Trends in home design change often. Consider, perhaps, the home your grandparents owned when you were little, or even the home in which you grew up. If you were picturing your dream home today, how many of the design elements from those homes of the past would you choose?

While it’s true that some things do come back into style, chances are that home builders in Vancouver (or elsewhere) are drafting designs today that are far different from homes of the 70s, 80s, 90s, or even the beginning of the millennium.

The beauty of having a custom home builder design your ideal abode is that you can tap into the latest trends…trends that you simply may not find elsewhere it you’re considering buying a pre-existing home. Working with your builder to design your ideal house means that you can choose the elements you love – including the “trendy” ones – and forego the ones that don’t float your boat, so to speak. The result is what’s intended – a custom home that fits both your needs and your wants.

So, what’s hot these days? And are they elements you might consider including in your custom home?

Open floor plans

If you watch anything at all on HGTV, from Property Brothers to the ultra-popular Fixer Upper, you know that everyone seems to be favoring open floor plans these days. Whether they’re building new or revamping a tired, old house, the name of the game is rooms that flow easily from one to another without a lot of walls. Great rooms are popular (combined living/dining areas) rather than separate formal living rooms and dining rooms) and huge kitchens flow directly into family rooms or other living areas.

The idea behind the open floor plan is that it’s not only better for entertaining but also ideal for busy families. Mom or Dad can clearly see the kids playing in the family room while cooking dinner in the kitchen, for example. Open plans also provide increased flexibility when it comes to arranging and rearranging furniture, and the open floor plan house tends to be lighter and brighter as well.

It can, however, be more costly to heat a home with fewer walls and plenty of high ceilings, so be sure to discuss that with your builder before you choose an open plan.

Downstairs master bedrooms

Reports show that most people fear having to live in nursing homes or retirement communities even more than death, so many are asking for houses that will accommodate their needs even as they reach the so-called golden years. Because of that, custom home builders in Vancouver and beyond are often asked to design a home with a main level master suite.

One-story homes with everything on one level are more popular than ever in some locations as well, which means those who purchase the home – often today’s Baby Boomers – can stay in it for decades to come, if they wish. This allows them to “thrive in place” rather than having to move in their later years.

“Green” features

Many who are contemplating hiring a custom home builder often include questions about “green” options when they interview the builders they are considering. This is especially true of millennials though many older home owners are also well aware of the impact that any kind of structure can have on the environment.

As such, many are seeking a builder who can assure them that they can include items such as improved insultation, programmable thermostats, Energy Star™ appliances, sustainable lumber, low-emittance windows that reflect UV rays and sunlight so homes stay cooler, LED and compact fluorescent lighting, and solar or geothermal power. Some home owners also simply decide to build smaller so as to reduce their carbon footprint in general.

Outdoor rooms that extend living space

A well-designed outdoor living area can greatly increase the resale value of your home. And we’re not talking just a deck or patio! More and more, those who are building custom homes choose to add elements such as outdoor kitchens, large dining areas, and a second living room out in the elements. All of these are great for taking advantage of sunny Vancouver days, even when there’s a slight chill in the air.

Make sure, however, that your outdoor plan stays consistent with the rest of your house plans. For example, if your home is of a particular architectural style or perhaps a certain color scheme, stick with that as you extend outside. Also consider where the sun is shining at certain times of the day when determining the exact layout of your exterior room. Ask your builder about choosing the correct lighting and talk to a landscaper about how plants and trees can add to the beauty of your outdoor space.


Some of these newest trends might appeal to you while others may not. Remember, the final plans should reflect your personality as well as meet your needs. Talk to your custom builder about your vision and work together to come up with a plan that ticks all the boxes.