Fresh Home Design Trends 2017

By Award-winning Chicago Architect Elissa Morgante

Trends, as we all know, come and go. Whether in food, clothing, or architecture, the darlings of today can become outdated with the passage of time. It’s the reason the work we do at Morgante Wilson Architects hews to the classic. We want our work to stand the test of time, and not be traceable to a particular decade, generation, or era. That said, every year certain things seem to capture our imagination – along with the imaginations of others in our field, and our clients. Here, a few fresh home design trends we are seeing in 2017:

Indoor-Outdoor Trends:  Greater Engagement with Outdoor Surroundings

What began as a good idea has quickly mushroomed into a whole new way of living. This is due in part to greater awareness of the lifestyle benefits that go along with forging indoor-outdoor connections in a house – think screened porches that transition seamlessly into family rooms, and kitchens that spill onto patios and terraces with their own dedicated cooking spaces. Lately, new technologies – and the products they inspire – make it easier than ever to blur the lines between indoors and out, and it’s a trend we think is fantastic.

Nana walls, in particular, are among our new favorite products. Unlike windows – or even French doors – Nana walls retract completely, so that barriers between indoor rooms and outdoor areas literally disappear. When opened up, Nana walls transform the character of a room so dramatically it’s a wonder we ever lived without them.

Rustic Trends: Barn Wood Surfaces

Chalk this one up to the popularity of shows such as HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” which have put barn wood – and other rustic, reclaimed woods – front and center in the minds of design-savvy homeowners. Our clients have fallen under the spell of barn wood, too – though not in the ways you might think. More than just a welcome textured surface for wall shelves, barn wood is quickly becoming one of our favorite materials to work with – but of course, in MWA-energized ways. For one client, we fashioned barn wood panels that run on a track to partition a large living space without resorting to doors. For another, we used a sliding barn door to define a sleeping alcove in a spacious hang-out room, for those times our clients need guest sleeping quarters.

Innovative Space Trends: Garages, Attics, and Basements

Gone are the days when our clients were okay with the notion of having spaces in their homes that were barely used. The square footage once commonly devoted to formal living rooms, for instance, is today more often given to live-in kitchens. Likewise, our clients want to put once-utilitarian areas such as garages, attics, and basements to better use, too.  Which is why the basements we’re building today often house bunk rooms, and sometimes even music studios.  Crafted simply from painted or sealed 2 x 4s and plywood, these amenity areas proclaim a natural, earthy vibe appropriate to a basement and exponentially increase the livability of a house.   

Though trends may come and go, these are a few we see maintaining their popularity for the long haul. And with good reason. To see what else we’re into, we invite you to visit our website

Elissa Morgante
Morgante-Wilson Architects
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Read other posts related to architectural and interior design by award-winning Chicago Architects Morgante-Wilson:

Hot Home Design Trends for 2017 (part one)

Home Design:  5 Delicious Ideas for Designing an Outdoor Kitchen

Inspiring Outdoor Living Spaces:  Design Ideas to Turn Your Backyard into an Oasis


Morgante-Wilson Architects provides architectural and interior design services in Chicago, Evanston, Winnetka, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Wilmette, Northbrook, Deerfield, Northfield, and Ravinia

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