Grand foyers are out, drop zones are in! A drop zone is a special room where you can dump all the stuff you and your family bring home every day. That’s according to homebuilders and remodeling experts. The "drop zone" is part of an overall home trend they’re seeing, that emphasizes practicality, over showing off. 

Thanks to the recession, people don’t want flashy interiors, they want useable space. So builders are shifting their focus away from dramatic features that nobody uses, to ones that accommodate the way families actually live. That means two-story grand entrances are out, who comes in the front door these days anyway? A grand foyer is meant to impress others, but it’s a waste of space, not to mention expensive to heat and cool! Also out: spaces for grandfather clocks, decorative knick-knacks and wedding china, stuff you look at but never touch - even the breakfast nook is going. Who needs it, when the kitchen, dining room and family room are combined. 

What’s in? Spaces for playing video games, for exercise equipment, for scrapbooking. We’re seeing more first-floor suites for an aging population, who may not be able to climb stairs in a few years. 

And maybe even an elevator shaft, if grandma moves in upstairs. Even Dad’s office has given way to what’s being called a “lifestyle center.” It’s a multi-functional room, typically off the kitchen, where Dad can work from home, kids can do homework and Mom can pay the bills and pin things on Pinterest. 

Another relic, big soaker tubs that take up valuable bathroom space, but never get soaked in. They’ve been replaced by state-of-the-art showers, digital systems that allow people to change the lighting, play music and turn on steam. The only type of tub that’s GAINING in popularity? Ones with drop-sides, so Grandpa doesn’t have to trip getting in or out of the tub.