By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine
More home owners want more space in their kitchens and are expanding the kitchen’s use for more than just cooking, according to the latest findings from the American Institute of Architects’ quarterly Home Design Trends Survey. The survey, conducted in the fourth quarter of 2011, focused on kitchens and bathrooms.
“Kitchens seem to be regaining their function as the home’s ‘nerve center,’” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker.
During the housing downturn, kitchen design fell as a priority for home owners, Baker notes. But as the market has picked up, Americans’ interest in kitchens has been renewed.
“The last few years have seen kitchens take on new functions with dedicated computer areas and recharging stations,” Baker notes.
The kitchen products and features growing the most in popularity, according to the survey of architects, are:
1. Computer area/recharging stations
2. Integration with family space
3. Renewable flooring materials
4. Recycling centers
5. Adaptability/universal design
Home owners are also placing more emphasis on sustainability in choosing products in the kitchen, such as with renewable flooring materials and renewable countertops increasing in popularity.
Sustainability is also important in bathrooms, the survey found. One of the biggest growing concerns for home owners in designing bathrooms is finding ways to minimize utility costs, according to the architect survey. As such, products like LED lighting, dual flush, and water-saving toilets are growing in demand, Baker notes.