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Jenni Nichols, Director of DesignLens from John Burns Real Estate Consulting

60% of buyers say homes that make us feel better is a priority.

In January 2023, the New Home Trends Institute (NHTI) released a Survey Insights Report on Healthy Homes which included insights from consumers on mental health and their homes.

Consistent with NHTI’s predictions in “23 Trends for 2023,” mental wellbeing tops the list of most important health and wellness factors, even ranking above physical health factors.

Here are 3 solutions and 3 inspiring and successful examples from NHTI’s DesignLens™ database that can take your homes and communities to the next level for mental health.

Cascades at Embrey Mill, Stafford, VA | Miller & Smith | KTGY | TRIO | Photography: Sanja Photo Arts

Problem 1: High-density land plans make access to outdoors/open space and plentiful natural light more challenging.

Solution 1: Use large windows to provide better access to nature and natural light, especially when direct access (via French or sliding doors) is not possible.

Inspiration: The Cascades at Embrey Mill utilized larger than typical windows throughout the home to fill the home with light and provide that connection to nature that consumers crave.

Lakehouse, Denver, CO | NAVA Real Estate Development | Stantec and Munoz + Albin | TRIO | Photography: David Lauer Photography and NAVA Real Estate Development

Problem 2: Social isolation is on the rise, a trend only accelerated by the pandemic. Technology is an imperfect solution, only partially making up for rising amounts of time spent working and playing at home.

Solution 2: Create more communal spaces that enhance connections, without feeling like forced socialization.

Inspiration: Lakehouse by NAVA Real Estate Development was designed with socialization in mind. From the main lobby to the outdoor terrace, nearly every public space within the community features comfortable seating that invites one to linger.

Crest Collection at Sterling Ranch, Littleton, CO | Pulte Homes | Pulte in-house architecture and interior design | Photography: Rocky Mountain Photography

Problem 3: We all crave a space where we can go to get some peace and quiet.

Solution 3: Create a sanctuary space. The bathroom is a great place to focus your attention as you create this peaceful escape within a home.

Inspiration: With the rise of the “everything shower” finding popularity on TikTok and even an entire session at the New Home Trends Summit dedicated to the aspirational bath, bathrooms have become so more than just utilitarian. Just because most people do not have an hour in their day to pamper themselves with an “everything shower,” that doesn’t mean you can’t create a spa-like bath to help that shorter shower feel just as special.

As we recover from the last several years, our definition of wellness has expanded into one that is softer, more forgiving, and more inclusive. Consider this as you merchandise or design your new homes and communities.

*Source: New Home Trends Institute by John Burns Research & Consulting, LLC November 2022 survey of 1,263 homeowners and single-family renters age 18+ with household income of $50,000+.

Jenni Nichols is the Vice President of DesignLens from John Burns Research & Consulting