Mark Kooyman
8 min readFeb 26, 2024

2024 House & Home Trends

I subscribe to Homes & Gardens Magazine and relish the times when each month’s issue arrives.

The current issue features wallpaper designs, country gardens and faux wood integrated into room space.

Noting high tech or AI about it. Home space is constantly evolving… but more circular than linear.

Mid-century remains hot, but the colors of the ’80s and even some of the features of the ’90s are coming back.

As much as intown neighborhoods are charming, for so many Millennials and even empty-nesters, intown neighborhoods are price inaccessible.

The National Association of REALTORS released a report that 13% of home buyers purchased a new home, and 87% purchased a pre-owned home in 2023.

Pre-owned homes are being renovated, updated and re-designed. Rooms and layouts are being re-purposed.

Home Ownership & Generational Groups

Demographically, there was a sharp drop in Millennials purchasing homes as home prices exploded and interest rates increase.

Millennials represented the largest single generational home-buying group in 2021 commanding 43% of all home sales in the U.S. But in 2022, it slid to 34% and last year dropped again to 32%.

Boomers — those age 59–77 years old in 2023 rose to 39% and now represent the largest generational group purchasing new homes. The report goes on to showcase that two-thirds of Boomers are purchasing homes in cash.

GenXers — those age 46–58 years old in 2023 accounted for 24% of home sales. The same percentage they represented in 2022 and 2021.

GenZers and Tweeners in the age 18–28 year old range in 2023 accounted for 2% of home sales with the remaining 3% being purchased by matures age 78+.

Here are ten of the evolving trends…

#1 — White is out and signature color statements are in.

All white is a blank canvas. Not only are earth tones in, but so are bold and moody colors.

While accent walls are an initial step in the color pool for some, others are painting everything… walls, trim, ceilings and floors.

Some sources call it “color saturation” and others just call it a “bold personal statement.”

Many Millennials purchasing pre-owned homes do not have any cash left to rip out the dated kitchens and so the bold colors work fast on cabinets to transport the look into today.

There are designer lines of colors and colors of those hip hop in music and on-stage.

Colors can be customized and one’s personal color groups are being stored for touch-ups/

#2 — Family Rooms and Living Rooms are back… with a slight variation!

As more and more Millennials make babies and the babies become toddlers and the toddlers become pre-schoolers, space allocation for gatherings emerges as a critical need.

Many sources say that the Pandemic was a catalyst of Family Rooms and Living Rooms coming back as individuals dwelled together too much of the time in shared … and often cramped… space.

Other articles cite one of the parents working from home drove the need for more divisional space in what was marketed as the “keeping room.”

If you Google the topic, articles pre-2023 champion how many rooms of the past will never come back.

And then the Millennials started making kids and the babies born prior to the Pandemic grew up into pre-schoolers.

In a Gallop survey conducted in Fall 2023, Millennials voiced the priority of finding both family room and living room space. With “living rooms” representing “retreat space away from the kids” and “space to read and relax.”

When asked if living rooms represented “formal space.” 74% of the respondents voiced not only a “no,” but a “no way!”

#3 — Home office space is evolving

The long-held idea of dedicated room space for those working from home is cherished by many, but many are also finding space to dedicate to full-time home offices is harder and harder to find.

Home offices are evolving. As home prices rapidly climb, finding affordable space for an office is becoming more and more difficult.

Many of the pre-owned homes that the majority of home buyers are moving into did not have any space dedicated for a home office or study.

New home-owners are challenged with using one of the bedrooms as the home office which is often located outside the main living areas.

If the home is not one of the “open floor plans,” a growing share of Millennials are converting over the dining room to that office space (see below).

A growing share of Millennials and GenXers who now work from home are finding that the isolation to a prior bedroom might be an option when in a Zoom conference call, but realize that in many co-working space, a quasi open office environment is more the norm.

And as babies come into the family, the work-from-home parents — mom or dad — are needing to be closer and more integrated in the family flow to parent the babies and pre-schoolers.

As a result, work space is evolving with closet-conversions, side tables and hutches with drop down desks.

#4 — Dining Rooms are out and being converted to other use

One of the housing trends that is likely to be long-term is the demise of the Dining Room.

Entertaining in the galley kitchens of the past was essentially impossible to do. Cooking itself was not hip and sharing the space with those being entertained with the manual process of cooking was far from chic.

Today, space is way more valuable and the allocation of full rooms for only occasional use is economically and operationally irrational to do.

In new homes, many floor plans combine dining space with living space. In pre-owned homes, the dining rooms are being converted into libraries, homework space for the kids, music rooms, craft rooms and even home exercise/meditation space.

I personally have a dining room and am in the process of converting it over into a sun room and reading room.

#5 — Wallpaper is back

Many thought it would never return. Then some thought it would be only used on an accent wall. And then some said that pastel and garden patterns might come back, but the 60s and 70s bold geometrics would never enter the scene.

Its all coming back.

Whole room space is getting papered over including the ceilings. Closets are getting papered. Space above the shower stalls. The insides of kitchen cabinets.

A house featured in Country Living magazine even had wallpaper panels on a screened porch.

Watch as wallpaper stores come back in local retail space and watch as those retail stores periodically host gallery showings.

Watch as recycled materials are used to make the wallpapers complete with organic, all natural colors!

As long as the inventory of available pre-owned homes remains low, there will be few hold-back concerns about selling a home with wallpaper left in place.

#6 — Bunk rooms are back in vogue

Just as the price per square footage is exploding, the idea of bunk rooms are becoming hip.

Bedrooms can become bunk rooms and house more than one child… all the way up to three or four!

Utility rooms and walk-in closets are getting converting to guest bunk rooms.

And many are coming complete with wallpaper, patterned curtains, internet access, piped in music and variable mood lighting.

There are some real estate agents I meet with regularly challenged with how to promote a bunk room and be able to use it as a selling advantage. As many share, it would be great to claim each bunk room and bunk bed as a “bedroom.”

Watch how the Millennial remodeled pre-owns get market as re-sales!

#7 — Garden space

Home gardening is hip and as Millennials make babies, the gardens become environmental “save the world from climate change” play grounds.

Empty-nesters are jumping on board too. And thanks to their taking shop classes, they own and know how to use the hoes, shovels, and planting shovels.

Millennials get their training at the local Ace Hardware stores each time they comeback to purchase another gardening tool.

And many across the generational mix are purchasing full garden plot seed kits on Amazon with shipping timed by the best weather forecast of when to plant the garden space.

Even if the homes are brand new with limited, if any yard space, gardens are getting planted in patio containers, and window boxes.

If space is truly an issue, more and more “rent a garden plot” entrepreneurs are sprouting up in-the-city as well as out-in-the-country along side the new, pop-up subdivisions. If you lease space in one of the out-in-the-country, you can even purchase locally cultivated, totally organic, cow manure to foster the growth of the tomato plants.

I have anchored a lot around new, young families, but we have to remember that its the Boomers specifically that are fueling the house & home market in 2024.

Here are three trends specifically driven by the Boomers…

#8 — Grandkid space

God love the emerging empty nest GenXerx who are going through the DTs of their kids finally leaving the house. Boomers, less concerned about their Millennial kids, are quickly becoming very 24/7 linked up with their grandkids.

In an article on home trends published in Elle Decor Magazines, many Boomer retirees are highlighted as “staying in place” in their 4 bedroom+ homes where the bedrooms are getting converted over to grandkid rooms.

Backyards are getting playgrounds. Dining rooms are being converted over to toy space. White walls are going pink and blue complete with whole walls painted with “black board” paint.

Grandkid space is forecast to grow into even more in the next few years and is likely to be an economic driver as more and more Boomers wonder what to do with all the equity that has exploded in their home finances.

#9 — Single level homes

Among the share of Boomers who elect to sell, the homes they seek are single level homes. Stairs are out and barn scale ceilings are in.

The challenge for many new home builders is how to build a single level home on an 50 feet x 50 feet lot in which the lot size is crafted to contain costs and the floor plan initially planned expands with a second story.

Some builders thought a “master-on-main” would be the answer and they are soon discovering that second floors are seen by many Boomers as “wasted space.”

I am working with a very innovative mayor right now of one of the fastest growth communities in the U.S. and he is passionate about designing a co-working, real functioning farm, Boomer+ housing development of farm-style single floor homes.

Ripping out walls has been a past rage in home remodeling. An emerging trend is ripping out ceilings and merging together second-story space into first-floor space.

#10 — Porches and patios

Not sure if its driven by the warmth of the sun or the freshness of the air or the peace of all natural music crafted by chirping birds, but porches and patios are hot right now with Boomers and retirees.

A survey conducted by HGTV revealed that Boomers in particular placed value on extended outdoor living space complete with an outdoor kitchen and broadcast view screen.

Some of the “Halfers” moving half-way back North out of Florida as well those migrating out of California are asking agents to only show them options that have covered and screened-in outdoor living space.

Pools are a tertiary requirement.

Perhaps the warmer winter months in the South help cultivate the trend, but this trend is even surfacing in the north where an outdoor fireplace and/or heat lamps are features in the outdoor space.

These are trends in housing, but they tell us a lot about cultural changes taking place around us.

Whether your brand is a house & home product or not … even a B2B brand … all of these trends are driving the headsets of your customers.

If you are interested in learning more, give me a call at 404.245.9378 or send my an Email at and let’s chat!

Mark Kooyman

CEO & Discovery Chief at EXPERIENCE Insight Group, Inc. In the business to discover and craft brand experiences that humans seek out and engage in.