Remember the formal living room? It’s gone. The formal dining room. Almost gone. Eight foot ceilings? Now, they are nine and ten tall with at least two-story entries. How about that two-story arch over the front door? Gone. Now, it’s all about the amount and type of glass in the front door and you get to paint it your favorite bright color if your HOA will let you!

But the biggest and least talked about change is what has happened to the master bathroom. It is now almost as large as the master bedroom itself. Gone are those twenty foot wide and deep master bedrooms. They are definitely more cozy at 14 x 16, the ideal size for a king size bed with matching head board and night stands. And the master bath? It  definitely has five components—tub, shower, double sinks and a private water closet. Add to that a rain shower fixture, double shower heads, a solid surface bench and perhaps a custom mud pan and unframed glass door or a simple walk-in and the master bath shower has become your in-home spa in neutral colors with a touch of ocean green and blue. Cabinets are raised off the floor to create a feeling of spaciousness and windows surround the tub, whether tiled in or free standing. Solid surface countertops and a tile floor are a must.  Gone, also, is that l980’s plate glass mirror. Double vanities require hand crafted custom built mirrors or pick out your favorite framed mirror at Pier 1.

And, then, there is the wide open kitchen with a free standing island large enough to seat at least four family members and preferably six. Solid surface, yes. Quartz is rapidly replacing granite because it has less movement unless buyers upgrade to black granite with just a hint of fleck but make sure it is not shiny. The must have secondary bedrooms are a minimum size now of 10 x 10. No more 9 foot bedrooms, even if they are a legal size. Four bedrooms up is the preferred configuration. Even savvy empty nesters understand it’s good for future resale.

And now for the garage. It just can’t get too big. Years ago, I remember when John Hagmeier introduced the three car garage in Kempton Park. It outsold all the resale in Kempton Hills. Now, we’re seeing four cars!   Woodworking.  Antique cars. Skis. Tennis rackets, you name it.  Alaskans love their toys. Paint the floor. Texture and paint the walls. Add a sink with hot and cold running water. Hook up the cable and WiFi and it’s the man cave. Home has become the heart of our everyday life. It’s  a comforting refuge from the ever changing world around us.