Much has been written (even on this blog) about changes coming to architecture due to the pandemic. The 2021 building season indicates what consumers and designers desire for American homes in the future. The residential market reveals three immediate and significant architectural trends.
Homebuyers want spaces that meld indoor and outdoor areas. A year of isolation inspires this response, along with the growing sense that outdoor gatherings are safer and, therefore, more welcoming.
“Buyers remain focused on the extreme functionality of the outdoor space, and homes with multi-purpose outdoor areas are showing huge demand,” says McKinze Casey of Sotheby’s Realty. “Imagine morning coffee on your balcony that faces the sunrise, hosting a dinner under the stars, and watching the Sunday game in your outdoor living room. It allows a pivot from the day.”
The Open-Floor Plan is Out in Favor of More Rooms
While people still love open floor plans, working and learning from home has inspired many to want closed-door spaces for quiet privacy. Many buyers are asking for smaller, activity-specific rooms.
Homeowners don’t just want privacy; they want delineation between work and relaxation spaces. According to Sotheby’s: “the combination allows for a change in tone throughout the day.”
Emphasis on Practicality
Homeowners want functionality; they desire homes that handle the wear and tear of repetitive use. Never before have so many people co-occupied common, enclosed spaces for such prolonged periods; this has increased the desire for more resilient carpet, flooring, and furniture.
Formerly, function followed form; the opposite now holds: buyers want to make the most out of living space. If that means lower ceilings and smaller windows to accommodate increased square footage on the upper floors, so be it. More home buyers want finished basements rather than paying less for unfinished spaces, hoping to finish them with sweat equity.
As Casey of Sotheby’s says, “The best way to remain valuable is to be a constant student in every facet of this business.”
The pandemic has inspired many societal changes; architecture is no exception. People understand what being quarantined means. According to new trends in the residential construction market, form gives way to practicality when it comes to living spaces.