Men may be from Mars and women from Venus but they both think a great kitchen is their No. 1 priority in a home, according to an informal survey conducted by two architects, an interior designer, and a home builder.
Even more interesting was that their ranking of priorities for other home features were almost evenly aligned. In fact, men and women shared the same top three priorities. In addition to kitchens, they ranked “function, function, function” at No 2 and “a wonderful master suite” No. 3.
The other seven items they chose for their lists were closely aligned in order of preference, except for the garage/workshop. That priority ranked last in the top 10 for women and seventh on the list for men.
Home builder Tony Crasi, architects Anne Postle and Jerry Gloss, and designer Doris Pearlman, revealed the results of their informal survey of 500 clients, friends, and fellows at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas Thursday, Jan. 24, during a session called: “He Said, She Said.”
While He and She said mostly the same things, they seemed to have different reasons for their rankings, said Crasi: “They got there on different paths.”
For instance, women and men polled ranked “a place to work” at close to the same level of importance, but the spaces they wanted differed. Women wanted command center–style areas near the kitchen at the heart of the house where they could listen for oven timers and dryer bells while watching the kids as they worked. Men preferred more traditional quiet spaces away from the fray, the presenters said.
Garages made the rankings for women because they are good for storage, create a sense of safety, and they’re practical in inclement weather. Men like garages for their toys.
There was one area of strong divergence. Women ranked having a space for guests as No. 9 on their priority lists while most men didn’t put it on their top 10 list at all. Men ranked home technology No. 10, while it was missing from the women’s top 10 list.
The items excluded from the lists of most men and women were green-ness, bonus space, and kids’ space. The thought among the panelists about why kids’ space and bonus space were excluded was that those polled most likely thought that kids’ space was already included on their wish list in other categories.
While the men and women surveyed as a whole seemed to be almost on the same page in home priorities, there were some interesting differences when the groups were sorted by age.
For instance, men and women under 30 truly could be from different planets. A wonderful master suite was most important to women of that age, while men wanted entertaining space. Men ranked outdoor living as their second favorite feature, while women preferred a great kitchen at the second spot. The only things they agreed on were “function, function, function” at No. 2 and the garage/workshop at No. 9.
While the survey results are interesting, Crasi warned they aren’t scientific. And things might be different in different parts of the country.
“What’s really important is you have got to know your own buyer,” Crasi said.
Teresa Burney is a senior editor at Builder.