Residential architecture: last 5 years trends

Posted on 23 February, Tuesday

Because the majority of houses are not bashed down and rebuilt each year, it’s hard for those not working in the architectural industry to spot many design trends as they walk down the street. Some are obvious, such as the Federation Style home, and those gawky 1970’s flats that you spot in most suburbs. If you’re looking for inspiration when designing your new home, we’ve rounded up the last five years of trends in residential architecture that just might help get those creative juices flowing…

Inner city living

As housing prices continued to soar, we saw a rise in the number of spaces above shops and old offices being converted into residential spaces. In regards to the spaces above shops, many of these were once residential and have just been returned to their original intended use. This revival is partly due to the improved public transport that we now enjoy, meaning that many home owners are now less concerned about parking spaces than they once were.

Heritage homes

We’ve also seen a rise in embracing heritage-listed houses, partly due to the fact that councils now allow internal renovations, as long as the facade is kept intact and partly because current trends have meant that original wrought iron decorations, tiled fireplaces and classical mouldings are now in style. These types of houses are also common in highly sought-after inner city suburbs, ensuring their popularity for years to come.

Smaller carbon footprints

There’s been a rise in the number of passive homes, where residential architects and home owners put more thought and energy into how to make their home as environmentally friendly than they did the appearance or design, with a focus to reduce their own individual carbon footprint. This can also be seen in the rise of natural, sustainable materials over previously popular synthetic building materials.

Modular homes

We also saw a rise in pre-fabricated houses. Often called modular homes, this is where parts of a house, or even occasionally the entire house, are built off-site in large factories and then simply ‘installed’ on-site. This method cuts down the amount of time it takes to build a house, as builders work is not so dependent on the weather forecast.

Smarter storage

Inventive storage was also on the rise for those renovating small houses who wanted to increase storage while still maximising the space they have. Think under the stair cupboard, steps in the staircases being turned into drawers and high shelving built directly into the walls. This can also be seen in the kind of furnishing people are buying: ottomans with hidden storage, trunks as coffee tables and couches that convert into beds are all trendy once again.

Kitchen as the centre of the home

Once upon a time, kitchens were tucked away in the back of the home, hidden from view. Now days, we tend to find kitchens being designed to be the centre of the home, combined with the primary living area. This is partly due to a revival of dinner parties, but also due to the multi-functional use of a kitchen: no longer just a place for cooking, it’s also a place for families to bond, homework to be completed and meals to be eaten.