Nexus Architecture Blog

As residential architects we perform a truly personal service to our clients and strive to serve their needs and desires in making what they consider an ideal home. We seek to create homes that serve them well functionally and also represent their sense of style and place in the world. We are providing a service which facilitates and enhances our clients' own personal visions rather than advocating our own stylistic design agendas as architects. And, of course, at the same time we are creating these buildings and places among other existing buildings places both old and new to form relationships and communities. These are sometimes blended uniformly and sometimes in great contrast. There are often bad examples of both extreme uniformity as well as extreme contrasts.

With America's twenty-first century surge in urban renewal and the re-gentrification of the inner city we find ourselves in a rapidly changing context and among a wide variety of client types with conflicting ideologies regarding what they personally find desirable to live in and what is currently trending in home design and the tastes of their neighbors. In certain neighborhoods the subject of 'tradition versus trend' is as politically charged and overly-polarized as is the presidential election. It's the old guard versus the new revolutionaries. It's Tiny Houses versus McMansions at times and cottages versus condominium towers at others. It's a time of change, conflict and debate as we work out who we are or "if" we are one new culture. And why are we making super hero movies where the good guys are fighting each other anyway?! We are an exciting, 'eclectic' and sometimes even dangerous civilization to try and get along in.

As such, the acceptance, if not appreciation, of an eclectic existence might just be the only glue that can hold us together peacefully. But, regardless of "style" and political choices, we can distill our current home design trends into a few common ideas in these recent years since the turn of the century.

    *    Eclectic use of style elements (there's that word again) always seems to prevail over rigorous stylizing whether historical or modern. Mixing and matching the parts of a place between styles and stereotypes helps to personalize and animate the experience of a space.
        The use of modern style windows and even commercial type windows and glass doors in traditionally styled homes seems to be an accepted form of rule breaking. We are recently motivated to bring our outdoor and indoor spaces together to create a greater sense of openness and to promote a greater sense of connection between spaces.

    *    An economizing of space for efficiency, beauty, economy and convenience. We are investing in more selective materials and subtle design features in more efficiently laid out spaces in lieu of the oversized rooms of the late twentieth century which would often feel vacuous and impersonal. Fewer walls and more combined spaces

        Minimal ornament and less cluttered space maintains a sense of calm and promotes focus on our tasks as well as the other people in our home lives. Rooms are often now decorated in monochromatic color schemes with contrast created only by subtle changes in tone and texture. Focus and drama are often created with a rare bold splash of color, a special tile pattern, a featured (sometimes out of scale or style context) light fixture or spectacular stairway used sparingly.

    *    Ecologically sound, energy efficient systems and materials and even re-purposed materials are becoming the cultural norm as well as the requirements of our society's laws. Homes becoming more liveable for aging seniors and disabled people.

        Building codes becoming more rigorous for efficiency and accessibility, advances in energy efficient and renewable energy technology, greater resource efficiency and the use of more quickly renewable materials is happening as a necessity of scarcity in industry resources. Designers are planning for greater accessibility and safety for all ages and abilities.

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