In the post-recession period, the latest poll from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) suggests that U.S. homeowners are leaning toward practical design and away from the indulgent. “During the boom it was about technology-intense media rooms and wine cellars and sort of froufrou areas in the home that you didn’t really need,” explains AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. “Now it’s really much more about lifestyle and more multipurpose spaces. Homes have gotten smaller and you need multifunction rooms.” He points to mudrooms and home offices as practical choices that homeowners are making, along with heightened interest in great rooms and master bedrooms. Other practical trends in home design include water-conserving features, extra insulation, storm-resistant design, first-floor master bedrooms, and ramps and elevators. Another big design movement, according to the survey, revolves around outdoor living rooms. “It’s a reaction to the McMansions with the big formal dining room that no one ever used,” Baker notes. “People are thinking, ‘How do I really use my space?’ They like to sit outside and enjoy things.” | Read More