By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR Magazine
More Americans are showing their love for the great outdoors with their homes, seeking more outdoor living spaces at home that can blend in with their indoor spaces too, according to the American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey for the first quarter of 2012. AIA surveyed nationwide architects to discover home preferences. The first quarter survey focused on home layout and the use of interior and exterior space.
“In the last few years, outdoor living spaces have become the new ‘great room’ in terms of must-have items for home owners,” says Kermit Baker, AIA’s chief economist. “As people are more interested in adapting their property to their long-term needs rather than readying it for sale, we are seeing more attention paid to landscaping and features that have some return-on-investment like rainwater catchment systems.”
Nearly two-thirds of the architects surveyed said that outdoor living space, covered outdoor space, and outdoor rooms are increasing in popularity. The outdoor feature gaining the most in popularity, however, is low-maintenance, low-irrigation landscaping, according to the survey.
Architects also reported higher demand for exterior and security lighting.
Americans want to enjoy the outdoors but they also want to be comfortable indoors with a flexible, open space, the survey finds. Architects reported a continued rising demand among home owners for open space and flexible home layouts, such as wider hallways and fewer steps. More than half of the architects surveyed said that open space layouts are increasing in popularity, opposed to separately defined and enclosed rooms in a home.