In the race to possess the most fabulous home of the time, we need to anticipate what will be on trend in the future.
The perk of built-in furniture is that your life becomes integrated with the house - We move away from having objects that service us to having one home that gives us all we need. We aspire to have smart homes or homes that have such seamless finishes that they look ... well, unlived in.
This comes with a price; and not just a monetary one. Trends change so quickly now that the last thing we want is to consider undergoing a full refurbishment only a couple years after the last ...
All just you can have the matte finish instead of glossy
Here are some beautiful on-trend examples of built-in furniture today (depends when you're reading this post).
On the other hand, we can venture into the world of ... wait for it ...
You can acquire custom and bespoke pieces that make each room in your home unique. But these also come with a price tag. Yes, you know what i'm going to say - you need to adopt a Japanese lifestyle and own nothing - you must accept that you can no longer shovel your junk into a closed cupboard, and your whole wardrobe consists of white shirts and tennis shoes.
From now on, you must only own matching things and gently decline any gift that will ruin your carrara marble decor.
For those who can pull it off ... guess what! you can sell your bespoke piece as 'retro' next year when you decide to upgrade your freestanders for the matte finish. Plus you get to enjoy shopping each year.
We all love a restored heritage property and have come accustomed to hearing the expression "with heritage charm and character". But in the blur of mixing new with old, and doctoring your castle-ette to suit a modern lifestyle, are you going so far in your refurbishment efforts that you're stripping away all morsel of character?
I'm here to tell you to hang on a sec before you buy 100 litres of Dulux Vivid White.
If you, or your future buyer are charmed by a Victorian heritage property, then don't be scared to commit a little more. Bring in some Victorian furniture pieces, including the old cedar and oak chests and freestanding wardrobes. Keep the old fireplaces (and by keep, we don't mean install gas).
It mayn't fit just because it's OLD
Also, be mindful to do your research - there are different eras of Victorian, plus multiple other styles. Architect's and other professionals more versed in heritage architecture will be able to tell when you've mismatched elements of the style, and to us, it becomes a heritage soup. once you've nailed the style, there's also the class status. You won't typically find an original marble mantle in a single fronted weatherboard Victorian with only two rooms. As much as we love a marble mantlepiece, overreaching is just tacky.
You don't want your lifetime investment, and your pride and joy to be a laughing stock do you? Get an architect to guide you through the choices and a colour consultant to direct the colour choice that is palatable and historically relevant.
Climate change is a REAL THING !
We ALL need to address it, otherwise we will lose valuable resources we now love and enjoy in abundance.
Yours and the architect's choices in the early design phases will shape how much of an imprint your home will have on the environment. We go beyond the material to choosing where it comes from ... yes, we consider how many resources are expended in bringing your Italian Carrara marble all the way from Italy to your kitchen island bench ... which is why we ask, "are you sure you don't want the local stone instead?".
But wondering if it's a fad in architecture is nevertheless a legitimate question. Gone are the days where "Sustainable" was akin to a Swiss Family Robinson tree house. Rest assured, you can have a modern house with sharp angles that is also sustainable because it addresses the sun orientation, maximises available natural heating, ventilation and cooling on the site, and utilises resources (sometimes freely) to reduce the building's footprint.
Your architect has enough knowledge to pull of these materials, resources and building methods together -
A brick wall is a brick wall is a brick wall
They're not all the same, and even then, how they're built plays a major role in their performance ... not to mention, achieving the aesthetic you're after.
First things first.
When undergoing a permit process, you will be asked to engage an energy consultant for an energy report.
The consultant is great at giving advice and making suggestions, but often, innovative building solutions are not options in the drop-down list on their software, so don't fret if you think you've gone to a great deal of trouble and only achieved a 6 star rating. The truth is, if your architect got it right, it'll perform far greater than the report says.
Today, thanks to an abundance of home-reno shows, most people have a developed knowledge of building design. More and more people are starting to realise the importance of sustainability in design and incorporate it in their homes. This is often driven by market demand (but we're not judging), and has no apparent sign of falling from favour.
On that front, it's not a fad.
But a lot of people are also starting to realise that ... well ... it's just smarter.
Ignoring sustainable design is the equivalent to building a fire on the kitchen floor to heat up your dinner (which is ironically more sustainable, but will burn down your house).
The facility is there, so let's use it!
It's no surprise that when lifestyles change, so do the rooms within our houses.
Architects these days spend more of their time discussing the island bench than they do the kids play area...either because people have stopped having children, or because children now limit their play to the trusty Ipad.
When was the last time you gathered the family over for a film around the sofa "Castle Style"?
I'm guessing you can't remember.
Entertaining? Gone are the days of serving tea in the parlour. Most visitors now drape themselves over the 'guest side' of the island bench as their host serves tea straight out of the kettle.
I always teach my clients that their design should satisfy the household's frequent needs BEFORE catering to infrequent events. So before racing off to buy a giant clam shell for your Christmas centrepiece (no thanks Ivanka), have a think about what you'll use all year round that will add style and function to your home, rather than fill a cupboard.
So for whom (or what) is the living room?
Everybody has different needs, but most of the time we get asked for the same few things - a quiet space; away from bedrooms and kitchen smells; easy to climate control; access to light and ventilation, but not too much light so that it doesn't interfere with the tv, and finally, the most frequented request, COSY.
So, if it's just for mum and dad to relax in at the end of the day,
should you rethink the need for an 8 person lounge?
Let's face it, there's no point designing a minimalist room without essential practicalities like a phone charger by your bed or a hygenic location for your toothbrush. So while you're wondering if you're ready to make a commitment to a Minimalist lifestyle which involves charging your phone in Siberia, and hiding your toothbrush twice a day, we're here to tell you that Minimalist design should accomodate your phone charging needs ... as well as your other human quirks.
Minimalism is perfectly summarised by the expression, "Form Follows Function?".
The forms that exist, exist only to serve a function -
So what is Minimalism when it doesn't adequately serve its function? Frankly ... it's just bad design.
One shouldn't need to make sacrifices (other than discarding their nik-nak habit) for their home to operate properly, or have to ruin their minimalist home because they stepped into it.
True Minimalist design works seamlessly to fit around you... not the other way around
check out these examples of GOOD Minimalist designs
It's ok to do human things - You are human after all.
Now, let's stop designing houses for robots and instead, design them for humans.
We might not all agree that the pick for 2017 was a little left of centre; a lush green Pantone called "Greenery"
For 2018, say hello to pastels, neutrals and metallics.
All we need now is a happy victim