Home construction and design have come a long way from the simple huts used to protect us from harsh winters and sweltering summers. Throughout history, homes have changed to meet the needs and trends of a modern society, from the addition of the TV room, or family room as it is commonly referred to, to the multiple car garage—modern homes are a representation of the technological and societal advancements of the time.
We caught up with Architect Mitchell Barnett to discuss the changes he has witnessed in home design trends over his 30+ year career and what he sees as the upcoming architectural trends on the horizon.
A common theme now, according to Mitchell, is the vanishing dining room. There are no longer formal spaces for it, it used to be a staple in house design—a room specifically designated and designed around the purpose of dining. Families are now realizing as they gather in the dining room, they use more of a multipurpose gathering space. The formal area has gone away and what was the dining table is now the craft table or the meeting table.
Mitchell also mentions the expansion of the home office. Previously, a home office was confined to a smaller computer space but now what Mitchell is seeing more and more are actual, full-sized offices in constructed homes. This larger office can either serve as an office for someone who works from home or, just as often, Mitchell finds that it serves as a multipurpose workspace. Home activities such as church groups, school functions, mail, and correspondence, or even simply a child’s homework time can happen in the home office. The home office is becoming larger and more of a multipurpose workspace.
Another space in the house that is also following the trend of becoming more flexible and multipurpose is the laundry room. It used to be a small space to the side but now, says Mitchell, it is becoming more of a craft room. The room is becoming much larger and having more open spaces to accommodate for crafts and storage.
The master bathroom is also undergoing a big change, Mitchell says. It has been traditional for master bathrooms to have a tub and a shower, it was a designing no-no to not include a tub in the master bathroom. But now, most people only want a shower in their master bathroom, they are more inclined to just shower as this suits their lifestyle more.
All of these trends have come from our ever-evolving modern lifestyle, the design of our homes is changing, we need our home to have flexible spaces to suit our dynamic lives.