“Historically, the dominant factors in home design have been economic and demographic shifts,” says AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker. “Residential architects are seeing these forces at play in their vision for the next decade, as well. Homeowners have indicated a strong preference for functionality, accessibility and sustainability over the last ten years, and architects expect that to accelerate, with increasing demand for healthy building materials and furnishings, along with designs that provide measures of resistance to weather-related calamities.”
The themes above will inform the following major design trends in the next 10 years:
1. Technological Integration – Technological integration will become more prevalent, with both dedicated support for personal devices and automated controls for temperature, security and lighting.
2. Non-Toxic Materials – Increased awareness about environmental health issues will lead to more widespread use of low- or no-volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for paint and composite wood, as well as natural fiber upholstery, carpets without polyvinyl chloride backing and air purification systems.
3. Disaster-Proof Design – There will be a growing demand for design that strengthens homes against natural disasters, including elevated residences, windows with impact glazing, dedicated safe rooms and backup power generation.
4. Energy-Efficiency – The next 10 years will see an increasing use of energy-efficient and other sustainable design elements and products, such as solar panels, water reclamation systems and tankless water heaters.
5. Aging-in-Place Plans – More homes will include aging-in-place and universal design elements to accommodate an aging population, including wider hallways, added handrails and one-level living spaces.
6. Open-Concept Living – Kitchens will continue to serve as the focal point of the home highlighted by open-design concepts.
8. Home Offices – As employment situations evolve and workplace norms fall by the wayside, more households will require space devoted to home offices.
9. Infill Development – Infill development, or the process of developing vacant or under-used parcels of land within existing urban areas, will result in smaller, better-designed homes.
10. Urban Characteristics – There will be a strong preference for urban lifestyle qualities in communities, leading to higher-density developments that provide amenities to residents.