|If you’re planning to renovate your cabin or dreaming of building a new getaway, there are some exciting design trends that make this a great time to build or add-on. These trends, while green and eco-friendly, can also bring out the best in your cabin — making it an even better place to enjoy nature and spend time with family and friends. Here are the top five trends:
1] Getting More for Less
Simple design techniques can transform a small space into one that feels more spacious. You can: use large windows and sliding doors to bring the outside in; increase ceiling heights; design an open floor plan with minimal interior walls; add window seats and alcoves, corner windows, small-scale furniture and choose light colors for walls and ceilings.
2] Soft Touch, Low Impact
An evolving understanding of the environmental impact of buildings and their energy use has resulted in a number of products and techniques.
Some are quite simple and obvious. A well-insulated building with quality windows is one of the best investments a cabin owner can make. Exterior window shades, trellises and deciduous trees to shade south-facing windows can reduce or eliminate the need for costly air-conditioning.
Compact fluorescent lights, Energy Star appliances, solar-assisted hot water heaters, and ultra-efficient heating systems are also good investments.
Durability and less maintenance are also considerations every homeowner can appreciate. Examples include standing seam metal roofs, polished concrete floors, passive heating and cooling design, and landscapes filled with drought-tolerant and native plants.
3] I Want It Now
Modular and pre-fabricated homes may be a good route if you want to build your cabin in a remote area that lacks a full complement of skilled tradesmen.
4] Indoors Out
At the top of the list is the expanded use of outdoor rooms. Cabin dwellers have long known that an outdoor room creates low-cost living and entertaining space, and the idea has really caught fire and become a hot trend.
5] Going Natural
You can vastly improve the indoor air quality of your vacation home by using materials that do not contain toxins, formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds.
Going green isn’t about jumping on the bandwagon of trendiness. It can pay off with a cabin that’s more comfortable, healthier and easier on the wallet. So free yourself to dream about building or renovating a vacation home that best fits you and your family.