Design Trends for the New American Home


How long do design trends really last? Some, such as white-on-white, have stayed strong for decades, while others, like wool carpeting (Grandma, we’re looking at you), have thankfully left the building. The New American Home (TNAH) has been the official show home of the annual International Builders’ Show (IBS) since 1984, and is built in the IBS host city. The home showcases industry best practices, state-of-the-art products, energy efficiency, sustainable materials and the newest construction techniques.

TNAH also features innovative design concepts and high-end trends of the day. With 34 years of homes to look back upon, we can fondly (or not) remember these trends and determine: Are they still in or are they out?

Cheers! To the 80’s Home Design

People remember the 1980s for many reasons. They might say the most memorable moment was the release of Pac-Man, a royal wedding, the Challenger disaster, or singing along with the Material Girl.

In (but modified): The Country Look

In the 1980s, homeowners asked for designs with a homespun feel. Today, designers regularly incorporate modern farmhouse, an arguably upscale, more refined version of the ’80s country vibe. The modern farmhouse style sends us back to our roots without going over the top, and it includes sleek lines the ’80s did not offer. Farmhouse sinks, dark window and door frames, and farmhouse hardware, most notably sliding farmhouse doors, are incorporated today instead of simply relying on muted colors.

The ‘90s: The Techno Rebellion Home Design

The 1990s ushered in the digital age and the dot-com boom. (What did we do before eBay, Amazon, and Google?) The decade also had its fair share of design trends and styles. Some, like Japanese Zen, were a continuation of the ’80s , and others were unique to this decade: dark greens, blonde wood floors, floral wallpaper, and area rugs on hardwood floors.

In (but modified): Japanese Zen and Minimalism

Japanese Zen and minimalistic design were very popular in the ’90s; designers focused on creating symmetry, balance, and relaxing vibes in their clients’ homes. Today, homeowners continue to cherish minimalist approaches, but are careful not to have homes appear barren. Lines are clean, colors are often light and soft, and furnishings are comfortable, yet modern.

A New Millennium: The 2000s

With the new century came the iPod, Facebook, and Twitter, the housing boom and bust, and the end of Pluto as a planet. This decade also saw reuse-recycle furniture, the supposed end of the living room, stainless steel fixtures and appliances, and modern technology, such as Wifiin homes and freestanding TVs. Green building gained momentum and has continued to improve; you’ll see the latest green technology in the 2018 New American Home in Orlando, Florida.

Out: Formal Living Rooms

Although it’s difficult to pinpoint its exact bow-out, formal living rooms have become less popular since the 2000s. Many homeowners instead prefer home office space, a reading or game room, or just a larger, more casual family room.

In: Scaling Back

Homeowners want usable spaces, not extra rooms to clean that are rarely used. They do not necessarily want to live in tiny homes, but they want open spaces that can be used for multiple purposes instead of having separate spaces. Some buyers go one step further with spaces that can transition between inside and outside.


Today The past few New American Homes showcase the trends we’re most familiar with today, such as white-on-white, open floor plans, mixed exterior materials, exposed wood beams, and unique and detailed tile patterns.

At Gryphon Builders, we see all these trends appearing across the city, as well as:

• Benches, nooks, and unique storage solutions in underutilized spaces

• Big showers and tubs

• Board and batten

• Dark frames

• Metal roofs

• Mid-century modern

• Natural wood ceilings and beams

• Shiplap inside and out

• Clean details

• Open but defined floor plans

• Metal and wood exterior details

• Whites, grays, and charcoals

• Right-sized kitchens

• Spa-like baths

If there is one thing to learn, it is that design trends (almost) always come back in style – whether or not we ask for it. Stay up-to-date on the latest design trends of 2022 by checking out some of our most recent articles:





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