6 Ways to Provide Connected Home Design for Today’s Buyer

Providing responsive design for today’s home buyer is imperative. After weeks (in some cases, months) of shelter and safer at home orders, we have all spent an extraordinary amount of time in our homes. As a result, desires and expectations for what we want in our overall home design has changed. Some of the ideas had been brewing for a while, and this recent forced time at home has pushed them to the forefront of home buyers’ wish lists. Themes such as technology and the connected home as well as health and wellness-focused designs are topping the “must haves” list for many buyers. Incorporating these wishes into model home designs is key.

Many assume a connected home means a “smart” house, or a house that is controlled by technology. Yes, a part of being a connected home does mean that. However, a connected home also means – and, perhaps, especially, these days – is one that fosters a connection among people. To facilitate that kind of connection for a buyer, designs should include:

1. Open Kitchens

Kitchens that promote human interaction through open floor plans and islands where cooking, eating, and interacting can all take place. Further, the kitchen should not cut off its occupants from the rest of the living space.

Photo courtesy of Lita Dirks & Co.

This model includes an open kitchen and large island which promotes interaction and engagement before, during, and after meal prep.

Additionally, it is important to be cognizant of how many stools can actually fit at an island. For example, if it is a family home with several children, and only three people can sit at the island, then someone is going to feel very left out. Your kitchen should be a place of inclusiveness.

2. Inviting Great Rooms

A great room that is warm and cozy and inviting is important. Additionally, a great room that promotes a lifestyle that encourages active participation from a family or group gatherings is also vital in promoting that feeling of connection.

Photo courtesy of Lita Dirks & Co.

With plenty of seating and the piano strategically placed, this model encourages family time.

3. Inspiring Outdoor Living Areas

Outdoor living areas that encourage one to sit down and visit continue to be important to home buyers. Additionally, outdoor living areas that reflect the home buyer’s needs and dreams are also top among a buyer’s wish list.

Photo courtesy of Lita Dirks & Co.

One can sit an relax by the fire, cook a little dinner in the outdoor grill, or lounge by the pool – the outdoor options are almost endless in the NEXTAdventure home.

4. Health and Wellness-Focused Designs

As COVID has forced more people to stay at home, they are educating themselves on how to keep themselves, and their homes, healthy. One thing we have learned is that the outdoors can provide a level of protection against disease, and improve mental health and many officials have been encouraging outdoor activity as one primary way to stay healthy.

As a result, buyers are looking for homes that are not only toxin-free but also provide a deeper connection to nature and the outdoors; they are looking for homes that are:

5. Promoting Nature

Homes that provide seamless indoor/outdoor living allows the buyer to feel safe and able to breathe fresh air. Another tactic is to take advantage of of the views and natural light. Because, even if the outdoors are beyond the glass, just seeing the outside environment can provide much needed life to the interiors of a space.

Photo courtesy of Lita Dirks & Co.

Unobstructed views in this model are uplifting and wellness promoting.

6. Creating Spa-Like Spaces

Creating a spa like atmosphere in the bathroom, and throughout the home, helps to promote relaxation and a sense of wellness.

Photo courtesy of Lita Dirks & Co.

It is easy to imagine relaxing in this lovely model master bath.

A New Normal for Home Buyers

As life begins to get back to some semblance of normal, or the “new normal” home buyers will be looking for different things. Perhaps not totally different, but features that were “want to have” may now be “must have” in their new home wish list. While every home buyer is different, we are predicting that the two overarching themes that buyers are going to be looking for are: connected homes and homes that make them feel healthy and are health-promoting.


Post courtesy of Sue Ridgeway, Director of Marketing at Lita Dirks & Co., an interior design and merchandising firm based in Greenwood Village, Colo.

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