The AIA Home Design Trends Survey, released yesterday, reported that as the housing industry continues to recover, homeowners are exhibiting a renewed interest in upgrades, including special function rooms, smart home automation features, and products that promote sustainability. The survey covers activity during the second quarter of 2014 with a panel of more than 500 architecture firms that concentrate on residential design.

The AIA’s data indicates that special home features, which often disappear during recessions in order to managing costs, are now resurfacing in new and remodeled homes. A reemerging interest in home design has benefited residential architecture firms across the country, as billings for these types of firms have been on the rise. Project inquiries and design contracts have also been trending upwards to levels not seen since before the housing recession.

The AIA reports that with the developing recovery of the second or vacation home market, residential architects are reporting improvement in every major housing and home improvement sector—the first time they have reported across-the-board gains since 2005.

One finding highlighted in the AIA's press release is the trend towards the flexibility of accommodating a multigenerational household. To support the needs of aging relatives, many homeowners have added separate living quarters and remodeled to ensure handicap accessibility.

Here are some of other key takeaways from the AIA Home Design Trends Survey: