House Design Trends for 2018 Q&A: Latest Trends and Insights from Shea Homes®

by Shea Homes on March 29, 2018

A new year means new architectural designs are taking over the housing market. So, what will the popular building styles and exterior trends be this year? Martin Reill, a Shea Homes Product Development Manager weighs in with his thoughts on what trends will be big in 2018 and beyond.

About Martin Reill

Martin focuses on developing new ideas and watching for trends in new home construction, residential architecture and new home design. In this interview, Martin shares his experience designing houses and his perspective on what’s going to be trending in the housing market in the future.

Q&A: Home Design and Trends to Watch

Q: To start us off, how much of an importance do you place on new trends? How do they impact your role and what Shea Homes produces?

Reill: As home builders, we need to be mindful and receptive of new trends. With the popularity of social media and all the DIY tutorials focusing more on home improvement, home buyers are becoming continually educated and aware of marketplace trends at a faster pace. Because of this, we home builders need to stay on top of trends and make sure we are incorporating consumer needs into our building plans.

Q: What are the most popular design trends you have seen being incorporated into home layouts recently?

Reill: We have seen many homeowners wanting to forego traditional living and dining room spaces in favor of larger, multipurpose spaces that incorporate the kitchen, great room, and dining room into one area. In the past, no one wanted to spend time in the kitchen, yet with the rise in popularity of open concept floorplans, the kitchen has now become the hub of entertainment and family gatherings. Because of this focus on inclusive entertainment in the kitchen, large kitchen spaces with spacious islands are a trend I see remaining popular in coming years.

Q: Are you currently keeping an eye on any other specific home design or architectural trends?

Reill: Dual functioning spaces and different storage options are two trends that are popular and that Shea Homes is starting to integrate into homes more frequently.

Lately, we have seen many buyers looking for ways to de-clutter their main spaces. This trend is coming to life in home designs through the addition of multipurpose nooks and cabinets. Homeowners have been shifting away from having large dedicated spaces for specific activities, such as traditional dens or office space, and instead opting for smaller dual-purpose spaces. By utilizing smaller rooms within the home for a variety of different purposes, such as a laundry room that also has a small workplace to be used as a home office, homeowners can use their larger rooms, that would have traditionally been a home office or library, as extra bedrooms or flex spaces.

Q: Are there any recent cultural shifts or trends that you anticipate may influence new home designs?

Reill: Something unique that has changed over the past few years is that, more frequently, family units are sticking together across generations. Young adults are delaying home ownership and many are choosing to live at home longer than we have seen in the past. We have also seen a trend of parents moving in with their children to be closer to family and save money after retirement. We have even seen parents and children co-buying houses and planning to live together long-term. As home builders, we need to recognize that these multi-generation households require homes with a different layout and we need to incorporate specific design solutions into homes to meet their needs.

Q: How is Shea Homes designing homes to support multi-generational living?

Reill: Things like having two master bedrooms in a floorplan, flex spaces, and casitas have been in demand from many of our homeowners. When you have multiple generations living under one roof, it is nice for everyone to have their own space within the home. Adding things like an additional private bathroom, a small refrigerator, cabinets, and extra storage into rooms helps to make it feel like its own personal space within a home. Even single-family households are incorporating these elements into their layout to use as guest rooms.

Q: What materials do you see rising in popularity and becoming most utilized in home building?

Reill: Specific material use varies between different regions throughout the country due to different styles of houses that are popular in the region as well as what materials are best suited for the area’s weather. In the Carolinas and east coast, Victorian and Colonial style houses are still very popular, so Shea Homes tends to use a lot of board and batten and siding material in those areas to give tribute to this look.

In the northwest and California, Craftsman and beach cottage home styles are traditionally very popular. To mimic these sought-after looks, Shea Homes incorporates exposed beams, split limestone and mortar washed brick walls into a home’s style.

There are also some elements that are popular throughout the country, like crisp, clean lines and stucco mixed with modern stone profiles. While the exact styles vary, there is a trend of using materials and colors to create a timeless look that pays homage to traditional and historic home design.

Q: What color accents do see being most popular in 2018?

Reill: When it comes to home colors (both interior and exterior) as well as overall building materials, utilizing dark beams that stand out from light, neutral color walls and floors have been prevalent recently. Yet, lately textural change, rather than color change, has been a growing trend. Layering different materials in the same color scheme adds depth and dimension to a home while minimally impacting the overall design of the space.

Q: What are some of the outdoor trends home buyers are looking for when purchasing a home?

Reill: We are seeing an increase of homeowners wanting to blur the lines between the inside and out by transforming outdoor spaces into “outdoor rooms.” These outdoor spaces are semi-enclosed, with only two or three of the sides open to the outdoors and a roof overhead. This design makes the room feel as though you are inside, yet still open to some of the natural elements of the outdoors. For those who live in areas with temperamental weather the trend can still be embraced by incorporating multi-side, bi-folding, or sliding doors into their layouts. These large glass doors allow for natural light to come into the room year-round and homeowners can open the doors and create their own semi-enclosed room when the weather is nice.

To sum up, here is a list of popular home design trends to keep in mind as you begin to renovate or start looking for a new home in 2018:

  • Open concept layouts are being chosen over traditional dining and living spaces
  • Small multi-purpose spaces are growing in popularity
  • The purchasing behavior and demographics of the home are continuing to shift from single family to multi-generational
  • Contemporary materials are being used to create the look and aesthetic of historical homes with a modern flare
  • Texture changes are gaining popularity over color changes when it comes to interiors, exteriors and building materials
  • Homeowners are blurring the line between the indoors and outside with outdoor rooms and sliding glass doors

What home trends would you like to have built into your home? Leave us a comment below and learn more about our various communities at

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

oniry April 30, 2018 at 3:33 am

Thank your for the latest tips for home design 2018!


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