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10 Trends Driving the Next Decade of Home Design

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Over the next 10 years, expect functionality, accessibility, and sustainability to be major themes guiding the look of homes. That could include everything from embracing healthier building materials and furnishings to homes that are designed to be more resilient to bad weather.

More than 500 residential architects offered their insights into what will be the most significant home design elements over the next 10 years. From the American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey, here are the 10 residential design trends to watch for over the next decade:

1. Smarter homes: Technology will become more prevalent in the operation of homes, including via automated controls for temperature, security, and lighting.

2. Healthier homes: Consumers are becoming more aware of environmental health issues that will likely lead to greater use of low or no volatile organic compounds of paint and composite wood, natural fiber upholstery, carpets without polyvinyl chloride backing, and air purification systems.

3. Disaster-proof: Home owners will call for homes that can hold up better against natural disasters, which may mean elevating residences, windows with impact glazing, dedicated safe rooms, and backup power generation.

4. Energy efficiency: Sustainable design elements that increase a home’s energy efficiency — such as solar panels, water reclamation systems, and tankless water heaters –- will likely grow in demand.

5. Age-in-place: Universal design elements will grow in popularity to help an aging population stay in their homes longer. These design elements will likely include wider hallways, added handrails, and one-level living spaces.

6. All about the kitchen: Kitchens will be the focal point of the home, fueled by open design concepts that allow it to stay front and center.

7. Outdoor living spaces: More home owners will look to invest in sprucing up their outdoor living spaces, beyond just outdoor grills or decks. Instead, look for more home owners adding outdoor kitchens and fully furnished outdoor rooms.

8. Home offices: Home owners, due to changing work patterns and a growth in telecommuting, will likely place a greater emphasis on the need for a space devoted to a home office.

9. Smaller but better designed homes: As home owners demand to be closer to jobs and public transportation, architects will have to build in more accessible locations that are typically more pricey. This will likely bring about smaller but more innovative designs and more personalized design features.

10. Urban influence: With growing calls for an urban lifestyle from younger adults, architects will adopt some of these urban characteristics into their projects, such as with a focus on higher-density development that offer more amenities to residents and offer closer to commercial.

Read more about these 10 trends in Architect Magazine.

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