What Do Today’s Homeowners Want From a Design Perspective? The past year has shown a substantial shift in demand for suburban residences and an uptick in home renovation projects, resulting in homeowners reevaluating their home spaces in 2021. Through a virtual panel discussion organized by New England Home Connecticut Magazine, home design and real estate professionals were brought together to discuss the effects the pandemic has had on the industry along with the innovative trends for the future of home design. In this blog, we’ll hear from the following contributors and discuss what homeowners are looking for from a design perspective. Moderator Tyra Dellacroce | Connecticut Stone Panelists Tara Vincenta | Artemis Landscape Architects Robin Kencel | The Robin Kencel Group Chris Barre | Smarthome & Theater Systems About this time last year, we were discussing the “new luxury” movement and what it meant for homeowners. Specifically, this movement marked a shift towards homebuyers wanting smaller luxury properties with less maintenance and closer proximity to public amenities, such as shops and restaurants. However, in the advent of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we’re beginning to see homeowners’ priorities shift yet again. Rather than wanting homes close to public amenities, many homeowners are now focusing on making their own spaces work better for their stay-at-home lifestyles. As a result, we’ve also seen a substantial shift for suburban residences and an uptick in home renovation projects. So, what are today’s homebuyers and homeowners looking for — particularly from a design perspective? We’ve gathered some insights to share with you based on a panel discussion we had back in November of 2020. Privacy Matters One of the most notable shifts we’ve seen in home design as buyers and homeowners have moved away from the so-called “new luxury” trend in 2020 is an increased demand for privacy within the home. Whereas large and open gathering spaces may have been one of the most important home criteria in the past, homeowners are now looking for secluded spaces throughout the home (and across the property) where they can enjoy some privacy. “This new demand for privacy has become a number-one priority for many homeowners,” as Robin Kencel of The Robin Kencel Group discusses in a virtual panel on home design hosted by Tyra Dellacroce of Connecticut Stone. This includes not just social spaces but workspaces as well. For example, couples may want to have options for dedicated spaces where they can spend time away from the rest of the family. “Likewise, those working from home may not be content with just one office space.” Instead, as Tara Vincenta from Artemis Landscape Architects explains, “They want to be able to move around to several different (and private) workspaces throughout the day. In this sense, the very definition of the home office as we know it is evolving.” “Of course, with the home office being spread farther across the “typical” property, there is also a greater need for reliable WiFi connectivity.” Chris Barre of Smarthome & Theatre Systems discusses the importance of secure WiFi networks with ranges that can reach the borders of the property. Using the “Whole Property” We’ve also begun to see that homeowners are expanding their notions of what it means to have an outdoor living and entertaining space. Rather than being content with a simple patio off the back of the home, homeowners are now looking to maximize their entire property for entertainment, relaxation, and even work purposes. For example, some designers have commented that they’re seeing an increase in the number of clients requesting walking paths around their properties’ perimeters. Likewise, people who are working from home now appreciate having a dedicated outdoor workspace rather than a simple indoor office. A homeowner’s lifestyle and family needs can also dictate home design choices. Those with teenagers, for example, are often requesting fire pits to be added to their properties as a means of allowing teens to continue interacting with friends in a responsible and socially distanced manner. Those with younger kids are looking for ways to incorporate play spaces in their backyards to keep children active and healthy. Homeowners are also branching out and wanting to grow their own vegetables, fruits, and herbs instead of venturing out to the grocery store or farmer’s market for fresh ingredients. As a result, designers are seeing an increased demand for garden design in their landscapes. The Final Word As people spend more time on their own properties, we’re already seeing a shift away from the “new luxury” movement that was so prominent this time last year. More than ever, homeowners want spaces that can help them enjoy public amenities without actually having to leave the comfort and safety of their homes. Interested in adding any of the above design elements to your home? Contact our team at Connecticut Stone today to see how we can help update your space.