What is popular in home design?

Whether you’re building a new home or are just updating your existing home, here’s a sneak peek at what is popular in home design.

A welcoming home

Many homeowners have moved beyond the desire for a private refuge and are instead focusing on creating inviting entertainment areas — a place where family and friends are always welcome. The home is where people create memories and share their lives with family and friends. The emphasis is now on making a home feel inviting and comfortable.

Bigger is not better

Homes are actually getting smaller, according to a recent survey. The average size of a new, single-family home is expected to be around 2,152 square feet, that’s 10 percent smaller than it was 5 years ago. The downturn in the economy made a lot of consumers more conscious of their finances. A new focus in lowering heating and cooling costs has lowered expectations of home size, creating a demographic that doesn’t require huge amounts of space.

The great room

Living rooms are being replaced by great rooms that combine kitchens dining rooms and family rooms, with plenty of room to do everything from homework to entertaining. The popularity of family-style entertaining has given rise to the great room. Often a showcase room, it might feature high ceilings and a fireplace. Many expect living rooms to vanish altogether, but it’s not the only room fading away. Mudrooms, third bathrooms and formal dining rooms are also expected to slowly disappear from new-home plans.

The kitchen

Recessed lighting, double sinks and ample room to sit and eat are the top trends in kitchen designs. Whether it’s actual table space or a simple breakfast bar, families are moving toward enjoying all of their meals in the great room. Fireplaces are now being found in some unconventional places, like in the kitchen near the oven, and throughout the home.

The master bedroom / bath

The master bedroom is growing to a private sanctuary for the homeowner. Walk-in closets and master bathrooms have more attention. While the home is no longer all about the homeowner, a personal retreat is often found in the master bedroom.

Green living

The trend toward energy-efficient windows and appliances, as well as engineered woods and high energy-efficiency ratings is expected to reach an all-time high. Manufactured homes are much more popular, cutting the building time in half. Consumers continue to become aware of the long-term savings and other positive implications associated with energy efficiency.

What builders are building

Based on a survey of builders, the following features and amenities that will be likely included in an average single family home are listed below in order of popularity.

  • master bedroom walk-in closet
  • laundry room
  • low energy windows
  • great room
  • energy-star rated appliances
  • ceiling height on first floor, 9′ or more
  • 2-car garage
  • programmable thermostat
  • granite countertop in kitchen
  • central island in kitchen
  • bathroom linen closet
  • front porch
  • double sink in kitchen
  • exterior lighting