People are really big into the open kitchen, den/living rooms right now.  That's why our TVs keep getting bigger and bigger- people are watching them from 2 rooms over! Also, something I have noticed is people are leaning towards smaller, more quality space vs. a lot of unused square footage. The out door Space becomes a part of the living space and extends the smaller interior spaces to include this wonderful space
 Buying and selling homes is an emotional decision, people buy from the heart, so when you go into a home that "feels" like you, you are more likely to make an offer on it.  Sometimes it's hard when you are a showing a total "redo" for people to visualize what could be done with the space.  That's where a  designer comes in!