modern farmhouse home building trend 2020 by demotte architects in connecticut

Home Building Predictions For 2020

The pandemic that’s sweeping across the world is clearly having an impact on both the architectural profession & the construction industry here in the U.S.

Prior to the pandemic, interest rates were low, employment was high, & there was stability in the market. All that has changed, but these “were” the predictions for the coming year & beyond. We’ll have to see how they’re affected once the dust settles…

Build to rent:

This major trend started in 2019 & may very well be here to stay for a while. Single-family homes across the country are being built to rent as opposed to owned, which was unheard of in the past.

Rental operators like the idea of buying new houses to rent as opposed to buying existing houses that need work, & large scale investors see houses as a horizontal apartment complex.


Think of “suburbia for hipsters”… cool suburbs centered around creative office hubs.

With the rise of connectivity & smart home tech, today’s younger buyers can afford to move farther from job centers since they’re working from home & don’t have to commute.

The return to urban centers:

Millennials (24-39) & Generation Z (8-24) buyers are entering the market in record numbers, so the location that home builders are targeting has changed. A good portion of these young home buyers want to live close to mass transportation, shopping & entertainment… everything within walking distance, with no need for a car.

It’s the opposite of suburban sprawl, as the trend is to move back to the city. This trend is also happening with empty-nesters who no longer want the big house & property that’s a 20-minute drive from town.

Smaller, more efficient designs:

Construction costs keep getting more expensive, so the only way to make houses affordable is to build smaller houses. Great rooms & open floor plans are still trending with smaller “right-sized homes” with a more efficient use of space & no need for redundant spaces or rarely used rooms.

This is the opposite of the past long-lived trend in the US, where house sizes were typically increasing & not decreasing. Time will tell if this smaller house size trend continues… is bigger always better?

Modern farmhouse, craftsman style, & cottages:

The go-to favorites these days are these styles that are rooted in American architecture. The influence of these styles might be attributed to all the home improvement TV shows, & is seen on everything from the exterior design, floor plan layout, furniture, & finishes.

As popular as these styles are, designers are having fun with modern interpretations of these classic designs by incorporating elements of mid-century modern & industrial. Shaker style cabinets, industrial lighting, & reclaimed lumber are still getting widely used.


Color this year is all about bold monochromatics, with the color choices being anything but neutral.

Gray is becoming passé, but black is back.

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DeMotte Architects specializes in residential architecture with projects throughout Fairfield County, Westchester County, and surrounding communities.

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