As the struggling housing market shows signs of improvement, there has been a reversal in the 6-year trend in smaller home sizes, according to the American Institute of Architects' (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey for the first quarter of 2012 that focused specifically on overall home layout and the use of interior and exterior space. This is the case for custom and luxury homes, as well as for additions to existing homes.
A preference for outdoor living, especially blended indoor/outdoor living, continues to increase, along with strong demand for accessible and flexible home layout. Led by strength in remodeling and renovation projects, business conditions for residential architects are experiencing the strongest growth since 2006.
"In the last few years, outdoor living spaces have become the new 'great room' in terms of must have items for homeowners," commented AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. "As people are more interested in adapting their property to their long-term needs rather than readying it for sale, we are seeing more attention paid to landscaping and features that have some return-on-investment like rainwater catchment systems."
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