PodcastConsumer and Home Design Trends

5 New Home Design Stops and Starts

Dean Wehrli
Shelly Chen

Dean Wehrli

Shelly Chen

March 4, 2021

Jenni Lantz and Mikaela Sharp joined Dean Wehrli for this insightful podcast. Our starts are in green and our stops are in red—both of which are supported by the New Home Trend Institute’s consumer research.

Featured guest

Jenni Nichols, Director of DesignLens, John Burns Research and Consulting

Mikaela Arroyo, Chief of Staff and Director of New Home Trends Institute, John Burns Research and Consulting

1. Healthy Living

STOP focusing on the materials used to build the home, and START focusing on creating a healthy lifestyle in a new home. Marketing should emphasize things such as better sleep and easy-to-clean surfaces through thoughtful design rather than certifications or low VOC materials.

2. Rethink Privacy

Get smarter about placement. Did you place the windows in the right location? Orientation to the neighboring homes is critical, as is orientation to the street. Homeowners have strong preferences about their entry design and most don’t want a front porch for unplanned conversations with their neighbors.

3. Functional Tech

Smart tech should make the home run smoothly from behind the scenes. Touchless tech and voice assistants still have runway for growth, but the largest opportunity for smart homes is tech that identifies maintenance issues before disaster strikes.

4. Sound and Sight

Home offices have historically been in the front of the house, which is exactly where consumers DO NOT WANT them. Put them in the back of the home or upstairs, with a window in front of the desk and wall behind the desk for effective video conferencing. 25% of homeowners earning $50K+ believe they will be working from home (part time and full time) once herd COVID immunity is reached.

5. Young Families Will Invest in Home

Despite theoretically having less disposable income, Young Families want the private spaces, the healthier home, the multifunctional kitchen, and the sanctuary bathrooms the most, and are also more likely to replace a perfectly functional appliance or fixture if it is out of style. Start focusing more on helping them with their busy lives.

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About The Author

Dean Wehrli
Dean Wehrli
Dean helps housing sector clients figure out not just what might work and what might not, but why.
Shelly Chen
Shelly Chen
Research Analyst II, For-Sale
Shelly is responsible for working on various research projects as it relates to residential for-sale, including supporting our Burns Home Builder Analysis and Forecast report.

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The New Home Trends Institute pairs design inspiration with exclusive insights into the “why” behind consumers’ housing choices. Gain exclusive insight into housing preferences and pain points through our monthly survey insights reports, webinars, and proprietary surveys of builders, architects, designers, and other industry professionals.
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