The American Institute of Architects recently came out with the results from its first quarter Home Design Trends Survey. Most notably, residential architects are indicating an improvement in overall business conditions and are seeing some stability developing in new construction. A bellwether for the homebuilding industry, business conditions at residential architecture firms improving is naturally encouraging news.
When it comes to design, in-home accessibility is the emerging trend; features like wider hallways, fewer steps and stairs, ramps and on-grade entrances intended to make entering/exiting and moving through the home easier are increasing in popularity. Flexible floorplans are also on the rise in addition to a growing preference for open space layouts over enclosed rooms. AIA findings are not surprising, given our aging Boomer population and a shift toward multigenerational housing.
Some builders are already addressing these trends. Shea SPACES and the Lennar NextGen home immediately come to mind as attempts to meet the needs of American households as their makeups shift and change.
Survey results also indicate an increased interest in outdoor living spaces. Maybe living in Southern California makes us take this for granted, but really, when have they ever been unpopular? Covered outdoor spaces and outdoor rooms are on the rise, and we see these design features as less of a trend and more of a key floorplan element in new home communities throughout Southern California.
Lets all hope for increased billings and some project backlog at residential architecture firms. Fingers crossed. To access the complete survey results, http://www.aia.org/practicing/AIAB095115.