The new normal. The last few years have at lighting speed changed the way we live. Working in an office and fighting traffic for many has become an option instead of a requirement. As a result, our priorities have shifted like never before.
Rent costs are outpacing home prices, more of us are working from our homes, and a staggering 45 million millennials are ready to become first-time home buyers. So now our industry has record opportunities ahead of us to sell more homes than ever.
The biggest luxury that most of us cherish is time. How we live to protect and celebrate this luxury is evident and will be even more so in 2022.
We have created a curated collection of the top 22 design trends that we think we will see in design and homes in 2022. This list is going to be like speed dating — a short description of what the trends are, and if you find some of them interesting, we hope that you will let us know, and we’ll be happy to share more about them in future editions of MHInsider or online at mhinsider.com.
- Biophilic Design A big word and trend you may be unfamiliar with, but it will become a household word in 2022. Simply put, biophilic design is when you connect people with nature in their homes using natural design elements. Consumers embrace gardening and indoor plants in ways that we haven’t seen in decades. Living plants add a sense of calm to a space and also help to naturally improve air quality – an issue that will continue to rise in importance as we move through the next few years.
- It’s a Lifestyle For most of us, our lifestyles have changed drastically in the last few years. With this comes how we live in our homes and our needs. Re-evaluating how consumers will live in our homes is a priority for the new year.
- Less Isn’t Always More Now that many of us are spending more time at home, having suitable rooms and spaces has become even more critical. Open floorplans look like they are about to become a thing of the past, and consumers are now looking for more defined, intimate spaces that make it more possible to have to leave home less often. Bedrooms are about to become smaller, so square footage can be used for a home office, hobby space, or study hall the entire family can use.
- Moveable Walls Urbaneer has teamed up with Champion Homes to build compact housing, especially in the Midwest region. This compact housing is not only ideal for a second home or to use as an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), but it also features living space on-demand with moveable walls. The companies showcased this style of home at the 2020 International Builders Show, and now we are seeing this moveable wall concept in luxury site-built homes.
- I’ll Take Two: Vacation Airbnb Homes Consumers are more conscious than ever about the cleanliness of public spaces. Many are considering purchasing a second home they can enjoy and possibly use as an income maker as an Airbnb vacation rental. This trend will open the doors to an entirely new buyer segment for our industry.
- Accessory Dwelling Units With the massive affordable housing crisis we are now facing, more cities are becoming open to letting ADUs into their communities. Factory-built housing is the perfect solution for this construction need, and I think we will be seeing more interest in this type of housing in the future.
- Rental Home Communities Site builders are investing heavily in a new type of community: rental communities where single-family homes are only for rent. Many concierge-style services are available. This is an option for people who don’t want to live in an apartment but can’t afford to buy their own homes. If this sounds familiar to you, it’s because this is what our industry has been doing for decades in our land-lease communities, except in many instances, we also allow them to own their own homes while keeping their costs down by leasing the land to them. We have a perfect opportunity to introduce consumers – especially millennials – to our community living while there is so much interest.
- Spin The Color Wheel Color is back! Bold blues and greens will be back in living spaces, and simply put, consumers are attracted to colors that make them happy. You will be seeing a lot less grey, colorless interiors and exteriors in the year to come.
- Going With The Grain Consumers again appreciate the look of natural woods throughout the home. Naturally, dramatic wood styles are at a premium, and customers prefer a natural finish instead of heavy stains. This is true with flooring, and patterns are becoming popular again, with herringbone being one of the favorites.
- The New Entertainment Center Cooking at home is one of the hottest trends that we are seeing. People are spending a lot more time in this area of their homes, and they have discovered the “Joy of Cooking” like never before. With the money they are saving eating at home instead of dining out, they purchase premium appliances and upgrade their spaces like never before. Don’t expect them to settle with an oven that doesn’t heat evenly or a refrigerator that doesn’t control temperature and humidity correctly. If you haven’t looked into offering a cooks kitchen as an upgrade, you may be leaving money on the kitchen table.
- Behind Closed Doors Clutter is one of the biggest turnoffs to our new buyers, and instead of cabinets replaced with open shelves, they ask for their cabinets back. Now more than ever, people want and use air fryers, sous vide wands, and toaster ovens, so dedicating a storage space or appliance garage for these items to be stored in is a must. A nice touch includes power in the back of these cabinets, so the appliances are ready to use.
- Get Smart CEDIA, the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association, is a wealth of information about how intelligent design has evolved and where we go from here. The cost and size of the technology can help us control everything from the lighting and locks in your vacation home that is thousands of miles away to let you know that your freezer door is open in the next room. They predicted that this type of technology would be priced to be available to almost everyone within 10 years. Smart Living Made Simple is what consumers now expect – if it takes you more than three clicks to get a result, they won’t use it.
- Power Up As a Texan, I learned firsthand how vital the power grid could be to my lifestyle. With the weather becoming more unpredictable, consumers are more interested in solar and backup energy sources such as generators. Electric cars have become mainstream and more affordable. Charging stations are now being installed at Walmart and your favorite restaurants. Providing options for power sources like these lets your customer know that you have done your homework and understand that you are preparing for the future.
- Walk-in Pantries Having a pantry or laundry room that is large enough to house those extra appliances and bulk buys from Costco are becoming a must-have. These need to be located next to or adjoining the kitchen and should have a deep sink and possibly a dishwasher for cleaning up. Freestanding freezers are very much in demand again, and upright models like the one that Beko offers make it easy to enjoy produce and housemade sauces and meals all year long.
- Zoom Rooms rooms like this well-designed space at the Kips Bay Dallas showhouse are becoming more popular as we spend hours on Zoom calls or create our podcasts. Having the right sound-absorbing materials and correct lighting is a must.
- Looking Up We also saw lots of rooms at the Kips Bay showhouse with beautiful ceiling colors and details. This can be a great way to bring buyers’ attention upwards and call attention to your higher ceiling heights.
- Mid Century Modern Warm woods, restrained lines, and warm, saturated colors quickly replace the stark white farmhouse look that has been popular for so long. This look started and has always been popular in the Midwest, but you now see it from coast to coast. Greens and blues are the stars of this look as well, and it feels good to not only dress up and go out again ourselves but also to let our homes become a little more sophisticated as well. We love how this style feels all grown up, just like we do.
- Thoughtful Design A place for everything and everything in its place. The days of clutter and having “stuff” for stuff’s sake are over. Homeowners are now collecting and curating items that mean something to them. Their spaces mirror their tastes and lifestyles, not what they are shown at a local big box store or website. Mixing grandmothers china with a stunning acrylic dining table isn’t only OK, it’s preferred. And if those items have some character and possibly some whimsy to them, they are even more in vogue.
- Finishing Touches Metal and wood finishes are warmer than we have seen in the last few years. Black windows, industrial styling, and shiny surfaces are replaced by unlacquered brass and mixed metal finishes. Faucets, hardware, and lighting look like they have been around for a hundred years but have a new, clean, modern style.
- Seeing The Light LED lighting has not only become more affordable, it now offers so many exciting design solutions it is hard to know where to start. Flush ceiling lighting has evolved from extensive, protruding eyeballs to tiny square boxes that you hardly notice but can provide hundreds of lumens each. Single pendant lighting has lost its appeal, and we are now seeing oversized shades and lights that are more in scale with our larger open spaces and look more like a work of art than just a source of light.
- The Healthy Home Consumers are more concerned than ever about how their home can affect their health and wellbeing. Companies like Beko, a new to the United States appliance company, have realized that healthy living is only possible on a healthy planet and are creating extraordinary new appliances to help us live a healthier lifestyle. Other companies that follow this mindset will be at the forefront soon.
- True To You: Being Genuine Now more than ever, earning a new buyer’s trust should be the essential part of your company’s mission statement. With so much social media and untruths out there, customers need to know whom to believe and who will help them through the most significant investment they will probably ever make. When we design and sell a home, it is our reputation and the reputation of the entire industry that is at stake. If you are fair to the customer and lead with honesty, you’ll have a customer for life.
Bookmark MHInsider to keep up on all the manufactured housing news and industry trends.