While even we have discussed how homes have been getting slightly smaller with fewer special purpose rooms, a home is seldom exclusively composed of bedrooms, bathrooms, and a kitchen and great room. In order for a house to feel like a home, it often includes the individual touches that specialized rooms bring. Every year, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) conducts a series of surveys of over 500 leading architecture firms to discover how homes are actually being designed. Here are their conclusions from their home features study on special function rooms.
Somewhat surprisingly, the most popular special room isn’t a room inside the house, but rather the outdoor living space of the home. Since the average home lot is much bigger than the home’s footprint, however, the outdoor space of a home offers a great deal of opportunity for outdoor living. In the past three years of the survey, the respondents indicated that outdoor living space was gaining popularity faster than any other feature. The difference between those reporting outdoor space as increasing and those who said it was decreasing in popularity was around 60 percent of respondents for the past 3 years.
With the rise of importance of outdoor space, it is only natural that the mudroom is the feature that is next most rapidly increasing in popularity. The difference between those who reported mudrooms as increasing versus decreasing was around 42 percent for the past 3 years. When spending all this time outside, a room in the house where you can remove dirty clothes and shoes is a very valuable space indeed. Especially as winter turns to spring and “mud season” begins in many places, a mudroom is essential to keeping the house clean. Thankfully, mudrooms do not need to take up a great deal of space and can easily be combined with other spaces like laundry rooms.
The third most common special room, the home office, is much less of a surprise. While the home office has been a popular request for decades, the demands of the modern world mean its popularity is still growing. With an increasing number of individuals working from home full time and the demands for all workers to be constantly connected, a home office is a must have for many buyers. The difference between respondents who said home offices were increasing versus decreasing was about 36 percent.