Post Pandemic Residential Design Trends

The American Institute of Architect’s third quarter 2020 Home Design Trends Survey shows a strong jump in the number of home offices, exercise and yoga spaces, flex rooms and indoor quality products being requested by homeowners. Interior designers across the country are seeing the same trends, all of which can be attributed to the pandemic.

This survey’s visual format is intended to help you quickly identify emerging trends in home design by using visual cues to scroll over and pull up charts and figures with findings for each quarter. As a reminder, each quarter the AIA Home Design Trends Survey highlights a different area of home trends and includes the same business conditions questions for tracking purposes. Starting with the Q1 2019 report, AIA have renumbered the reports to reflect the quarter in which they are released. The quarterly breakdowns are: Q1 addresses “Kitchen and Bath”; Q2 covers “Home and Property Design”; Q3 covers “Home Features”; and Q4 covers “Neighborhood and Community Design.” Reports prior to 2019 cover the following: Q1, “Home and Property Design”; Q2, “Home Features”; Q3, “Neighborhood and Community Design”; and Q4, “Kitchen and Bath”.

The biggest jump on the AIA summary was among home office requests, which more than doubled. Compared to 29% for 2019, 68% of architects shared that clients are asking for these dedicated rooms. That correlates to millions of professional employees being asked to work from home for extended periods.

Flex rooms are seeing 43% of architects reporting requests in 2020. Homeowners are looking at the layouts of their homes and determining whether remodels or additions are required for distance learning and other new needs.

The 23% of architects seeing requests for exercise and yoga spaces now is likely driven by those businesses closing because of Covid lockdowns. That’s making it hard for people to maintain their fitness when they need it most. Back then it was easier for busy homeowners to head to a gym or yoga studio to fulfill their fitness needs. Home spaces for fitness are becoming must-haves instead of nice to haves.

 “I’m definitely seeing many requests for home gyms,” observes Marina V. Umali, a designer in Ridgewood, New Jersey. She attributes demand not just to shutdowns, but to people’s concerns about being sedentary because of the pandemic. “There’s no commute anymore, the walk to the desk at home is pretty short, and many are looking for ways to get their bodies moving.” She points out that even when gyms and studios are available again, “Some people are still not comfortable going.”

There is also an increasing demand for work from home spaces. The latter is definitely pandemic-driven, as so many meetings that used to occur in conference rooms are now displaying a participant’s home setting.

As people are using more of their homes now, the potential of home space is finally being realized. Pandemic-driven needs for package handling, home organization and added storage, hobbies and distance learning are also creating an urge for flexible space planning at home.