Trend 3: Cost-Effective Design Without Sacrificing Aesthetics

"Cost does not need to be the driver of bad design," said Mirontschuk. Rectangular plans are practical, and with early modifications to massing, they can also be visually diverse without adding much to cost, he says. Even builders on a budget are using gables, columns, and varying depths to add interest to efficient, boxy design, enhancing the variety to streetscapes without adapting entire plans. (Photo Credit: Eric Figge)

Trend 4: The Family Triangle

In the move toward open first-floor layouts, the formal living room has been sacrificed to make room for an ultra-flexible space consisting of a kitchen, eating area, and living area, all adjacent and open to each other. "We’re seeing what we can finally say is the death of the living room," says McCune. Rather than walls, islands are now the defining element that sets the kitchen apart from the living area, and all areas are beginning to lose their labels, enhancing the idea that customers should be able to adapt the space to their own needs, says Mirontschuk. "Let’s not decide how people should live." (Photo Credit: Harvey Smith Photography)