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The Biggest House Plan Trends Of 2023, According To Experts

In the past year, we’ve seen floor plan trends that started in 2020 like work-from-home spaces, larger pantries, and multi-generational living continue to rise alongside the resurgence of past trends including formal dining rooms, more closed floor plans, and expansive porches. Here are the nine biggest house plan trends in 2023, according to architects, designers, and builders.

Stepping Away from Open-Concept Design

The debate for open vs. closed floor plans isn’t going anywhere. While open floor plans will remain popular in many ways, like a family room or breakfast nook connected to the kitchen, there is new interest in going back to traditional layouts. “This past year I have seen the future of floor plan design become a blend of openness and definition,” says Leigh Misso, owner of River Brook Design & Construction. “Rather than vast, uninterrupted spaces that have been trending for the past 5-10 years, homeowners are gravitating towards layouts that integrate distinct spaces, each serving a unique purpose yet contributing to an overall sense of unity.” Shared spaces are more open for flow, while tucked away rooms like a study or dining room offer a little more privacy and room for bolder design choices, making each feel unique. “In our opinion, the spatial definition in a home adds a layer of sophistication to home interiors,” says Misso.

Focusing on Built-In Features

Whether you’re making the most of limited square footage or looking for unique ways to customize your home, built-ins can do it all. While some features can be added later, many such as paneled appliances, space-saving bookcases, under-counter dog crates, and cabinetry for extra storage or to display favored treasures should be considered when designing a floor plan.

Photo: Hector Sanchez

Turning Attention to the Pantry 

“We have seen a huge emphasis on the pantry. For many, it’s really a second kitchen that houses many appliances including an extra refrigerator, oven, sink, and dishwasher,” says architect Alyson Sailer of Sailer Design. Walk-in pantries have well exceeded their original purpose of housing shelf-stable goods and have become working pantries—a multi-purpose storage and back kitchen (also commonly called a scullery or galley kitchen). They keep the mess out of sight while the kitchen is used primarily for gathering, entertaining, and active cooking.

Prioritizing Aging-In-Place

Beyond mother-in-law suites and first floor primary bedrooms, new house plans are using universal design concepts for long-term accessibility. These forever homes go beyond thinking about guests, whether they’re live-in family members or visiting friends, and are designed with wider doorways, zero-entry showers, and single level, multi-generational living in mind.

Brie Williams; Styling: Page Mullins

Embracing Eat-In Kitchens

“Most of our clients have one large table in the main family room and kitchen area. More recently, clients are asking for a cozy spot off the kitchen to eat, like a sunroom or a built-in banquet,” says Sailer. Just because the formal dining room is making a resurgence, that doesn’t mean cozy breakfast nooks and kitchen island seating should disappear. Eat-in kitchens are the perfect balance of convenience and comfort right in the heart of the home.

Creating Dual Purpose Rooms

Rethinking underused rooms, giving a space more than one purpose, and maximizing square footage might not be new within the past year, but ever since 2020 rooms like dedicated workspaces and home gyms have only grown in popularity. While many homeowners have given bonus rooms more intention or turned closets into creative desk spaces that can easily be hidden away, others are now adding home offices and workout rooms to the floor plan from the get-go that can also operate as a quiet study or guest room.

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Page Mullins

Pushing Spaces to Work Harder

Though the concept of welcoming mudrooms and fully built-out laundry rooms are nothing new, they’re no longer seen as just functional, behind-the-scenes spaces. As more attention to detail is being paid to these areas, they’re becoming more spacious and customized with built-in benches and cubbies, dedicated pet washes, and bonus appliances such as utility sinks.

Bringing the Formal Dining Room Back

While formal dining rooms are often thought of as a very traditional and often elevated room, that doesn’t mean they need to be reserved for special guest use only. “Bringing people back to more of a communal dining space allows people to reconnect,” says principal designer of Thomas Guy Interiors Lance Thomas. “Even a casual meal in a formal dining room allows you to reconnect with people and disconnect from technology.”

Laurey W. Glenn; Stylist: Matthew Gleason

Making the Most of Porches

From screened-in to sleeping, one trend that is never going away is a Southerner’s love of porches. While they might not be a new trend, there is a heightened focus by homeowners to incorporate porches into floor plans to make the most of indoor-outdoor living. “Having an expansive front porch and a deep and wide screened back porch essentially doubles your shared living space,” says architect Luke Sippel of Lake + Land Studio.

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