The pandemic has changed how many of feel about our homes. For those who are now working, schooling and even vacationing at home, there is a growing wish list of what we’d change about our homes, if we could.
Builders are the people who turn those wish lists into reality. A Zillow survey last spring revealed that if Americans could work from home permanently, they’d consider moving, with most seeking bigger homes, more rooms and offices. We asked two new-construction builders and an interior design expert to share their insights on what families now want in a new home. Here are the top four ways they say home design is changing.
Flexible space is more important than open space. The need for a quiet space for remote work means we’ll see more barn or pocket-style sliding doors that “give people privacy but can still preserve an open concept space when needed,” says Jennifer Pyatt of Indianapolis-based Pyatt Builders. Zillow design expert Kerrie Kelly believes that all areas of a home will be used in multi-purpose ways. “Guest bedrooms may become wellness studios,” and dining rooms may be used occasionally as game rooms, Kelly says.
“Just wait until the floor tile takes your temperature and the bathroom mirror checks your vitals.”Zillow design expert Kerrie Kelly
Home offices are a must-have. Working parents need dedicated separate space from their children, says Katie Detwiler of Berks Homes, which builds homes in Eastern and Central Pennsylvania. Two-thirds of people surveyed by Zillow in May were working from a room that’s not a dedicated home office space, while the desire for one was at the top of their wish list. Pyatt expects specific home design choices, like office space and larger pantries, will continue to grow in popularity.
Builders are thinking through how to build mudrooms with sinks off garages so people can get clean before they even enter the house.Katie Detwiler, Berks Homes
Health and cleanliness built in. Kelly says touchless faucets and self-cleaning toilets are only the beginning: “Just wait until the floor tile takes your temperature and the bathroom mirror checks your vitals.” Kelly also expects builders to tout the antimicrobial qualities of quartz countertops. Detwiler says builders are thinking through how to build mudrooms with sinks off garages so people can “get clean before they even enter the house.”
Yards become outdoor rooms. People want more space in their next home, and one way to get it is by turning part of the backyard into a functional room, “an outdoor space for play as well as entertaining or cooking,”says Detwiler. Todd Pyatt, President of Pyatt Homes, agrees. “Motorized, retractable screens, heaters and fans, now considered luxury options, will become more essential because they allow families the freedom to be outside across the seasons.”
An increasing number of shoppers appear interested in starting fresh with a brand-new home; searches for new construction homes have recently seen an uptick on Zillow, up 73 percent from last year.