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Pools are great and all, but these days, many other home features from bar rooms to flex spaces are taking the cake as the most in-demand essentials for home buyers.
“Everything is interconnected, and so it’s no surprise that world events over the last few years have changed the way people approach their home design,” says Andra DelMonico, the lead interior designer for Trendey, a home decor and interior design website.
“With people spending more time at home, they are more focused on comfort and functionality. This has led to trends that inspire feelings of stability and comfort while also making the most of their available space,” DelMonico adds.
Ahead, a look at 10 such specs that are on the rise in home design.
A Return Toward Traditional Details and Elements
We love this emphasis on classic design, with a 21st century twist.
“With so much uncertainty and change in the world, people are looking for ways to increase the comfort and security in their homes. A popular trend we will see in 2022 is an increase in traditional details and elements,” says DelMonico, adding that this shouldn’t be confused with vintage or antique design.
“This trend uses modern-made pieces but has traditional design elements and materials. Think skirted, flanged, wingbacked, or rolled seating. For materials, this means more linen, mohair, natural stone and wood,” DelMonico adds.
Space for Dogs
Home shopping can often be catered towards four-legged friends.
“At the height of the pandemic, many people adopted new pets, but quickly realized that not many dogs are meant for 800 square feet. They then took to the ‘burbs to give these new family members a better life,” says Lauren Reynolds, licensed real estate agent at Compass in Connecticut.
“I have clients whose sole purpose is to move to a home with a yard… for their dog. Dogs are the millennial’s version of children,” she continues, noting that according to the ASPCA, nearly one in 5 households nationwide adopted a pet during the pandemic.
Serene Primary Bedrooms
Oshri Adri & Jillian Dahlman, co-founders of Adri + Dahlman Interiors based in Long Island, New York, share more about why people are all about zen bedrooms as of late: “Homeowners increasingly want their main bedrooms designed in a manner that evokes serenity and promotes restfulness. Many homeowners are still spending significantly more time at home than they were pre-pandemic due to an increase in working from home and hybrid work from home / in-person office arrangements,” they say.
“With more time spent at home and the line between home and work life continuously blurred, having a relaxing bedroom to retreat to help people unwind after the workday ends,” they continue, noting that to achieve serene bedrooms, designs should embrace monochromatic and highly textured color schemes.
Outdoor Cooking Spaces
If a home listing has you hooked because of an outdoor pizza oven, you’re not alone.
“No surprise that outdoor spaces where friends can gather is a major home-buying trend, especially as COVID has continued to linger,” says Reynolds. “Everyone is looking for a house with a pool; however, in addition to that, there has been an increased desire for outdoor cooking spaces. Pizza ovens, outdoor bars, and state-of-the-art grills are now a hot commodity.”
Ready to mix up a mojito or Bloody Mary from the comfort of your home? Bar rooms are having a moment.
“One of the most highly requested room designs we receive from current and potential clients is the desire to turn a formal living space into a bar and entertaining room. This trend stems from the pandemic related shift in how homeowners use their space,” say Adri and Dahlman.
“Homeowners want a place in their house where they can simultaneously relax and entertain guests in a private and cozy setting,” they add. “In addition, many Generation X and Millennial homeowners recall their parents’ formal living rooms growing up as spaces that were unused and served no purpose other than to look nice.”
An Eye Toward Sustainability
You can also support a healthy planet while upgrading your interiors.
“A focus on sustainability and environmentally-friendly production has grown in recent years,” comments DelMonico. “Just as we have seen with the fashion industry, fast clothing and furniture are falling out of favor. Instead, homeowners are looking to buy long-lasting furniture that’s sturdy enough to move and grow with them. They are also looking for furniture that’s made from sustainable materials that have less of a negative impact on the environment.”
Sarit Marcus is a professional interior designer, founder of Minted Space and LEED-certified Green Associate in Interior Design and Construction by the U.S. Green Building Council. Marcus says sustainable, ethical interiors are at the top of the list for 2022 in-demand home trends.
“Millennials and Gen Z are driving the consumer demand for ethical brands that promote sustainably-sourced and fair-trade products,” she says. “People want their homes to be a reflection of their values as well as their aesthetics.”
Marcus says the rise in ethical consumerism is further supported by the Eco-Friendly Furniture – Global Market Trajectory & Analytics Report, which estimated the eco-friendly global furniture market at $34.2 billion in 2020, with projections for it to reach $50.1 billion by 2027.
Just like we’ve learned the importance of flexibility in our lives, applying flexibility to home design is key, too.
“Gone are the days of a single-use guest bedroom that sits untouched the majority of the time,” says DelMonico, noting that the rarely used formal dining room is also going out of vogue.
“With more people spending more time at home, these traditionally special-use spaces are getting a makeover,” DelMonico adds. “They are turning into flex spaces that can serve multiple purposes. The guest bedroom could also be a home gym, kid’s playroom, office, or craft room. The formal dining room could be the office space, homework station, reading nook or anything else the homeowners wants.”
His and Her Offices
For those whose spaces and budgets allow, flex rooms may be swapped for long-term office spaces.
“Even prior to the pandemic, working remotely was becoming more commonplace. The pandemic helped escalate this rising trend to create a major shift in how and where people work. While many typical home floor plans include one home office, most households have two working adults and therefore the demand for two home offices has naturally grown in recent years,” says Marcus, adding that one study from Global Workplace Analytics forecasts that 25-30% of the U.S. workplace will be working from home one or more days a week after the pandemic.
For kids, as Marcus points out, designated spaces for learning in the wake of school closings may also be more popular going forward.
Often in partnership with the concept above, home decor pieces, furniture, rugs and architectural plans are giving a serious nod to mother nature.
“There’s a feeling of calm that comes with being out in nature. Bringing nature into your home can also bring these feelings of calm into your home,” shares DelMonico.
“Nature-inspired design first appeared in the form of people just adding plants. It has evolved, though, and now includes using materials from nature and textiles with nature-inspired patterns.”
Exercise and Wellness-focused Spaces
As Marcus identified, wellness-centric design and areas for exercising at home have become a key spec for home buyers.
“Many of us are still hesitant to go back to the gym or yoga studio and instead are investing in creating home-gyms and/or meditation spaces,” she says. “Public advocacy for mental health awareness is crossing over into residential interiors with focus on creating healthy spaces designed to promote clean air, natural light and other aspects of wellness.”