Sponsored Content | Belmonte Builders
We’ve learned a lot about our homes during the past two years. Mostly, what it’s like to be inside them for months and months… and months. So it’s no surprise that new home trends for 2022 are motivated by our desire for more workspace, more kitchen space, and more usable outdoor space.
To learn more about this growing trend, we talked with Belmonte Builders in Clifton Park, a local home builder that has been building new homes in the Capital Region for over 40 years.
“We pay attention to the trends and try to include the most popular ones in our homes, based on what we see in the market. For example, all of our new homes come standard with kitchen islands, granite countertops, cabinets with soft close hinges and drawer slides, gas fireplaces, and energy-efficient windows. At one time these features would have been considered upgrades.” says Mike Lust, Director of Sales at Belmonte Builders.
When asked what the most common trends for upgrades in new homes today, Lust categorized them into buckets: kitchens, master baths, basements, home offices, and outdoor spaces.
The Heart of the Home…the Kitchen
The Kitchen is where families spend most of their time and make the most memories. That’s why many of the upgrades homeowners want are in this space. And since living through a pandemic, it has become even more important. The National Kitchen and Bath Association forecasts that the pandemic will have a massive impact on kitchen design trends for years to come. They predict not just larger islands for food prep but also “landing counters” for groceries and food delivery. The NKBA survey also found homeowners wanted multifunctional kitchens, minimal clutter, and greater connection to other rooms including outdoor spaces.
Today’s open concept floor plans make the kitchen the main focal point of the home. A popular upgrade is using taller kitchen cabinets to achieve a more high-end look while also gaining additional storage and making the room more spacious. Specialty drawers are also added to the mix because they make it so much easier to store and access awkward and oversized items like baking sheets, pots, and pans.
Kitchen islands are where most of the living takes place. Upgrading to an oversized island (that can accommodate more people) or to a working island with a sink or stove is another popular upgrade among Belmonte homeowners. The extra counter space is perfect for kitchen prep and the extra seating makes it optimal for studying, paying bills or grabbing a bite to eat.
Custom-painted cabinetry is growing in popularity as well. Owners love being able to use color to make their kitchens unique. Lindsey Belmonte, VP of Customer Relations at Belmonte Builders noted: “We’re seeing more homeowners opting for white cabinets as the primary color in the kitchen, then adding pops of navy blue, shades of green or gray to the island or lower cabinets.” Another benefit of custom-painted cabinets is that it’s easy to make seamless changes at a later date (ex. adding height to existing cabinets or changing up a cabinet for a wine rack).
Other popular kitchen upgrades not to be overlooked include stainless steel appliances, quiet, quality dishwashers; microwave drawers, which are easier to access; stand-alone hoods, as well as under-mount lighting and electrical outlets.
Create Comforts in Spa-Inspired Master Baths
The master bath is a hot spot for upgrades – some for aesthetic reasons and others for owners to enjoy a more spa-like experience. It’s much easier to make these upgrades during the building process than waiting until later. Choosing decorative tile offers new home buyers a creative way to personalize this private space.
For the spa experience, new homeowners often choose to go with a larger shower filled with features like fully-tiled surrounds, transom windows for natural light, bench seating, jetted showerheads, and frameless glass shower doors.
Bathtubs are also making a comeback with soaker tubs replacing the old jetted tub. While not as common, another notable upgrade in higher-end homes is the addition of radiant heated floors to keep toes warm on cold winter days.
Room to Spread out with a Finished Basement
A finished basement complete with a media room, guest bedroom, and full bath can add significant living space and is a popular choice for many new home buyers. For people looking to downsize, the additional living space provides room for friends and family to visit comfortably even in a smaller footprint ranch home.
At a minimum, most new homeowners choose to have the basement plumbed for a future bathroom, making it easier to add one if they choose to later. And if they don’t, it’s still a positive selling feature for any future buyer.
An extra foot or so of height in your basement can make the difference between the space feeling cramped and the space feeling open and usable. All Belmonte homes are built standard with 8 ft. ceilings in the basement, but it’s not uncommon for new homebuyers to want to upgrade to 9 ft. ceilings.
Room for Remote Working & Learning
Now that many employers realize the benefit of a hybrid work environment, including time working at home and at the office, the popularity has skyrocketed for dedicated home offices and other flexible spaces to work or learn at home. A home office is no longer an afterthought; it’s now an essential room with many experts believing that the majority of the workforce in many key sectors will be working from home by the end of the decade. “One of the trends we’re seeing is the formal dining room going away, as well as fewer walls and hallways,” says Lust. That’s why the Concord was designed without a formal dining room which left room for a much more popular option—the study. For our Castleton plan, we substituted a study for the formal dining room and eliminated hallways in favor of traffic patterns to create room for a larger kitchen…and it instantly became our top-selling plan.”
The Great Outdoors
Another recent trend in new home construction is a focus on outdoor spaces. A popular choice is the addition of a screened porch or sunroom along with a paver patio, incorporating entertainment space for relaxing outside.
“Outdoor spaces have become even more important for our clients after enduring the lockdown and limited access to their favorite restaurants. Pre-pandemic they might have chosen to add a deck and/or paver patio. Now, they want spaces that they can use year-round to entertain like screened porches or all-season rooms, expanded decks with heaters, and fully functional outdoor patio spaces with cooking stations and outdoor fireplaces or fire pits,” says Belmonte.
Belmonte Builders has been a proud builder of high-quality homes for over 40 years. A family-owned business, Belmonte takes pride in working closely with each and every customer to personalize their home to meet their unique needs. Visit any Belmonte model home to see the flow of the floor plan, the quality of the fixtures, the integrity of the construction, and the loving attention to detail. These are the building blocks that our success stands on today. Belmonte is excited to announce two new communities coming in 2022.
- Forest Grove: located in the town of Wilton off Jones Road with a Saratoga mailing address & Saratoga Schools
- Waite Meadows: located in Clifton Park at Highway 146 & Waite Road. Part of the Shenendehowa School system.