Christine Marvin is Chief Marketing + Experience Officer at Marvin, a leading manufacturer of premium fenestration solutions.
As mortgage rates continue to rise alongside inflation, we are all taking steps to prepare for another recession. But before we cement our plans around these economic realities, what do the numbers from real homeowners tell us, and how can we leverage them to make predictions and smart decisions in the business of home building and design?
According to a recent survey from LendingTree, 72% of homeowners would rather renovate their home than sell it, noting the top reason as wanting to add comfort to their home. In addition, a recent survey from Houzz found that “~50% of homeowners have no plans to sell their home in the next 20 years.” Our desire to live better at home—from the quality of our sleep to the light we let in and the air we breathe—paired with the willingness to roll up our sleeves and make improvements that will last has created a new emphasis on home design and redefined what it means to live better.
The pandemic may have ushered in new ways of thinking about our needs and expectations for our homes, but a now-volatile housing market has created the literal space to turn this thinking into action. Based on what I’m seeing in our industry, here are five emerging factors we can expect to come to life for homeowners in 2023.
1. Embracing Self-Expression As A New Frontier For Well-Being
For many homeowners, our homes reflect our stories and feel personal to us, and there is a shift away from minimalism and toward interiors that let us show off a life well-lived. This year, I believe many people will find it imperative to surround themselves at home with the things they love most.
We often see modern living through a one-dimensional lens: clean lines and minimalist interiors. But today, modern living translates to intentional living, which requires more room for rich colors and textures, as well as nature-inspired influences at home. Biophilic design is a term we’ll continue to hear this year and beyond.
2. Perfecting Our Terrain To Entertain
After years of solitude and smaller, outdoor-only gatherings, we’re opening our doors to entertain with added freedom. As a result, homeowners are investing in upgraded kitchens and guest bathrooms, providing endless opportunities to give guests the five-star treatment through plush textures, lots of natural light and expansive outdoor views.
Access to outdoor spaces remains a priority because we know the positive impact of removing barriers between our indoor and outdoor spaces is undeniable. In fact, this indoor-outdoor concept was central to Realtor.com’s 2023 New American Home, an annual real-life display of the trends, building products and methods dominating the market.
3. Making The Most Of Multipurpose And Multi-Generational Spaces
According to recent insights from The America at Home Study via Furniture Today, when consumers were asked what “home” means, “93% associated it with being a safe space, while 91% aligned it with comfort and 87% with relaxation.” As we spend more time in our homes, people are craving spaces for quiet, calm relaxation, which has become increasingly difficult as these spaces also continue to provide multipurpose areas for working, learning, relaxing and living. Homes are also becoming multi-generational as more elders choose to age at home, and homebuyers are faced with steep barriers to entering the housing market.
These multipurpose and multi-generational spaces are most likely here to stay, and the unique role of windows and doors remains increasingly important as homeowners create modern spaces that serve their functional needs while giving them the ability to address design considerations for family members with different schedules, as well as the power to control their own emotional and physical well-being. This can be done by extending or dividing their spaces to create separate areas that don’t limit the amount of space or light but still provide a reprieve.
4. Extending The Home With Accessory Dwelling Units
As homeowners crave more dedicated space, they’re increasingly turning to accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to create separation from their homes while staying on the property. ADUs are smaller, stand-alone units that first gained popularity with the concept of “he/she sheds,” but now we’re seeing ADUs used to create entirely new spaces for home offices, workshops and workout spaces. Sometimes, just a bit of a commute to these spaces is helpful to reframe the mind (even if it’s just across the yard).
5. Prioritizing Timeless Durability
According to the EPA, the building and construction industry creates an estimated 600 million tons of waste each year. Reflections from Delightfull affirm that consumers and homeowners alike are increasingly viewing quality products with timeless design and long-lasting durability as an investment worth making for abiding performance.
Durability often begins with thoughtful materials selection, looking to products built from wood, stone and similar materials that can be maintained, repaired and restored over time. Having been used for centuries, these materials lend a timeless quality to design while also being flexible enough to be paired with of-the-moment pieces like textiles and accessories.
As these emerging ways of living continue to evolve, I recommend paying close attention to the ways in which people-centered design has become central to homeowners’ design decisions and how it can lead to better, easier and healthier living at home.