overlooks the Potomac River in Virginia or is a more recent vintage, built to enjoy Montana’s endless vistas.

But new trends are always emerging to captivate buyers. In recent years, new-home buyers — and owners who are remodeling — have enjoyed a wealth of choices, ranging from green construction materials to special-use room additions. How you market these trends depends on the buyers’ tastes and interests.

Environmentalist clients may swoon over the green roof and wall-to-wall bamboo flooring but care little about the first-floor game room that appeals to Mr. and Mrs. Sociable. Similarly, a young family moving into their first home may be uninterested in incorporating accessible features that some boomers and seniors consider must-haves to age in place. Part of finding the best house for buyers — particularly in a slow market with a large inventory — is knowing the array of possibilities.

Here, we offer a look at some of the latest trends in home building and design, from construction materials to green innovations. Click on the links below to view photos and descriptions of the top trends.





New homes today often include a mix of styles and materials. This house, on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin, updates the English Tudor look with granite river rock sheathing and chimney. By Orren Pickell Designers & Builders in Lincolnshire, Ill.

Download Acrobat Reader

Barbara Ballinger

Barbara Ballinger is a freelance writer and the author of several books on real estate, architecture, and remodeling, including The Kitchen Bible: Designing the Perfect Culinary Space (Images Publishing, 2014). Barbara’s most recent book is The Garden Bible: Designing Your Perfect Outdoor Space, co-authored with Michael Glassman (Images, 2015).


Residential Styles & Structural Elements


The Creole Cottage, which is mostly found in the South, originated in New Orleans in the 1700s. The homes are distinguished by a front wall that...