Trends in residential architecture keep evolving year on year. They decide how clients, critics, and the industry perceive an architectural project. By their very definition, trends indicate the course of something. Usually, trends are short-lived. In architecture, they are usually a culmination of inspiration from pop culture, new technologies, ground-breaking designs by an influential architect, and revival of trends. Very often, one will notice a comeback of trends, for example, color-washed furniture or porte cochere. As an architect, while it isn’t essential to adopt trends, it is important to be aware & inspired by them. Here are the trends in residential architecture for the year.
This has been one of those unexpected trends in residential architecture. A rising demand that we foresee is the need for green spaces in homes. While greenery was relegated to a few token plants in the living room or space in the balcony-the world is fast changing. Owing to the pandemic, people spending more time indoors and a general yearning for a greener world has changed what clients will expect in the future.
Gardens are the lowest hanging fruits. Some other ideas are indoor vertical wall gardens, hydroponic kitchen garden space, and preservation of tree/plants. While home-owners tend to make adjustments later to accommodate space for greenery, it will be more efficient if architects take on this responsibility moving ahead.
Smart home are homes with in-built automation so that residents can spend less time & mind-space on cumbersome tasks. Automated homes are one of the most impactful trends in residential architecture. Smart homes have automated security systems, access management, home appliance control, energy management, lighting control, and more. Up until now, early adopters were adopting smart homes.
However, 2020 is the year where the market is seeing a boom. Major players across the globe are taking a leap or scaling up their offerings in this sector. Companies like Adobe, Honeywell, Samsung, Minut, Nortek Holdings, and Wink Technologies are responsible for R&D and the launch of interesting products.
Architects can choose to automate the entire residence or selects certain aspects like security or appliance management for clients who are usually out at work. It is a smart and efficient way to live. Future-ready architects incorporate future automation into their designs so that it gives the client an option to convert to a smart home later.
Thanks to probably Marie Kondo or being locked down with a messy home, tidying & organization have become popular. A few trends in residential architecture that are surely picking up this year, are around the organization. Some countries & cultures have always been on this track- a box for everything, decluttering, and neatly stacked items.
However, some other cultures are adopting it now. As an architect or interior designer, it then becomes pertinent that one takes cognizance of the client’s storage requirements & customize organization. Certain clients may need a walk-in closet to accommodate many clothes. Others may need a storage room in the kitchen for efficient inventory management. Cupboards may need to have more pull-out drawers instead of shelves. One might need to re-invent coffee-tables to allow to store drawing-room knick-knacks.
For their aesthetics and functionality, industrial style homes are making a come-back. Simple lines, wood, iron, recycled plastic, open vents and aluminum bring down project costs. Industrial residences are not for the faint-hearted clients looking for cozy homes. Inspired by warehouses and factories, it has a unique allure to it. It is for those who love common living spaces, high ceilings, open spaces, and open rooms.
Architects incorporate this style into small apartments to give a perception of a large space. Industrial residences are minimalistic and yet have a rough edge around them. For stand-alone homes, designers are incorporating shipping containers and trailers for exteriors elements like outhouses. Industrial design is a style that grows on you, just like wine. It is certainly growing on a lot of architects this year.
Necessity is indeed the mother of invention when it comes to small-sized homes. Familiar territory for city-based architects- smaller homes are soon becoming a tier-II town reality. In cities, there is a growing demand for refurbished condos which are in the premium city-center locations. Owned by the wealthy, to cut on travel time; these tastefully done properties need ideas that make them multifunctional. After all, clients that have spent a premium on buying an expensive apartment, will not compromise on the amenities. If this trend continues, architects would need to be resourceful and educate themselves in designing such spaces.
Apartments in New York and Tokyo are known for breakthroughs in space-saving innovation. They can be a source of excellent inspiration. Built-in beds pull down dining tables, loft cum reading room are some examples of space-saving innovation. However, in 2020, technology will play a large role in making small spaces smart. Further, unlike the New York apartments which are a century old & sized accordingly; contemporary architects would need to actively build small homes now. So the smarter, the better.
It always helps an architect to keep a finger on the pulse of trends. Be it homes that are driven by IoT or creating nature-inspired sustainable homes. Clients & peers will always look up to an architect in the know, with respect. Apart from the above, there are a few other trends in residential architecture, which are making a mark. However, we hope you get the gist of what to look for.