Multi function rooms, Costco sized pantries, laundry facilities within or near to bedrooms, drop zones, open floor plans, resource centers, outdoor living areas and bigger garages are just a few of the trends emerging in 2013.
No longer do you find rooms dedicated to a single purpose like a hobby room. Now builders are creating "Resource Centers" and "Drop Zones" that use for instance a nook in the kitchen where one can fit a desk, laptop and printer, have cubby holes and shelves for bills, keys, cell phones, purses and mail. Builders are also including a flexible space off of the kitchen area apart from a formal family room that can serve as the family command center where kids can do homework and parents can pay bills, or have family meetings. The room is located strategically so busy parents can keep an eye on kids while they are preparing meals or working.
Laundry rooms have been on the move up and into the main living areas of the home for years but now laundry rooms are beginning to appear in alcoves within the master suite where it is easier than ever. For those homes where owners still prefer a laundry room in the lowest level of the house an old device is seeing a resurgence-the laundry chute. Chutes in all bedrooms make getting all the laundry together an obsolete activity. Everyone deposits their dirty laundry into the chute and you collect it directly in the laundry room.
With the advent of Costco, BJ's and other warehouse style stores large pantries off of the garage are appearing more and more often to store all of the bulk items people are purchasing at these stores, and for those who coupon and buy many items in bulk quantities to save money. Traditional kitchen storage or small walk-in pantries are no longer adequate.
Although not a new concept, the open plan continues to gain in popularity, especially for smaller homes as a way to make them feel larger. Many homes feature one large great room that extends from kitchen to dining to living area. Most builders agree that this type of open plan suits he casual living style of most families best. By removing walls and hallways a house looks much bigger and flows better. Many of these open floor plans also open directly to an outdoor living area so it is like extending the outdoors in further increasing the sense of light and size.
Many homes feature patios, decks and conservatories that are truly living spaces as opposed to being just an outdoor space. Many homes have outdoor kitchens including water, and refrigeration. Built-in grills, countertops and even beer taps are typical of these spaces along with plenty of comfortable furnishings, fire pits, movie screens, TV's and stereo systems. These outdoor areas are now functioning as America's family room where families spend time together relaxing, or entertaining guests.
Many builders today are beginning to create more room for all of the things a family has other than their cars by building larger garages that accommodate two cars plus scooters, gold carts, bikes etc. A common trend is that one bay ore area of the larger garage is turned into a man cave or exercise area.
Most of these trends reflect the common desire people have for flexible spaces that can serve multiple functions. No doubt these trends will continue to grow and flourish as home sizes continue to shrink.
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