As we’ve entered a new decade, custom home trends seem to be focused around designs that promote health, sustainability, and comfort. In 2020, climate change and a pandemic have made us more invested in safe, healthy, and versatile homes than we’ve ever been.

Our desire to build custom homes that keep ourselves and the environment on the up-and-up will be the motivation of design choices for the next decade. Here are seven custom home trends to watch for in 2020.

1. Building with Sustainably Sourced Materials

More custom home projects are taking the approach of using recycled or recyclable materials to build the home. Many homebuilders use reclaimed wood from salvage yards or barns, particularly for hardwood flooring. They also use recycled metal, bamboo, and cork. Additionally, homebuilders seek out locally-sourced materials to decrease the carbon footprint of the project by minimizing the distance the supplies must travel.

2. More Windows & Natural Lighting

Many of us are aware that we’re sorely lacking in vitamin D, particularly in the winter. That’s why designing a home that optimizes natural light is good for your health, as it boosts vitamin D in the body. Large windows are not only good for letting in that healthy natural light but also help reduce the need for using electric lights in the daytime. Not to mention, large windows are aesthetically pleasing!

Pro tip: Use energy-efficient windows to diminish air leakage that leads to higher energy bills.

3. Custom Upcycling

Vintage is making a comeback in custom homes as homeowners incorporate more antiques and family heirlooms into their home. Blending older finds into modern designs gives a home distinctive character and repurposed nostalgia. Upcycled items such as old doors or reclaimed wood are particularly popular, particularly for environmentally-conscious homebuilders.

4. Home Offices

Working from home is becoming more common as businesses increasingly allow work from home. Having a room specifically designed for a home office optimizes productivity when working at home. Elements of a productive home office include plenty of workspace to accommodate for your computer and other devices, filing cabinets, and good lighting– preferably natural lighting!

5. Reading Nooks & Home Libraries

Home reading culture is making a comeback! A dedicated, cozy space to read and store books is an attractive feature of modern custom homes. There are many attractive options for designing bookshelves and designing a small space in the home as a reading nook is a great way to make full use of your space.

6. Covered Decks

While in general, indoor/outdoor blends of space are growing in popularity in custom homes, covered decks are particularly attractive to homeowners who want to entertain not only in summer but also spring and fall. These are also great for covering outdoor furniture, protecting gardens, and grilling all year long.

7. Improved Indoor Air Quality

In modern home design, the key to the best indoor air quality is airtight insulation and good ventilation. By focusing on ventilation systems rather than building “walls that breathe,” you get a home with fewer air pollutants, less moisture, and better air circulation. A well-designed high-efficiency HVAC system goes a long way to ensure healthy air quality. Ductless air conditioning systems are also a good option because they allow you to control the air temperature room by room and can also treat the air.


These modern home design trends are not only aesthetically pleasing, but they also support functionality, the environment, and– most importantly –your health. With over 25 years of building experience, Donnelly Timmons builds luxury custom homes considerate of these trends. We can create a healthy new custom home in the Nashville area that you’ll fall in love with because we design it just for you!

To learn more and get a free consultation, contact Donnelly Timmons!