Kitchens and Baths Receiving More Attention in New Home Design

At the height of the housing downturn the most impacted areas in new home design were also once the most lucrative: kitchens and baths. For several years new home owners passed on popular and expensive add-ons to their kitchens and bathrooms such as water filtration systems, large pantry areas and natural wood cabinets. However, a recently published A.I.A Home Design Trends Survey indicates these functions and more might see a comeback.

Renovation and remodeling contractors want to make the most of a renewed interest in these once popular amenities. Homeowners who passed on the functions to save money during construction are now more interested in having it installed after the fact. Meanwhile, some architects report an upward trend in the kitchen space requested by customers during the design of their new homes. What might it mean for renovation and remodeling contractors? More business.

The area that received the most attention was the kitchen. 22 percent of respondents in the A.I.A report said the size of the kitchen is increasing in new home design and construction. The rediscovered focus on size opens up the possibility of remodeling and addition work that can be done in this popular and lucrative sector. The dominant feature requested for new kitchens are renewable materials. Almost half of the surveyed architects said that materials such as bamboo, cork and concrete are becoming increasingly popular.

Bathrooms are a different story. The report suggests their size and quantity is remaining stable but with an added emphasis on accessibility of design. The trend towards more accessible, safer bathrooms has long been anticipated by contractors as current generations choose to stay in their homes into old age. Doorless showers and handheld shower heads are a popular addition to customer bathrooms.

Contractors are already beginning to mount advertising campaigns aimed at these unique customers. It remains to be seen if homes constructed in the residential downturn will become the latest, hottest market.

Overall, the report indicates a trend of stabilization in the design of kitchens and bathrooms with notable upticks in certain areas. Savvy renovation and remodeling contractors are cashing in on the number of households that renounced popular features during the downturn. Meanwhile, others expect more remodeling and addition options as the size of kitchen and bath design continues to increase in new home construction.

Check out the AIA’s full fourth quarter of 2010 Home Design Trends Survey Report.