Given the global focus on climate change, sustainability remains the number one influence on building design in 2020. It’s not just for homes straight off the Grand Designs set, but custom built and volume houses too.
Land developers, builders and designers are using new technologies to create homes that save energy and water, ultimately making running and maintaining a house more efficient and more affordable.
this these construction changes are driven by planning and building regulations. For instance, estate design or the requirement for some materials to have certain energy efficiency levels. But this growing trend is also driven by the market, with more and more consumers seeking sustainable and affordable solutions for their homes.
Sustainability can take many forms in a home. One example is water saving devices like tapware and shower heads, that don’t compromise on design and reduce your daily water use. Another is double-glazed windows. A Standard fixture in European homes, they are now becoming much more popular and affordable here because they save energy (and money!) by reducing heat loss by up to 30%. You can easily check the energy or water efficiency of fixtures, fittings and appliances in your home by asking your builder or the manufacturer.
Design trends are always shifting, it can hard to keep up! So, we’ve put together a list of the six key design trends we’re predicting are going to be huge in building this year.
2. Home automation
If you can’t control it from your phone, is it even worth having? Home automation is when items around the house are controlled either remotely or in house from one central point. This design element is experiencing a massive rise in popularity because it’s easy to use and increases energy efficiency.
Nowadays you can control air-conditioning and heating, turn lights on or off, raise or lower blinds and even control pool and garden watering systems with a few swipes of a smart phone. Even better, the days of accidentally locking yourself out of the house are over with keyless entry locks! You can read more about smart home automation on our dedicated blog.
3. Smaller outdoor spaces
With outdoor areas becoming smaller, the building industry is creating inventive solutions that utilise space better. There’s a huge focus on building a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor, so that the indoor space complements the outdoor area and vice versa.
There are other creative solutions too, like vertical gardens which are both visually appealing and easy to install and maintain. They can be also be an alternative option to timber or metal screens. You can put them on fences, walls, patios or balconies. You can choose from a DIY kit or create your own from recycled materials (bonus points for sustainability), and they are easy to maintain, update or even move to a new location. If you want to find out more, we’ve written another blog dedicated to the topic!
4. Earthy Tones and Natural Materials
Colours this year look set to be returning to earthy tones throughout the home. If this conjures up an image of your grandma’s 1970’s brown melamine veneer kitchen cupboards, don’t panic – in 2020 it’s all about the natural environment, with lots of options. Having said that, if you can’t stand the thought of earthy tones and prefer plain white throughout, go with what you like – you can always accessorise to reflect contemporary trends as well as your personality!
When it comes to tiles, subway tiles are still a strong design feature in both the bathroom and the kitchen, with terrazzo continuing to be a popular choice. Natural stone and other materials like marble are right up there in the design stakes, but if the budget doesn’t allow for it there are still ways you can achieve a similar look – for example grey veins running through white tiles can give the look of luxurious marble without the cost. The Neolith range by CDK Stone is an excellent example of this style.
5. Mixing the Old with the New
Contemporary versus antique can still find a place within your home and design, particularly when it comes to renovations and extensions. But there’s also a place for it in new builds, where you can mix old with new with stunning outcomes.
6. Bathroom Trends
This year, the bathroom is all about creating place of calm – achieved with soft colours and simple design. The bathroom is becoming the place to relax and rejuvenate away from our ridiculously busy lives. Rounded basins and mirrors are a subtle design nod to a more relaxed mood, moving away from the square, angular designs of previous years. Colours to consider include calming blues and greens, matte black and the latest design trend – metallics like brushed nickel and copper.