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The best rooms also have something to say about the people who live in them,” notes British designer David Hicks, and his words very much capture the essence of modern day design demands. For savvy homeowners, design should not only be functional, long-lasting, and sustainable, but also reflect their personal idea of comfort and style. If you are currently immersed in a home renovation project or you are looking into designing a new build, watch out for these upcoming trends, all of which may inspire you without overtaking your personal idea of what design should be.

Harmonizing with Exteriors

Minimalism may have been a major force in architectural design for the past decade at least, but its influence continues to hold sway, with cubist, sleek, simple exteriors continuing to appeal to savvy homebuyers. As noted by 57 Ocean, homes that are completely in harmony with their surroundings continue to dominate, and this often means giving the starring role to exteriors – particularly if you live in an ocean or forest area. Glass walls which let in the maximum amount of light and which connect indoor and outdoor spaces are married to modern, appealing interiors bearing light cream, beige, and light wood hues, very much in line with the Finnish, Norwegian, Brazilian, and Scandinavian styles.

Sustainability in Design

Environmental sustainability will dominate home design at the architectural stage, with developers, architects, and interiorists working side by side to create homes that are extremely energy efficient. Features such as tubular daylighting devices (which shoot concentrated sunlight into the home via optical domes) enable dwellers to enjoy free lighting all throughout the day. Home automation is being used to save energy by controlling heating, cooling and the energy expended by appliances. Finally, biophilic design is holding sway, with designers resorting to natural finishes such as wood and stone, and the establishment of water features to elicit positive emotional responses to environments.

Open Spaces

The cold distinction between cooking, dining, and living spaces has finally been put to an end, with a penchant for continuous design throughout the main floor of homes and apartments. If in the past kitchens were seen as a utilitarian space in which cleanliness, sturdiness and simplicity were the main values pursued, today, kitchens are bearing the same design features as the rest of the home. Thus, many boast marble features that echo the use of this material in the living room. Designer Italian kitchen lighting (think flirty pendant lighting, bespoke lighting above central islands and LED lighting along splashbacks and main furniture pieces) continues to dominate design magazines, as does kitchen wallpaper in everything from faux linen to metallics.

Metallics for Warmth

Stark whites, elegant blacks, and cool greys work beautifully with stone and natural wood, but homes designed in these materials sometimes lack a little warmth. In steps metallics in mixed hues such as copper, silver, and gold. These will be present as much in decorative pieces as in island stools in kitchens, lighting, and large furniture items. Mixed metallics add subtle color to key areas in the home, including the living room, entrance hall, and kitchen.

It’s an exciting time for homebuyers, builders, and designers, with sustainability and style being a perfect match for each other. Designers are harking back to sustainable natural materials, while installing smart home systems that save energy and cost. Finally, spaces are being opened up, both within the home and between exteriors and interiors. Natural light and colors, jazzed up by colorful metallics, are providing a good blend of simplicity and artistry.