Nicky Obel, a true design enthusiast, takes a look at the architectural design trends that have been developed worldwide over the past year, setting the scene for things to come
WORDS: NICKY OBEL – PHOTOS: SOURCED
Architecture and interior design are unmistakably adapting, as much as we’ve had to, during recent months. The roles of nature, light and smart homes have since become a central focus, affording us the opportunity to create happy and serene spaces to live and work in.
Greater environmental awareness has brought with it a push towards more sustainable and ecological architecture. Proof of this is the use of open spaces. Living spaces now have more natural light, specifically through open-plan rooms or fixtures such as large windows, skylights and glass panels. Architectural design is moving towards creating more passive homes, which are homes or buildings that reduce the ecological footprint as they require little energy for space, heating or cooling. The look and the feeling of open spaces ultimately contributes towards our wellbeing and quality of life. Open spaces are also very practical for the whole family to enjoy, as it allows for less disconnect for everyone under one roof.
Heart of the home
Where have families convened and bonded over the past months? Why, the kitchen of course. The kitchen has stepped up to be a family room, and not just over delicious food. Kitchen designs use materials that evoke nature, natural light and provide comforting spaces for all. Increasing the dimensions of the space and connecting the kitchen to either the dining room or living area has become a trend in modern homes. The kitchen has become a warm and safe haven that integrates the whole family. Whether it’s used to host zoom meetings or catch up on emails, to help with homework or reconnect with your loved ones, it has certainly become a prime space worth investing in.
The bathroom is no longer simply about creating a space for one’s personal care. It has become a place that allows for total and utter relaxation. When it comes to new bathroom design, opt for light or white paint colours and utilise tiles that transmit a calm and serene atmosphere. Walk-in showers have become a huge trend, no matter your bathroom size. Most designs now eliminate the bath entirely, creating a bigger and better shower space. From great taps and shower heads, to steam showers, big windows, glass ceilings, heaters and screens, let your bathroom add a little luxury to your everyday life and turn your shower time into down time.
White is always right
Different shades of white continue to be forerunners in interior design. In the coating of walls and floors, it provides luminosity to every room and visually expands it. In addition, white reflects all light received, so it’s always a good recommendation for darker spaces. One of the greatest assets of working with white is its ability to showcase art, sculpture, or any décor piece without having to compete with it. White will always unify a space. If you have a home filled with mixed building materials or architectural design elements, white’s many shades will bring it all together beautifully.
Smart homes are becoming an upward trend. Automated systems are increasingly in demand, allowing you to control the temperature, security or light in your space. A smart home allows its inhabitants to manage all of their home devices from one central place, and the best part is that it reduces consumption and their carbon footprint. Smart architecture and unique devices create a greater reflection of one’s social awareness and care for the environment. So get smart by maximising home security, controlling all the home functions (blinds, curtains, heating, security cameras) from a remote control and increasing your energy efficiency.
Minimalism at play
The art of minimalism is still very much a trend and involves using the bare essentials to create a simple and uncluttered space. The use of clean lines and a monochromatic palette will help create this effect, with splashes of colour as a simple accent. Minimalism also accentuates the attractive architectural design features of a home. Open-plan living, natural light and simple-line furnishing creates an inviting space and a timeless aesthetic to any home.
Don’t neglect terraces, balconies and outdoor spaces. They can be enjoyed throughout the year, but only if conditioned properly. Architects are making use of glass windows (also known as glass curtains) which allow you to open an indoor space fully when the sun is shining. This works well when wanting to open up an enclosed balcony or space and turn it into an outdoor area again.
Exterior décor ideas include greenery, colourful tiling and gorgeous durable furniture. Decide what you are looking to achieve with the space and make it happen. The outdoor area is the perfect place to curl up with a good book or host a small dinner party. Knowing what you want to achieve for your space will help you determine the type of décor that is required.
Your home is a place in which you can simply shut out all the outside noise and more architectural design projects are carried out with this in mind. Your choice of décor and design, colour, materials and multi-purpose spaces will help bring this to life. After all, home is where your story begins.