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Survey shows increasing demand for one-level living

More people say ‘so long’ to their two-story house

Created date

November 14th, 2014

Space was foremost on Dan and Lucia Valerio’s minds when they decided to take a look at an Erickson Living community in New Jersey. Their two-story house of nearly 40 years in Morristown included an attic and a basement “where a lot of things collected,” Lucia says.
After touring several model homes, the couple chose a two-bedroom apartment home with a spacious sunroom. “It has plenty of space for us, and we were finally able to get rid of all the things we never used,” they say.
Demand for one-level living soars
The Valerios are not alone in wanting a little more convenience in their living space.
A survey by The American Institute of Architects (AIA) finds an increasing demand for single-level home designs, not just among older Americans, but Baby Boomers as well. One-level homes provide greater accessibility and are generally more cost-effective—benefits that appeal to busy people of all ages.
New homes are also moving away from the boxy rooms, narrow hallways, and separate living and dining rooms of years past in favor of larger, more flexible spaces. In fact, 66% of firms surveyed by the AIA report that more homes are being designed with this open space layout.
‘Right-sizing’ for the future
“Moving to Lantern Hill isn’t about downsizing to a smaller space,” says Kathy Banks, the community’s sales counselor. “It’s about ‘right-sizing’ to a space that better fits your life today and your future goals.
“Basically, our architects have taken the most-used rooms of your house and laid them out on a single level,” Banks says. 
Looking toward the future, the Valerios could see where certain elements of their two-story house would eventually cause inconveniences. “I don’t have any difficulty with stairs now,” Dan Valerio says, who is the picture of health and energy. “But it’s a pleasure not to think about them.”
Before they moved to one of Erickson Living’s New Jersey communities, they began to notice the growing inconveniences of two-level living. “It would never fail—I’d go down to the basement for something and when I came back up to the first or second floor, I’d realize I needed something else, too. So it was up and down, up and down,” he says. “There’s no question that I don’t hesitate to do things now that we’re living on one level.”
Staying on top of design trends
Lantern Hill is on pace with all of the latest home design trends. Open-concept floor plans provide spacious living areas, and higher-end finishes give each home a distinctive feel.
“All of our apartments will feature this open design,” says Banks. “And with more than 25 floor plans to choose from, you’ll find your perfect home space at Lantern Hill.”

The advantages of one-level living
More and more Americans are opting for the accessibility and convenience of one-level living. Compare the following floor plan of a typical two-story house to the Hathaway, a one-level, open-concept home at Lantern Hill, in New Providence, N.J., opening next fall.

Typical two-level house
• Laundry is located downstairs in the basement.
• Many older houses have small kitchens with little counter and cabinet space.
• Formal living and dining areas boxed into separate small rooms that are inconvenient for entertaining.
• Extra, unused bedrooms require extra cleaning.
• Older houses often have small closets.
• Many individual rooms create a cramped atmosphere and block natural light.

Open-concept floor plan at Lantern Hill
• Washer and dryer are tucked discretely in a utility room with cabinet space so there is no need to heft heavy laundry baskets up and down the stairs.
• Open-concept kitchen is designed with extra counter and cabinet space that flows into dining and living great room.
• Master suite features large walk-in closet, eliminating under-the-bed storage.
• Bright and airy living area opens up to dining area and kitchen to keep entertaining easy.
• Guest room provides same-level storage and easily doubles as den or home office.
• Large picture windows expand space and create a bright, open, and positive atmosphere.