A Self Analysis On The Future Of Home Living

By:Patricia Evans, Interior Designer and Writer, Huffington Post UK Blog and Twitter: @patevans016

We are seeing a lot of small spaces turned to makeshift workplaces and art galleries. The fast-paced modern lifestyles demand convenience and functionality in the tools we use and the environment we live in. Home automation is no longer a luxury only a few consider. It’s becoming the norm.

PSFK, global provider of innovation insights, recently released the Future of Home Living report that provides a projection of home living in the coming months and years. The report “seeks to uncover the emerging behaviors, technologies, products, services, and initiatives that are driving the evolution of the home.”
Here are nine of the hottest trends in home living you should know.

Control your home remotely

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Piers Fawkes, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of PSFK, reports the rise of the nomad class comprised of educated, influential and affluent professionals. 

According to the latest Media Business Survey, 60% of today’s office-based workers are expected to work remotely by 2022. Most nomads turn their homes into workspaces while other prefer to work in coffee shops, co-working spaces or even on the road.

This nomadic culture increases the role of technology in construction and interior design. Home automation is one of the home living trends we might be seeing for some time. From programmable home security system to appliances linked to your smartphone, home automation is in sync with the demands of modern life: accessibility, efficiency and comfort.

Store in the cloud, save space

The US Census Bureau suggests that 80 to 90% of working Americans would consider working remotely at least part time. Today, more people, not only young adults, leave their desk jobs for freelance work that allows them to travel more, socialize more and do the things that they love more. Cloud storage, or saving digital data online, is an important component of working remotely. Product designs, marketing materials and personal files such as photographs can be accessed anytime, anywhere, without taking up extra space at home.


Bring nature inside your home

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The future of home living is in green homes. People are acknowledging the need for energy-efficiency, waste management practices and overall healthy living. The city of Brandon in Manitoba, Canada, has launched its certified Green Homes project which will encourage builders and homeowners to create spaces that use energy-saving appliances, preserve natural resources and bring nature indoors.
Green infusion should not be costly, otherwise it defeats its purpose. Simply making portable gardens in your kitchen and doing away with plastic items can do a lot for the environment and one’s health.

Multifunctional products, multipurpose features
People want to maximize their life at home without adding up stuff in their homes. PSFK notes reconfigurable furniture, or those with modular components and multipurpose features, are becoming increasingly popular in a condo community. Reconfigurable wall shelves that stores small items (books, house plants, etc.) and large valuables (bikes, trolleys, etc,) saves space in condo units.


DIY repairs versus new purchases

Almost everything we need to know is available in the Internet. How to mount a 20-pound chandelier in your living room? Check Youtube. What are the hottest color palettes for your bedrooms? Log on to Pinterest. On-demand parts are also more accessible, thanks to online marketplaces and efficient door-to-door deliveries. Instead of buying replacement furniture and appliances, people are opting for repairs either through DIY or paid labor.

Weekly (or daily) dream homes

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PSFK’s Future of Home Living report highlights another hot trend in building and designing living spaces: owner-centered interior décor. Today’s home and condo living is all about flexibility. A homeowner may feel minimalist this week and an industrialist the next. He can shift his interior design taste from one type to another without breaking the bank as homes are increasingly becoming customizable. Pop-out designs and collapsible construction allow one to have different “dream homes” as often as he wants.

Home designs for creative thinking

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According to the Quarterly Journal of Economics (2014-2015), employees who work remotely are 13% more productive, feel less distracted and report higher work satisfaction levels than their office-based peers. The birth of startups and the increasing popularity of freelancing has changed the way workplaces operate. Offices can now be in a neighborhood coffee shop, on a picturesque beach abroad or inside the comforts of one’s bedroom. Thus, the increasing demand for innovations that make homes conducive to creating things.

Designers are introducing lighting that give spaces a cozy ambiance to stimulate interactions and creative thinking. Aaron Lee, co-creator of online emporium Prinkbox, says: 

“Many interior designers are shifting towards the reinvention of everyday items as a way of reinvigorating living spaces.”


Small space, expansive feel

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An extra square footage doesn’t add value to a home unless it has a purpose. The trends in home living are all about functionality. PSFK reports that creative interior solutions can make both small studio apartments and large manors larger than they actually are.

All-in-one living community
One of the benefits of condo living is convenience. Everything is within reach—business districts, establishments, and transportation systems. Condo communities offer homeowners and tenants leisure facilities such as entertainment rooms, swimming pools and fitness centers. Condo living offers a reprieve from the stresses of city life.

Designers are now using disappearing designs for condo units, or those that blend into the background of homes. Furniture with seamless designs made of synthetic organic materials are hot picks.

For this year and beyond, innovation analysts see people wanting to access more and owning less. This may be driven by the millennials’ preference for experiences over tangible materials. “Person-to-person sharing networks and personalized subscription services give us access to everything we need without the costs of long-term ownership and storage,” PSFK notes.

The flexibility of a nomadic life entices more employees to ditch their 9 to 5 jobs to work remotely. Cloud storage and other accessible technologies equip many to stay at home or elsewhere where the environment is less stressful. Customizable solutions that accommodate our need for connectivity and efficiency are at the core of home living.