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Home design trends for 2011? Think small, green, urban21 Dec

Fewer new homes are popping up across the United States, but there are still enough of them to discern trends. An obvious one is the push toward smaller homes, which Green House has previously talked about. Jenny Sullivan, a senior editor of BUILDER, calls this “portion control.” She cites nine other trends for 2011. This is evident in the rising interest surrounding tiny houses for sale that have high end finishes and extra attention to detail.

“Glitz is gone, at least for now,” she writes. “Honest architecture is the order of the day as homeowners look to simplify their lives – and, by association, their houses. This mantra of zen is playing out in interior spaces with natural finishes, clean lines, and few frivolous embellishments.”

Sullivan also describes a push toward healthier homes as people extend their wellness equation to where they live. She sees growing demand for low-VOC paints, stains, and sealants as well as cabinets and furniture made with natural products such as hay, wheat, eucalyptus, bamboo, and aspen.

On her top 10 list is the continued growth of green building, which a November report by McGraw Hill Construction projects will double overall in size by 2015. On Jan. 1, California’s CalGreen building code takes effect, mandating eco-friendly practices that were previously voluntary.

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