Reworking spaces in homes is a lesson from the National Association of Homebuilders annual show that applies to remodeling older homes as well as building new ones.
Formal living rooms and formal dens are used less. Even home offices are used less as many of us tend to use tablets elsewhere in the house or outside on the patio or dock.
Family interaction is important so more emphasis is placed on a combined activity area in homes: the kitchen, family room and eating area all as part of one large space where we can interact.
An office space may be an alcove, a second pantry, or even a window seat. With iPads and other tablets taking over, you don't need a separate office for all the wired equipment; you can even enjoy it on the porch.
All these ideas bring me back to Sarah Susanka’s series of books based on The Not So Big House. Her first book, back in 1998, was an eye opener. She advocated quality over quantity, useable space over more square footage. Design should include both charm and utility. She parlayed her first book into a series, but my favorite is still her original The Not So Big House.
What brings you happiness in a house? How can you be apart but nearby? How can views allow space to be shared? As homeowners are more concerned than ever about expenses, from property taxes to insurance to utility costs, great design is more important than ever.
Talk to your Realtor for suggestions on improving the home you have or finding one that better suits your current lifestyle.