The AIA's Take on Kitchen and Bath Designs

According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), when it comes to design for kitchens and baths, homeowners and their architects are most concerned with value and function. And these rooms are getting more attention as housing markets and the economy continue to recover.

This is according to the most recent AIA Home Design Trends Survey, which revealed that kitchens and baths are the first rooms to be upgraded in existing homes. While these rooms aren’t necessarily increasing in size, they are accommodating more technology and taking on qualities of universal design (designed for accessibility and function as people age over time).

For many, the kitchen is the “control area” of the home. Likewise, an increasing number of homeowners and architects are designing kitchens to accommodate activities that involve technology. For example, more than half of residential architects surveyed pointed to an increase in homeowner desire for computer stations in the kitchen, and spaces for recharging cell phones, tablets and other devices. And more than 40 percent indicated an increased desire for spaces for recycling and pantries. Other popular features include integrating family space into the kitchen, as well as universal design features.

The most prominent factors driving bathroom design are accessibility and adaptability as housing needs change – very similar to the universal design trend for kitchens. Well over half of respondents (57 percent) said homeowners desire bathroom features that will accommodate aging in place. For instance, designing bathrooms with only a stall shower and no bathtub is coming more commonplace.

During the housing and economic downturn, less attention was paid to improving these areas of the home due to concern with controlling costs. But now that the market has begun to recover, homeowners are once again beginning to spend money on these important areas of their homes.

To read the full story, see AIA’s website here.

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