For John Ploumitsakos, CEO of Boulder’s Modern Homestead, a home should facilitate an easy, happy and healthy lifestyle for the owner. Creating this sanctuary often calls for adapting existing spaces to best suit the owners’ needs, and it’s exactly this type of lifestyle-driven renovation that his company specializes in.
“At Modern Homestead, we work extensively with clients to understand how they use their home, what works, what doesn’t, what they are trying to achieve with the project and how they hope it will improve their lives,” says Ploumitsakos. “This drives everything that we do.”
Leveraging his experiences from an upbringing embedded in construction as well as the customer focus and innovation that characterized his time spent as a lawyer and in the tech industry, Ploumitsakos founded Modern Homestead not just as a full-service design-build contractor, but as a true partner for homeowners looking to maximize their living spaces. And as a recent winner of two 2021 Best of Houzz Awards for exceptional design and customer service, it's clear that it's a mission that resonates. We chatted with him about four prominent home renovation trends and his unique ideas for how they can be achieved.
The Multifunctional Family Space
Multipurpose areas—spaces in which multiple family members can satisfy multiple day-to-day functions—were already increasing in popularity before families began spending more time at home. It’s a trend that pandemic-related restrictions have accelerated, and they are projects that can be more approachable than you might think.
“Rather than looking for more square footage, we often work to make clients’ existing spaces more multifunctional,” Ploumitsakos says. “We’ve been able to rework entire floor plans to accommodate connected spaces for upwards of five or six different functions.”
Examples? A basement converted into a dual entertaining and study room. Connected yet distinct areas for watching television, hosting guests, doing homework and exercising. A home office that can easily be flipped into a guest bedroom when needed, and vice versa, with custom built-in shelves or a pull-down Murphy bed.
The Indoor/Outdoor Experience
Achieving a better blend of indoor and outdoor living is consistent across ages and life stages.
“A side effect of the current environment is that people want the option to entertain outside with fresh air, even in the winter,” he says. “It typically involves re-imagining the overall space as a single entity.”
Creating an indoor/outdoor oasis often calls for enhancing both the transitional space and the outdoor area itself. Telescoping glass panels can replace existing exterior walls to create the optics of a unified space, while heating elements like fire pits or spa-like features such as hot tubs, saunas and pools facilitate luxurious entertainment. While these are often more involved design and structural puzzles to solve, Ploumitsakos notes that these projects are immensely transformational.
The Open Concept
Opening up a home’s main living hub is another universal trend even more prevalent for families with young children. Ploumitsakos says it's one of his favorite types of remodels to undertake given the dramatic improvements in both aesthetics and functionality.
“Many homes in the greater Denver area were built in an era when the first floor was carved up into formal and distinct kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms and dens,” he says. “The reality is that this does not mesh with the current ways that many people now use their homes.”
These projects typically begin with a blank slate from which the entire layout of the kitchen, dining and living areas are reformatted. These new designs often involve removing interior walls—while addressing structural needs that arise—to create loft-like, connected spaces.
Two popular bonus elements? Adding a large island with counter seating to replace formal dining and redesigning stairways to facilitate an unencumbered spatial view upon entry.
The Home Office
Increased demand for private office spaces removed from the main hub of the home isn’t a surprise. But creating these spaces can open up a multitude of opportunities for homeowners.
“Many of our clients use home offices for multiple purposes,” Ploumitsakos says. “For example, an office during the week can serve as a music room or craft studio on evenings and weekends.”
One popular option is to build a freestanding office or studio that is wholly separate from the main home—a great solution for when an addition isn’t feasible or necessary. Custom-built furniture that doubles as storage and unique amenities such as retractable movie screens with hidden projectors amplify potential uses and maximize the impact of these often small-footprint rooms.