Marcus Hiles says that homes are being built with open floor plans and adaptable rooms that can easily be adjusted to accommodate new arrivals for growing families, as flexibility becomes an increasingly important part of renter’s home-finding requirements. The idea of implied spaces—areas marked by different materials or colors in the ceilings or floors—is a chic way to make interiors appear larger and avoid traditional obstructions like multiple walls. Cutting-edge design is all about breaking through barriers: larger windows bring in extra natural light and often replace walls outright, while helping to meld the indoors with the outside world. In order to make homes desirable places to spend time, hot tubs, fitness areas and spas are appearing more frequently in private residences, making relaxation and fitness easier than ever. And as the habit of cooking gourmet-worthy meals has grown, kitchens have followed suit: with restaurant-grade appliances and furniture like islands, they are typically allotted additional square footage to become the center of the house, overtaking dining and living rooms as the place families come together.

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