By Donna Webeck.
Australian housing and architecture is an ever-changing terrain. What once served former generations well is now no longer suitable for the families of modern-day Australia. Let’s take a look at the landscape of future house trends in Australia to see what we can look forward to in 2019 and beyond.
Does size matter when it comes to house trends in Australia?
Big doesn’t always have to equal beautiful, when it comes to house trends, as Refresh Renovations Franchisee, Guy Allenby, confirms.
“The obvious trend in architecture is the understanding that small can be beautiful,” he advises. “There’s no getting away from the fact that building is expensive, so, for most people, there’s isn’t the opportunity to indulge your whims with big spaces.”
Do environmental and sustainability concerns impact house trends in Australia?
“Has there ever been a more important — but deeply unsexy word — than sustainability?” Guy asks. “Nowadays eco and sustainable virtues are thoroughly embedded in the best design. One of the simplest tests for whether something is going to be good for the planet is to ask yourself ‘is it built-to-last?’” (See Eco Renovations)
Similarly, the brunt these costs take on our budgets are also being considered when it comes to sustainability.
“Energy costs are impacting harder than ever before, so it’s better understood that good design means designing for the local climate,” Guy states. “Money spent on passive solar design and good insulation is money well spent that’ll make serious energy savings year after year.” (Check out our article on solar energy renovations)
Are Australian’s embracing ‘wellness architecture’?
Alex Roth, Principal Architect of Roth Architects, Sydney, thinks so.
“We are seeing Australia embrace the idea of ‘wellbeing architecture,” he reveals. “This is essentially creating spaces and places which allow for the healthiest version of you. It's predominately been used in commercial instances, such as yoga studios, health retreats etc, though is becoming a concern when we are designing homes for our clients.”
Following on from above, Alex believes this type of trend has its roots in the environmental and sustainability styles. (Heres a Q&A on sustainable homes that we published recently)
“Current generations are very concerned about maintaining earth as it is now, and the well-balanced lifestyle is an extension of this. Society, in general, is obsessed with health, both physically and mentally. They are also paying attention to their personal spaces and environments, which are known to contribute to this.”
Is flexibility still an essential feature in housing trends?
Increasingly, houses have to be designed to grow with us, and that is something Guy doesn’t see changing. No matter whether the plan is to one day incorporate a growing or extended family, it’s an important trend to offer flexible living, as Guy recounts. - We’ve written a whole article on flexible home design that you can find here
“We’re currently renovating a home for a couple without kids, which is home for just the two of them for 90 per cent of the time and then they have family from the country staying 10 per cent of the rest of the time,” he explains. “As a consequence, the two bedrooms have to serve as both an office and guest bedroom as one of the clients works from home. The large master bedroom serves as an additional sitting room when they’re alone, but a moveable wall gives them privacy when they have guests. Some money is being spent on a sophisticated European foldaway bed and an elegant sliding wall to make a small space both elegant and functional for different incarnations.”
Will Australia embrace the communal living housing trend?
Yes, according to Alex, but if you’re having flashbacks of share houses or youth hostels from your earlier years, fear not.
“I think that we are looking towards very well planned and thought out communities with common core living spaces, such as kitchens and living rooms,” he suggests. “We already see this trend popping up in corporate offices, with Apple and Google being a great example of this. I think that this will transfer into the residential sector in Australia pretty well.”
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