Responsive Design for Today’s Home Buyer
Providing responsive design for today’s home buyer is imperative. After weeks (in some cases, months) of shelter and safer at home orders, we have all spent an extraordinary amount of time in our homes. As a result, desires, and expectations for what we want in our overall home design has changed. Some of the ideas had been brewing for a while. And, this recent forced time at home has pushed them to the forefront of home buyers’ wish lists. Themes such as technology and the connected home as well as health and wellness-focused designs are topping the “must haves” list for many buyers. As it is an interior designer/model merchandiser’s goal to meet a buyer’s wants and needs, incorporating these wishes into model home designs is key.
Many assume a connected home means a “smart” house, or a house that is controlled by technology. Yes, a part of being a connected home does mean that. However, a connected home also means – and, perhaps, especially, these days – is one that fosters a connection among people. To facilitate that kind of connection for a buyer, designs should include:
Kitchens that promote human interaction through open floor plans and islands where cooking, eating, and interacting can all take place. Further, the kitchen should not cut off its occupants from the rest of the living space.
Additionally, it is important to be cognizant of how many stools can actually fit at an island. For example, if it is a family home with several children, and only three people can sit at the island, then someone is going to feel very left out. Your kitchen should be a place of inclusiveness.
Inviting Great Rooms
A great room that is warm and cozy and inviting is important. Additionally, a great room that promotes a lifestyle that encourages active participation from a family or group gatherings is also vital in promoting that feeling of connection.
Inspiring Outdoor Living Areas
Outdoor living areas that encourage one to sit down and visit continue to be important to home buyers. Additionally, outdoor living areas that reflect the home buyer’s needs and dreams are also top among a buyer’s wish list.
Health and Wellness-Focused Designs
We have long understood and appreciated the importance of health and wellness-focused designs. In fact, we have recently had two of our lead designers (including Lita) complete the Wellness Within Your Walls certification program. The timing on completing these certifications could not have been more ideal. As COVID has forced more people to stay at home, they are educating themselves on how to keep themselves, and their homes, healthy.
One thing we have learned is that the outdoors can provide a level of protection against disease, and improve mental health and many officials have been encouraging outdoor activity as one primary way to stay healthy. As a result, buyers are looking for homes that are not only toxin-free but also provide a deeper connection to nature and the outdoors; they are looking for homes that are:
Homes that provide seamless indoor/outdoor living allows the buyer to feel safe and able to breathe fresh air. Another strategy is to take advantage of the views and natural light. Because, even if the outdoors are beyond the glass, just seeing the outside environment can provide much needed life to the interiors of a space.
Creating Spa-Like Spaces
Creating a spa like atmosphere in the bathroom, and throughout the home, helps to promote relaxation and a sense of wellness.
A New Normal for Home Buyers
As life begins to get back to some semblance of normal, or the “new normal” home buyers will be looking for different things. Perhaps not totally different, but features that were “want to have” may now be “must have” in their new home wish list. While every home buyer is different, we are predicting that the two overarching themes that buyers are going to be looking for are: connected homes and homes that make them feel healthy and are health-promoting.