Building Design Trends to Keep Your Eye on in 2019
As the dawn of a new year has come upon us, what better way to soak up the excitement of what’s to come than by predicting the year’s biggest trends in home designs. Seems appropriate right? After all, these are the kind of trends that you might be living in before the year is up!
Some truly impressive technologies have begun to make their way into the market and are becoming affordable enough to be incorporated into home designs at a much higher rate. Basically, we’re living in the future now. All the fun technologies and state of the art materials you may have only heard whispers about 5 years ago are just about ready to dominate the industry. Crazy huh?
We have entered a new era in architectural design in that how we build is evolving in ways that reflect a greater awareness of our need to be environmentally friendly, and the benefits of utilising innovative design. So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most popular trends in home design to keep your eye on in the year to come:
It’s no surprise that the idea of climate change has drawn attention to the way in which humans interact with our environment. Even if you’re not an outspoken advocate for all things sustainable, I imagine that you can at least understand the benefit of minimising any negative impact that we leave on the environment at large. Well, this mentality has also shifted into the sphere of architecture and has become an incredibly popular concept, and only gaining more traction by the year.
With the looming problems associated with drought and water shortages, water filtration systems are now being installed into new buildings to aid in the very real need for water-preservation. On top of that, energy conserving appliances are becoming the standard choice for new and old homes alike. Heating, air conditioning, ventilation systems, they are all being designed to use as little energy as possible and creating a far smaller carbon footprint as a result.
Sustainability is a trend that is only going to increase in popularity, and in 2019 the big emphasis is going to fall on architectural design. By making homes well insulated, positioned to keep the inside warm in winter and cool in summer, and incorporating renewable technologies such as solar, design features are available to anyone wanting to live a sustainable lifestyle.
Open Space Living
While we’ve all heard of the open plan living room, which for some is just another architectural faux pas and an excuse to cringe at housing fads, designers are now revisiting the idea with a far more nuanced approach. While the outdated open-plan rooms are basically just a knocking down of walls to facilitate a merging of living spaces, the new method of design moves away from just a giant monotonous room, toward innovative layouts that create clearly defined spaces.
In order to avoid open spaces that feel like nothing more than a bland and tedious attempt at keeping up with the trends, architects are using a multitude of techniques to clearly organise space within space. For instance, a clear differentiation in colours, materials and textures, and floor levels are used to divide separate space. Combining groups of matching furniture, incorporating the use of free-standing benches for kitchen areas, and a clever use of lighting all works to achieve a distinct separation of activity, whilst still succeeding to maintain a wide, open space.
With the modernisation of old ideas revisited, the potential for entirely new and unseen living spaces is now a reality. How fun!
Tiny House Movement
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you might’ve noticed the ever increasing cost of property prices. It’s no big mystery that things have been just a little bit expensive in the old housing market lately, and the immense pressure this has been putting on potential homeowners has brought about a very interesting trend in itself. Tiny homes. Why spend a bazillion bucks on an enormous home with excess space you don’t need that costs a fortune to maintain when you could live in something a quarter of the size and take back your financial freedom?
New and inventive ways to improve storage space, living space, and incorporate all the basics of standard home life into an itty bitty tiny home have started to gain a lot of traction. You might think this is in stark contrast to the idea of open plan living where it’s all about expanding space and opening living areas up as much as possible. However, in a tiny little area, this is exactly the kind of innovative design that’s needed since tiny homes are usually made up of just one of two rooms, the expansion of space is absolutely essential.
…well, this one is probably too small, even by tiny standards
Solar roof tiles? Say what?!
Speaking of innovative design, how much more ingenious can you get than roof tiles made from miniature solar panels? Such a ground breaking new technology is bound to be outrageously expensive though right? Well on the contrary, compared to the standard olde worlde solar panels that have been around for a while now, solar roof tiles are actually expected to be even cheaper. This just gets better and better, doesn’t it? The solar tiles aren’t just practical either, they’ve been created with a very attractive design that makes standard solar panels look clunky and so last decade. The solar tiles come in a smooth and modern glass-like design, or those that will flawlessly blend in with your existing roof such as slate or asphalt.
Although these are still relatively new on the market, they are available, and before long I can only assume they will be a more popular option than any old roof tile out there. Get ready for the future, people! Things are getting very interesting…
While the trend for sustainable living is only expected to continue in 2019, so too is the idea of going green – and by which I don’t just mean getting a compost bin and recycling your milk cartons. Some of the most cutting-edge designs in eco-conscious architecture come in the form of integrating plant life into home life. By which I don’t just mean putting a few indoor plants by the windowsill either, I’m talking green roofs, roof gardens, indoor parks, and living walls.
As fanciful as this might all sound, eco-friendly designers and architects alike are taking these ideas very seriously and showing that not only is the merging of plant life and architecture highly beneficial to both wellbeing and the environment, but it’s also becoming the next big thing. Not just residential homes but businesses too are jumping on board the idea of adding grass and or gardens onto flat roofs, which not only aids in insulation but increases the surrounding greenery, which again, is not only good for the earth but for mental wellbeing too.
Vertical gardens are going to be another major player in 2019, where you can turn inside and outside walls into a flourishing garden. These are rising in popularity as city and apartment living becomes the norm and space is a luxury that many can’t afford. Along the same vein, you’ll find living walls which are becoming very fashionable and honestly, they look incredible. Whilst vertical gardens are usually more segmented in the plants that they hold, living walls tend to consist of a seamless covering of foliage from top to bottom, creating a flawless coming together of architecture and botany.
2019 will also likely to continue to see a heavy push towards recyclable building materials and sustainable alternatives to materials commonly used today. So expect to see a lot of new and impressive products emerging on the market such as mushroom walls, plastic building blocks, newspaper wood, recycled cork panels & flooring, recycled glass countertops, and the list of inventive materials just goes on.
We really are living in an exciting age and the building in which we dwell is beginning to reflect that with impressive innovation. I for one am going to embrace the change and get myself a mushroom wall. How about you?
Mike Heathcote is the founder of Building Masters Inspections and a veteran builder with decades of experience. Utilising his industry knowledge, Mike and his team of experienced Builders provide an Inspection Service offering expert opinion on the true condition of buildings, including estimated repair costs, helping home buyers find their perfect property, Melbourne wide.