Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
Technology Turnpike Antidote
The technological revolution that was once contained only in the office is now a fact of life in the modern home as well.
Heather McCune's Editorial Archives
The technological revolution that was once contained only in the office is now a fact of life in the modern home as well. While there is no escaping the ever-accelerating technology turnpike, increasingly new home buyers are seeking a more natural home as an antidote to their Internet-enabled world.
"As a society, we welcome each new leap of technology to enhance our lives," says interior merchandiser Dawn Kearney, president of Design Line Interiors in San Diego. "However, at the same time we also covet a restful, peaceful home where we can balance hectic work schedules and family commitments with colors, textures, and natural elements that soothe and warm us."
Kearney, whose firm designs and merchandises model homes for more than 100 home builders, says the way to counter the frantic pace of technology is to honor the natural human instincts to reach for the familiar past - real woods, natural stones and authentic designs. "As sophisticated animals, humans quite naturally gravitate toward sensory-filled fibers, woods that once held branches aloft, and timeless granites and marbles quarried from the land."
In short, Kearney advocates bringing nature into today’s new homes. "Our instincts guide us to green design, feng shui, natural forms, stones, shells and woven materials." For example, palettes of green are in vogue because the color suggests nature, fresh air and good health. Green plant prints on fabrics and sheets, green wall paints, green accessories, framed green herb pickings and live green plants set the tone and temperament for balance and home harmony. Resting on this harmonious green backdrop, suggests Kearney, can be ac-cessories such as a Japanese silk cocoon bowl, Turkish rug pillows, Italian blown-glass goblets, rich paintings, vintage toys and family photos.
Continue the natural theme by including basic herb plants in the kitchen and hanging wind chimes in the yard. Place a rippling fountain among some river rocks inside or out and put down an area rug composed of natural material. The next step is to introduce granite countertops in the kitchen and bathroom, real wood crown moldings and other authentic materials to create a natural setting that soothes buyers.
"Home shoppers are touched by architectural elements, color, texture, lighting and the many other components of the overall design that come together to express the happiness and freshness they are seeking in a home," says Kearney.