Check out this guest post about this year’s home design trends and how they have been impacted by the recent housing crisis contributed by Lucy Massey, on behalf of Empire Today. Thanks so much Lucy!
The housing crisis continues to impact us and has profoundly affected home design. Home design trends for 2012 reflect the changing lifestyles of today’s homeowners. While homes are shrinking in size, they are also becoming more livable, more energy efficient, and more accessible.
Before looking at the actual home design trends for 2012, let’s look at how Americans are living in the post-Great Recession era. Many young adults, with heavy student debt loads and poor job prospects, choose to live with their parents longer. Meanwhile, elderly parents are moving in with their grown children. Multigenerational living requires home designs featuring privacy, functional living spaces, and accessibility features. In addition, the economy and environmental concerns have made consumers more aware of energy consumption, resulting in an increased emphasis on sustainable building materials and energy efficient designs. Because the housing market continues to struggle, many homeowners cannot sell their homes despite their growing or multigenerational families. These factors contribute to the latest home design and remodeling trends.
According to the National Association of Home Builders which recently issued its Best in American Living Awards, some of the key design trends for 2012 include:
- Less formality – Formal living and dining rooms are out and “flex” spaces are in. Many homeowners recognize that their formal living spaces go unused and are opting for open family spaces with flexible uses.
- Timeless elegance – Many designers are blending comfort with style, creating classic, but contemporary looks.
- A focus on multigenerational living – More generations are opting to live under one roof, resulting in the popularity of two master suites often featuring wheelchair accessible bathrooms.
- Cost effective designs – Recognizing the importance of home affordability, many home designs are value engineered, making them less expensive to build without sacrificing quality.
- Outdoor living – Outdoor gathering spaces remain a desirable amenity.
- Useful green – Consumers have come to expect energy efficiency features that will reduce energy costs.
The American Institute of Architects’ recent Home Design Survey reveals that remodeling and renovation remain popular options with homeowners. The survey indicates that kitchens are once again being prioritized, with more space devoted to them, and that bathroom remodeling has remained stable.
According to this survey, key kitchen trends include: renewable flooring materials, renewable countertops, natural wood cabinets, recycling centers, computer areas, larger pantries, integration with family spaces, adaptability and universal design, and drinking water filter systems. In the bathroom, the following trends were noted: radiant heated floors, water saving toilets, dual flush toilets, doorless showers, accessibility and universal design, LED lighting, hand showers, and linen closet / storage space.
From renewable flooring materials and natural wood cabinets to wheelchair accessibility, separate master suites, and the end of formal living and dining rooms, the home design trends for 2012 reflect the changing lifestyles of the American homeowners. Today’s consumers want functional, affordable, livable, and energy efficient living spaces. Whether they’re remodeling an existing home or entering the real estate market, these key design trends are important considerations.