• Aimee.Dillon

Building Trends for 2019 & 2020

Planning to build your dream home this year, or maybe remodel the house you already own and love? I have searched high and low to find out the dreamiest features and hottest finishes on homeowners’ must-have lists this year. Learn what experts consider to be 2019’s most enviable design elements, home features and more so you can imagine your new space with these trends in mind.

Open Floor Plans: Still a Must-Have

A top priority for homeowners these days is entertaining, and wide-open floor plans are a must-have for many families. If you’re in the kitchen cooking, you want to be able to see the dining room or see the living room so you can socialize with whoever you’re having over.

Design continuity becomes a more important consideration when spaces are open and interconnected. People are wanting more continuity throughout the house, and when you walk into a home that has all these segregated spaces, it feels very disconnected. Bringing a sort of flow where spaces interact amongst each other is very popular right now.



Kitchens: Move Over White, Here Comes Color

Although white cabinets are a classic look that can be used in almost any kind of kitchen style, we are slowly starting to see them on the way out! We expect white to start declining in popularity throughout 2019. To break up the all-white kitchen expect to see islands in a variety of different paint colors or wood stain colors. The mixing of finishes create a needed accent piece and additional pops-of-color for the brave of heart. These pops-of-colors will be most popular in shades of blue and green.


In addition to these neutral nature shades is another color palette that is making its way into the kitchen–dark jewel tones: black, navy, emerald green and even plum. It will surprise you at how well dark kitchen cabinets can work in and/or enhance a kitchen space with its dramatic and luxurious feel.

Dark kitchen cabinets portray full-on elegance and a deep rich luxurious atmosphere that the other options just don’t. They cast the kitchen in a subtle dramatic essence. However, you have to be careful that it does not overpower the room, making it feel perpetually dark. But more and more homeowners are getting bolder and opting for a kitchen with dark cabinet colors in 2019. Expect to see tons of black and darker color shades in the trendiest homes of 2019/2020.


Technology has entered the kitchen in full force and not just in the form of fancy gadgets and appliances. Today, you can have a kitchen with technology integrated into every function and appliance–from the faucets to the fridge to the lighting. This is what we call a smart kitchen. Easy add-ons are motion sense-equipped kitchen faucets that can sense the presence of hands underneath and will come on automatically or try a one-touch feature. Refrigerators that can alert you when your groceries items are running low or a coffee maker programmed to have your coffee ready when you wake up. There is also a gadget that monitors your eggs, telling you which ones are almost going bad.


Bricks

Red brick has been used beautifully in heritage buildings and not-so beautifully in generic suburbia where it was a default choice. Now this classic, ancient building material (the Romans used it exceptionally well) is coming back and bringing its welcoming warmth back as a premium finish. It's not being used for whole houses but used to enhance the building's form, alongside other curated materials in a very contemporary way.


Bricks may be a humble material but they've undergone a style revolution in recent years, there's now more choice than ever. You can buy bricks with a glazed face or a matt texture, in a huge variety of sizes. There are wider bricks, thinner bricks, longer bricks – the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.The colour options have broadened, too. You're not limited to browns, reds and creams like before. There's black, green, blue – you can even go with pink if you want.


This new approach is architect-driven and has quickly seen brick enjoy a resurgence in popularity. Homeowners increasingly understand the value of street appeal – and today's bricks certainly give them that, you don't look at bricks in isolation any more.



It’s All About That Quartz


Now that cabinetry is getting some color, the trend in counter tops is the opposite – bright white. Quartz is still the material of choice. It’s even more popular than granite at this point. The material is extremely hardy, can last virtually forever, is a breeze to maintain and is anti-microbial. Another advantage of quartz over granite is that it can be ordered in unique, custom sizes both big and small. Because it’s a man-made material, the buyer isn’t limited by the size of the slab. When quartz counter tops first came into the market, the main worry was lack of variety in terms of colors and finishes. But with time, thanks to technology, manufacturers have provided a wide range of colors to choose from as well as realistic stone patterns. You can even get quartz finished with elaborate swirls and large veining to imitate other materials like natural stone. These unique styles have become immensely popular. There is a notable trend toward softer and more neutral colors , homeowners want to see interesting veining, whether with grays or golds throughout the counter top. While we are still on the topic of counter tops, it is important to mention the rising popularity of composite sinks. These are sinks made from the same material as the counter top.  This creates a cleaner uniform look and makes cleaning and maintenance much easier. However, it is going to be a tough battle against the still very popular stainless steel and farmhouse sinks.



Clever Roofing Materials


Colour also sits at the heart of new releases in the roofing realm. Colorbond recently added a new matt finish to its line of roofing materials so they work in with the latest building design trends. This new matt-paint technology was developed to offer builders a roofing steel in neutral hues with a zinc-like finish.

It has been tested over a decade, perfected and offer impressive solar reflectance and anti-corrosive qualities.


If it's a tiled roof you're after, expect to find a hugely expanded choice of colour there, too. Today's terracotta roof tiles come in black, cream, grey and all manner of colours, and instead of the ridge you'd always see in traditional roof tiles, you can now have a beautiful flat profile. Another exciting development in tiles is their solar capabilities, in September Bristile Roofing launched an integrated photovoltaic tile that sits flat within the roofline. It's three tiles wide and from the street it looks seamless. Bristile Integrated Solar Tiles work in conjunction with Sonnen solar-storage household batteries. Now that the return on investment on battery systems is down to about seven years, expect to see a lot of interest in solar roof tiles. The number of homeowners who've seen the light and embraced solar power continues to grow.



Lightweight Construction Materials


In lightweight construction, timber or steel framing provides structural support for the home. Non-structural cladding – made from lightweight building materials, such as the autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) used in Hebel PowerPanels – is then attached to the framework. Installing one Hebel panel can be equivalent to laying 75 bricks, which means the exterior of a 150m2 home could go up in three days when it's put in by experienced installers, this can equate to significant savings in labour costs. The other advantages are that Hebel panels will keep your house warmer in winter and cooler in summer, plus they have excellent acoustic qualities and look great.


Weatherboards today are far more durable and better looking than before. James Hardie's Scyon range, for example, has fibre-cement weatherboards in four classic profiles to give your home deep shadow lines and a contemporary look. There's no timber involved, so they're low maintenance, take paint well and are resistant to termites, moisture, rot and fire.



Windows and Glass Design Features

Our love affair with big windows continues, with designers and architects using glass in ever-larger spans. needs to let in light and views while blocking out extreme temperatures, noise and intruders. Today's high-performance glass is up to the task, with Viridian recently expanding its LightBridge range to include the Kakadu line, for even better insulation outcomes. This means homeowners can use glass that meets the required planning standards while still allowing for larger window-to-wall ratios. A typical, adequately insulated home with regular glass can lose up to 40 per cent of heat through its windows in winter, and allows up to 87 per cent of solar heat gain in summer. While an entry-level energy-efficient glass can improve insulation by about a third, a higher-performing glass such as LightBridge can more than double this improvement.


Skylights are often used when desiring to let more sunlight into a space or when there’s no other choice. A good example can be an attic space with angled walls. Skylights are the equivalent or regular windows. It’s for this type of spaces that Danish window company Velux developed Cabrio. This design allows you to open up the frame of the skylight in order to create a small balcony. Cabrio is made of two sections, each with a distinct purpose. The top portion opens for ventilation while the bottom part has an integrated banister which moves outward and forms a space similar to a tiny balcony.


Modern and contemporary architecture focus on establishing a strong connection between interior and exterior spaces, ensuring a seamless transition and allowing gorgeous views to become a part of the interior décor. The Turntable system offered by Vitrocsa helps dissolve the boundaries of the home by allowing glass walls and panels to slide and turn corners. The system allows them to hide within solid walls, opening up spaces to their surroundings.



Another innovative window system designed to offer the user a private space from which to admire the views and the surroundings is More Sky. When you open this window you obtain a temporary sunroom with its own seating area. It can be folded away when not in use. There are three types of windows to choose from, each with its own unique design.


There are cases when the desire is not to have a huge window and panoramic views but merely to find a subtle way to let some light in or to highlight a certain feature in the room. Consider a thin, long and narrow window which forms a slit into the wall, offering a glimpse of what’s behind it and letting in enough sunlight to make the space feel bright and fresh.


On the other hand, when you want to capture a panoramic view which stretches in front of your home and wraps around it from all sides, a simple window is not enough. To capture the beauty and essence of the view you’ll need a window which stretches on two adjacent walls. However, you don’t want the frame to interrupt the view so the corner needs to be clear.

In some cases it’s impossible to give up the support structure that holds the window. This would usually happen when the windows stretch from floor to ceiling. If you decide to opt for corner windows/ glass walls, then you’ll also gain some extra space there.


A different way to capture the beauty and charm of a great view is with a cozy window nook. You can think about this feature in advance and design the house with a very thick window sill. The window nook will become a natural part of the interior design. In addition, you’ll be able to use it in a lot of other ways such as to display interesting decorations.



Circular windows are unusual and they usually suggest a nautical-themed interior design. However, this is not always the case. A circular pivot window such as this one can be an interesting design feature for a lot of spaces which have bohemian, modern or vintage interior designs.

A window can be the focal point of an entire room, provided it has an interesting and eye-catching look. This particular window is a very good example. Not only that it has an unusual shape and size but it also features the most peculiar set of shutters, arranged in a pinwheel pattern at different angles.

A different way of making sure a window stands out is by giving it a unique shape. Unusual geometric shape with odd angles or resembling a lightning bolt that penetrates the wall of house. This is the type of window that could make any building look special and designer.

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