Design Trends on Display Throughout the Model Home
This past year has taught us a lot about ourselves and our homes. We realize how important our homes are. Regardless of size or location, we want them to be a place where we can feel healthy, happy, and safe. Home as a sanctuary is more than a slogan. As a society, we have come to appreciate the significance of these elements of life and want to see them reflected in the design and merchandising of our house. To illustrate this point, let’s take a walk through a model. We will stop along the way and see how the design trends are being realized throughout.
Perhaps the most important stop along our trends in real-life tour, are the flex spaces. These are the areas that are going to be the most important to your buyers. Everything from Zoom rooms, to personal Zen rooms where one can rest and rejuvenate, continue to be popular. Buyers want to see how your home can fulfill their need to work from home, educate their children, entertain, and promote their wellbeing. The model needs to show its strength in flexibility.
Work and School from Home
The trend towards working from home, which started in 2020, is not going away. While many employers have workers returning to the office, most are adopting a hybrid approach in which at least some days will be “work from home days.” And while most schools in the US are currently in person, we are all aware that could change at any moment. As a result, buyers are looking for creative ways they can use their homes for these purposes. As merchandisers, that means taking advantage of natural light and using practical furnishings and accessories that can help create an attractive backdrop for video calls. Further, we are looking for creative ways to show how remote schooling can be successful.
As lifestyles shifted due to the pandemic, personal spaces, or places where buyers can go to promote physical and mental wellness, have become important. It could look like a quiet corner for reading off the great room, a hobby space, a soaking bath, or even a front porch where they can enjoy their morning coffee in solitude. From the merchandising perspective, encouraging and depicting simple moments of the day that allow for connectedness to self and purpose are key.
You can’t get more flexible than multi-use flex rooms. These are rooms that promote multipurpose living. As lifestyles shifted due to the coronavirus pandemic, our homes had to adapt to serve new activities and routines. Dining rooms and closets became home offices, kids’ bedrooms served as homeschool spaces, and guest rooms were outfitted with workout equipment. These multi-purpose rooms were born out of necessity. However, as we look toward a post-pandemic future, homeowners still want spaces that are multifunctional. Keeping a separate bedroom for the occasional overnight guest is not the best use of space. The trend we are seeing is for undefined, multifunction, flex spaces that include lots of light and functionality.
Right along with flexibility in our homes, the promotion of health and wellness and nature are critically important to today’s buyers. Biophilic and naturalistic design are two of the top design trends this year for a reason. We are all looking to promote a healthier lifestyle: from being physically healthy to mental wellness, to the health of our planet. And as such, thoughtful design and merchandising of the outdoor spaces in a model are essential.
Creating seamless indoor/outdoor spaces is key. To take that one step further, designing and merchandising the outdoors so that it becomes an extension of the home, another room, is the trend. Buyers want to cook, eat, entertain, play games, exercise, watch TV, sleep… in other words, live, outside.
Bathrooms & Bedrooms
Creating a sanctuary within the home is wellness defined. Having a place where each member of the family can separate themselves, and have personal time, is vital for mental wellness. For some, it may be the swing on the front porch or the meditation area you’ve created in a multipurpose space. For others, the bedroom and bathroom can be that sanctuary, an escape from everyday life, and an opportunity to relax and recharge.
Merchandising to create that respite means a room that includes plenty of storage (i.e., no visible clutter), is light and bright and elicits feelings of calmness. Perhaps a comfortable love seat by the window for reading and relaxing. In the bathroom, it may mean creative storage options, a double vanity, skylights, and windows. It may be a soaking tub or steam shower. A lot will depend on your buyer profile, but understand that a spa-like look and feel within the owner’s suite is what a buyer is expecting.
Last, but definitely not least, the kitchen. We all know that the kitchen is the hub of a home. It is where we spend most of the time as a family, and it’s where the party always ends up congregating. As a result, buyers are looking for their kitchens to be beautiful, welcoming, functional spaces.
Invisible kitchens where the appliances look like the walls, or back kitchens where the functional elements are behind closed doors are very on-trend. Buyers want kitchens where they can entertain and are clear of clutter. While white on white kitchens are not going away, we are seeing more use of colors and personality showing up.
Our homes are our workplaces, our schools, our fitness studios, our entertainment centers: our respite from the world. Today’s home buyers want and expect more from their homes. Further, today’s buyers are conscious consumers. They want a home that reflects positivity both for themselves and the world. Health and wellness, nature, and flexibility are the primary design trends we are incorporating into our designs throughout the model home in 2022.