According to the AIA’s recent 2012 Home Design Trends Survey, as summarized in an online AIA article, Mud Rooms/Drop Off Zones stand out as the sole “special function” spaces that are increasing in popularity among the three most desirable spaces included in home remodels and additions.
Early in 2007, I named, defined, and described the Drop Off Zone in the Drawing Board column of Fine Homebuilding Magazine as “a front-room feature that caters to the gadgets and trappings that accompany you whenever you enter or leave the house.” Here are a few examples I have designed:
design sketch for Drop Off Zone shown below in photo
Along with Drop Off Zones, the survey cites home offices and outdoor living areas/outdoor rooms as the other two top choices for clients’ remodeling projects, though they are not currently growing in popularity.
As compared to new construction, “improvements to existing homes remain the strongest sector of the housing market…(encompassing) kitchen and bath remodels, as well as additions and alterations to existing homes.” In general, people are concerned with energy efficiency, and design for aging in place.
All of these types of improvements are key components of projects in my practice of architecture.