Designing Homes for the Modern Family
Despite many differences, today’s homeowners have a few shared priorities.
Family structures have changed quite a bit over the years. Now, multiple generations, family, and friends gather under one roof. Evolving family dynamics, technology, and consumer preferences have all shifted the way homes are designed and built. However, today’s diverse homeowners do have a few things in common.
Kitchens are the hub of the home
Today’s kitchen likely also serves as a living room, family room, and office, according to a recent Houzz survey. Ample and comfortable spaces for families to gather is a must. Additionally, kitchen fixtures such as cabinets and appliances must not only fit in with the broader environment of the home, they must also be flexible across design changes. For example, the satin finish in the new Whirlpool® Fingerprint Resistant Black Stainless Steel Kitchen Suite was designed to blend with various colors and finishes for a sleek, integrated look.
Technology simplifies lives
Consumers of all ages want technology to simplify their lives and help them save time on everyday tasks. According to one survey, more than 73 percent of consumers* use a smartphone or tablet in the kitchen to assist with choosing a recipe, preparation, and cooking. However, different generations have different ideas of how to interact with technology. When designing the newest Whirlpool brand appliances, designers were tasked with ensuring the appliances’ user interfaces were simple and easy to navigate for first-time users. The new suite also intuitively learns habits to adapt to families’ daily routines. Features such as Scan-to-Cook, integration with voice controlled connected devices and Amazon Dash replenishment present easier ways to automatically control appliances.
Personalization is key
Families today want to create a personalized space that feels unique to them. Millennials, especially, have made it clear they want their homes to be more customized and less “cookie cutter,” according to a recent Better Homes & Gardens survey. Connectivity can play an important role in personalization. For example, the Whirlpool Smart Kitchen Suite remembers behaviors and saves favorites based on common routines – from what families cook, when they cook and how they cook to tracking water consumption. Smart technology provides personalized, behavior-based or performance-based recommendations and helpful reminders to break down barriers and enable features that deliver the best performance.
Today’s family continues to evolve, creating a diverse set of perspectives on what it means to own a home. Now, consumers are looking for options to express this diversity in their homes while simplifying their lives and will gravitate toward spaces and products that cater to his desire.
* Source: Home & Garden Design Ideas, June 2015 (from Verizon Wireless Device Survey)