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The last twenty years have seen many advances in our homes and how we live in them. When we celebrated Christmas in 1997, brick veneer homes were the norm, flat screen TVs and smartphones had not yet been invented, CD stacks were a feature of our living rooms and solar panels hadn’t made it to our rooftops.
Today energy rating schemes influence the design of homes, box TVs are museum relics, landline phones are nearly outdated, music can be played anywhere and proportionally more roofs of Australian homes have solar panels than anywhere in the world.
Twenty years from now our homes will be different again to what they are today. Here are 6 top trends that will change the way we live and interact with others in our homes.
1. Self-sufficient ecosystem
You may already have a home with energy-efficient lighting, reverse-cycle air conditioning, low flow showerheads and a compost bin, but in twenty years you have taken this to the next level. Your home will function as a self-sufficient ecosystem, recycling its own water and waste and producing its own clean energy. A greenhouse in your garden or neighbourhood will supply organic fruit and vegetables, and a backyard aquaponics system will harvest edible fish.
2. Rooms with dual functions
Space wasters like double garages and sprawling lawns will no longer be big ticket items. Smaller but smarter spaces will be in vogue, including micro apartments. Rooms will be designed for more than one function. Your carport, for example, will double as an alfresco space. Your living room will transform to a bedroom and storage space will be hidden in walls and pushed up to ceilings.
Scaled down, adaptable furniture and décor like wall hung toilets and movable walls will make the most of limited space and create an environment that adapts to suit your changing lifestyle.
3. Smarter and smarter
Our homes will work for us, with sensors embedded in countertops, furniture, appliances and even walls and floors. Today sensors are expensive and rarely talk to each other but in twenty years they will operate as a single device, communicating with each other and responding to your needs.
Sensors will unlock your front door on approach, monitor your health, and determine how best to light, heat and ventilate your home.
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4. Built in factories
No more waiting around for a builder to construct your home. Pre-fab and permanent modular construction will see quick and efficient home builds. Using the controlled environment of a factory, there is less risk, more efficient use of materials and no weather delays. Homes will consist of multiple sections – known as modules – that are constructed offsite, transported to the build and placed by crane on the foundations.
5. 3D printed homes
3D printing is transforming architecture, and in twenty years, 3D printed homes will be mainstream. A manufacturing technique that makes three dimensional solid objects from a digital file, 3D printing will see us living in unique homes of any shape or design. The machine prints layer after layer of construction material, almost as though printing parts to a giant jigsaw puzzle. Using this speedy, inexpensive process, our homes will be made up of environmentally-friendly materials like plastics floating in our oceans or landfill waste.
6. Home-work balance
By 2037, your home will be set up to easily accommodate your work. Catering to living, socialising and working from the one space, your office desk will convert from a kitchen bench or fold down from the wall, with sliding separation doors for privacy. Instead of being tethered to a traditional home office, technology and home design will work together to create an environment where you can work collaboratively with colleagues from anywhere in your home.
Excited about what the future holds? Jump on board the property ladder with the help of a Yellow Brick Road mortgage broker.