5 Hot Design Trends in New Homes

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Creativity and cost-savings are the main themes driving new-home design trends today, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Here are some of the latest new-home design trends, according to NAHB:

1. “Pocket offices.” More space is being added to popular family gathering places like the kitchen and family room. As such, space devoted to formal home offices and dens are falling to the wayside. Instead of a formal home office, more new homes are incorporating a small space devoted to home management, known as “pocket offices.” These pocket offices may be anywhere, even included in a large pantry. They also might be tucked away near the kitchen or family great room. Most people today are mobile with their electronics and home office items anyway so they might not need as big of space to spread out and a “pocket office” may suffice.

2. Tucked away relax spots. Window seats and alcoves are increasing in new homes because they don’t take up much space but can still provide some private time.

3. Master laundry rooms. Laundry rooms are being added onto the master bedroom’s walk-in closet for added convenience.

4. “Shadow” units. As more families live together under one roof, “shadow” units are increasing in popularity in new single-family homes. These units may be built alongside a home and operate as a separate living unit accessed through a door from the home’s main floorplan. Shadow units may also include homes that come with at least two master suites, such as one located on the ground floor and one upstairs.

5. Rectangular home designs. Rectangular home designs are increasing in popularity because they are more cost-effective to build. The trend was once grand, multiple roof lines. But to make rectangular designs appealing, these homes may have two windows in a corner with mitered glass to allow unobstructed views and light to flow in, according to NAHB. Or these homes might mix exterior materials, such as with metal, wood, and stone to give the home a more modern look.

Melissa Tracey

Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.

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  1. We at Adair Homes are offering this “shadow add-on” with a 512 sq. foot apartment. I would be happy to send it to you on email, if you would like to see it! It can be built alongside your Adair home for as little at $24,590. in Central Oregon.

  2. New construction homes in Augusta are still going strong and I have to say I am seeing a lot more “rectangular” shaped homes since the builders are so competitive with price at the moment. It has always been “cheaper” to build up than out which is reflected in the amount of two-story homes available on the market.

  3. Pocket Offices are a hot commodity these days. There also seems to be a increasing demand for detached casita style floorplans.

  4. Having a spacious kitchen and family room is a plus. I don’t know if putting a laundry room inside the master’s bedroom would be a good idea.