In 2015 we are starting to see a shift in the way homes are being built. The biggest change that has been noticed by the National Association of Home Builders is that houses are getting smaller. The most likely explanation for this trend seems to be the economy. While the economy and the housing market has improved since the late 2000’s the market is still not as strong as it once was. By shifting to smaller houses the market will be able to accommodate more home buyers.

As house sizes decrease it is expected that formal dining rooms, third bathrooms, and mudrooms will begin to be left out of house designs. Another space saving measure is the shrinking of kitchens and the combination of them with living rooms to create great rooms. Americans are loving these spaces and spending more time in them. Great rooms have become the place to do homework, watch TV, cook meals, and eat them. There has even been a trend of eating special occasion meals, such as holiday meals, in this space. For the Kitchen portion of the great room this has meant more seating to accommodate the increased use of the kitchen as a dining room.

Other changes to the kitchen are beginning to happen as they merge with living rooms. Kitchen design is becoming warmer and more welcoming. Gone are the days of the contemporary, super minimalist, sleek kitchens. Traditional kitchen design is starting to merge with contemporary design. The new designs are clean and simple, but are trending away from the sleek contemporary designs of the 2000’s. Another mark of the move away from contemporary design is the rise of the use of engineered stone and wood products. These products have a textured feel giving kitchens a more organic aesthetic, and are appealing in the current design shift toward more natural materials. With the advancement in wireless technology and portable devices, kitchens are also losing their computer desk and phone areas. Large walk-in pantries and large kitchen islands also seem to be on the chopping block as more home builders look for ways to save space in housing.

A shift is also happening in which design elements and colors are being used in homes today. While brass is out, mixed metals such as copper and gold are becoming very popular. Another trend is the mixing of wood materials with copper. While both of these trends move design to a warmer palette it appears that the new neutrals everybody is flocking to are greys and blacks. While these neutrals can be warm, they are typically cooler and will balance out the warmer wood and metal tones. Along with these design changes the use of colors in the coral family are on the rise this year. These beautiful colors will warm up any room and is an easy way to give a space a face lift. As a caveat, faux finishes are out of style. Beautiful designs are being created using accent walls and multiply colors in one room, but resist the urge to layer your colors and create faux effects. The clean and simple look of solids is in and most likely here to stay.

In 2015 there are some major shifts starting to happen in how homes are being designed and built. Some of these trends, especially smaller house designs, will have a huge impact on the future of homes in America.