Click to enlarge pictureEasy access (© JG Photography/Alamy)

© JG Photography/Alamy

Easy access

Accessibility is big and likely only to get bigger, says Kermit Baker, chief economist of the American Institute of Architects, which issues a quarterly Home Design Trends Survey. "It's strictly an aging-related thing: Boomers are getting older, and parents of boomers are getting older."

Baby boomers in particular are starting to think about what their homes need to look like if they're going to stay in them as the years advance. That means single-story homes, homes with grab bars in the bathroom, fewer stairs and perhaps even wheelchair ramps. In the AIA's most recent survey, almost half of the architects who responded said accessibility was a growing design priority.