Home design trends spurred by pandemic still booming, architects say

Home design trends that started during the pandemic are still booming, according to a survey released by the American Institute of Architects this week.

D.C.-area homebuyers continue to ask architects for massive windows, multifunctional backyards and grand kitchens that double as workspaces and entertainment places, said David Shove-Brown, AIA member and founding partner at 3877 Design in Washington, D.C.

Large windows and cross-functional kitchens are among the “must haves” in home design among buyers and owners, according to the American Institute of Architects survey. (Courtesy 3877 Design)

“The home became school, office, recreation center, restaurant and bar all at once,” Shove-Brown said. “Then it became, how do you maximize the use of spaces while maintaining some sense of sanity?”

The AIA surveyed more than 300 residential architect firms to gather the data.

It discovered that trends like cross-functional outdoor spaces are among key features owners and buyers want and purchase, the report said.

“We’ve done more outdoor kitchens, outdoor showers, outdoor dog washing stations,” he said. “All of those things that make life a little bit easier.”

Multifunctional outdoor spaces that function as fun zones and lounge spots are important to homebuyers. (Courtesy 3877 Design)

Homebuyers are also asking for more smart technology, because many of them are still working from home and it increases the value of a home at resale, Shove-Brown said.

“There was an older thought that kitchens and baths sold homes. It’s beyond that now,” he said. “People have realized that buyers are savvy. They know the value of putting in energy-efficient appliances and tankless hot water heaters.”

Another trend: building to age in place. Shove-Brown said home buyers are building for longer terms, considering higher mortgage rates and home prices.

“Building that master suite on the ground floor allows people to build the house of their dreams and not have to move out when movement is a more challenging,” he said. “If you’re going to build something, you want to hang on to it.”

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