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The Shape & Size of Homes to Come

August 1, 2014 by Lois Szydlowski

Homes like clothes, like hairdos, like food all have their cycles of change. I remember the colors of pink and blue bathrooms, harvest gold and puke green kitchen appliances and all those mirrored walls. Low ceilings, rooms only for company, furniture covered with plastic and tiny closets. Homes have evolved as our needs and circumstances have changed and let’s take a look at what we can expect in the future.

Green small green house with garage door.One circumstance that has caused home sizes to shrink on average is the most recent recession and bursting of the housing bubble making new home buyers to rethink how much they can and want to spend on a home and focusing more on what they really need. Also, with many people, both young and old, moving back into urban environments from the suburban sprawls, tradeoffs are being made. Home buyers are willing to give up lots of home space for shorter commute times, more community involvement and living where the “action” is. It is all part of the “buy local” movement hitting this country in a big way.

The idea of having rooms sitting vacant for only special occasions like formal living and dining rooms isn’t making sense anymore. We want multi-purpose rooms that can be shared by the whole family as well as company and allocate areas for real functionality like the “mud room”. By opening up the kitchen into a dining area and sitting area around the fireplace and large screen TV, we can have an intimate gathering or a holiday family gathering. There is the computer desk area in the kitchen, the play area in the Great Room with desks and tables for school work, crafts and hobbies and card games. And with Wi-Fi you don’t need to be chained to a desk anymore. So the idea of having a separate home office isn’t always necessary. However, with the future trend of more people working from home, I see the home office as being an integral part of the home, but it may be a multi-purpose room.

Homes today are expected to be more functional and practical for the whole family. Technology, working families and learning opportunities for children beyond the regular school day have created a need for efficiency, communication and multi-tasking..