Now that 2021 has arrived, many Americans are redefining the definition of “home” as a place with exciting potential for expanded functionality and purpose.

“This past year, many of us went back to basics — baking bread, planting gardens, building workbenches, creating spaces for remote work or schooling — learning to live in our homes in entirely new ways,” says Evan Fujimoto, president of Graham Builders. “We have discovered the importance of making our surroundings as comfortable, adaptable and welcoming as possible.”

On a national scale, classic designs that emphasize harmony, simplicity and balance are trending, with a focus on the natural flow of light, air and movement. Homeowners are embracing comfort and tradition, asking designers to make their spaces more inviting by incorporating natural materials, softer edges and homespun touches.


“Bringing the outdoors inside is a terrific trend for people who both work and relax at home,” Fujimoto says. “As much as possible, windows should be placed to allow views of nature, and to permit natural light to flood rooms. A few large indoor plants help enliven interior spaces.”

Studies have shown that houseplants help improve concentration and productivity, reduce stress levels and boost mood.

The national trend toward personalized homes that energize, stimulate and soothe in turn will manifest in American color schemes. Paint manufacturers, forecasting home color palettes for the coming year, have produced gorgeous collections of shades that reflect American optimism. There are soft neutrals to inspire clarity and focus; warm rustic shades that energize and invigorate; and cooler, deeper hues that induce a sense of serenity.

Though it’s likely that interest rates will rise by the end of 2021, forecasting financial trends seems a tricky proposition, after a year in which home sales and prices soared to record highs after plunging to record lows within just a few months. What’s certain is that the movement toward flexible, multifunctional homes will continue.


“In some houses, dining rooms, living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms are doubling up as work and learning areas,” says Fujimoto. “In these situations, color, materials and furnishings can be used to define areas dedicated to specific functions.”

After three decades of design/build experience and a focus on Hawaii’s multigenerational homes, Graham Builders is celebrated for adaptable design and execution that anticipates ever-changing and evolving human lifestyles.

“Those 30 years have taught us what makes homes last longer, and what makes them comfortable and functional,” says Fujimoto.

Founded in 1990, Graham Builders remains the only local general contractor honored with Better Business Bureau Hawaii’s Torch Award for Small Business Ethics, and was also Oahu’s first general contractor with a certified aging-in-place specialist on staff. You are invited to register for Graham Builders’ free “Building Your Home for Life” seminar, scheduled for Feb. 6, at, or call 593-2808.

CONTACT 593-2808
ADDRESS 1144 Young St., Honolulu