Emerging Home Design Trends in the Age of COVID


Laurel BernImage Source: Laurel Bern Interiors

New home sales have remained strong during the past several months, amplified by a lack of existing home inventory, and buoyed by a new mindset among homebuyers – rethinking how they live, work and play in their homes differently.


Six New Priorities for New Home Buyers

#1 Peace and Quiet Are Priceless

Families are working, playing, schooling and cooking together, sometimes a little peace and quiet can be hard to find. New home buyers are looking for rooms that allow them to quietly work, learn or relax despite other activities in the house. Thoughtful and acoustically quiet design to support working, playing and living at one time is essential to at-home harmony. This can mean added insulation or hanging sound panels to absorb sound from room to room.

#2 Kitchen as diner, coffee shop and fine dining restaurant and CLEAN is king

Long a focal point of modern-day homes, the kitchen has seen a dramatic increase in traffic and importance. As families find themselves preparing three meals a day, stopping for coffee breaks and afternoon snacks, families are gravitating towards light, bright and well-organized kitchens as they evolve into the true ‘family rooms’ of the day. Trends are centering on bright spaces, varied lighting and the infusion of creative energy through interesting backsplashes and wall coverings. Countertop choices are dictated as much by antimicrobial properties (copper, Silestone, Quartz) as by design aesthetic.

#3 There’s No Place Like A Well-Wired Home

As many employees and students continue from home this fall, space and technology considerations are a top consideration. Dedicated office spaces and homework/learning nooks are a key design consideration for many building a home during this time. Also critical to those designing their new home – reliable internet access and home networking, to ensure everyone can easily and consistently be online at the same time. While smart home technology has been a coveted feature for years now, the new ‘smart home’ is one that must have many dedicated work areas and great internet access for all. Media rooms, which had also lagged in recent years are making a comeback, as families gather to enjoy movies and online games together.

#4 Energy Efficiency Has Never Been This Important

With so many at home at the same time, energy bills have skyrocketed this summer. So many phones, ipads, tvs, appliances, as doors open and close throughout the day. We’ve been hard on our homes these past few months, and our utility bills remind us every month. New home construction has always provided the latest in-home efficiencies – from insulation, windows and doors, roofing, attic and crawlspace materials allow airflow to move seamlessly and keep everyone more comfortable for less. The latest appliances, HVAC and water heating and technologies including solar are making new home construction really stand out for home efficiency.

#5 Come on OUT

We’ve missed each other. But we don’t really want you in our home…yet. The advent of the outdoor socially distant gathering of (a few) friends or family has allowed us to see people and enjoy some social interaction. It also reminds us of the value of a comfortable outdoor living space. Covered porches, outdoor kitchens and outdoor retreat spaces provide that opportunity for all to enjoy a welcome change of scenery. Spaces that accommodate more comfortable, outdoor furniture provide an additional living space that all can enjoy.

#6 Your Neighborhood Makes All the Difference

All this togetherness sometimes leaves you longing for a change of venue. Families have newly discovered the value of walkable neighborhoods, and the ability to easily get out and explore close to home. Nearby parks and trails offer welcome exercise and new discoveries. Many neighborhoods have created fun ways to communicate and support one another – through sidewalk chalk art, painted rocks along trails, or pictures in windows. Neighborhoods remind us that being together can take many forms but always makes us feel stronger during uncertain times.

For over 20 years, SouthStar Communities has been creating residential and mixed-use communities across the Southern United States, reflecting on the evolving preferences of homebuyers. Living their mission of Creating Healthy Places for Life, SouthStar continues to add new communities and new housing solutions to their portfolio.