Emerging Residential Architecture Trends for 2019

Fred Wilson, AIA

Fred Wilson, AIA
Founding Partner at Award Winning Chicago Architects, Morgante Wilson

Feb 11, 2019 - 5 min read

Emerging Residential Architecture Trends for 2019

Award-Winning Chicago Architect Fred Wilson Shares His Five “Big” Residential Architecture Trends for 2019

If I had to sum up 2019’s residential architecture trends in a single word, it would be “big.” Big windows, big kitchens, and big ideas all around. Of course, it’s always tough to zero in on just a few things we think are worth calling out as trends, since we’re used to coming up with new ideas all the time at Morgante Wilson Architects. But these are five emerging residential architecture trends we love, that our clients seem to love, and that we hear more people ask for every day. I’ll show you what I mean

Bigger Windows

It seems there’s no end to the thirst our clients have for bringing the outdoors in. Practically every project we work on incorporates ever-larger windows (many of them black and steel-framed) with fewer mullions – and the mullions we do incorporate are increasingly slender.

The overall effect is that it’s easier than ever to bring the outdoors in, and to fill rooms with the sunlight we all seem to crave. And with such minimal mullions, there’s no chance of distracting from a fantastic view, or a beautifully landscaped yard.

Bigger kitchens

It’s a simple fact we’ve been living in our kitchens for a long time already. What’s new is that instead of thinking of kitchens as cooking spaces we also enjoy hanging out in, we’ve begun designing kitchens as entertaining spaces we also enjoy cooking in.

To ensure kitchens today are super-inviting, we’re outfitting them with more upholstered furnishings than ever before. Upholstered benches and chairs can remind you of a cozy booth at your favorite restaurant, and are a lot more comfortable than plastic or wood seats. Tables are getting bigger, too. In fact, kitchens themselves just keep getting bigger!

Bigger, better pantries

One way kitchen design is really changing is that we’re doing a lot more of what we call “super pantries.” Super pantries are almost like separate, smaller kitchens off of kitchens themselves, and have grown to accommodate many more functions than just storing food and stashing turkey platters. They’re true working spaces that incorporate refrigerators, cooktops, dishwashers, and storage for dishes and glassware, often on easily accessible open shelves. The super pantry is where you might stage a dessert buffet before you sit down to dinner, or where a caterer can plate meals during a large party.

Not only are they practical spaces, super pantries move all sorts of daily cooking chores (with their splatters, spills, and messes) out of the kitchen, and away from the people hanging out in it. That in itself helps perpetuate the trend of considering our kitchens to be entertaining spaces.

Bigger purposes for rooms

Okay, you know as well as I do that the notion of having a formal living room reserved for “company” went by the way side a long time ago. So did the idea of a formal dining room intended just for special occasions. We want every room in our homes to be used every day. What’s new, however, is viewing rooms as multi-functional spaces for a variety of activities. A “living room” might double as a library or an office; a “dining room” might be a separate space that opens onto an adjacent room by way of folding door panels for the relatively rare number of times you need to seat 18 people at the same table.

In other words, the rooms we’re building today serve a wide range of different purposes, all in the same space. I can tell you from personal experience (that’s our “dining room” above, where Elissa and I work, relax, and entertain the whole clan during the holidays) this is a smart way to think about design and a really convenient way to live!

Bigger thoughts around technology

Remember when it was cool to wire your house with sound so music could play in every room? That was just the tip of the iceberg. Today options for home automation involving lighting, window treatments, heating, cooling and seeing who’s at your front door can all be handled by technology to make life simpler. And don’t even get me started on refrigerators that notify you when you’re out of milk!

Many of these innovations can be controlled easily and conveniently over your smart phone, and don’t require you to navigate an intimidating control panel full of mysterious buttons on the wall.

These are just five of the emerging trends that have the architects at Morgante Wilson excited for the work we’ll be doing in 2019. Can we design for you? Let’s talk!

Morgante Wilson Architects provides architectural and interior design services in Chicago, Deerfield, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Northbrook, Northfield, Ravinia, Wilmette and Winnetka – along with Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Fred Wilson, AIA

Fred Wilson, AIA

Founding Partner at Award Winning Chicago Architects, Morgante Wilson