I recently read an article in one of the leading to-the-trade magazines that three home & interior design growth trends are larger homes, accessibility, and outdoor living spaces. While the demand for outdoor living spaces have been increasing every year, what somewhat surprised me was the larger home trend. Being an advocate for universal design & accessibility in the home, I knew that this trend would become more and more popular as the Baby Boomer generation began to age.
The article’s findings are from a poll taken by over 500 architectural firms that focus on the residential sector. I wanted to spotlight these three trends because I find them interesting and accurate. While most of the U.S. economy struggles, many reports say that the housing market is slowly growing. The majority of entry-level housing purchases are not increasing in size, but it’s the upper-end housing and additions to existing homes that are increasing in size. Architects are seeing about 25% increase in these two areas of the housing market. One of the ways volume of square footage is increasing is by higher ceiling heights & two-story spaces.
As I mentioned above Baby Boomers are aging and wanting to make their existing homes or new homes easily accessible as they age. We are seeing accessibility in home layouts, such as open floor plans with the living area open to the kitchen. This is the most significant trend architects are seeing: accessibility (55% report increase in accessibility into and out of the home). Typically there is an informal living space open to the kitchen due to the increasing popularity for informality in design and lifestyle. With the large open floor plan, the design for larger walkways make it easier for future walkers or wheelchairs if needed. Also, one-story homes or homes with minimal amount of steps is increasing in popularity.
Let’s extend the interior living spaces to the outdoors. Outdoor living spaces are often adjacent to the interior living rooms or kitchens. The outdoor living spaces can include anything from decks, porches, grilling areas, or complete outdoor kitchens or fully furnished outdoor rooms. More and more people are spending more time outdoors. Many people are designing these outdoor spaces to be a combination of indoor/outdoor spaces–allowing the homeowner to enjoy their backyards when inclement weather occurs.