I design a ton of stock home plans, taking care to ensure that each plan integrates modern features and materials in order to remain current with contemporary trends and technology. However, I tend to be conservative when it comes to many features that I would personally want in my dream home.
Here's a shortlist of ideas that I think are too niche to have mass appeal, but I'd personally love:
In-Closet Laundry +10sf/closet:
A stackable washer dryer set is becoming a must-have and it can actually save money.
Take a 3 bedroom home as an example. Traditionally a laundry room would be at least 60sf, but eliminating that and adding stacked laundry to each closet would only take up a total of 30sf (10sf/closet), which saves you ~30sf total. At $200/sf, that's $6000, which covers the additional cost of the appliances and plumbing rough-in. This setup can work for both walk-in and reach-in closets.
In addition to saving you time, if you have kids, it gives them an opportunity to learn the responsibility for their own laundry and saves you the time of sorting through your different house members' laundry.
Trash Chute & Containment Room +20sf:
I don't know about you, but I take the trash out every single day (and sometimes multiple times a day), because it is literally overflowing. A standard kitchen trash can and recycling bin just doesn't cut it anymore with the amount of packaging that we get with every online purchase (don't get me started on the diaper pail). A simple chute located off of the kitchen that allow extends up to the upper level(s) as needed and dumps into the rolling bin in a containment room in the adjoined garage. The top of the chute should ventilate through the roof (with a wind turbine driven exhaust) and the containment room should have a ducted source of make-up air from the outside to exhaust bad smells or harmful gases.
Barber Shop +30sf:
It sounds ridiculous but I just want a dedicated place to cut my kids hair that's easy to setup and clean up. A simple 3x8ft room located off of a central bathroom with a barbers' chair, a mirror, a small countertop and a trash can with broom. It's a fun luxury but probably not justified by the economics.
Package Handling Room +40sf:
Over the past 5 years our family has moved from purchasing 100% of our goods in store to maybe 10%. As a result we've seen the amount of packaging we have to handle go up by a factor of 10! The future is clearly one where we have to deal with a lot more cardboard, bubble wrap and containers than our houses were originally designed for. In addition, we need a space to package returns and gifts. A dedicated packaging handling room near the front door that has a 6ft table, tools to break down packages, baling equipment and a cabinet for packaging materials is fast becoming a necessity.
Scullery or Mess Kitchen +80sf:
I enjoy cooking, I really do. I even enjoy cleaning the dishes, but what I don't enjoy is the unsightly mess that both activities create. I look at this as a more utilitarian version of a butler's pantry. At a minimum, it should have a sink, and either dual dishwashers or a commercial dishwasher (the dream!). An 8ftx10ft galley design located off the back of the kitchen should suffice, with a pass through window or door. Out of sight, out of mind.