A home is strong and steady, a place you can return to when you’re worn out and need to relax. It’s a place of memories, family, and laughter. But was it always this way?
It may seem like the purpose and meaning of a home has forever remained the same. It may surprise you to learn that this is not the case at all. Since the Parade of Homes began, layouts, homeowner preferences, and what families value most in their homes have completely shifted, from classic formal to modern comfort.
Immediately after World War II, homes were often separated into formal and informal spaces. Parlors were a popular entertaining space for guests, usually near the front door. The kitchen often remained exclusively for the cook, rather than a social place to gather and eat. Meals were enjoyed in the formal dining room to keep guests from seeing the chaos of the kitchen. Guests were welcomed into these formal spaces and were rarely allowed in the rooms designated to the family, like the living room and bedrooms.
Culture changes of the 1960s and 1970s brought changes to home layouts as well. As more women began to work, dinners became more of a family matter than a formal event. Kitchens began to open up so the whole family could help cook meals, and formal dining rooms decreased in popularity. While everyone still loved to host, it became more common to invite guests into the open kitchen rather than restricting them to a formal parlor.
Modern families of this era grew busier and busier. Often both parents worked, and kids were occupied with school, homework, sports, and friends. After a busy day, the family wanted to come home to comfort and relaxation, which is why homes of this time focused more on plush furniture, multiple TV spaces, and intimate places to gather. Media rooms, gyms, and spas started growing in popularity, and many families added fun amenities like ping-pong tables or pool tables to their homes. Instead of larger floor plans, families wanted smaller homes that showed their personalities and let them spend quality time with the people they loved.
In recent years, we have leaned deeper into the idea of a cozy, comfortable home. With the onset of working from home, many modern homes can accommodate every area of life. A large, private office — or two — is a necessity. Both partners can quietly work in their personal space from the comfort of their own home. Clean, simple designs and earth tones create a natural environment for the family.
The COVID-19 pandemic did not just create the need for a work-from-home environment. It changed the way homes are viewed as a whole. Since people began to spend so much time at home, they wanted their homes to be a place of health and relaxation, with all their favorite things. Luxurious amenities like pools and sport courts became the goal. Now, in the evenings, families can spend time in their at-home theater or private gym or host parties on their large backyard patio.
Over the past 75 years, the needs of families have changed. A home should be a place of comfort for you and your family, and modern homes accommodate your new lifestyle, providing luxuries so you don’t even need to step out your front door. What do you think the next housing trend will be?