6 Design Trends for New Home Communities

KGA’ers John Guilliams and Kiley Baham recently had the opportunity to join the Denver Metro SMC (Sales & Marketing Council) Board on a trip to visit some of Southern California’s newest master planned communities. 11 communities, over 30 models and countless flights of stairs later, we are excited to share with you their top 6 takeaways on the latest design trends for new home communities.

The first 3 trends focus on community amenities and how new communities are setting themselves apart. “Look around todays new neighborhoods, and you will see the picket fences, playground swing sets, and institutional swimming pools of past decades being replaced with innovation & excitement. I was blown away by the creativity – and the fun to be had! – at some of these new Master Planned communities. These new communities, or the ‘new Mayberry’ as I like to call it, reveal the new direction Americans want to live.” says John Guilliams.

1. The New Community Center

The community center is no longer a vacant rarely used space meant for the occasional HOA meeting, (which in and of itself has taken on a new look.) This space is now activated with Tap Rooms, Libraries and Arcades.

Community Center with Tap Room

2. Reimagined Playgrounds – for Kids and Adults

Us Boomers can only be envious of the playgrounds kids have today. Treehouses that have access for everyone, zip lines, and multipurpose play courts that include games we never even thought of. But don’t despair, there are now playgrounds for grownups! Bocce ball, ping pong, green houses, and even hammock parks – new types of outdoor playgrounds are emerging that cater to everyone who is young at heart.

Community Greenhouse

3. Exercise Under the Sun

You can now exercise under the sun! We are seeing communities offering creative outdoor exercise options for fresh air lovers. A great secondary benefit of these outdoor exercise areas is the opportunity to connect with neighbors and foster a sense of community. We all know how important exercise is, and it’s great to see new communities making it easier – and more fun! – to work out.

4. Higher Density with Spaces that Live Larger

High density neighborhoods are becoming increasingly common, even outside the city. These spaces are no longer the small, dark tunnel-like townhomes of the past. High density housing can now offer similar benefits as pricier single family homes! Think open floorplans with kitchens that connect to the living spaces, plenty of natural light from at least 2 exterior walls, shaded outdoor patios and appropriately sized bedroom suites with plenty of room to spread out. It is no wonder homeowners of all ages are flocking to higher density neighborhoods for the convenient low-maintenance lifestyle and modern floorplans.

5. Larger Volumes in Living and Circulation Spaces

Gone are the days of the 8’ ceiling. Main floor living spaces with high or vaulted ceilings give the appearance and feeling of a larger room, and provide more opportunities to allow in natural light.  Check out the window placement in some of these stairwells – stairs and circulation spaces are great areas to take advantage of and allow in additional natural light without compromising privacy, making even small spaces feel light and airy.

6. Enhanced Outdoor Living Spaces

Even though many people no longer want the responsibility of a large yard, an outdoor connection is still key. Our beautiful Colorado climate is admittedly different than Southern California, but it doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy outdoor living almost year round – hey, we recently had an 81 degree day in the end of November! From interior courtyards and patios to roof top decks, private outdoor living spaces in high density neighborhoods are an important selling point for today’s buyer.

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