It goes without saying that this past year, we’ve spent a lot of time at home.
Whether it was working from home or working to perfect our banana bread recipe, we’ve had to reimagine how we use our homes. We gave new use to existing spaces and adapted others to fit our growing needs. While 2020 is behind us, it has influenced some defining changes in the way we continue to live in our homes and the features we find important. So let’s take a look at some of the home trends that are here to stay in 2021 as we get comfortable with this new normal.
The past decade has been all about the open-concept floor plan. While this style isn’t completely passè, there is a greater demand for multipurpose rooms that can adapt for different uses, whether it’s built-in tech spaces or an upstairs loft. For example, within the Thomas James Homes library, you will find home plans that feature convertible living spaces that can easily go from an open sitting area to a private office with sliding doors to make the most of the room.
“Most of our models have a little 5-by-8-foot or 6-by-9-foot open tech space near the kitchen. We immediately closed off that space with a door on our floor plans and in our newly built homes because everyone realized, even our employees, that you need a private place for work calls.”
—Tommy Beadel, CEO, Thomas James Homes
Designated Office Space
An MIT survey revealed that nearly half of the US workforce has been working remotely since the start of the pandemic. During the first few months of the new home-office lifestyle, pulling out your laptop and working from the kitchen table seemed to suffice. But as remote work becomes closer to the norm, many are finding that productivity requires a designated home office—one that is quiet, offers good lighting, and privacy from the daily noise of the household.
“We took a look at how the home office space works, and we diversified. Having an office located in the front of the home allows for flexibility. It could also be used as anything really—a music room with guitars and a piano for example. We also have designed back office spaces that are cabinetry based desks. They are not as large, but they have their own natural light and typically become the hub of home.”
—Gina Nixon, VP of Sales and Marketing, Thomas James Homes
Elevated Outdoor Spaces
Whether it was the cabin fever or socializing safely in the backyard, outdoor living spaces went from a nice-to-have to a must-have for homebuyers. Enhanced backyards that include outdoor dining spaces, covered patios, fireplaces, and screened-in porches are on the rise, giving homeowners the opportunity to use these spaces year-round.
“We’re trying to work out how to make a home more like a sanctuary even though it’s also where so many are working. So, we try to make sure each house has multiple outdoor locations, not just the backyard. We add side and interior courtyards when we can with multiple uses for entertaining, working and relaxing.”
—Tommy Beadel, CEO, Thomas James Homes
The kitchen has always been the heart of the home. But as families spend more time together at home, the kitchen has become an even bigger focal point. From entertaining and family dinners to homework activities and meal prep, more homebuyers are looking for open eat-in kitchens that provide more space, functionality, and large islands for casual mealtime.
Your home should be your sanctuary and this past year showed us how important that is. With the ever-growing need for a healthy mind, body, and soul, more homebuyers are seeking health conscious living spaces—Ample natural light, good indoor air quality, room for at-home workouts, and quiet spaces to retreat or unplug.
Homes with a High IQ
We want our homes to be safe and secure, and thanks to the rise in smart-home technology, it’s easier to make that happen. Automatic and smart-phone controlled technology will become more common in new homes and the types of technology will continue to expand. What started as app-controlled lighting or smart thermostats has grown into a lineup of smart home products that keep the home clean, such as touchless appliances, self-cleaning toilets, and smart fixtures.