Outdoor living rooms, spa-like baths, retractable glass walls, and home-management tech systems are among the most popular features home buyers and renovators want in homes these days, according to builders, designers, and remodelers. Another new option drawing considerable interest are pet suites, offering at least 50 square feet of space, storage for toys and leashes, low shower stalls, and handheld faucets for “puppy washes.” “Residential trends usually start in the luxury market and trickle down to the rest of the market,” explains Jeffrey Lake, national director of architecture for Standard Pacific Homes, which conducts “livability” studies to determine the features buyers most want in homes. A survey from the National Association of Home Builders, meanwhile, finds that kitchens and baths are the two most popular remodeling jobs due to a desire for better or newer features. In the kitchen, everyone wants islands; and for bathrooms, soaking tubs placed away from walls are trendy. | Read More