Before You Build: the 8 Architectural Design Trends You Should Know
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Before You Build: the 8 Architectural Design Trends You Should Know

Futureproof your home and maximise your return with design directions that focus on contemporary ways of living

By Josh Bozin
Mon, Apr 29, 2024 4:13pmGrey Clock 6 min

Looking to build, or renovate, a home in 2024? You’re not alone. According to a recent study from Resolve Finance, over a third of Australian homeowners are planning to renovate their current properties in the next 12 months. And if the Federal Government achieves its ambitious goal of delivering 1.2 million new dwellings over the next five years, there will be many new home owners looking to build their dream home in 2024 and beyond.

But before tackling such a behemoth task, considering all the latest—and future—architectural trends is pivotal in your new build’s success. Award-winning architect and interior designer, Georgina Wilson said sustainability will be at the forefront for many interested in energy efficiency and saving money on power bills.

“Elements of passive design are moving into the mainstream. Improvements in the technology with double glazing, building wrapping and insulation are meaning that more people have access to these materials,” Ms Wilson said. “Solar has proven itself and homeowners are now looking for other ways to make their home more efficient.”

The following eight trends reflect a growing emphasis on sustainability, flexibility, and wellbeing in residential architecture, catering to the evolving needs and preferences of homeowners in 2024.

1). Consider your colour palette  

The colours you use say everything about the type of spaces you want to foster, whether they be bright and warm, dark and moody, neutral — the list goes on. If we’re looking to trends, earthy, calming neutrals are in — think brown, beige and eucalyptus green. Colours that feel natural and soft, but welcoming provide an inviting environment that’s easy to live with.

However, interior designer and stylist, Jono Fleming said contrast is important to create interest and one of the most powerful ways to do this is through colour.

“It doesn’t have to be a big splash of colour, it could be introduced through smaller decorative objects, a statement furniture piece or an artwork, but the colour should add balance to the space,” he said.

Unsplash
Unsplash


2). Modern, outdoor living areas

Ever since the COVID pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, expanding living spaces to the outdoors has gained in popularity. Features like plant-filled front porches, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, and cosy seating areas create inviting spaces for relaxation and entertainment for all family members.

“There has definitely been a greater appreciation for outdoor living spaces since COVID,” said Ms Wilson. “Outdoor fabrics and mechanisms for shading have greatly improved in recent years allowing people to fully embrace seamless indoor/outdoor living.”

Georgina Wilson
Georgina Wilson


3). The integration of smart technology 

Integrating smart home technology throughout your home continues to gain traction with homeowners. As we increasingly look to rely on technology to make our lives all the more seamless, smart technology throughout allows homeowners to control a variety of tasks and zones remotely, enhancing convenience, security, and even energy efficiency. This can include controlled heating and cooling from your phone, automatic lightning, voice control commands, and more.

“The technology for seamless appliances has come a long way. At Salone del Mobile Milano this year, we experienced the new Gaggenau fully integrated induction bench top, which in terms of kitchen design, is a huge advancement,” said Ms Wilson.

Gaggenau, the German manufacturer of high-end home appliances, is at the forefront of smart home technology, paving the way for intelligent cooking appliances that learn and adapt to user preferences. Gaggenau’s essential induction cooktop, the functional and seamless  cooking surface Ms Wilson speaks of (pictured below), is designed to be “seamlessly integrated into a kitchen’s worktop”.

Gaggenau
Gaggenau


4). Health and wellness features

Prioritising health and wellness in 2024 is paramount, and home design that can include features like air purification systems, dedicated exercise spaces, recovering hubs—like saunas and ice baths—and relaxation areas to support physical and mental wellbeing will go a long way in not only adding value to your home, but providing a space that is architecturally on-trend and with the times.

“I’m seeing a lot of demand for in-built saunas, both traditional and infrared, particularly in the homes of our US clients,” said Ms Wilson.

“Bathroom suppliers such as Kohler, Duravit and Toto are offering increasingly sophisticated products that incorporate an almost spa-like experience in your at home bathroom. Examples of this are fantastic multi-nozzle showers and steam showers, Japanese toilets incorporating bidet technology, and elegant and serene bathroom furniture that can be fully customised for clients.”

HUUM / Unsplash
HUUM / Unsplash


5). Sustainability is key

A common goal among homeowners and future buyers alike is to own a property that is flexible enough grow with them. Futureproofing your home with sustainable measures will not only ensure its longevity, but it will help homeowners to play their part in addressing their carbon footprint.

“The current cost of living crisis is leading to a lot more multigenerational living, meaning families are prioritising durable materials and sustainable power sources, like solar,” said Ms Wilson.

Consider adding solar panels to your home, utilising sustainable materials in any upcoming renovations or builds, like recycled timber, and utilising energy-efficient lighting throughout your home.

Giorgio Trovato / Unsplash
Giorgio Trovato / Unsplash


6). Minimalist design

Do as the Scandinavians do – introduce minimalist design into your home. Embrace simplicity and clean lines with a focus on interior design. Decluttering in main living spaces is surprisingly effective. Adopting the approach of ‘Swedish Death Cleaning’, which essentially involves slowly ridding your house of unwanted or unused items once you reach the other side of 50, will also help you whittle your possessions down to the beautiful and the necessary.

Minimalist design in home appliances is also making a resurgence in 2024 according to Ms Wilson.

“What I’ve been interested to see at Salone del Mobile Milano in 2024 is a huge return to stainless steel finishes, and more and more seamless integration of appliances,” said Ms Wilson.

“We’re seeing timeless materials in reimagined applications: copper baths and stainless steel basins are emerging trends with the potential to be timeless. These materials are so practical, and pair beautifully with natural stone and timbers.”

Above all, maximising different spaces through efficient and effective storage options will also do wonders in achieving that minimal aesthetic.

Kam Idris / Unsplash
Kam Idris / Unsplash


7). Multifunctional spaces 

As we move towards greater efficiency of space, it’s useful to consider multifunctional spaces throughout your home.  In 2024, we are seeing more homes incorporate multifunctional spaces and trends. This includes using multifunctional furniture in main bedrooms or living spaces—furniture that can act as storage ottomans or convertible sofa beds—as well as transforming wasted space, and open up indoor to outdoor living.

“Multifunctional spaces in homes are a great idea. Particularly in small homes, it makes a lot of sense to achieve maximum value out of the limited space available. The way you use a space can change as your family evolves over time, so it’s always good to design in such a way that allows for flexibility,” said Ms Wilson. 

Make sure that the functions you allocate to a single room are compatible with the space available and each other. For example, it works really well to combine a living room, a dining room and a kitchen in one open plan space because these are all public, lively spaces. It doesn’t work very well to combine, say a study, with these spaces because you will want control over the visual and acoustic privacy in a study.”

Sven Brandsma / Unsplash
Sven Brandsma / Unsplash


8). Think about biophilic design

A buzz word among architects and interior designers, biophilic design is one of the strongest trends in 2024 thanks to its benefits in garnering a sense of harmony and connection between your home and the environment. Consider incorporating natural elements into home design, such as large windows to maximise natural light, indoor gardens, and natural materials like wood and stone.

“Biophilic design is a timeless principle, in that home design should connect people in a positive way with their natural environment by maximising access to, and the ability to control, natural light and ventilation, which really helps to create an enjoyable (and healthier) environment to live in,” said Ms Wilson.

Increasingly, there is a demand for this positive relationship to the natural environment; by leaning on the principles of biophilic design, you can create a haven and retreat at home that can help with the daily stresses of life.”

Ways to foster that indoor-outdoor connection can be through the addition of smaller internal courtyard spaces filled with greenery, or incorporating indoor plants and adding greenery into different rooms throughout your home.

Georgina Wilson
Georgina Wilson



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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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Owning a Home in an LGBTQ-Friendly Area Comes With a Hefty Price Premium
By LIZ LUCKING
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The cost of owning a home in an LGBTQ-friendly area in the U.S. comes with a hefty price premium of almost 50%, according to a report Wednesday from Redfin.

In a metropolitan area with state laws protecting LGBTQ people from housing discrimination, a home buyer needs to earn an annual income of $150,364 to afford a median priced home. That’s 46.8% more than the $102,435 buyers need to earn to afford a home in places without such protections, the online property portal said.

For the purposes of their report, a metro is considered to have protections if the state it’s located in prohibits housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, Redfin explained. In the case of metro areas which span multiple states, Redfin considered the metro to have protections if at least one of the states it’s located in prohibits such discrimination.

“LGBTQ+ Americans face disproportionately large barriers to homeownership,” said Redfin senior economist Elijah de la Campa in the report. “On top of paying a premium to live somewhere that feels safe, many LGBTQ+ house hunters are earning less than the typical U.S. worker, and face discrimination while shopping for homes despite laws that prohibit it.”

The locales where individuals identifying as LGBTQ make up the largest share of the adult population are also those where housing is the least affordable, the report found.

In San Francisco, where 6.7% of the adult population identifies as LGBTQ—the highest share of any of the 54 metropolitan areas Redfin analyzed—only 5.1% of listings last year were affordable based on the median local income, one of the lowest shares in the country.

In Portland, Oregon, which had the second highest share of LGBTQ adults at 6%, only 6.7% of homes for sale were affordable; in Austin, Texas, where 5.9% of the adult population identifies as LGBTQ, 2.9% of listings were affordable.

And in Seattle and Los Angeles, where LGBTQ adults make up 5.2% and 5.1% of the population, 4.8% and 1.9% of homes for sale were affordable, respectively.

All but one of those top LGBTQ metros—Austin—has state-level protections, the report said.

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11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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