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Shift in Residential Design Preference Looms as Housebound Days Rise

Grooming a house with an open floor plan for a market listing? Consider this: buyers’ preference may be veering away now from this open concept typically combining the living room, dining room, and kitchen into a single great room.

Because of the recent lockdowns to contain the spread of Covid-19, buyers’ demand instead may increasingly turn to residences with segmented, multi-room floor areas. This as social distancing and work-from-home setups become more ingrained into our new norm.

This trend away from open floor plans may already be long underway. A study a few years back showed that Americans spent on average an extra 8 days at home in 2012 compared to 2003. This increase in homebound days was traced to more employees working from home, as well as to the rise in online shopping and the growth in available home-based entertainment like streaming video.

More Pressure Is On

Likely prospects of home-schooling due to Covid-19 also now add pressure to rethink open floor plans. There are certain disadvantages inherent in this design, too, which need looking into if you’re selling an open-concept residence. Some of the common complaints in open-floor-plan houses include the lack of private spaces, lingering cooking smells, poor sound quality and echoes, and lackluster lighting.
These drawbacks became even more pronounced with COVID-19’s profound effects on our lifestyle. The pandemic has made it impractical and difficult to weave household activities like online work and home-schooling in a single, open area. In this scenario, walls and segmented rooms appear necessary for separate uses, such as an office suite, a study area, and even an exercise room. Enclosed, comfortable spaces, like “she shacks” and “man caves,” could also be additional selling points now for home buyers.

There are other basic considerations to veer away from open floor plans. Segmented rooms, for example, can contribute to energy saving. Heating or cooling in rooms that are not currently in use could be turned off for better energy utilization.

Marry the Best of Both Worlds

Selling an open-concept residence, however, need not necessarily entail a renovation to set up walls. In the home showing, try to present the best of both an open floor plan and a closed-off layout. What the seller can do is clearly define the zones in the open floor plan layout so that the perception of space within the layout flows better functionally and aesthetically. Here are some tricks to do this.
First is furniture arrangement. Place furniture next to each other so that its function defines a specific zone. This visual manifestation is the strongest way to give a certain space or area its distinct personality.

The use of color is another powerful approach to delineate spaces in your residence. This could be achieved through several elements, such as wallpaper, paint, accent pieces, paintings, or mounted photos. You can also tweak lighting, geometry, and floor variants for a clear-cut presentation of the various spaces in your residence.

Priming up a residence for market listing now needs some extra attention, as buyers are currently adapting to new lifestyle norms. Our Judy Kepecz-Hays team can assist you in addressing such shifts. Email or call us for more updates on how to sell your residence amidst the changes our market is currently experiencing.