The evolution of the way we choose to live can be charted in the changing architectural styles that dot our city and suburban streets. And as each new year brings new trends that inspire the shapes, materials and colours seen in our homes, it’s clear that the future of Australian homes is a very different landscape than previous generations could have possibly predicted.
In 2018, there are some key looks, according to architectural experts, that will dominate the look and feel of new builds and renovations.
Eco-friendly Design For Life
One main focus that is very apparent in architectural style in 2018 is on organic shapes and eco-friendly design – hopefully changes that might be here for the long haul, rather than just seen as passing fads. As homes become more environmentally-friendly, we take active steps to creating a more sustainable future that is more about existing together healthily and happily, rather than just taking an approach that we can have free reign to do whatever we like on our slice of land we are lucky to own.
5 Key Architectural Trends to Watch in 2018
1. Curved Lines
The popularity of using curves on home facades has been adopted by Australia’s leading architects in recent years – and it’s also visible in the mainstream commercial market. It’s not just about decorative touches. Adding some circular style can help maximise space on difficult sites and it also lends itself to more seamless integration into the surroundings of the natural environment.
Building homes that are completely circular is a growing architectural trend and the inspiration is taken from global architectural history, with the influence of indigenous cultures and the design of huts, yurts and igloos, all having an impact on architectural thinking.
2. Above-ground pools
Not everyone can afford the luxury of a huge in-ground pool and the resources required to maintain that luxury are also expensive. The alternative is above-ground pools that are as decorative as they are refreshing. Not only do they provide an easy water view from a kitchen or living room window – they are also ideal for blocks where spare space is limited. And in places like Melbourne, where the cooler climate makes year-round swimming a chilly prospect, they make much better sense that an in-ground pool that dominates your backyard landscape, with little return-on-enjoyment.
3. Natural materials
2018 has seen metal finishes and glass take a backseat to more organic materials, such as stone, terracotta, rammed earth and exposed, hand-crafted brickwork that adds a natural look and feel. Add timbers to the mix and design experts says that natural materials have a timelessness that should never really go out of style. Although the industrial aesthetic may have been all the rage over the last decade, it is not welcoming and warm and it’s time may be over – in favour of a more relaxed softness that is inviting and sustainable.
4. Tiny homes
Smaller homes are a happy alternative for people who want to minimise their footprint without taking the leap into high-density apartment living.
High energy bills are a great motivation for building homes that require less energy and expense to heat and cool and help people achieve a more sustainable way of life without devastating the planet. All signs point to the tiny home trend being something that’s here to stay and as Australians continue to let go of their hankering for the old quarter acre block, it will be taken up in greater numbers by each new generation.
5. Hidden kitchens
The open plan living trend of having the kitchen as centre-piece to the home is shifting as home-owners see the logic in the wonders of the hidden ‘prep’ kitchen.
Visit most new display suite offerings and you’ll notice it – the mini kitchen tucked where the pantry used to be that creates a secret space for all that messy preparation work that the Masterchef generation loves so much. It’s a perfect place for appliances, toaster crumbs, rubbish bins and dirty dishes in the sink, leaving your show kitchen as the space for the strategically-placed fruit bowl and the bar stools at the immaculate benchtop as your ideal home to enjoy talking (and eating) with your family and friends.
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