What’s On The Mind and on The Wish List
of the 2022 Home Buyer?

 Consumers are unsatisfied with the lack of designs and features within the home that support “recuperating and relaxing.”   — ConstructUtopia.com

More time at home spent during the pandemic put a greater focus on the health and safety of our homes, prompting heightened awareness of things that we’ve been talking about for a while now as well as some new buzzwords you’ll continue to hear more about.  A safe and clean environment with space, storage, daylight, fresh air and warm colors are some of the items topping buyer wish lists.

 

Antimicrobial Technology

Insulation, drywall, flooring products, ceramic tiles and plumbing fixtures are among the many common building products now offered with built-in antimicrobial technology. Because these materials also have an added layer of protection against stains and odors caused by mold and bacteria growth, they also have the added benefit of lasting longer.

Heightened Concerns for IAQ

More cooking at home may provide us with better nutrition, but it can also mean more fine particulates and VOCs in our homes without proper venting precautions.  Green Builder Media reminds us that an often-overlooked culprit of indoor air contamination is the microwave exhaust fan. It is still common practice to install recirculating microwave fans and even range hoods that pull air from the cooktop through a filter only to blow the air back out into the kitchen.  Venting to the outdoors is always the preferred method of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) purists.  Range hoods must be large enough to cover as much of the stovetop as possible.  Some health-conscious designers are also specifying “bathroom” fans placed in rooms adjacent to the kitchen.  Panasonic makes fans that trigger automatically to turn the fan on and off when it senses moisture in the air.  Keep in mind that fans must do the job right but should also operate quietly enough so that people will be more likely to use them.

Microban® antimicrobial technology works to inhibit the growth and reproduction of bacteria, mold, and mildew on product surfaces.  Unlike disinfectants which provide a limited residual activity once the treated surface dries, integrated antimicrobial technology works to continuously minimize the presence of microbes throughout the entire lifecycle of a product.

photo, courtesy of  BASF–chemistry for a sustainable future

The Return of Noise Pollution

While it’s good to see the world trying to get back to normal, increasing traffic, engines revving, screeching brakes, roaring jets, and train horns blaring may also bring back disturbed sleep, decreased work productivity and elevated stress levels.  Studies have shown that 90% of exterior noise enters through the windows, not the walls.  To the rescue, Soundproof Windows, Inc., has adapted recording studio window soundproofing technology to create a secondary soundproofing window that installs inside, behind the existing window.  The inner window essentially reduces noise from entering on three fronts: the type of materials used to make the pane, the ideal air space between original window and insert, and loaded long-lasting seals.  The combination can reduce external noise by up to 95%.  The company has also created a “second sliding patio door” that can be similarly installed inside or outside an existing door to add soundproofing qualities.

High Value Assigned to “Simplification of Life”

With the kitchen considered the work hub and central gathering spot for most homeowners, Whirlpool Pro recommends built-in appliances to leave countertops clutter free. Coffee systems that fit seamlessly into the cabinetry rather than on the countertop are one example.  Newer appliances are designed to help streamline cooking and cleanup. Increasing cabinet space and including organizers inside of them help keep kitchens, baths and other rooms more clutter-free.

An article in the Washington Post titled, “What today’s builders have (mostly) forgotten” cited that garages being too narrow is  an un-needed source of stress, requiring passengers to get out of the car before it’s pulled into the garage and the driver to squeeze out with only 24 inches of space between the side of the car and the inside wall of the garage.  Added garage space and better attic access can eliminate the expense and inconvenience of off-site storage.  The Post article also reminds builders that a stairway leading to attic storage space, makes it easy to store seasonal items and a stairway provides safer access.  The Post goes on to say that sensory experiences like being able to open a window to watch the rain are gone with the disappearance of generous roof overhangs.  It points out that larger front porches, originally a way to keep doors dry, had the side benefit of encouraging interaction with the neighbors.

 

Search “cloffice” on Pinterest for a plethora of ideas for turning closet space into an office space that can be nicely closed off when you’re ready to relax or entertain.

Open Space Can Be Too Open Sometimes

Hardware Resources’ “No Wiggle” magnetic knife organizer soft-close pullout has a double-sided magnetic bar to accommodate blades up to 9″ with a 6″ handle. Rear plastic insert holds additional steak knives and utensils

Where open concept floorplans have been the cat’s meow of design for a few decades at least, changes lie ahead as the work-from-home trend continues.  The trend also means family members are spending more time together at home overall; this may also mean extended family living under one roof, too.  The need for flexible private spaces is now underscored.

Converging pocket doors are one solution that is gaining traction.  They can offer the best of both worlds to transform connecting rooms into separate ones when privacy is needed. Modern hardware prevents the doors from jumping off the track. Available soft-close mechanisms works just like your soft-close cabinet drawer closers to prevent door slamming and pinched fingers.  Pocket, sliding and wall-mounted doors open effortlessly and close quietly and securely with just the touch of a fingertip.

Mental Well-Being At Home

Science proves that the lighting of our home environment can have a direct impact on our well-being.  The human biological system craves contrast between exposure to light and dark; without it, our body’s natural circadian rhythm can be disturbed. This is important because our circadian rhythm plays an important role in keeping us happy and healthy, controlling important processes like sleep, body temperature, immune response, and cognitive performance.

Research shows that eyes are most sensitive to blue light– the kind emitted from TV, phone and laptop screens, which is why watching TV or using your phone before bed can impact your sleep. The latest “smart light bulbs” use long wavelength orange and yellow light, along with contrasting violet light—the colors occurring naturally at sunrise and sunset—to either wind-down or wake-up your body clock. Users connect to the smart bulb with an app and set it to suit their schedule and sleep preferences. The bulb creates a lighting schedule and runs through three modes each day: wake, active, and calm.  The bulb appears as a regular white light while subtly adjusting the warmth or coolness and brightness throughout the day.

Watch Johnson Hardware’s1060 Soft-Close Pocket Door Hardware installation video. 

See the installation of FREEDiM Wireless Door Sensors from Tresco Lighting allowing inside cabinet lighting to be controlled by multiple doors with up to (4) sensors paired to a single receiver.

2022’s Trending Paint Colors Set The Tone

While we abandon the colder tones of grey and white, warmer variations of the neutral palette remain the popular and safe choice in common areas.  However, darker and richer colors are emerging in those highly valued more private areas of the home—libraries and studies and particularly bedrooms.   Dunn-Edwards’ pick for 2022 color of the year is a warm, earthy and sophisticated shade of brown that it recommends pairing with either light breezy neutrals or vibrant jewel tones for a more dramatic and luxe feel. Sherwin Williams’ Evergreen Fog is a mid-tone gray-green shown with beige, camel, or coffee brown accent colors. Noting that online searches for green paint colors have more than doubled since 2020, Glidden named “Guacamole” is its color pick for 2022.   Benjamin Moore’s picks for next year also follow the green trend—it shows a silvery green paired with a rich dark sage green shade to add warmth and depth to a monochromatic palette.  Behr’s green is a cool refreshing green reminiscent of sea glass, while PPG goes with a soft, organic shade of green called Olive Sprig.

Sherwin Williams’ Evergreen Fog is a nourishing and sophisticated gray-green.

THE BOTTOM LINE:  The 2022 definition of “dream home” isn’t over the top.  It’s not about bells and whistles or overly ornate; nor is totally minimalistic the trend any longer.  The new definition has more to do with a safe and clean environment with space, storage, daylight, fresh air and warm colors.  Future-proof your business by bringing all of this into the picture while demonstrating your attention to the details that make it eco-friendly, energy efficient and easy to maintain, and you’ve got the winning ticket.

Download the article from Building Savvy magazine