With 2019 well underway, we thought it would be a good idea to start looking at the kind of projects the year ahead is likely to bring us. When it comes to residential home improvements, our clients’ glazing choices are often made in line with a bit of a ‘reboot ’to the structural character of their home - and this gives us a pretty good insight into the kinds of changes people are making to their properties.
We aren’t talking about the specific interior decor choices people are making (we’ll leave recommendations about the perfect pastels to use in your kitchen to the interior design experts!) - instead, we’re talking about the broader changes that homeowners are already making to their properties, which have given us an insight into what trends we can expect in the coming months.
From unusual and practical new extensions, to multi-use spaces, here are the biggest home improvement trends to expect in 2019 and beyond:
Home extensions are hardly something new, and calling them a ‘trend’ might seem a little bit naive. But we’re not just talking about classic, timeless glass extensions here. Homeowners will always find the idea of adding new rooms and living or working areas to their homes appealing - but as new design concepts emerge, architects and designers are finding ways to redefine how we think about extending our homes.
Enter ‘pod’ extensions.
These small scale additions to a property aren’t intended to be used as multi-functional new spaces. They don’t tend to form parts of annexes, and they don’t accommodate dining tables or other large appliances or fixtures.
Instead, pod extensions provide a small ‘cubby hole’ or ‘box’ space that protrudes from the exterior wall of a home. They are perfect for reading, enjoying a cup of tea, and are usually made (at least partially) from structural glass, making them a fantastic source of light. They also look rather lovely!
Blending indoor and outdoor aesthetics
As we move further and further into a technology-driven world, our obsession with digital is making life easier and quicker than ever - but it’s also removing us from our connection with nature.
This isn’t to say that technology is bad and that we should abolish it - on the contrary. Instead, it’s reaffirming to see that as we adjust to an increasingly digital daily life, architects and homeowners are collaborating to find ways to bring nature back into our lives - literally.
The blending of indoor and outdoor aesthetics has become popular in recent years, with a number of different applications moving to reconnect us with the great outdoors. Installations such as sliding glass doors will become increasingly popular, as we continue to strive to minimise the divide between our exterior and interior spaces both visually and practically.
Multi-use, open-plan spaces
This may seem a slightly trite point, as arguably all spaces are ‘multi-use’, but in 2019 we’re expecting to see a rise in the number of homeowners opting for more modular living and working spaces. This is likely to coincide with a preference among homeowners for more open-plan spaces, which naturally lend themselves to adaptability and flexibility in the way a home interior space is used.
This is particularly poignant when it comes to extensions. While owners of property that is due to undergo a full remodel or renovation will likely adapt these principles into the core of their home, when it comes to things like glazed extensions we’re expecting to see more and more designs for adaptable spaces, rather than the ‘museum room’ options (such as using a conservatory solely as a dining room) that used to be popular.
Smart home integration
This was on our list last year, but we’re sticking with this one, as it looks like we were right (if we do say so ourselves!) Homes featuring internet-enabled ‘smart’ technology - incorporating voice-controlled speaker systems such as Amazon’s ‘Alexa’ - are becoming far more commonplace. It’s perhaps unsurprising that Google’s own foray into this market is named ‘Home’.
The number of installations and applications that can integrate with a smart home is ever-increasing. Everything from air conditioning, lighting, and even structural installations such as windows and skylights can all be operated remotely and centrally, and it’s easy to see the appeal of this new way of living. We expect to see even more homes ‘smarten up’ in 2019.
While interior trends tend to focus on things like colour and material, at the heart of many home improvements is lighting. At the very least, it’s a major consideration when it comes to renovations and remodels, and in 2019, it’s going to remain in the fore - if anything, it’s probably going to become even more important.
Daylighting - the process of flooding an interior space with natural light - has become a central pillar of wellness architecture, and it’s not surprising to see the influence this has had on countless architectural projects.
Homeowners don’t just want properties that serve as a hub as they work towards healthier and more fulfilled lifestyles: in many cases, they want their homes to actively contribute to this goal. Everything from air purity to interior climates can contribute to this, but natural light is a source of wellbeing that many people are striving to make the most of.
This means plenty of large glazed installations, from skylights to glass walls - the clearer the glass and the less obscured it is the better, so we’re expecting things like frameless glazing solutions to continue to rise in popularity. Alternative glass options such as low iron glass (which is purer and clearer) are also likely to become more widely embraced by architects, as homeowners delve deeper into how to maximise their wellness in their living spaces.
The drive towards healthier lifestyles will also probably have an impact on the materials that property owners choose to employ on things like renovations - and architects working on designing new builds will also probably start to consider alternatives to constructions staples prone to potential pitfalls.
We need only say the word ‘asbestos’ and it’s clear that we’ve come a long way when it comes to our awareness of how materials can impact the inhabitants of a space. Architects, designers, and homeowners are striving to actively mitigate any potential negative impacts of the materials they employ in home improvements and construction - this means opting for materials that are produced in a way that isn’t harmful to either people or the environment, an attitude which aligns well with the move towards a more conscious overall approach to wellness.
We’re not just trying to eat in a way that minimised toxins, chemicals, and harmful production - we’re trying to build in this way, too. In 2019, we expect this attitude will continue to progress and rise in prominence.
It would be naive to suggest that the list we’ve gone over here is the be all and end all of how home improvements will look in 2019. What we hope we’ve illustrated, however, is that attitudes towards how we build, and how our homes feed into our daily lives are progressing.
It’s such an exciting time to be working with architects and homeowners alike on improving their property, and if you’d like more information on what Cantifix do, or how we could help you transform your own project with glazing, don’t hesitate to get in touch via our contact us page.