AIA Home Design Trends Survey Shows Changes in Residential Focus

June 25, 2010

The second quarterly American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey results are in, focusing specifically on overall home layout and use in the first quarter of 2010.

The survey found the prolonged economic downturn in the housing market, coupled with growing concerns about rising utility costs, has resulted in greater interest in smaller homes and lot sizes. Also, U.S. households are forgoing upscale amenities, opting instead to invest in more low maintenance projects.

“We continue to move away from the ‘McMansion’ chapter of residential design, with more demand for practicality throughout the home,” said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “And with that there has been a drop-off in the popularity of upscale property enhancements, such as formal landscaping, decorative water features, tennis courts and gazebos.”

Accessibility within the home also continues to be a concern, and there is an increasing demand for more flexible design and informal space within homes that allow for both ease in movement and foster family living.

Business conditions for residential architects are beginning to indicate improving conditions with the first quarterly increase in billings since mid-2007.

The AIA Home Design Trend Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector. Business conditions are also monitored on a quarterly basis. The next survey will take place in September and focus on specialty rooms and systems, followed by December’s survey on community design trends.

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