Over the course of my career, first at one of the nation’s largest new home developers and now as a top real estate agent with TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, I have worked with hundreds of clients who are looking for their dream home. Though each client has specific needs and desires, I have learned that – when it comes to home and design trends – what resonates most with home buyers are the trends that work with their own lifestyle and aesthetic.
With so many of our daily activities currently taking place at home, today’s homeowners are seeking amenities that combine work and leisure time. And they plan to enjoy these amenities long after the Covid-19 pandemic subsides. Meeting these new needs for homeowners will likely result in more interest in a newly built home.
Based upon customer demand, here are seven trends to consider:
- Biophilic Design. Today’s healthy home also takes into account the occupants’ emotional wellness. Biophilic design elements—such as daylight, ventilation, water, and natural materials— can be incorporated into the design of a home to increase immunity, boost natural circadian rhythms, regulate temperature, and inspire a sense of tranquility. The key outcome of biophilic design is to foster a direct connection with nature to help the homeowner stay healthy, relaxed, and focused.
- Kitchen Zones. For the past 30 years, the open floor plan has dominated residential construction and remodeling. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic, this trend is evolving. Today’s homeowners are looking for more functionality in the kitchen with separate work and living zones. Work zones may include a discrete area for food preparation, a traditional butler’s pantry modernized for today’s family, or a huge walk-in pantry. Whatever the work area is, a door or a wall from the main living area where families gather to socialize separates this cooking zone, dining, and work area.
- Outdoor Living. Today’s homeowner is looking for outdoor spaces to socialize and dine with family and friends; the outdoor space has become an extension of indoor living. Specially-designed hardscapes that include outdoor kitchens, living area, and firepits have become a high priority on many home buyers’ lists. Fortunately, the relatively mild winter weather in the DC metro region allows for luxury outdoor living space that can be easily attained by incorporating outdoor heaters and firepits. Both offer warmth via wood-burning, electric, gas, or propane.
- Flexible Extra Spaces. They come is a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, as well as names: auxiliary living unit, tiny home office, or sanity shed. However, these flexible spaces are a feature that many homeowners are looking for. During the current pandemic, the space can be used as a home office or learning space for children. In the future, the extra space can be transformed into a pool house, greenhouse, home gym, music room, or and other useful space.
- A Quarantine Room. These rooms allow family members who are ill to comfortably quarantine at home. The main feature of these rooms are plenty of windows for natural light and air circulation as well as a separate mechanical system to avoid airborne contamination through ventilation.
- Spotlight on the Staircase. A home’s main staircase not only connects its many levels but also sets the stage for the entire design of the home. It is often one of the first features seen when entering the house and it can also be seen from many angles within the home. A staircase can be grand, traditional, ultra-modern, industrial, or warm and cozy.
- Smart Applications. The Cloud has become a new home accessory. As mentioned in a recent Wall Street Journal article, kitchens have “taken up residence in the digital age, as designers and appliance makers increasingly rely on a host of technological innovations to update the traditional tasks of cooking, storing and cleaning up.” Using technology, smart refrigerators have the ability to track grocery lists and recipes and microwave ovens can be voice activated by Alexa. With so many of our daily activities taking place via videoconference, technology can connect large screens with high-resolution capability with a sound system in an area with good lighting.
It you would like to discuss these home design trends further (or any home-related topic) please contact me today.