Jan 10, 2011

4 Fading Fads That You Won’t See in 2011

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

We keep hearing about what’s popular in 2011 for home design — but how about what’s not? Builder Magazine writer Jenny Sullivan asked industry experts to weigh in on design fads that you won’t likely see in the new year. Here are some of the fading home trends experts mentioned:

1. Trophy space: Forget those two-story grand entrances. Builders are seeking more affordable, energy efficient design so they are getting rid of large, volume spaces in homes.

2. Just for show: Fancy, overdone rooms won’t cut it in the era of the practical, cash-strapped buyer. Lavish industrial-grade kitchen ranges or fancy master bath spa tubs– that are hardly even used anyway–will fall to the wayside. “The kitchen is once again becoming a working part of the home and not just a showcase,” architect Don Taylor of DW Taylor Associates in Ellicott City, Md., noted in the article. “It needs to provide all of the latest conveniences and technology, but with practical applications in mind. The faux commercial kitchen look may have reached its summit.”

3. Egocentric houses: It’s not just about the interior of a home that makes a home. Buyers are caring more about its curb appeal and what’s nearby the home as well. Parks, amenities and neighborhood connections create a sense of community, said John M. Thatch, principal with Dahlin Group Architecture and Planning in Pleasanton, Calif. While most infill homes on the boards are 10-20 percent smaller in size, Thatch notes that buyers are willing to trade extra space for a more appealing neighborhood.

4. Home flipping: Gone is the trend of buying a “starter” home or a home for short-term investment. Buyers are now buying for keeps and it’s changing the way they view homes. “The idea of a home as a short-term money maker is essentially gone, so when people do buy they’ll do it with the intention of staying ten years instead of two or three,” says Jim Chittaro, president of Smykal Homes in Chicago. As such, he says buyers will care more about the design of the home and they won’t want it to feel cheap.