Our Favorite Architectural Trends of 2016
This has been an exciting and innovative year in the world of architecture. From our reconnection with nature to green, sustainable designs and technology, 2016 has turned out to be quite the trend-setting year. Architects, builders, and interior designers are defining an entire generation through this work.
In architecture, trends define and create moods that set the tone for how personal space is interpreted and integrated into our daily lives. Trends guide direction in design and cultural appeal. Every year, new trends catch on, and some stick around for decades.
We are always learning and looking for the latest architectural trends to incorporate into our own signature brand. After all, it’s true that this is our profession, but it’s also our passion. That’s why we’re so excited to share this year’s top architectural trends with you. From smart home technologies to a resurgence in art deco prints, here are some of our favorite trends of 2016:
Open Concept Homes
Though not a new trend, this is one that we’re very glad to see stay. No longer are rooms closed off from one another by four walls and a door. The open concept implies space and breathes new life into dwellings, giving them a sense of grandeur and social appeal. In place of solid boundaries, each ‘room’ is defined by changes in design in the floors or ceilings, marking each with a distinct but fluid line of sight. Spaces are connected with no obstruction for a very modern, minimalistic design.
Flex rooms tie in very nicely with the open concept design. These are rooms or spaces that have no clear definition or purpose and can be interpreted however you see fit. We’re seeing more and more homes designed with these rooms as a means to provide an easy-to-transform space that can be renovated or made over with little to no excess cost. For homeowners, this is a very attractive and accommodating feature, because they can adjust these spaces as their wants, tastes, and needs change. For example, these flex rooms make excellent room additions for a growing family or a family taking care of elderly parents.
Bespoke Houses and Renovations
Much the same as the flex rooms, these renovations are tailored to reflect a home owner’s lifestyle. Though the term “bespoke” is often used in relation to men’s tailoring, this trend has become a reflection of tailored designs specifically meant to complement a homeowner’s personality. These designs are very specific and can be thought of as add-ons or bonus features. Some homeowners desire such bespoke designs and inclusions as walk-in closets, small-scale cocktail or wet bars, and sometimes just a quiet sitting room.
Bringing the Outdoors In
Homes used to have clearly-defined walls separating the inside from the outside. That’s a thing of the past, however, as one exciting trend blurs these boundaries and blends the outdoors with the indoor space. The exterior of a home is now just as important as the interior. Some outdoor spaces include private courtyards that house full kitchens, furniture, and even televisions.
Large Open Windows
The only way to truly invite the outdoors in is through large, open windows. These architectural elements expand living spaces straight into the outdoors. Stunningly open, bright, floor-to-ceiling windows have replaced walls for unobstructed views and connection with our natural surroundings.
Sustainable Materials and Environmentally Conscious Designs
Sustainable and energy-efficient materials are no longer a privilege or niche; they are the standard for our future. Energy conservation is becoming trendy in today’s society, and now, everyone wants to jump on board the green movement. Thanks to this shift in consciousness, architects have access to an ever-expanding realm of sustainable materials. We’re seeing everything from cork flooring to beautiful no-VOC paints that seamlessly and classically combine style with functional design and sustainable practices.
Smart Home Technology
This trend has been a long time coming. Today’s smart homes can now be powered and controlled from anywhere, at any time, through WiFi. There are all sorts of new smart gadgets on the market that can be directly connected and incorporated into the very fabric of your home. With one touch of a smart phone, homeowners can control everything from their sprinkler systems to their thermostats.
Here at Neri Architects, our signature style and tastes are well established, as we blend art and cutting-edge science with classic features and modern elements to produce stunning designs. Our very designs and name have become a definitive architectural trend, and one that is here to stay.