interior of columbus custom homebuilder home

Columbus Custom Home Builder Shares Design Trends for 2020

Steve Jones, Residential Design Manager at Columbus custom home builder Romanelli & Hughes talks about some of the design trends that have emerged in the industry. These trends follow the long and varied wish lists of Baby Boomer home buyers, as well as younger families who may be building their very first home.

The following are some of the most popular design trends Jones has observed from his lynchpin design position at R&H.

pocket office by luxury custom home builder.Honey, I Shrunk Your Home Office!

A growing trend in new custom home design is elimination of the study or library in favor of a small “pocket” office. “So much is done on laptops and tablets now that the dedicated study is often underutilized,” explains Jones. “The pocket office offers just enough room for papers, files, bookshelves, etc. to meet peoples’ needs.”

Further, the pocket office is an appropriate complement to the open floor plans that grace nearly all new luxury custom-built homes. In high-end luxury homes, the open floor plan design is often enhanced with oversized windows and vaulted ceilings.

The open concept is perfectly suited to today’s casual family lifestyle. Kitchens, living rooms and casual dining rooms blend into each other, creating long sight lines and making across-the-room conversation easier. The hostess or host can easily prepare the meal or drinks while holding a conversation with guests or family members. Of course, some families still prefer a formal dining room for special meals/gatherings at home.

Cook-ertainment – Professional Equipment in the Custom Home Kitchen

Within the realm of luxury custom-built homes, the kitchen, in particular, provides a showcase of modern appliances that resemble those found in upscale restaurants. Custom kitchens have not been considered a new trend since the 1960s, but the range of appliances and Smart Home functions available to custom homeowners today is dizzying.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the trend of bringing more livable space into the kitchen emerged. Now, bringing the restaurant kitchen into the residential kitchen is the trend. To some degree this is driven by the popularity of the Food Network and its fabulous sets and locations. Our favorite chefs invite us into their “home” kitchens and television studio kitchens. “Kitchen as showplace” is a trend that has firmly taken hold in posh neighborhoods across the country.

And along those lines, the outdoor grill area can be included in this explosion of upscale equipment and cook-ertainment. Outdoor spaces are being designed with some of the same luxury appliances custom homeowners desire for their interior spaces: coolers, gas and charcoal-fired grills, fireplaces with seating around them, three-tiered smoker towers and much more.

Custom Kitchens: Going with the Pros

“Professional-grade” is a key word in custom kitchen design. Stunning gas range/ovens with griddles and chef-friendly controls are joined by:

  • digitally controlled refrigerators with window-doors
  • space for additional refrigerator/freezer units
  • sub-zero freezers
  • counter-level grill tops
  • wood-burning fireplace ovens
  • appliance counters
  • coffee/espresso machine stations
  • utility sinks with filtered water
  • chef’s pantries with floor-to-ceiling lazy susan and custom cabinetry

columbus custom homebuilde7 builds no step showers

Impress with No Steps

The aging of the Baby Boomers is driving one of the most recent trends in luxury custom home design. Adopting ADA design standards to maximize mobility, forward-thinking custom home builders such as Romanelli & Hughes are designing and building new, slab-on-grade single-story luxury custom patio homes that are every bit as fabulous as their two-story counterparts. The single-story custom patio home is designed primarily for the empty-nester householder, but has also been enthusiastically received by young professionals and couples just starting out as homeowners.

Custom features for single-story homes include “no-step” entryways and “curbless” roll-in showers, among many other easy access features. Designers are considering wide doorways and hallways as well as slip-proof flooring materials that look fantastic and perform well, too.

All of these features will help those who require mobility aids to age in place, without having to move out of the home because of accessibility issues. For the large majority of older homeowners, Aging in Place in the home is more highly desired than entering retirement living or residential care.


Contact Romanelli & Hughes, the top Columbus custom home builder, for more information on new custom homes and to speak with one of our designers. We have homes in the best neighborhoods in Central Ohio, and we’d love to come to yours!