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Trend Report: What Today's Home Buyers Want

When it comes to what home buyers are requesting from the area’s upscale builders, there are a few surprises.

By Ilene Denton September 1, 2019 Published in the September 2019 issue of Sarasota Magazine

More and more buyers are requesting indoor/outdoor living spaces.

The ubiquitous open floor plan, with great room open to the kitchen, is still tops in new-home design. But when it comes to what home buyers are requesting from the area’s upscale builders, there are a few surprises.

John Cannon of John Cannon Homes tells us today’s clients are asking for:

A full prep kitchen in addition to the home’s main kitchen, with commercial grade appliances—ideal for catering.

His-and-her bathrooms and closets “that cater to a more feminine or masculine design,” Cannon says.

Tile details. Large-format tiles are the rage, and so are tiles with a three-dimensional surface or a textile-like finish. Minimal grout joints are often requested for a visually smooth transition from tile to tile.

Hardwood floors used throughout homes, including bedrooms and bonus rooms. “Many of our clients have opted for a lighter selection of wood finishes, similar to a light walnut or white oak,” says Cannon.

Color. Neutral colors for the home’s main spaces are getting a jolt of complementary accent color to interior doors and trim. “Punches of rich accent colors can be found on accent walls, kitchens and island cabinets,” Cannon says, “and earthy greens, teals and blues are still very much the trend.”

And from London Bay Homes:

Out with the formal dining room, in with multifunctional spaces.

Open gathering spaces that eliminate isolated dining rooms, creating expanded space for personalized multifunctional rooms such as a study, lounge area, game room and, most popularly, home office. 

Indoor/outdoor living spaces. Beyond alfresco dining and seating, home buyers want fire pits, fire bowls and fire tables, pergolas and in-pool lounge chairs, outdoor bathrooms and pool baths, along with outdoor showers connected to the master suite.

Aging in place. Efficient, compact layouts to create ease of living: access to the laundry directly from the master suite, for example, walk-up showers instead of large Jacuzzi tubs, and master closets with direct access from the master bath to reduce hallway space.

Clean-lined, contemporary exterior design. The internet has helped people to access new developments in architectural design, and this global perspective is resulting in a desire for architectural elements, such as Hardie siding and brackets (instead of corbels) that embody crisp and clean detailing with less overtly historical reference.

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