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Outdoor Living and Multi-Gen Features – Top Home Design Trends

Posted by Matt Ates | December 06, 2017

backyard_1200.jpgFluctuations in Home Design Trends

Home remodeling design trends never remain stagnant. Even design concepts that remain routinely prevalent fluctuate in popularity depending on economic stability and home owner demand. Two trends we have observed steadily growing since the economic housing downturn of 2012 are outdoor living areas and multi-generational accommodations. (All numbers below are according to the American Institute of Architects’ 2017 design trends survey.)

The Rise in Popularity of Outdoor Living Areas

Every home is equipped with living essentials such as kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms, and living areas. Specialty rooms, however, rotate in and out of style. Over the past five years, home offices, mud rooms, and outdoor living areas have ranked among the top most sought-after specialty rooms. In 2017, these three options account for 77% of the most highly-valued specialty room designations, but demand within these three continues to shift.

Before the economic downturn of 2012, home offices were the most highly prioritized specialty rooms. Now, though they still rank among the top three, they have dropped 50% in popularity to be replaced by outdoor living spaces, which mark a demand increase of 72% in the last five years. (Unlike home office and outdoor living areas, mudrooms continue to rank high but have remained relatively normative in demand.)

This is hardly surprising given America’s recent cultural emphasis on a “back-to-nature” movement that emphasizes cultivating lifestyle habits that provide peace, harmony, and a connection to nature. Perhaps as a reaction to the increased presence of technology in daily living, home industry trends have shifted from prioritizing places that allow you to take your work home with you to places that allow you to leave your work at work.

The Rise in Popularity of Multi-Generational Living

The other rising trend in home design is one that favors multi-generational living. This trend began as a result of the economic downturn; out of financial necessity, families consolidated their living spaces—adult children moved back in with their parents; retiring parents moved in with their children; and many home owners who were unable to change location to live with family changed instead their home layout to accommodate outside renters and thereby generate additional income.

Now, though the financial crisis has been generally less pronounced, some find that they still prefer to live in relationally enriched and financially favorable circumstances. Between 2013 and 2017, the popularity in multi-gen living spaces increased from 50% to 55%, and the number is still on the rise as more and more families remodel their homes to better utilize existing square footage.

For an older generation possessing more material assets, it makes sense to offer accommodations to family or acquaintances who can help them better age in place. For a younger generation with increased debt burdens, it makes sense to capitalize on these opportunities. For all parties, it’s favorable to consolidate resources.

What These Trends Mean for Home Owners Seeking to Remodel

So what does this mean for Dallas, TX, residents who are seeking contractor help as they begin their home remodels? It means that whether you plan to age in place or resell, you now know a few safe investments to help increase your home’s value. After you tend to the heart of your home, consider remodeling to introduce outdoor living areas and a home design conducive to multiple residents of different households.

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Multi-Gen Features, Exterior Remodeling