Architects, interior designers and other housing experts discuss the trends that will define the homes of the 2020s.
In the post-war Australia of 1920, a desire for luxury housing opened the door to two major sources of influence. The first was Californian bungalow design, which inspired glazing and spacious verandas. The second was European Art Deco, which provided the basis for the simple shapes and aesthetics that defined the decade.
The roaring twenties were a time of outrageous prosperity, and what influenced housing design then stands in stark contrast to what is set to influence housing design a century later. Instead, it is energy efficiency, technology and personalisation that will frame the future. Here's how, according to the experts.
A new construction
Pre-fabricated houses are predicted to be the biggest trend of the 2020s, says Joe Snell, architect at James Hardie. The process involves sections of houses being produced in factories before being transported to the site for connection.
"One of the biggest opportunities from this change is more quality control and more time in the design phase all adding up to less excuse for poor design and inefficient building," says Snell.
"Houses will go more toward the ways cars are built and tested before being used and occupied."
A window into energy efficiency
Already a crucial consideration, energy efficient design will only become more important over the coming decade, says Christine Evans, marketing director at Stegbar.
"Building regulations will continue to push green building, new technologies in glazing and improved product engineering and design. This will facilitate better energy efficiency within the home and reduce the reliance on artificial climate controls," she says.
Evans says windows are a strong point of interest, referencing research from the Australian government that shows up to 40 percent of heat escapes from homes via windows, while double glazing can decrease heat loss by almost 30 percent.
Making the most out of smaller spaces
In November 2019, the size of an average built house dropped 1.3 percent from 2018 to 228.8 square metres, the smallest in 17 years. This usually equates to smaller outdoor and entertaining areas, but innovation and technology means this negative can be turned into a positive. This includes vertical gardens and built-in furniture.
"Australians love the outdoors but are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve the right balance between indoor-outdoor living, especially when they have less space to play with," says Jason Hodges, DIY landscaper and Adbri Masonry ambassador.
"No matter what size the space, designers and builders can create a beautiful backyard oasis. My top tip is to take time in planning and aim to create a functional outdoor sanctuary that makes the most of the space to create the perfect getaway from the everyday."
Saving water without sacrificing the shower experience
"The ability to be water-wise in our homes is crucial to a sustainable future," says Nick Swan, Methven brand manager.
"Consumers need not choose between an efficient shower and a shower that feels good, which is why we have seen a rising interest in consumers requesting more efficient showerheads since the introduction of the fourth star to the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme."
Living smarter with home automation
Household penetration of home automation technology is charted to hit 41.9 percent by 2023, according to Statista, as people seek personalisation and convenience on a broader scale.
"Personalisation has moved beyond merely heating and lighting," says Vera Meharg, Luxaflex Window Fashions communications manager, who uses the brand's offerings as an example of the capability of home automation.
"Homeowners can take complete control in the management of shading, temperature control, energy efficiency and privacy in their home, all of which can actively reduce energy consumption and amp up security."
Time to change
Christian Hansen is the product manager for James Hardie. He says that with growth predicted to occur in the construction industry over the next 12 to 18 months, 2020 will prove the perfect time to re-evaluate building practices.
"The market we had, has created a fear of missing out as homes were snapped up. The decline gives home owners more time to build a vision and a brief for their property. At the same time, hungry builders are now more likely to respond to unique design requirements," says Hansen.
"In terms of looks, we’re seeing a rise in simplicity and reduced consumption, which is driving a trend for better designed houses. Clean lines and contemporary housing styles, such as mid-century modern and minimalist aesthetics will continue to rise in popularity as home owners try to escape the clutter and business of modern life. This translates into more open and liveable homes, with a focus on comfort and style."
Image via Stegbar.