Bye, dining room; Hello, closet. How Atlantans alter U.S. home plans

Clues to America’s evolving tastes and home lives are being discovered these days in a Norcross warehouse that you’d pass without noticing.

More than a thousand metro Atlantans will have marched through the spot by the end of the year, advising one of the nation’s biggest home builders, PulteGroup, on what Americans want in their next homes.

They navigate makeshift versions of floor plans with fabric walls, pictures of windows and fireplaces, cardboard refrigerators, plywood kitchen islands and explanatory signs like “pantry extras that add character.”

Dining room or bigger eat-in kitchen? Space for an elevator or just a closet? Sink in the kitchen island or no?

Some of their takeaways: the dining room is going the way of the dodo bird. We want more closets. And we have some special thoughts on our kitchens.

Check out more of what they say and what’s ahead in my latest Unofficial Business column on

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