While we’re still in the early part of the year, this is an opportune moment in which to take another look at trends, this time with a view to longer term predictions. Changes in technology and social evolution mean many elements currently considered staples of modern luxury homes may not be relevant within the next 10 years. While we’re not suggesting that new home builders should do away with these completely, it’s worth considering how they might be designed now to be updated or repurposed at a later stage.
From master suite to concealed chambers
Take the concept of the expansive master suites. Huge master suites have long been considered essential to a luxury home, but quality home builders are increasingly reporting that open plan master retreats may soon be replaced with a complex of private spaces arranged around a small chamber that houses not much more than a king size bed. Bijou ante-chambers, reading retreats and studies, and dressing rooms may form part of this elegant but cosy honeycomb of spaces. The emphasis is on privacy and even a sense of mystery; the bed is no longer on public display but instead hidden in a discreet area of its own within a nest of outer cells.
Dual home offices
With technology increasingly favouring remote working, many new home builders are specifying not one but two home offices, or one huge office that can accommodate several people. And these are more than sequestered functional boxes in which to stare at a computer screen. With a view to making working from home as enjoyable and productive as possible, cutting edge décor, inspirational picture windows, fireplaces, lounge areas, mini kitchens and even ante-chambers for exercise or yoga are on the rise.
From home theatre to virtual escape
Many future watchers are predicting the demise of formal home theatres, once again driven by technological changes such as video streaming, which allows movies to be watched in more flexible ways. Looking further ahead, the humble movie is set to be increasingly replaced by ‘escape rooms’ complete with 3D and virtual digital technology for total immersion escape.
Garages + parking spaces
Parking facilities are also set for a re-think, according to future watchers. The rise of ride-sharing and driverless cars, extending to owners of eco-conscious modern luxury homes, will see reduced emphasis on the importance of the garage, resulting in a more elegant front façade for many homes. New custom home builders, particularly those with an eye on international trends, are remarking that floor-to-ceiling heights in garages are already on the rise, allowing for later conversion for residential purposes.
In the Australian market, outdoor living is always a hot talking point. And it’s a concept that continues to evolve. Quality home builders note that as well as a swimming pool, and eating area, luxury homes frequently have a full outdoor living room complete with fireplace and soft seating. Taking the idea further, in more extended versions, two living rooms are increasingly being specified; one uncovered for summer and one more enclosed for winter. Outdoor sleeping areas and luxury outdoor bathrooms, inspired by the Balinese influence, look set to attract more demand.