Brentwell’s 2021 Custom Home Design Trends

January 25, 2021

The home building industry is in a constant state of flux. Trends come and go like the seasons, revealing fresh ideas as tired styles fade away. At Brentwell Construction, understanding these trends provides context to our custom home builds. A new build represents a new beginning for clients, and they appreciate expert input into the design process. 

Okanagan custom homes are seeing an increase in the three design trends we will touch on in this blog, though these trends are also playing out on a national scale. We welcome the style and freshness of these trends in our quest to be the Okanagan’s best custom home builder.

Let’s get going!

Trend #1: Modern Farmhouse Styling

The “modern farmhouse” design trend is a combination of traditional and modern, and it’s taking off for many Vernon & Greater Okanagan home builders. 

Rooted in the rustic quality of past eras, the modern farmhouse trend strikes a balance between casual living and today’s more contemporary preferences. There’s no surprise this style is popular in the Okanagan, as we live for lifestyle. We work hard, play hard and desire our living environments to reflect this working-class sentiment. 
Modern farmhouse design incorporates natural elements with old-world charm, taking past utility and redefining its intended function. Beautiful wood grains are encouraged as if the past’s antique charm has come roaring back to life. This style creates nostalgia in a home’s shared spaces. 

The key to farmhouse styling is not to lean too heavily on either the past or the present. There must be a strategic combination of both. We frequently see executive clients growing tired of the contemporary style commonly seen in the new housing market today, welcoming the natural themes that exude warmth and comfort. 
The modern farmhouse may just be here to stay!

Trend 2: High-Performance Homes

Many of our clients are curious about incorporating high-performance elements in the design of their new custom homes. As an established Vernon home-builder, it will be interesting to see how this trend takes off!

High-performance homes used to be frequently known as “net-zero” homes, designed to be energy-efficient and thoughtful of new consumer preferences such as:

  • Healthier living
  • More comfort
  • Reduced pollution
  • More natural light
  • Less noise
  • And more!

Custom home builders, like ourselves, construct high-performance homes using various new-school building methods and advanced technologies that, in tandem, serve to accomplish the above goals. Construction methods can include polyurethane spray foam under the slab. This foam offers the highest R-Value per inch, and creates a super-sealed vapour barrier under a radiant slab. Other high performing construction methods include super-sealing the building envelope, using highly insulated windows, implementing alternative energy sources like solar, and much more!

A common misconception about high-performance homes is that their increased construction cost will take many years to pay back. Not the case. Custom homes utilizing high-performance methods regularly realize energy savings within a matter of months. Another misconception is that unless you design a home to be fully “net-zero,” there’s no point. In reality, we regularly see clients selectively opt for high-performance elements for their custom home builds. 

High-Performance Homes are on-trend in Canada due to perceived energy savings and shifting consumer attitudes about climate change. We don’t expect this trend to lose momentum anytime soon. 

Trend #3: Multi-Functional Spaces

The COVID-19 pandemic may have been a year of hardship and stress, but it was also a year of unprecedented creativity. 

While this trend has been picking up steam for several years, it’s never been more relevant and applicable. As people packed up their workspaces and headed home to get work done, many realized that their home lacked functionality and practicality. Single-purpose rooms suddenly lacked a depth of purpose. 

One of the most common ways multi-functional spaces are being utilized today is combining the dining area and kitchen. This is commonly referred to as an “open concept” design. Traditionally, dining rooms were separate rooms away from the kitchen to encourage formal dining. As more and more busy families seek dynamic spaces, the open concept kitchen should only gain popularity moving forward.

Other neat multi-functional ideas include:

  • Convertible bedrooms – Fold-down beds can create versatility for small spaces, freeing up living space during the day.
  • Clever home-offices – Have some awkward space in your home without a purpose? An integrated office can usually be incorporated simply and without much free space.
  • Master bedroom bathtub – This idea sounds strange, but with intelligent design, bathtubs can successfully be placed in master bedrooms without affecting the room’s flow.

We expect multi-functional spaces to continue trending. Utilizing spaces better can bring desired features within reach, instead of having to upgrade to a home with more square footage. As an Okanagan home builder, we’re consistently blown away by the creativity of our clients. They seek home’s that compliment their lifestyle, and we’re thrilled to bring their unique dreams to fruition.


The above trends signify an evolution in housing. The modern farmhouse trend represents a resurgence of old-world charm in combination with modern design principles. High-performance homes provide an answer to energy-efficient appetites and care for the planet. Multi-functional spaces are a downstream effect of our collective desire to get the very most out of our limited spaces. We’re excited to see how these trends further evolve, and we’re all ears to clients seeking to incorporate them into their custom home builds.

Brentwell Construction is a custom home builder based in Vernon, BC, serving the Greater Okanagan area. With attention to detail and adherence to innovation, Brentwell is committed to providing service and product excellence in the custom home building process.