November 28, 2022

With the rise in working and learning from home, homeowners have had to repurpose their rooms to serve new and multiple functions. NHTI says 21st century homeowners want more workspace, fitness, and flex spaces. Here are the top five new rooms or new room functions to consider in 2023.

1. Home office (including pocket offices, “Zoom” rooms, and tech alcoves)

A home office doesn’t have to mean a spacious room with a huge desk and paneled walls. It can instead be a functional, well-lit workspace with just-enough room for office supplies and technology necessities such as laptops, power supplies, and headphones.

2. Fitness space

Some equipment companies have partnered with builders to simplify and customize the homeowners’ desired fitness spaces. Main priorities according to homeowners is affordability and use in smaller spaces while being able to customize to their specific workout routines.

3. Flex space

Flex spaces (or flex rooms) are spaces designed to change and that means can function as an office by day, yoga studio by night. The goal is to provide an additional space for the homeowner to make their own, and adjust whenever they please. Research from the NHTI survey shows that over half (58%) of single-family homes designed in 2021 have a flex space—up from 38 percent.

People who work from home could make the space a “Zoom room” during the week, and an art studio on the weekend, for example.

4. Butler’s pantry

The kitchen has remained the most influential part of a home’s purchase. While everyone loves a nice, open kitchen, there’s evidence that unnecessarily large kitchens feel like a waste of space to more current homeowners.

That’s why a butler’s pantry or back kitchen can provide extra room for food prep, storage space, a second dishwasher or sink, extra outlets for small appliances, proximity to the pantry, and a new way to connect the kitchen to the garage and other areas of the house.

5. Accessory dwelling unit (ADU)

These versatile pocket-homes have been used as extensions of the home, a suite for in-laws, and even a place to rent out for some extra income.

ADUs come in all shapes and sizes. Some ADUs have been built to be energy-efficient and fully solar-powered. Studies show that over half (54%) of Americans would give up backyard space for an ADU.

In the end, Jenni Nichols, director of NHTI’s DesignLens says, “We need to consider how spaces will be used; accommodate for aspiration indulgence, but remain within reason.”


From Utopia By: Quinn Purcell, Associate Editor, Nov. 01, 2022




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