Trends in How We Live in Homes Today

By Steven V. Philips –

In my part of the world new home construction is blooming. And booming with the 10,000 baby-boomers retiring who each day (that’s e-a-c-h) changing the way model homes and floor plans look. Boomer attitudes about easy living and their wish lists are showing up in the new housing that they’re buying and helping to design.

Definitely, as you have probably already heard on the playground, these retiring kids are moving away from traditional single-use rooms into the kitchen/living/dining space-as-one. This is pretty much the norm in almost every new home model I’ve visited, no matter the price. It’s called “open concept” and it is ubiquitous. If you want a bunch of small self-contained rooms with doors (that lock), you need to buy an antique house in New England. Or old England.

But it has come to me, brilliantly insightful as you know I am, not only in these model kitchens but also while wandering through my local Extremely-Big-Box-Depot stores’ kitchen section, that many neat features that would make your life easier in the kitchen, aren’t even shown. Time to share with you kiddies, boomers or not.

So I next went prowling thorough my stack of design magazines that are read by the designers who design for those of us who have some imagination. I found more details than we have space to show, or that you can stay awake reading about. Plus they don’t require being heir to the Fabulous Philips Fortune, as I am.


Compost pot:  How clever is this? A pot, sunk into the counter but right there near the sink. This would, you procrastinating thing, quickly remind you to stop dumping all your good compostables down into the mechanical pig. Who said “green times two”? Comes from Blanco and it’s stainless.



Cutting board: Yeah I know, the idea is stolen from the 1950’s. But think about this: the boards are close by, not taking counter space or lower cabinet space and, as this shows, you can store more than one size. Plus they can be pulled out and used elsewhere. Or, if you use them in place, hire a deserving dog to lick up the crumbs. Or use your 10-month old child, whichever one is closer to being housebroken. From J.Ingerstedt.



Blind corner cab shelves: Well, if you’re already stuck with one of those stupidly blind corner-cabinets-you-can’t-reach-into, look at this retrofittable piece of hardware. As you open the door, the part hung onto the door presents itself, and then the rest of it that’s buried in the back, comes into reach. How great is that? From Resource Hardware.

j-Rev-a shelf


Stacked drawers: A gift to my unending and incredibly sane campaign to use drawers rather than doors. Cribbed from the lower freezer drawer detail in many refrigerators, this one also works in warm areas. Eliminates the busy look from having too many smaller height fronts, but efficiently fills the space. From Hafele.



Pop-up helper: You’ve got that Big Party night soon but it’s bringing these conflicting needs. First is the second pot for your vegan aunt who lives on only Buddhist alpine coffee (and looks it). Then the blender for your husband’s special (no kidding, can you spell TUMS?) drink. Finally the griddle for Irv’s incorrectly cooked, burned and awful, lattkes. Presto! One of these electrical outlets pops up to help and disappears when not needed. Perfect on the island counter. From Mockett.



Thanks for memorizing my every insightful word in 2014 and Happy New Year from the vast Philips Estate.


6 thoughts on “Trends in How We Live in Homes Today”

  1. I love putting the compost pot in the counter. When we redo our kitchen, this is 100% going into our design.

  2. This compost pot is genius! I don’t love having a bowl of garbage sitting in my counter every day….but I do it in the spirit of being green! I like the cutting boards too.

  3. Have to agree that the compost pot idea is the best. Dislike the big plastic container taking up needed counter space. But the truth is, I love all the ideas and if and when I move going to remember then. Best article yet!

  4. Pop up electrical outlet…that is so insightful! Many a time, I could have used one. All these ideas make a kitchen so much more workable. Thanks for the info.

  5. Compost pot sunk in counter is the ticket! Mine is under the sink and I am forever making a mess when I think I can get the pieces to the container without retrieving it from below. Only to leave veggie scraps on my floor. Will add this one to the list of new kitchen “must have”.
    Also enjoyed learning about the new options for more useful space in cabinets.
    Thanks again for doing all the research for us!

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top