Home Economics 101: Go Green, Save Green


The current economy has everyone on edge, but there’s always a silver lining. 

A recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey found that demand for luxury products is waning. In contrast, manufacturers are seeing an increased emphasis on both accessibility/universal design and renewable materials. Essentially, homeowners are shying away from expensive (and usually unnecessary) products that add little actual value to their home, concentrating instead on features that promote energy efficiency and sustainability. 

Homeowners are less interested in building computer areas and wine refrigerators and more interested in installing LED lighting and recycling centers. Their interest in water-saving toilets and renewable countertop materials remains strong. 

Glass shards
Recycle glass shards into countertop material to add character to your kitchen. Photo By minntc/Courtesy Flickr. 

“Because of concerns over affordability and re-sale value, it’s not surprising that there has been a sharp decline in demand for high-end kitchen and bath products,” says AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “However, some products and features remain in high demand. Despite the difficult economic conditions, homeowners are extremely interested in renewable flooring and countertops, energy-efficient and water saving products, as well as having a dedicated recycling center.” 

Durable, renewable products and materials offer the best of all worlds, adding beauty and value to your home and saving you money. And that just makes good economic sense.