Popular home styles have always served as a sign of the times. Victorian homes, with their elegant and intricate details, are a monument of Queen Victoria’s reign (1840 – 1904). Colonial-style homes are living relics of the colonial period, when various European cultures had colonies scattered throughout the United States. The list goes on, but the idea here is that as cultures change, so do the structures of the time. The world we live in today is no exception. Here are three of the many ways our culture is driving today’s architecture and home design:
The lines between working and living are diminishing.
Our society has always been one that is focused on success and achievement. It’s an inherent feature of capitalism, and in the modern world, that means working at any time and in any place. Technology has given us the gift of telecommuting, and our home design trends are following.
For mobile professionals who wish to take it to the next level, there are a few other choices:
- Live-Work Spaces
- Studio Shed
- Repurposed Shipping Containers (much more modern and innovative than it sounds!)
These home office alternatives are not in the budget for every professional, however. Perhaps the most common manifestation of this is the traditional home office that we’ve all seen once or twice (whether in our own homes or the home of a friend). More and more families are adding an office to their home’s blueprint. Others are ditching their guest rooms or loft spaces and converting them to work spaces. As the workforce continues to evolve, you can expect to see more of the same.
More people are choosing to “age in place”.
American culture is being driven toward an “age in place” philosophy. It is becoming more and more common for families to keep their elders at home for the duration of the aging process, rather than opt for nursing homes or retirement communities. In fact, this has become true for the majority of the Baby Boomer generation. According to a national survey conducted by the AARP, 87% of people who are 65 years of age or older want to age in place. In the 50-64 age range, 71% say they plan to live the rest of their lives at home.
For home design, this means that the meandering labyrinth-style layout is a thing of the past. Families who keep their seniors at home are opting for an open concept (with wider doors and hallways), which is easier for elders to navigate. Safety features, such as wheelchair ramps, built-in shower benches, and grab bars are also becoming more common.
In the kitchen, families are foregoing the beloved island and prep sink in favor of more open space, and it’s not uncommon for these homeowners to request lower-than-average countertops and other wheelchair-accommodating features.
Millennials are a “boomerang” generation.
There are a number of factors at play with millennials and their refusal to enter the housing market. Whatever the cause, they are returning home at astounding rates, causing family homes to become multi-generational residences (sometimes including up to 4 generations at once).
As a result, homes are expanding, mother-in-law suites are making a comeback, and on-site guest houses are becoming more commonplace. This was a very popular concept after World War II, but its prevalence fizzled out after a short time. Today, more than 51 million American families live in this type of arrangement, and that number is growing every day.
As home design trends continue to evolve, we are finding that the majority of these changes are the result of economic and social drivers. If you are interested in updating your home’s features or layout to accommodate your family’s ever-changing lifestyle, contact a member of our team to learn how we can help. Give us a call at 303.449.2371 or email us at [email protected].