2020 was a pivotal year for the entire world. It affected every single industry, as well. Residential construction was no exception. In fact, the home design trends that shape 2021 and beyond can all trace their origins back to lockdowns and dealing with the global pandemic.
What trends should you know about?
You’ll find many interesting shifts in the industry. Below, we will cover some of the most important ones to understand, whether you’re thinking about having a new residential designed and built, or if you’re a builder who wants to stay on top of the market.
Bigger Is Better
One of the dominant residential construction trends of the 2010s was a shift toward smaller homes and spaces. Families were dispersing and people were looking to downsize. 2020 changed all that. With extended families forced to live under one roof (thanks to lockdowns, rental industry challenges, and myriad other factors), homebuyers are now shopping with an eye toward more space.
Many people are moving away from urban centers and into suburban and rural areas. In these new places, they want larger homes that can accommodate not just their families, but also their remote work needs. This means fewer “entry-level” starter homes and a shift toward more spacious homes designed with high-earning buyers in mind.
Another interesting home design trend for 2021 is the shift in perspectives on how a home’s interior should be laid out. In the 2010s, open-concept was hugely popular. Then the pandemic hit and people were forced to work in those spaces with other family members. This drove home just how little privacy there is within an open-concept home when the entire family is around.
Interestingly, this does not mean the end to open-concept homes. Instead, it marks a shift in desires toward having specific spaces within a house. Those wide-open kitchens that connect seamlessly with living and dining areas will stay.
However, consumers are increasingly looking for additional space within a home that can serve as an office (with walls and a door that closes to help cut down on noise and ensure better privacy). Note that multiple office spaces are also in demand, particularly with upwardly mobile Millennials who can work remotely with relative ease.
Whether we’re talking about space within the home or inside an attached or detached storage shed, flex space is increasingly important to homebuyers. What are they doing with these spaces? Supporting their pandemic-inspired hobbies while futureproofing their homes against anything that might happen in the future.
For instance, some flex space might be used as a home gym or yoga studio. Other spaces might hold gardening supplies and tools, now that so many people have decided to grow their own vegetables and flowers. Again, it is important to understand that flex space can be indoors or outdoors, or a combination of the two, so designers should look for innovative ways to deliver this while capitalizing on a home’s design. Under-deck conversions, custom greenhouses, window walls within bonus rooms – these are just some examples of how designers and builders can create appealing flex space indoors and out.
Doing It All Under One Roof
Directly related to the trends touched on above, homebuyers are increasingly looking for homes that allow them to “do it all under one roof”. Once, homes were really more about relaxation after work. Today, that’s changed.
Consumers are seeking a home where they can relax and play, but also work, sleep, entertain (in-person and virtually), and do it all with the entire family. To accommodate that, builders must balance specific purpose space with flexibility in design, as well as creating rooms outside of open-space floorplans that can meet multiple needs.
Technology has been listed as one of the home design trends for a long time. However, we’re talking about more than just smart thermostats or ensuring that the home’s wiring is ready for IoT devices. The pandemic changed the way events were held, and many people want to be prepared for that to continue, whether they’re required to be socially distant or not.
One example of this is the Zoom-ready home. Relying on smartphones and tablets for remote events like weddings and baby showers, or even school classes has shown just how limiting those devices truly are. The answer is to create a Zoom-ready home. The software is already in place. All that’s needed is the right hardware, including a large-screen television, and an audio system capable of replicating in-person events.
Look for consumer technology expectations to continue growing, as well. The Zoom-ready home is just one aspect. Increasingly, automation plays a role in our lives, and many people expect their homes to be up to that task. Innovative designers and builders will be ready to tap into that trend.
Healthy and Green
Our final two home design tendency are interrelated. Homebuyers are looking for houses that help them be healthier themselves but that also lessen their impact on the environment. This ‘healthy and green’ trend can take many different forms, as well.
One example is including HVAC systems that improve ventilation and filtering. That improves indoor air quality, reduces allergic reactions, and helps the entire family live more comfortably. Couple that with the desire for cleaner water, even when connected to the municipal water supply, which can mean integrating advanced filtration systems baked in during the build.
Consumers are also seeking non-toxic building products to protect their families.
On top of all that, more and more consumers are looking for ways to protect the environment. Solar energy is increasingly popular, but innovative builders can find numerous other ways to add thoughtful touches that help buyers green up the planet. For instance, passive pool heating systems, solar tubes that carry sunlight into rooms with few or no windows, earth-berm construction to reduce heating and cooling – these are just some examples.
An Interesting Path Forward
As you can see, 2021 will be an interesting year when it comes to residential construction. Many of these home design trends will continue well after 2021, as well, and will shape the industry for years to come.
At BEST PRO BUILDERS we offer a full range of professional construction services and solutions to fit virtually any need or budget. From full design/build services to installing that backyard patio and outdoor kitchen you’ve been dreaming of, you can trust our team to deliver.