24 Feb Interior Design & architectural trends 2015/2016
As much as technology will continue to operate the home, the aesthetic appeal of the home will continue to focus on natural and authentic materials and finishes. Recent years have seen a move towards a look that can only be classified as industrial. This is a simplistic approach where we see elements such as raw concrete floors, up-cycled furniture such as palette tables, reclaimed timber furniture, old rusted filing cabinets and exposed Edison light bulbs being the order of the day. The psychology behind this styling is definitely a backlash to mass production and an apathy for the environment. We will certainly see this styling become a little more refined. China is already replicating these elements and we see cheap “industrial” replicas made with inferior and unauthentic materials appearing at mass retailers.
Design and architectural trends don’t have a drastic shift year on year but rather evolve and build on past trends. These trends are driven by consumer attitudes and now more than ever, environmental awareness and a focus on technology plays a huge part in consumer decision-making. We have seen home automation continue to evolve over recent years and apart from becoming more accessible, it has also become more affordable. Home automation includes the development of “smart appliances”. Nowadays, your fridge can remind you to purchase milk and cheese, or an alarm system can keep you updated with changes of temperature within the home. In addition, smart phone technology and apps allow consumers to control multiple devices directly from a person’s hand held device, whether they are in their home or at a remote location.
Wood will continue to be a key element, especially in as much of its natural form as is practical (wood cannot be left in its raw form as it simply doesn’t last). A new trend is for natural and even reclaimed wood to be used within the kitchen, from cabinets to work surfaces; this area of the home is certainly becoming more “rustic “and less clinical. These so-called “rustic” kitchens will also see a trend towards “mini farming” where previous “dead spaces” within the kitchen will be designed for growing certain vegetables and herbs. Skylights or big open windows are favorable in these areas. Leading on from this, Urban Farming will become a buzzword, with vegetable gardens being the norm and not reserved for the bohemian hobbyist. Flat roofs and unused wall spaces will all become perfect canvases for growing everything from beans and tomatoes to grapes and lettuce varieties.