WASHINGTON — Residential architects are seeing increased demand for outdoor kitchens, as homeowners continue to explore new options for kitchen and bath products and features.
Those are among the major findings from the American Institute of Architects’ “Home Design Trends Survey” for the fourth quarter of 2016.
The quarterly survey, which focused on kitchen and bath design trends, was conducted by the Washington-based AIA among a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector.
“Homeowners continue to find new ways to add value to their homes by creating more functional space, which is apparent in the rise in popularity of outdoor kitchens,” said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker.
“Kitchens have become a hub for the home,” Baker said. “Now homeowners want to bring some of that activity to their outside space.”
According to the AIA, outdoor kitchens were reported to be at the top of a list for kitchen features and products that are growing in popularity. Significant growth was also reported in computer work/recharge areas, butler’s pantries and wine refrigeration/storage, among other features (see graph).
Residential architects also “continue to see consumers placing an emphasis in kitchen areas” – particularly when it comes to convenience features, such as smart appliances – even though the size of kitchens is remaining stable, the AIA said.
Bathrooms also remain a popular focus of American homes, although increases in the number and sizes of bath spaces may be waning, the association noted.
“Bathroom adaptability and accessibility continue to be the primary consideration for homeowners,” observed Baker, noting the popularity of large, walk-in stall showers, among others features.
“Increasing numbers of homeowners with disability concerns will drive trends in bath design for the foreseeable future,” he added.