As one of the top architectural home designers in Chicago, we’re often asked what we see as the most popular design features of the moment. What are luxury homeowners asking for in their custom built homes? What kind of design elements are getting the most requests?
To answer this question, we took a look through our own portfolio of custom built homes in Chicago, the North Shore and beyond and have gathered the top four design features that our design team loves seeing—and building—into architectural house plans for our Chicago homes. Take a look at the design elements below and then get in touch if you’ve been inspired to take action in your own home!
Custom Design Feature #1: A Luxurious Home Bar
One of the design features that Orren Pickell’s design and architecture team has been receiving more client requests for is an amazing home bar. A far cry the veneer-clad, vinyl-seating bars that adorned the basements of many homes in the 1970s and 80s, today’s home bars are true masterpieces of craftsmanship, adding visual interest and value to a home.
Your home bar can and should reflect your particular tastes, preferences and style down to the tiniest detail. For example, a home bar in a traditional style home may mirror other elements in the home, with the leaded glass columns featuring the same design as the mullion detail used in the dining room furniture, while a home bar in a transitional home may feature sleek black cabinets against stark white walls and clean lines throughout. The choice is up to you!
Design Element #2: Lighting That Makes a Statement
Technological innovations in lighting offer homeowners virtually limitless choices when it comes to selecting beautiful and functional light for your living spaces—gone are the days when track lighting or tedious dimmer switches were the height of lighting customization. And lighting designers have similarly continued innovating, dreaming up more bold, beautiful and imaginative ways to illuminate your abode while delighting your senses.
From exquisite chandeliers that bring just the right touch of haute couture to your master closet/dressing room to over-island lighting that is beautiful and practical, the lighting you choose can set the stage for your entire room, creating a focal point and making your design aesthetic crystal clear. And they can also set the mood, from creating a cozy, warm feeling in a nook of your living room to providing enough lighting for cooking tasks in the kitchen.
Architectural Addition #3: Outdoor Living Spaces
Another trend we’re seeing more of is a focus on outdoor living spaces. Even here in the Chicago area with its chilly weather, luxury homeowners and homebuilders are creating architectural home plans that make the most of every aspect of their homes including creating sunrooms, porches, outdoor kitchens and more. When done well, an outdoor living space feels like a natural extension of your home, carrying through the same high-quality finishes and craftsmanship that is found inside.
Fire can play an important role in making outdoor living spaces more attractive and more comfortable. A stone fireplace can serve as a focal point for a backyard retreat while providing warmth on a chilly evening, and a sleek instant-on fire pit provides chic heat to a rooftop deck. Or you can combine both elements in a way that is unique to your landscape and your needs.
Upscale Design Feature #4: Furniture-Style Vanities
A final upscale design feature seen among Chicago’s finest custom built homes is the trend of furniture-style vanities in master bathrooms, guest bathrooms and powder rooms. Designed to look like the handsome, hand-crafted furniture in other areas of your home, furniture-style vanities bring an extra touch of elegance and luxuriousness to your en suite, providing you with beautiful yet pragmatic storage solutions.
The furniture-like vanity you choose for your bathroom can—of course—reflect your personal style and tastes. Vanities are available in warm woods with hand-carved details, in sleek, bold colors with clean lines, or virtually anything in between. Your architect or designer will work with you to find (or to have created) the bathroom vanity that suits your lifestyle and reflects your unique aesthetic.
Ready for the Orren Pickell Building Group to bring one of these design features to life in your new home? Want to talk about renovating your current home to incorporate a refreshed design? Get in touch with us today.