A Des Moines Custom Home Builder Blog

How to Incorporate Trends into a Timeless Des Moines Custom Home

Posted by Don Brill on April 29, 2016

Everyone wants a home that looks stylishly modern. But using the latest styles and fashions in your home design can be tricky. Some trends feel dated almost immediately. Some quirky styles come back around, often with a twist (like shag pillows or area rugs instead of wall-to-wall shag carpeting), others are likely gone for good (rooms of faux wood paneling and popcorn ceilings). If you’re investing in your own custom home, how can you incorporate today’s popular trends in your design without running the risk of lowering your home’s long-term or resale value?

Kitchen with timeless design, wood and stone countertops

This article belongs to the Construction Process Series 

Use timeless design principles.

Trends can change significantly over time. Some trends, like laying out many small separate rooms rather than a more open floor plan, or installing a single tub/shower unit, are relatively difficult or expensive to alter. However, good design principles can help ensure that even if your home doesn’t conform to the most popular current trends, it will still retain excellent resale value.

  • Avoid layouts that reduce a home’s livability (like bedrooms that you can access only through other rooms, like closets or adjoining other bedrooms, or main floor bathrooms accessible only through a laundry room or office).
  • Use clean, simple designs. Using neutral rather than elaborate or unusual cabinetry styles, flooring materials or designs, backsplash or tile materials and patterns, and other more integral design elements can ensure that your home retains its appeal for years to come.
  • Incorporating universal design principles like improving accessibility can ensure your home is attractive to many demographics, including families with young children, older adults, and adults with mobility issues.


Use quality materials. 

Each bygone era leaves its own mark on design history, usually by contributing a new cheap, inferior-quality home building material. Trends like “wood-look” laminate paneling, vinyl wall coverings, and linoleum adhesive floor tiles are shoddy stand-ins for quality materials. One key feature of many vintage homes is the quality of the building materials, like solid wood railings and banisters, marble counters and floors, and plaster walls. Timeless homes retain their value because of the quality and attention to detail in their original construction. Using excellent materials should always be a priority, regardless of your budget. Creative planning and design can help you keep your costs down without sacrificing quality. 

If you can’t afford expensive hardwood flooring, for example, look for quality, affordable substitutes, like bamboo or tile, or for salvaged and refurbished options. These choices retain more value and are more durable than expensive-looking but cheap choices. Installing low quality flooring can reduce your home’s resale value as well as cost you more over the long term in maintenance and repair.

You can also reduce material costs by adapting your design to use smaller quantities. For example, while large slabs of natural stone are expensive, smaller pieces or “remnants” can be much more affordable. Designing a kitchen that has smaller contiguous areas of stone countertops and incorporating a separate island with a wood surface can reduce your costs dramatically while still incorporating durable, high-quality materials.


Use trendy elements that are easy to swap out and replace. 

Many trends are more about a “feeling” than specific elements (like “industrial” or “shabby chic”). Often, adding trendy appeal can be as simple as updating paint colors or finishes, putting up new curtains or artwork, and accessorizing with rugs and statement pieces. Cabinet pulls and drawer hardware, lighting fixtures, and even larger pieces like appliances are great ways to incorporate the trends of today while allowing easy, inexpensive upgrades when popular tastes change. To preserve the best resale value in your home, avoid unusual structural or integral design elements that will be expensive or difficult to change.

Many of today’s modern trends, however, are likely to have long-term appeal. Closet space will likely always be an asset, so planning a home that incorporates his-and-hers master walk-in closets is probably a safe bet. And even if home trends move from the wide-open floor plans currently in vogue, it is much easier to put up walls than to take them out later.


Choosing which trends you incorporate into your home design and planning the perfect home for your family can be overwhelming. Homes by Brill Des Moines custom home builders will help you every step of the way, from conceptualization to financing, from finding land to final construction. Contact us today to get started!

 hot custom home trends


2016 Homes by Brill Des Moines home builders 

Topics: Design, Home Construction Process