Have you ever wondered what’s in and what’s out? Recent economic downturns have resulted in a “frugal” sensibility with new homebuyers. Buyers are looking for value – first and foremost. Some of the latest innovations in housing design are:
Smaller More Functional Floor Plans
· The average floor plan size has been shrinking. There is no wasted space in new designs and every room must be comfortable and functional – often multi-purpose. Footprints are being squared up to eliminate unnecessary space while cutting the total square footage.
· Formal living rooms and dining rooms are fading. You only need one place to eat, so nooks are combining with kitchens as the family friendly place to eat. The open Great Room concept is still “in”.
· Study and home office space is important. Studies and dens are desirable but alcoves with room for a computer desk can also work well.
· As floor plans become smaller, creative storage space is even more critical. Organizers, carved out storage niches, built-ins, shelving and attic storage are providing what the consumer needs.
· Kitchen sizes are growing. There is increased focus on ergonomics, cabinetry and storage space.
· High cabinets, where people have a hard time reaching items, are being replaced with stainless steel shelving for easy retrieval and a modern design feel. Pull out drawers are being featured in low cabinets for easy accessibility.
· Pantry towers are new – combining many storage spaces into one smart piece.
· Deep & narrow kitchen sinks are useful and extend countertop space.
· Kitchens are open to natural light with more windows.
· Seldom used garden tubs take up too much space and are one of the trade- offs consumers don’t mind making to get a smaller, less expensive home.
· Buyers are opting for larger walk around showers without a high maintenance glass enclosure.
· Double bowl vanities are still “in” when it comes to the master bath.
· Nothing is more “in” than green design. Energy efficient appliances & lighting fixtures, low E windows, tankless water heaters, and solar or
· hybrid heating systems are all becoming more popular and more standard.
· Removing unnecessary architectural cosmetics on front exteriors saves the consumer money while allowing a wiser use of building materials.
Higher gas prices and time lost sitting in traffic are hitting already strained budgets hard so consumers are looking to buy homes in communities where they have less travel time to work, schools, and shopping.