What Your Home Will Look Like In 2015

It's not the house of the future. More like the house of the near-future. It will be smaller and more energy efficient (but don't worry, you can keep your walk-in closet).

Here at FastCompany we often write about futurist predictions of life in 20, 30, even 100 years down the line. But the National Association of Home Builders is offering up a vision of how we'll live in just four years—and it's a little different than what you might expect.

The NAHB sent out a survey last year that asked members—designers, architects, manufacturers, and more— what they think homes will look like in 2015. Some of the results aren't that surprising. The survey reveals that the average single-family home is likely to drop to 2,150 square feet from 2,400 square feet today, probably as a result of tough economic times and rising energy prices.

That drop in square footage will lead to the living room disappearing altogether, instead being swallowed up by the kitchen or family room to form a single "great room." Other features that may become increasingly uncommon include sunrooms, dining rooms, media rooms, mudrooms, and skylights. Laundry rooms and walk-in closets aren't going anywhere but on the whole, it looks like Americans will scale back. McMansions may give way to more sensible living arrangements.

A more important future trend is the use of resource-efficient features. NAHB members imagine that dual flush toilets, low-flow faucets, low-E windows, powerful insulation, and Energy Star home ratings will all grow in popularity. Solar systems may also become popular features, but wind and geothermal energy won't be widespread—unsurprising since there are already so many cash-saving ways for homeowners to install solar systems, but not for other renewable energy sources.

We have a few other "home of the future" predictions that aren't included in the survey: increased use of "smart" appliances, sexy thermostats, and if we're lucky, self-cleaning kitchen counters.

[Image: Flickr user Jeremy Levine Design]

Reach Ariel Schwartz via Twitter or email.

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  • Philip Petrino

    Interesting article, and comments as well. I especially like the comment-"it reminds me of my high school biology lab". The misconception is that to accomplish this type of design in a home it has to feel like a converted loft. People need to feel the freedom to adopt their style into these concepts. Think of the bungalows of the 1900's to 1930's, or the "keeping" rooms of the original colonial houses-which were essentially what we now call great rooms.

  • christian gladu

    As a designer we have been I have been promoting this for years and since the housing implosion we have seen a shift towards smaller more energy efficient homes. I think the biggest change has been people are thinking about their home as a place to live first and an investment second. There was so much pressure during the housing boom to build bigger cheaper houses. Essentially the spec housing market made spectators out of everyone. After 22 years of designing houses for a living my best piece of advice is build a house that works for you and don't spend all of you energy focusing on resale or what the next person will want. Trust me design sells and if you spend the time and energy designing a great house size does not matter.Energy efficiency is a no brainer; if you build a smaller well insulated and sited house you will be well on your way to owning house you will  likely never want to sell.
    Now we need to get banks and appraisers to see the value sin smaller houses and the government to stop encouraging people to build bigger houses with massive interest deductions on large inefficient houses.

  • Joey

    Trends for future home designs, including low e windows, insulation, energy star rated products, and more.  Sears home Improvement offers all of these with their selection of products.  Contact me at www.searshomeimprovementkc.com to schedule a free, no obligation in home consultation.

  • Deena McClusky

    I've been saying for years that living rooms needed to disappear. They are by far the most pointless feature of the average home.

  • Michael Brown

    The housing trend always has been and always will be tied directly to income.  I, for one, will be snapping up one of those 'McMansions' the moment my net worth exceeds a predetermined marker. 

    The house showcased here, though, reminds me of my high school biology lab.

  • Ella Stelter

    I'd like to think that we are moving towards quality over quantity.  Hopefully architectural design will also become more accessible so we can stop building such garbage.  I think we have a lot of positive changes in store as we rethink what we value in housing.

    I hope to work towards this goal with my new project, Nestiv.  It is an online architectural marketplace.  Architects can submit designs for sale.  Check it out! http://nestiv.com