design is constantly evolving as our society changes. In
today’s plugged-in world, homeowners are looking for a
place to unwind and spend time with family and friends.
Many are also looking for a sense of community. And an
increasingly aging population is also influencing how
homes are designed.
are some trends homebuyers will see in new homes today:
home designs are all about casual living. Gone are the
formal parlors and living rooms. Instead, the kitchen
has become the heart of the home. Kitchens and their
surrounding gathering spaces are being given maximum
real estate by home designers. Dining rooms have become
nonessential, as kitchens expand and absorb family
the kitchen becomes an increasingly important part of
the home, the trend is also to add more technology to
the area. Wi-Fi-enabled home automation technology is
becoming standard in many new homes, and plug-in
stations in the kitchen are also a must.
other increasingly popular place for the family to hang
out is outside. Outdoor living areas — often with
fireplaces or fire pits, sofas and televisions — are
becoming more and more essential in home design. And as
the action moves to the backyard, the line between
indoors and outdoors is becoming more blurred through
the use of stacking or accordion-style glass doors that
can turn a wall into an open space.
for more areas in the home that don’t have a dedicated
purpose. That extra room could become a suite for an
aging relative or a quiet office for a family member
working from home. In 2016, 43 percent of the nation’s
workforce spent part of the time working remotely,
according to a Gallup poll released in February. Flex
rooms can be easily transformed from one purpose or
another without costly renovations.
building is going mainstream. As homebuyers are becoming
more aware of indoor environmental hazards, such as
volatile organic compounds (VOCs are gases from
chemically produced material), the trend is toward
healthy paints, high-efficiency heating and
air-conditioning units and the use of natural materials.
Natural materials are also becoming popular as an
antidote to technology. Look for more tactile, warm
surfaces such as wood and cork.
mandates as well as homeowner demands are spurring the
increase of a new home’s efficiency. Solar power,
better insulation and windows with increased thermal
performance will continue to become features.
Energy-efficient, flexible LED lighting is also changing
the way homes are illuminated, from strips lights for
safety to chandeliers for a touch of glam.
conservation is also becoming more and more important,
and gray-water technologies are emerging that allow for
some recycled water to be used for irrigation.
aging population is also influencing home design. Older
residents are looking for smaller, single-story homes
that are easily navigable. As more and more baby boomers
are turning 65, universal design is becoming
increasingly important, and designers are discovering
that accessibility doesn’t come at the cost of style.
For example, flush-floor showers with built-in seating
and partial doors can be both elegant and functional.
is also affecting the types of neighborhoods homeowners
are seeking. Getting away from the screen and making
real connections is becoming increasingly important as
work and social media take up large chunks of the day.
Homebuyers are looking not only for a home but also for
a community. New-home projects, whether single-family or
multifamily developments, are adding fitness centers,
clubhouses and barbecue areas where people can
homes will continue to evolve with our increasing use of
high-tech innovations. And homebuilders will continue to
find a balance between our desire to be plugged in and
our need to unplug.