The architectural design space is constantly evolving, with new interior design trends and features emerging all the time. Some are fleeting but many are here to stay for the long haul. As an award-winning, Sydney eastern suburbs architect, I wanted to share the three major design trends I’ve been really noticing recently.
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1. Sustainability in building
More and more we’re seeing people recognise the importance of sustainable living and they’re looking for ways to build more sustainable elements into their home. The good news is that there’s been a lot of exciting developments in the technology used to build and renovate homes, all of which enable us to create most sustainable homes for our clients.
We’re now able to use solar-panelled tiles. They’re great for when your home isn’t suitable for solar panels or you’d just like a more streamlined, sleek look, with all the benefits of solar power creation. We can also use a lot of high quality recycled materials in our buildings, be they original wooden panels or steel elements.
We inherently employ passive solar and cooling methods in all designs. Well placed windows for cross ventilation, external louvres to protect glazing, and roof forms that take advantage of the natural orientation are all integral to a successful home design.
And also we’re providing a lot more of the things like composting and sophisticated recycling within the actual home. Incorporating these sorts of sustainable elements into home design is becoming a lot more commonplace, which is fantastic.
2. Indoor/outdoor living
The next one I’ve really noticed is the indoor/outdoor living trend. Sydney is known for its beautiful climate and year-round sun, so there’s a huge desire to spend more time outdoors or, at least, to keep that outdoor feeling when you’re inside. Natural light is always key in achieving this and we work with a lot of clients to introduce more light into their homes, especially in their darker Paddington terrace renovation or heritage update.
But there’s become a lot more focus on bringing the outside in, so that’s like plants on the inside spaces, continuous finishes from inside to out, and also the backyard is no longer an afterthought. You might see the same floor tiling continuing from the living room out to the patio, or similar wooden treatments or cabinetry.
Using these continuous treatments can really expand the perceived living space you have create a more relaxed indoor/outdoor lifestyle. A lot of thought is now going into creating beautiful living space outside and that’s really fantastic to see.
3. Defined internal spaces
The third thing I wanted to touch on was just lately I’ve noticed a real movement away from the purely open space living type environments to slightly more enclosed spaces internally. Open plan living has been such a key element of building a new home or renovating an existing property that it’s almost expected. And there’s lots to be said in favour of open plan living matching our more relaxed style of living nowadays.
But – and this may sound controversial – there is such a thing as too much open plan living. Not only is there the heating/cooling issue to be considered, but when you shift to a purely open plan home, you loose the ability to clearly define different spaces for different purposes. You may not want the formal, closed dining room your grandmother had, but your dining table still needs to have a ‘home’ within your home.
So even though you may have an open plan living area, a lot more attention is being paid to how to designate individual spaces within that. You may want a cosy nook to curl up with a cuppa and a good book, or an area for your children to play, within sight, but not too close.
To achieve this, there might be modulations in the ground plane, – meaning different floor heights with a step separating them, or perhaps in the ceiling heights, or just other methods to enclose different spaces within the larger space. By creating subtly distinctive spaces within your open-plan home, you can create a warm and inviting space that gives your family freedom to live on their terms.
These are just three of the current design trends in architecture I’m seeing right now, but the beauty of using an architect to design your dream home is that it will be customised and tailored specifically for your needs. Unrestricted by the templated kit-homes, you can work with your architect to create a home that meets your specific needs and that, ultimately, you’ll love living in.