AIA Home Trends: Outdoor Kitchens Are Still Hot

March 26, 2019—Outdoor cooking spaces are topping the list of kitchen trends for the second year in a row, according to new survey results from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The Home Design Trends Survey for the fourth quarter* of 2018—focusing on kitchens and baths—also found that bathroom sizes are increasing. Other findings show shrinking project backlogs among architecture firms from their peak in the first quarter of 2018.

“In addition to overall slowing in design activity, all major residential sectors reported considerably slower growth or declines,” notes AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “Reporting for homes designed for first time buyers and those designed for second or vacation homes also continued to weaken this quarter.”

Other findings of the report indicate:

  • The share of firms reporting an increase in the number of kitchen areas continued to grow this quarter while kitchen sizes continued to stabilize.
  • Larger walk-in showers are again reported as a leading feature for bathrooms; topping the list of bathroom trends along with stall showers without tubs.

Residential architecture firm business conditions:

  • Billings: 51.7
  • Inquiries for new projects: 50.9
  • Regional averages: South (59.2), Midwest (54.7), Northeast (48.9), West (43.7)

The AIA Home Design Trends Survey is conducted quarterly with a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate their practice in the residential sector. More information on the latest survey results can be reviewed on AIA’s website.

*Starting with the Q1 2019 report, AIA is reorganizing the reporting period of its Home Design Trends Survey. Surveys will now be conducted among firms during the same quarter that the previous year’s results are released. Going forward, the quarterly breakdowns are revised as follows:

  • Q1 – Kitchen and Bath;
  • Q2 – Home and Property Design;
  • Q3 – Home Features; and
  • Q4 – Neighborhood and Community Design.

Report results prior to 2019 were organized as follows:

  • Q1 – Home and Property Design;
  • Q2 – Home Features;
  • Q3 – Neighborhood and Community Design; and
  • Q4 – Kitchen and Bath


Founded in 1857, AIA consistently works to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings, neighborhoods, and communities. Through more than 200 international, state and local chapters, AIA advocates for public policies that promote economic vitality and public wellbeing.

AIA provides members with tools and resources to assist them in their careers and business as well as engaging civic and government leaders and the public to find solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation, and world. Members adhere to a code of ethics and conduct to ensure the highest professional standard

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