My Favorite Design Ideas of 2012

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Over the year, I have written about a variety of interior design and gardening ideas to use throughout the seasons. There are all fun to research and put together. But as always, I have favorites.

Unless you have the money to change out your interior and exterior designs as well as your furniture with every change in the trends, you are better off with timeless design. It is simple, durable and adaptable, always weathering the trends.

Downscaling and upcycling

It just takes a little imagination to create something new out of something seemingly unusable. Upcycling means to give an object a completely new use, instead of just a paint job and minor repairs.

Small homes are still a building trend for 2013. Fixtures and furniture will have to be to scale while we whittle down our belongings. Storage will have to get creative!

One 2013 building trend is to retrofit homes for seniors so they can live safely and comfortably as they age. In new construction, Universal Design needs to be employed so retrofits won’t be necessary later on!

The Arts and Crafts era of design is one of my favorites. The simple lines, open floor plan and massive porches of the bungalows draw me right in.

New space for health and comfort

There is nothing like a coat of paint to change a room or a piece of furniture. Painting is one of the least expensive and most creative ways to make change in your home. For better indoor air quality and good health, choose non-toxic paints and stains.

I am a morning person, and I always have a sunny window to sit in for drinking coffee, reading and writing. The morning room offers warmth in winter and hope in summer. If you are remodeling your kitchen, consider adding a few windows to create a morning room.

Let’s go outside

I’ve had fun experimenting with creative, visually interesting walkways at all the houses I’ve lived in over the years. The possibilities for materials and design are only limited by your imagination. Now is the time to start planning your summer projects, so consider a new walkway!

Here’s another project to plan now if you live in an area that gets snow. Look around your yard this month, and take note of how interesting it is to look at. You can plant trees and shrubs that will grab your eye after a snowstorm. Winter interest is important in landscape design. Structures and pathways can come alive in winter, too!

Who says container gardening has to be in a ceramic pot?! Anything large enough to hold some soil and a root ball can hold a plant. Look for things that are creative and unique. They will be conversation starters with your friends and family while expressing who you are.

It’s easy to unplug and get outside in warm weather when there is an attractive and functional living area to spend time in. Outdoor living is very popular in home design as our society becomes aware of nature and all it has to offer. Winter is planning time for projects like these!

Building community is another modern trend. Instead of being separate from our neighbors, we need to create spaces that invite them into our lives. What better place to start than on the front porch?

Follow your gut, and the trends will follow

No matter what sort of designs your family needs and that fit your tastes, be sure to express yourself in your home. Going with trends means you are following a pack, not showing off your creative ideas. If a trend sits well with you, then by all means use it! Your home is as unique as you are, inside and out.

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Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer has been living and building green for over 35 years. Nan’s emphasis on the BuildDirect blog is about how to make your dollar stretch further, while also moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle, as well as upcoming and existing technology to help us live in an ecologically-friendly way. Nan also authors posts on the website of her seed business, sweetly seeds.