As the start of a new decade brings the promise of innovation in every aspect of our lives, home design trends are following suit with emerging trends that revolve around our need to be connected to technology, live sustainably and enjoy quality time with family friends in casual, open spaces. Three design companies from across the country, The House Plan Company, Design Basics and Tyree House Plans, share their insights on new and continuing house plan design trends for 2020.
While pantries have been around a long time, they’re emerging as a new space for food preparation away from the heart of the kitchen which, over time, has evolved into the main gathering place for casually entertaining around oversized islands. Beyond storage, the “prep pantries” feature appliances such as stovetops and dishwashers and workspace.
“Having this unique space allows homeowners to store and prep food and clean dishes and glassware separately from where the entertaining is taking place, thus leaving the kitchen clean and presentable. The beauty of this design is that they can simply close a door on the mess behind it,” said Paul Foresman, vice president of business development for Design Basics in Omaha, Neb.
Modern + Rural
Modern, open home designs are not just for urban areas. Apparently more homeowners are building modern-style homes in more remote locations, combining their modern tastes with a relaxed, “agrarian” lifestyle.
“One of the most notable changes that we are seeing in housing trends is the notion of modern style construction becoming more popular for rural living,” said Dan Tyree, creative director of Tyree House Plans in Knoxville, Tenn. “It’s rugged meets high-tech, and it’s a trend we see continuing strong in the coming years, not just in 2020.”
Smart, Connected Homes
Younger generations, in particular, are demanding that smart technology be incorporated into their home for both the convenience and energy-saving benefits. Being able to control all of the electronics, temperature, lights and security from one swipe on a mobile phone will eventually become the norm. Growing concerns about the environment will help drive more innovation in energy and water conservation designs throughout the home.
“New technology will have an impact on how we interact with our homes as well as improve energy efficiency and live more sustainably,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of The House Plan Company, a house plan marketing company based in Eugene, Oregon.
Flex Space Reimagined
Finally, another emerging trend is how the concept of flex space is being reimagined. In particular, designers are finding new, innovative ways to create space for a specific purpose in an area of the floor plan where you might traditionally find the mudroom. They’re breathing new life into this sometimes-overlooked space to the backyard or garage.
“It seems that everyone is wanting a flexible space that they can tailor to their own purpose, whether it be a pocket office, wine room, pet spa, specialized storage or even craft areas,” said Foresman.
While these emerging trends provide new opportunities for designers, they all agree that several current trends will continue to increase in popularity into 2020, including dual owner suites, indoor-outdoor living, and ever-growing kitchen islands.
Dual Owner Suites
One of the current trends that designers foresee continuing in 2020 is the concept of “dual owner suites” that appeals to different types of homeowners. Formerly known as “granny flats” this second master bedroom and bath ensemble is designed to accommodate aging parents, caregivers or adult children with private, independent living.
Indoor-Outdoor Open Living
A seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living spaces will remain important to homeowners as they place a high value on being able to entertain family and friends in open living space, year-round. “Disappearing walls” that give way to the outdoor spaces, outdoor great rooms with fully equipped kitchens and multi-level decks and patios turn indoor living spaces out.
“Informal entertaining and casual living have become the norm in house plans and as younger generations move into home ownership, they’re looking to continue that lifestyle,” explained McAlexander.
Foresman agrees, and added, “’Bringing the outside in’ is a big homeowner priority. Covered spaces mean you can grill outside year-round and screened-in living space eliminates concerns of pesky mosquitos and affords more privacy.”
Oversized Kitchen Islands
Kitchens remain the main focus of the home and serve a multitude of purposes including dining and entertaining, working, crafting and more. The space has evolved over the years into one that is spacious, open and flows naturally into living and dining areas. At the center of the kitchen, the “island” as grown in size and importance as no longer just space for food preparation, it’s the catalyst for casually entertaining family and friends every day.
“Clients are asking for larger kitchen islands, as much as five feet deep, with an eating bar on at least one side of the working space for people to gather around their hosts,” explained Foresman.
While the new and continuing trends bring a lot of excitement to the home design industry, there are several design trends that designers see disappearing in 2020 as homeowner needs and tastes change.
- Barn doors in interior spaces seemed to be a fad as they rarely get requests for them from clients, according to Foresman.
- Tiny homes as a primary residence is a concept that appears to be fading, says McAlexander. While the demand for smaller-sized homes in new construction remains strong, he notes that the average footprint is still well over 2,000 square feet. Meeting all of the living requirements in less than 600 square feet is not sustainable long-term.
- White exteriors will give way to more color. “While I don’t really see paint color as a design trend, I do see color coming back to exteriors based on client requests. Who knows, maybe Joanna and Chip Gaines will paint their house and start a new trend,” quipped McAlexander
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