PodcastConsumer and Home Design Trends

A Master Class in Bathroom and Kitchen Design

Dean Wehrli

Dean Wehrli

May 10, 2023

When homeowners are surveyed about which rooms are most critical to get right, the kitchen and the primary bath typically top the list. But that doesn’t make it easy. There is an ongoing battle between functionality and aesthetics, and the struggle to stay on top of trends is constant.

Brian Juedes, National Vice President of Product Design at Taylor Morrison, fights this battle every day. If there are trade-offs to be made that impact the desirability of your home, you had better make the right ones. Brian has done the hard work so now, after listening to this New Home Insights podcast episode, you won’t have to.

Featured guest

Brian Juedes, National Vice President of Product Design, Taylor Morrison

Putting the rest back in restroom

  • The pandemic heightened the importance of our home and highlighted for us the spaces we needed to improve. One of those was the primary bathroom.
 
  • People are increasingly looking for an almost spa-like restfulness in their main bath.
 
  • So think natural, think calming. In the materials (make them natural), in the color palette (make them soft and warm), and in the lighting (for God’s sake rip out those Hollywood lights, they are not your friends).
 
  • Should you even go so far as to put in a little bench to sit on? Sure, why not? Bring a book.

Make sure you get the bathroom basics right

  • Brian spends a lot of time in the shower—figuratively, of course. Showers come in all shapes and sizes and configurations, but there are a few things to focus on.
 
  • Size. Make sure the shower in the primary bath is big enough for two. 3’ x 6’ usually works. Like Goldilocks’ porridge (kind of), too small is too cramped, and too big can be too cold.
 
  • Shape. Showers might come in L-shapes and ovals, but the classic rectangle still works best.
 
  • Water. Make sure you can set the temp in a way you don’t get splashed and remember that two shower heads are better than one. If you have just the one, make it the right one. No one wants that drizzle from directly above. It looks better than it feels.

You have to sweat the small stuff in the bathroom

  • Natural light is in everywhere, especially the bathroom. But the placement and condition of those windows needs to be done in a way that doesn’t attract your neighbor in a bad way.
 
  • Pull out that old school medicine cabinet if you haven’t already.
 
  • Make sure there is enough space between dual sinks for functional drawer space.

Keep a constant watch on your buyers

  • That might sound creepy since we are talking about bathrooms, but it’s still true. Knowing that bench seats in the shower are critical for some but an annoyance for others matters.
 
  • To tub or not to tub? That’s a tough call, but you better make the right call. Sometimes, like fireplaces, buyers want a tub even if they won’t use it. But sometimes that space is better used for something else.

No, we didn't forget the kitchen

  • Islands are still huge. Make them big and functional—they are the kitchen’s focal point.
 
  • Your family is going to eat at that island a lot—partly because formal dining rooms are nearly dead—so make the space for sitting around as spacious as possible.
 
  • The classic kitchen work triangle is going, going, gone. You’re probably just eating something around the island from DoorDash anyway.
 
  • Conversely, since you just got back from Costco with oversized everything, you will need a pretty big pantry.

The key is staying on top of things. Brian and his team do extensive consumer research and they are always ready to pivot. There is no shame in the occasional retrofit. Trends change and they move across the country in waves, so check back in this space in the not-too-distant future for a completely different set of lessons to learn.

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About The Author

Dean Wehrli
Dean Wehrli
Principal
Dean helps housing sector clients figure out not just what might work and what might not, but why.

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Products and Services Mentioned

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New Home Trends Institute

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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In partnership with the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), we survey hundreds of business executives to develop the industry’s index for kitchen and bath market health, supplemented by tremendous insight.
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