The design trends making headlines right now and for the coming year reflect a taste for better overall living and efficiency. Upstarts such as the connectivity and healthy homes are settling into the mainstream. Outdoor spaces aren’t just for gardening and entertaining; they’re for living. And corporate spaces are getting a makeover, too.
What might you find on the horizon in the coming year and beyond? Here are 7 trends shaping architecture for today and tomorrow.
#1: Homes Really Get Connected
What began as a fringe idea has taken hold. The connected home had some hurdles to overcome, but now it’s making real headway in new home design and renovations.
Homeowners can turn adjust the HVAC system from the office or from the beach. Appliances can send reminders to turn them off, and users can turn off lights anywhere in the house from the comfort of their own bed. Smartphones and communication hubs such as Amazon’s Echo make connectivity the next revolution that people are likely to depend on.
#2: Larger Spaces Aren’t Wasteful
Architects are torn about whether clients want larger or smaller homes. And it’s with good reason. The tiny house phenomenon is still active. And while many people don’t want to scale down to a few hundred square feet, a smaller footprint is still appealing, says Architect Magazine.
But that’s not the only trend making some noise. The AIA Home Trends Survey for 2016 shows a trend back toward larger homes. What’s similar between small and large living is efficient design. Whether a house is expansive or diminutive, great design that gets the best use of every space matters most of all.
#3: Outdoor Living Matters
Remember when outdoor living meant little more than cocktails on the patio, holiday barbecues and kids playing on a swing set? A strong new trend is toward cultivating and outdoor living that really expands a home’s total living space. Outdoor kitchens and completely furnished outdoor rooms are on the rise, says Architect magazine.
Outdoor living also means environmental responsibility, says the AIA. Native plants thrive with less water and fewer pesticides. Outdoor lighting needs less electricity with solar. Upscale landscaping and high-maintenance outdoor features are on the decline.
#4: Remodeling Outweighs New Construction
It’s good news for architects and not-so-great news for companies that deal in entry-level new construction. Residential design is trending toward renovation instead of new builds.
The AIA’s report shows a major uptick in remodeling, additions and home alterations. Perhaps related to the remodeling trend is the decline of new construction homes geared toward the first time buyer.
Architectural trends are naturally part historical data, part regulation and part crystal ball. No one can truly predict the way the industry will evolve in 2017 or the years beyond. But what clients want now and how those preferences have changed in the recent past give a good indication of what’s to come.
2017 should bring homes that are smart on many different levels, not just in technology. Smart materials, smart use of indoor and outdoor space and smart environmental responsibility blend together to shape the next generation in American residential architecture.
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