Higher home prices1 are influencing buyers to opt for smaller, more affordable homes. Affordability is part of what makes the suburbs so attractive, as they're typically less expensive2 than urban areas. However, even those moving to the burbs want neighborhoods with an urban appeal. They want walkability3, access to public transportation, proximity to shopping and restaurants - all of the amenities the city can provide without the added cost of living.Millennials specifically, are heading to "18-hour cities4," which offer the perfect blend of suburban and urban life - what many are calling "surban5." Places like Kansas City provide the affordability millennials need as they pay off their student debt without sacrificing any of the amenities that come with an urban lifestyle. Other metropolitan areas seeing an influx of millennials6 include Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Seattle.Whether you're building homes in urban areas or in suburbs with an urban feel, the trend of living in small spaces is gathering momentum. In order to keep up, here are four tips for building and designing small homes:
Appeal to pet owners
With some millennials favoring pet ownership6 over children, it's important to consider a buyer's furry friend(s) when building smaller homes. Almost 70% of millennials own at least one pet, and 33%7 of a millennial homebuyer's decision to purchase a home is driven by that pet. Build a pet nook, which is a sought-after amenity8 for pet owners, that can be tucked away or built into the wall of a bedroom - away from the main hub of the house. Having their blankets or bed in one area can help prevent hair or fur from being spread around the house.
Create flexible, multifunctional spaces
Builders and designers must think creatively about the layout of spaces in small homes. With the right design, kitchens can be more than a kitchen - with an island offering plenty of seating the kitchen can be a space for entertaining or an area for homework. Bedrooms could double as a home office with a tabletop desk that folds back into the wall, while a closet space could hide a stackable washer and dryer.
Opt for small space appliances
Having a smaller home shouldn't mean that homeowners have to sacrifice performance or functionality in their appliances. In the kitchen, consider the Whirlpool Small-Space Compact Dishwasher, which offers a powerful clean with a sleek, stainless steel look. It can fit eight place settings, leaving fewer dishes in the sink and more room to work in the kitchen.You can also save space with a compact microwave, like the Whirlpool Low Profile Microwave Hood Combination. Its ability to exist in small spaces gives industry professionals more design flexibility while homeowners can enjoy added room for cooking and powerful performance - the compact appliance cooks all the essentials while removing smoke, odor and moisture just like a standard hood.
Let there be light
Daylight can help open up a space and makes the home feel bigger. Large windows and skylights can let light stream in, while interior French doors and multiple-panel patio doors can also contribute light and help bring the outdoors in. For information about our appliance offerings suitable for small space living, contact a sales rep today. Keep up with other trends and news happening in your industry by visiting The Trade Channel page.