As architects we love to pioneer fresh ideas, but our job is also to give our clients what they want. That's why I was glad to see some of these trends in AIA’s (American Institute of Architect's) Home Design Trends Survey for the first quarter of 2009:

63 percent of respondents saw consumer interest in-home accessibility increasing
More homes are being designed so that is easier for elderly folks or people with disabilities to navigate them. Most or all of the living space is focused on a single floor; door, hallway and bathroom widths are widen enough to accommodate wheelchairs.

We like this trend because of the long-term focus. Many people may not require accessibility now, but as they age, sell their homes, or have disabled visitors remodeling won't be required to fit new needs.

Two-thirds of residential architects report increasing interest in low-maintenance landscaping (e.g. xeriscaping)
"Xeriscaping" literally means "dry landscaping" and is also refered to as water-conserving landscapes, drought-tolerant landscaping, zeroscaping, and smart scaping. Native plants are the focus here instead of plants which depend on daily waterings from a sprinkler.

We like this trend because it is eco-friendly and economical - so much water is wasted keeping large lawns alive! Additionally, the xeriscaping is much more natural and it really is beautiful.