Observing that people currently stay in a home for only three to five years because it doesn’t adequately accommodate the needs of a growing household, Nickell said that her magazine’s featured house will be designed so that it can be adapted to changing family dynamics. She said that the house will be able to expand from a smaller size for a single person or young couple, to a larger home when children arrive, and then enter a third phase for the empty nester.
With an open floor plan, the house will also provide space that can be used by residents who work from home, an arrangement that eight out of 10 of those surveyed said they would consider over the next five to 10 years.
Also catering to the wants of those who were surveyed, Nickell said that the house would be kitchen-centric, with some slimming down to a more manageable size. “The kitchen is the town square of the house, where people dine and gather,” she said, and it is the room that gets the most use. Survey respondents identified the kitchen as the room in their home needing the most updating.
Another trend that will be reflected in the house is the growing role of “a seamless flow from inside to outside” spaces, Nickell said, with patios, barbeque centers, decks and other areas serving as multi-tasking areas. The trend includes using the front as well as the back yard, the inclusion of water features, the use of indoor/outdoor furnishings and the substitution of low-maintenance gravel or native plants for grass.
The home will be awarded to the winner of the “Better Home Better Living: Win America’s Home” sweepstakes, which is now underway, and featured in the November 2005 issue of the magazine.
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