New homes today are much different from the designs that you may recall from your childhood. Today’s lifestyles, along with new materials and new technologies, are changing the way we live and build.

Architects and designers are constantly transforming home designs to accommodate the changing needs and expectations of home buyers.

Here are the top trends in today’s home design:

1. Great Room Plans

Dedicated living and dining rooms are being replaced by large multipurpose areas for family living and entertainment. Even in generous-sized homes, many new home buyers are choosing great room plans in lieu of separate formal living and dining spaces. When it comes to new homes, buyers are making smarter choices and using their space wisely. They want a home designed with living spaces they’ll use rather than purchase a home with rarely used or wasted spaces.

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2. Super Kitchens

 Kitchens are truly the heart of today’s home and have grown in size by more than 30 percent. Even the casual or novice chef desires a kitchen equipped with designer cabinetry, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Kitchen islands with seating areas are also popular.

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3. Flexible Floor Plans

Everyone wants their home designed to be unique and meet their individual needs. Not everyone wants a kitchen or bath designed in the same way. Many home designs offer flexible options so that the living space may be adapted for a variety of uses, such as a study, bedroom or formal dining room. Sliding doors and pocket doors also increase flexibility.

4. Outdoor Living Spaces

Bringing the inside out and the outside in is a key element in today’s home designs. Sliding glass doors leading to lanais and decks help to create a seamless transition. Today’s homeowner wants an outdoor living room with an expansive patio or lanai designed with upscale furnishings, lighting and décor. Outdoor entertainment areas may include seating, fireplaces, summer kitchens and water features.

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5. Abundant Storage

Today’s homeowner wants storage space including spacious walk-in closets and built-in cabinets. Stop and drop areas, located near the garage or laundry, provide cubbies and places for shoes, keys and backpacks. The desire for storage has led to garages growing in size by 10 percent. Three-car garages with designated storage spaces for bikes, golf carts and other items are popular.

6. Energy Efficiency

Today’s homebuyers want their homes designed with materials and advanced technologies that address home energy consumption. ICI Homes offers the Nest Learning Thermostat, which creates a custom temperature schedule for your home, and automatically turns itself down when you’re away. Homebuyers are choosing more LED lighting fixtures, which do not have to be replaced as often. Dimmer switches are also popular and can enhance a room’s ambiance as well as save the homeowner money.

The best inspiration for home design can be found in builder model homes. Visit ICI Homes at our communities throughout Florida and see how our design can accommodate your lifestyle.