Top home design trends continues to include kitchens and bathrooms

Submitted by digital on Fri, 04/03/2015 - 19:11
{"version":"0.3.0","atoms":[],"cards":[],"markups":[["a",["href","http:\/\/\/AIArchitect\/2015\/charts\/apr2014\/HDTS-slides.html"]],["b"],["i"],["a",["href","http:\/\/\/econ","target","_self"]],["u"]],"sections":[[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Kitchens and bathrooms remain the key areas of the home,\nwhere households focus much of their attention in terms of ensuring that these\nspaces reflect their lifestyle needs. Kitchens in particular are seeing added\nfeatures as households utilize this space as the center of operations within\ntheir homes."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Sustainability objectives\u2014such as energy efficiency,\nwater conservation, healthy home concerns\u2014are seen in consumer product choices\nin kitchens and baths. Likewise, accessibility considerations are often\nreflected in the planning for these areas of the home. Since residents spend a\nlot of time navigating these spaces, households with accessibility concerns\ntypically concentrate on these rooms."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"These are among the major findings from the"],[0,[0],1," AIA\u2019s Home\nDesign Trends Survey"],[0,[],0," for\nthe fourth quarter of 2014, which focused on kitchen and bath design trends. As\nthe housing upturn continues to unfold, kitchen and bath features often are a\npriority in the design of new homes and the redesign of existing homes."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Residential architects also report very solid business\nconditions at their firms. New project activity coming into their firms has\npushed up project backlogs close to levels last seen during the housing boom.\nFirms in the Sunbelt regions\u2014the South and the West\u2014are reporting the\nhealthiest conditions, suggesting that the areas of the country hardest hit by\nthe housing crash are progressing nicely in their recovery. Finally, all of the\nmajor housing sectors are seeing some improvement in conditions, though two in\nparticular\u2014entry-level homes and second\/vacation homes\u2014are having particular\nproblems gaining traction given current economic conditions."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[1],1,"Kitchens Remain a Design Target"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In the survey, residential architects reported a\ncontinued strong interest among households in kitchen areas. Almost a third of\nrespondents indicated that the number and size of kitchen\/food prep\/food\nstorage areas was increasing, modestly up from the share who reported an\nincrease in the fourth quarter 2013 survey. There was a comparable increase in\nthe size of kitchen areas, according to the residential architects. While over\na third reported that kitchen areas were increasing in size, a mere 4 percent\nreported a decrease. "]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"Design work in the home improvement segments has seen a strong recovery in recent\nyears."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The increasing size of kitchens during this housing\nrecovery in part reflects the expansion of key kitchen features. Residential\narchitects report the growing emphasis on pantry space for storage and even on\nbutler\u2019s pantries for meal staging. A growing share of respondents report the\nincreasing popularity of double islands in kitchens, while others note the\nresurgence of wine refrigeration and wine storage facilities."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"However, a lot of the recent emphasis on kitchen areas\nhas little to do with cooking activities. Many respondents noted the revival of\nkitchen as the \u201chearth\u201d of the home in the traditional sense: for family\ngathering, for entertaining, for daily activities. In fact, there was\nsignificant growth in the share of respondents indicating that one of the\nfeatures increasing the most in popularity in kitchens was a computer work and\nrecharging area for portable electronic devices. Additionally, residential\narchitects are reporting that kitchen designs are intended to promote\naccessibility and adaptability. With households changing homes less frequently\nin recent years, homeowners may see themselves staying in their current home\nlonger, and therefore are more concerned that their home will meet their evolving\nneeds. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Some kitchen products that are growing in popularity\u2014such\nas under-counter appliances and upper-end appliances\u2014reflect the general\nupscaling of kitchens with the stronger housing market. However, two of the\nstrongest emerging trends fall into the sustainability category: energy\nefficiency and healthy home design."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"LED lighting, which among other considerations uses\nenergy more efficiently, is seen by residential architects as dramatically\nincreasing in popularity. Almost nine in 10 respondents reported this to be a\nkitchen product increasing in popularity, while hardly any reported it to be\ndecreasing. Induction cooking appliances, which are more energy efficient and\ngenerally felt to be safer for occupants, also rated high on our net popularity\nscale in the first time it\u2019s been covered by this survey. Healthy home concerns\nalso were reflected in the popularity of kitchen products. Drinking-water\nfiltration systems saw gains in popularity with this survey, while sensor\nfaucets\u2014which promote water conservation as well as heathy home goals\u2014also were\nseen as growing in popularity. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[1],1,"Bathrooms Also Continue to Attract Design Focus"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The increased attention to kitchens is closely matched by\ntrends in bathroom design. Fully a quarter of residential architects report\nthat the number of bathrooms is increasing for projects in their area, while\nvirtually the same share also see the size of bathrooms increasing. For both\nthe number and size of bathrooms, only a very small share sees decreases. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"While bathrooms have become somewhat more upscale with\nthe housing rebound, the most distinguishing feature in bath design at present\nis accessibility, according to residential architects. General\nadaptability\/universal design considerations was the feature residential\narchitects indicated was increasing the most in popularity. Larger walk-in\nshowers, which generally promote accessibility, also were seen to be increasing\nin popularity. "]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"Two of the\nstrongest emerging trends fall into the sustainability category: energy\nefficiency and healthy home design."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In addition to accessibility, popular bathroom products\nunderscore the growing trend toward energy efficiency, water conservation, and\nhealthy home considerations. As was the case with kitchen design, energy\nefficient LED lighting topped the list of products increasing in popularity by\na wide margin. High efficiency (low water usage) and dual-flush toilets also\nare reported as increasing in popularity. Also reflecting the popularity of\nkitchen trends, sensor faucets were seen to be increasing in popularity as a\nbathroom product. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[1],1,"Business Trends Improving"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Business\nconditions remain strong at residential architecture firms. In the fourth\nquarter, the national billings score was 59.9, where any score above 50\nindicates growing revenue at these firms on a national basis. The billings\nscore has been positive for 12 straight quarters, indicating that the economic\nrecovery is well-established for these firms. Inquiries for new project\nactivity have also been strong, as have actual new projects. This survey has\njust begun collecting activity on new design contracts at firms in an effort to\ngauge the direction of future billings activity. In the fourth quarter, the new\ndesign contracts score was 56.4, pointing to healthy growth in future workloads."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In fact, workloads at residential architecture firms have\nbeen trending up very nicely. Project backlogs are defined as the length of\ntime that work currently in-house and under agreement would keep the current\nstaff at normal billings levels. In the fourth quarter of 2014, project\nbacklogs averaged just under five months at residential architecture firms.\nSince these figures have not been adjusted for normal seasonal variation, they\nshould be compared only to figures from the same quarter of the year. In the\nfourth quarter of 2013, project backlogs averaged 4.4 months, compared to 3.7\nmonths in the same quarter of 2012. Almost three in 10 firms reported project\nbacklogs of six months or more at the end of 2014, an extremely healthy level\nfor residential firms. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In\nspite of the general strong upturn in business conditions at residential\narchitecture firms, some areas of the country continue to see a lot of\nvolatility. Average billings scores for the fourth quarter were 65.0 for firms\nin the Northeast, 50.0 in the Midwest, 59.2 in the South, and 62.7 in the West."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Firms\nin the South and West have generally reported stronger business conditions\nrecently. Average billings scores for firms in each of these regions have been\npositive (above the 50 line) every quarter since the fourth quarter of 2011.\nFirms in the Northeast and Midwest have generally seen somewhat lower scores\nover this period. Also, firms in both of these regions have reported an\noccasional negative quarter in recent years. Firms in the Midwest reported\ndeclines in the third quarter last year, and barely maintained billings at that\nlevel in the fourth quarter."]]],[1,"h3",[[0,[],0,"How the Overall Upturn Factors In"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Residential architects have the almost unique ability to\nobserve conditions across a broad range of housing market segments. This\nperspective allows comparisons across the various parts of the housing market\nas to how they are responding to the overall housing upturn."]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"Residential architects reported a\ncontinued strong interest among households in kitchen areas."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"While all of the major sectors are reported by\nrespondents as positive, some are performing above expectations while others\nhave been disappointing. Generally, housing markets work best when the strength\nis at the bottom of the market. Newly formed households and young renters\nlooking to buy a home would typically purchase a more affordable starter home.\nThe seller of that home would likely trade up to a more expensive home, and\neventually this process might lead to the sale of an upper-end custom\/luxury\nhome."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"During\nthis cycle, economic conditions have generally reversed this process. The\ncustom\/luxury market has been quite healthy to date, but younger groups have\nhad a difficult time purchasing entry-level homes. Without these buyers,\nstrength for move-up and custom\/luxury homes is eventually likely to wane."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The townhouse\/condo market, which was overbuilt in many\nmarkets across the country during the housing boom, is finally beginning to\nrecover. Demographics are favorable for this market segment, since it often\ncaters to a population looking for urban or inner suburban locations. Second\nand vacation homes have been the last housing segment to recover this cycle.\nThese homes often have an investment motivation, and the crash in housing\nprices nationally, even with the healthy recovery in recent years, has depressed\ndemand for these homes."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Design work in the home improvement segments, which\nhardly dipped at all during the downturn, has seen a strong recovery in recent\nyears. Work on kitchen and bath remodels as well as additions and alterations\nto existing structures are reported to be extremely strong at present. For both\nsegments, however, the share of respondents reporting improving conditions is\nslightly lower as compared to the end of 2013, which may indicate that the pace\nof growth for these projects will begin to slow in coming quarters. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[2],0,"Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, is the AIA\u2019s chief economist and part of the \nAIA Economics and Market Research Group, which provides AIA members with\n insights and analysis of the economic factors that shape the business \nof architecture. Learn more at "],[0,[3,4],2,"\/econ"],[0,[],1,"."],[0,[],0," \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n\n\n\n\n"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"\n\n\n\n"]]]]}
As the housing market recovery resumes, sustainability and accessibility continue to be priorities for kitchen and bath features and products.
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