A new Home Design Trends survey from the American Institute of Architects is backing up what I've already been seeing take priority with luxury home buyers around Nashville. The AIA reports that while home sizes are gradually growing again, the so-called "special function rooms" within them are dedicated to different purposes than they once were. Whereas pre-recession everyone was jonesing to get their hands on a house with a home theater and an exercise room, now more of my clients get jazzed about mudrooms and wireless speaker systems, home offices and energy efficiency. You know, the practical stuff.
The prevalence of telecommuting has made the home office the most popular special function room in the home.
After the home office, mudrooms/drop zones and outdoor living spaces tie for the second most popular special function room.
40 percent of residential architects report that home theaters are fading from popularity.
28 percent of residential architects report that exercise rooms and saunas are declining in popularity.
52 percent of the survey's respondents say that energy efficiency is the home feature that's suddenly the most in-demand. Think features like solar panels and geothermal heating and cooling systems.
Also high on homebuyers' must-have list: wireless telecommunications and data systems like backup power generation systems and electrical docking stations.
Retiring in droves, Baby Boomer homebuyers are more interested in homes that they can safely age in. Think first-floor master bedrooms, ramps and elevators, and non-slip floors.
Homeowners are also more often requesting recycled or salvaged materials, low-maintenance features, and energy efficient products like triple-glazed windows, tankless or point-of-use water heaters, water-saving or conserving devices such as low-flush toilets.
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