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Thoughts from the 2015 Southern Living Conference

By Berit Griffin March 5, 2015

Nashville, Tennessee: the home of country music, cowboy boots, and last week, the gathering of home builders who are building some of the finest homes in the south.

Last week, our team had the opportunity to travel to Nashville to attend the 2015 Southern Living Conference. It was a great opportunity to network with the talented builders who participate in the Southern Living Building program.  While the weather wasn’t necessarily the reprieve from the cold Minnesota winter as we had hoped, it was still a great opportunity to talk about some of the hottest trends in home design, and to get an inside peek at what some of the country’s most discerning homeowners are looking for in 2015.

At this year’s conference, Brett Boyum, Marvin’s VP of Marketing shared with the group our thoughts on the hottest trends in window design.  Here are the trends that you should watch for in 2015:

1. Contemporary/Modern/Transitional Design—The trend towards a more contemporary design doesn’t seem to be slowing down, and we expect that number of homeowners gravitating towards more contemporary products will continue in 2015.  When it comes to windows and doors, homeowners will continue to seek out larger windows and doors with narrower rails and stiles, which allow for more glass, more light and more views of the outdoors.  Additionally, this design aesthetic features more metallic or industrial looking finishes. You can expect even more demand for pearlescent exterior finishes, including copper and silver colors, as well as beautiful ebony exteriors.

Another way to deliver a contemporary look is to install windows with “square sticking,” which include a clean, squared-off transition where the window’s glass meets wood, creating the minimal detailing emblematic of contemporary design.

2. Bringing the Inside Out and the Outside In—More people than ever are seeking ways to open up their space and bring the outdoors in, which has created an increased demand for large doors that can open up a wall and expand living space.  As such, Marvin’s line of Scenic Doors, which includes the new Ultimate Multi-Slide Door that will make its debut this summer, were designed to meet this need – even in enormous, wide-open spaces. The Multi-Slide Door is available in a vast array of configurations and large sizes with standard widths up to 50 feet tall and 12 feet wide.  Also, what’s great about this new door as that it can be used in remodeling and new construction projects.

This trend can also be seen in consumer’s window preferences as homeowners opt for large casement windows or direct-glaze options such as picture units, which offer large panes of glass and unobstructed views. A great example of this is Marvin’s operating Ultimate Casement that can go as high as 96” tall!  Others are seeking large sliding windows, such as Marvin’s OXXO Glider, which features a fixed glazed sash on each side of two center panels. The panels slide apart for an unobstructed opening, and the window is available up to 6 feet tall and can span wider than 14 feet.  This window can serve as great pass-through from a kitchen to an outdoor entertaining space.

3. Deep, dark, and moodier colors—Tied closely to the contemporary design movement, we are seeing a growing demand for darker colors when it comes to window finishes, trim, and even in simulated divided light (SDL).  Large windows that let light into a home contrast well with darker interior and exterior colors. And a large expanse of glass lets a dark stain like Leather shine without making a room too dark. 

4. “Human Scale” with quality & luxury—It’s about quality, not quantity. Forget the sweeping two-storey foyers of yesteryear. Homeowners want human scale. Even in large, airy rooms, today’s design demands that the home be designed for the people that actually live there, not for a photo shoot. There is also an interest in designing for the long term. This means 1) using quality products that stand the test of time and 2) thinking about your future needs. All of us will have changing health situations in our lives, and design needs to account for these to allow the possibility of staying in your home. A higher toilet with attractive hand rails, or a patio door with a Low Profile Sill are all things that can really make a difference in using your home and can be just as beautiful as any other option. Remember, Universal Design is for everyone.

5.Environmental Wellness—There are a couple of things to think about here…

  • What is the quality of the air both inside and outside of your home?
  • The more effective your window placement (called “daylighting”) the better your lighting (helping to reduce your use of electric light during the daytime hours. Passive House Building practices put a lot of focus on daylighting to help reduce energy costs for a maximum energy efficient home.
  • Replacing older windows not only leads to beautiful windows that operate easily, it leads to greater energy efficiency. There are lots of glass options for your home depending on your needs and your area of the country.

Do you see any of these trends in your home?