The Evolution of Home Design
According to Claire Easley from builderonline.com these trends talk about how the future of home design is shaping up.
Smaller and Closer to Main Street
It is said that one of the biggest trends is that people are moving back to “Main Street” and into smaller homes. The trend is particularly strong among boomers looking to downsize. They want to sell their houses in the suburbs to move closer in to be able to walk to the movies.
While statistics imply the trend toward smaller homes recently reversed, builders attributes the “flip” to the fact that home buyers are all looking for product that is “smaller and well crafted.”
Much of the credit goes to the success of architects Marianne Cusato and Sarah Susanka in popularizing small-but-smart home design, as well as the overall improvement buyers perceive in appreciation for quality. Communities with smaller homes have people come out of the woodwork, saying ‘I’ve never seen anything in between a large single-family house and a condo.’ It adapts to different kinds of families—empty nesters, single women.”
Some developers and builders are trying to “deinstitutionalize” projects for a more traditional neighborhood feel. There is a particular demand for right-sized homes in projects that foster close-knit communities.
An example is Riverwalk, a cottage community in Concord, Massachusetts. Its secret??? Thoughtfully appointed smaller homes situated around a common green, leaving cars in one parking area away from the shared public space. The dwellings also are net-zero capable, with all homes wired and plumbed to accommodate solar photovoltaics and thermal hot water panels, which can either be installed at time of purchase or added on later.
Not the Same Old Designs
Families are different, and changes run the gamut from the surge in multigenerational families living together, to the way technology is forcing families to live their houses differently.
The answer? Including more “space” in the plan. Some consumers would like to live in houses differently than how everyone else would live. So how do you allow them to have that function in the house so they can flex it?” Adding space adjacent to the family room to allow larger families more room to be together, while those who wish to can adapt the space to take on a secondary purpose.
In the multifamily market, customers are looking for something other than the typical condominium. Now the trend is toward projects with greater variety—such as cottage and courtyard homes.
There is tremendous enthusiasm for privatized outdoor space. Clients are looking for architecture that protects the space and offering privacy. Enhancing that space with an outdoor kitchen or fire pit is becoming increasingly popular. Customers downsizing from large single-family houses to attached homes don’t want to give up private outdoor space with room to garden. That need is answered with semi-private patios.