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Today’s home owners are seeking versatility and sustainability in their home designs, according to panelists at NAHB’s recent “2010 Home Design Trends Webinar,” but different generations of buyers also want features that will complement their varying lifestyles and needs, they said.
For instance, architect John Thatch, AIA, of Dahlin Group, noted that the Eisenhower generation wants to incorporate universal design elements in their homes. This generation, he said, seeks to increase their homes’ functionality and improve the quality of their everyday lives by incorporating flexible space and simplicity in their homes.
Thatch said this generation of home owners wants to live in a home that will not require much physical effort.
Darcy Garneau, AIA, of EDI Architecture, Inc., said Generation Y home owners want small homes with “unique qualities and appearance that will allow them to stand apart from the rest.”
Generation Y home buyers gravitate toward innovation, “not only in the whole composition, but also in detailing,” Garneau said.
“Generation X is looking for the same qualities in the homes they rent as they do in the homes they would buy — small, versatile floor plans, exquisite details and natural finishes,” said interior designer Jillian Pritchard Cooke, of DES-SYN in Atlanta.
Cooke added that architects and designers have begun incorporating sustainability into homes by integrating features and details that are aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. She pointed to copper rain chains that collect and filter rainwater as one example.
While the panelists discussed incorporating aging in place and universal design in homes for baby boomers, all three agreed that many of the trends overlapped among different generations and that, ultimately, designers will have to determine what concepts to include in a home design based on the wants and needs of the specific client — while also keeping in mind the impact on resale and value.
In addition, the Design Committee will be hosting a “2011 Design Trends Roundtable” at the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Orlando in January. Panelists at the roundtable will identify upcoming trends as well as some of the products on the show floor that are piquing consumer interest.
For more information, e-mail Jaclyn Toole at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8469.