The new year has begun and once again buyers and builders are pursuing the newest design trends with energy. Ideas abound, but which are the ones to watch?
Modern homes are bringing us outside, and they’re doing it in interesting ways. Whether it’s modern breezeblock screens filtering the sun, magnificent decks taking in the broad vistas of open country, or over the top sun-rooms in more wintery climates, the push to the great outdoors is inescapable.
Inside the home there is growing appreciation for deepening the reach of natural light to all areas of the home, leading to some interesting solutions to an old problem. The open courtyard is one approach, flooding light into our private spaces from the house center. In more restricted spaces, such as luxury townhouses, skylights are breaking through the dark of new and historic homes to bring sun to highlights areas like stairways and kitchens.
In addition, more attention is being paid to how modern home design transitions us out from inside in a better flow of functional spaces. Stylish and textured screens are bringing back the breezeblock in modern textures that create interesting shadow plays and sheltered outdoor living rooms.
Finally, decks and patios are no longer afterthoughts or additions. These gateways to our gardens are being thoughtfully considered as alternatives to our interior living and bringing more walled-in functions out of the box. Built-in grills and mini kitchens slotted into these spaces are redefining how we use them. Lounge areas with outdoor fireplaces or pits warming the newest outdoor furniture are moving the traditional hearth from the center of the home to its new energetic edges.
The best homes, modern or revivalist, are increasingly calling out for more natural surfaces to soften spaces into something warmer and more livable. In our ever hectic and fast-paced world, the need for calm is making itself felt in earthy material connections.
Cork is popping out of our bottles and filling kitchen floors with lighter tones and softer ergonomic support for culinary activities. Brick walls, especially original ones in more historic homes, are a feature to celebrate for their solid and warm appearance.
Walls and floors alike, not to mention a drive for whole structures built of the material, are also prime targets for the finest examples of wood design. Some of the best character is coming from reclaimed wood that brings the weathered qualities of age in exposed beams and custom floors. Other new builds are entirely sheathed in wood as well, much of it charred for a blackened texture that weathers well in different climates.
The modern movement dubbed homes machines for living in. Increasingly they can be described more as health machines as more space is given over to health and wellness activities.
Once minor workout spaces are becoming full on gyms conceived as key components of the modern luxury home. They’ve conquered the basement and are now even taking on the main floors of the home to showcase our modern sensibility for healthy living. Apart from their new share of space, home gyms come complete with all the latest machines to satisfy all parts of the personal trainer’s imagination.
That’s not to neglect the dietitians. The kitchen is an equally if not larger part of design’s obsession with health and wellness. Kitchens, notably pantries, are getting larger to house more top of the line appliances and celebrate home cooking as an alternative to eating out.
The proper healthy home pays equal attention to relaxation as a means to health and there’s nowhere better than bathrooms taking their cues from the best spas to see this in action. Modern in-home spas are vying to outclass one another with heated floors, showers that assault stress from every angle, and saunas. As the features grow, so does the floor area to sport rest areas for reading and decompression.