Every age comes with a different architectural style. This is usually to do with the way that new materials and technologies enter the market, but is also about the changing lifestyle of the majority of the population.
In recent years, it has become clear that open plan living isn’t just a phase but a real cultural shift. Where before people would boast about the number of rooms they have, now people are looking for large, single spaces that can be used in multiple ways. But this isn’t the only thing that has changed.
The Glass and Steel Revolution
With the sudden upsurge in steel, especially exposed steel, bigger windows and more dynamic uses of glass have come into play. Though this is most noticeable in city centers where enormous structures are being built to house everything from offices to new and exciting New York landmarks like One Vanderbilt.
But this trend is entering the sphere of self-builders too. Large windows are certainly growing in popularity now that their production costs have been lowered and people are more likely to go for the look of steel, not just its strength. At the extreme of this trend are those who go for steel home kits that go up in no time and create an instant modern minimalist look.
It’s Not About Stuff
Another clear cultural shift has only happened in the last couple of years and that is the move away from collecting to stuff to collecting experiences instead. Though the economy has long been built on people buying things, we are now all much more careful about where our money is spent. This means that we are more likely to spend money on doing things like eating out or traveling than we are on another bit of junk from a store.
From an architectural point of view, this means that our homes no longer need to be repositories for things, but can act more like museums, curating the things that have defined our lives. One of the ways that this has affected the design of homes is that rooms may now have much larger windows as the wall space is not needed to shelves or other storage solutions.
Flexible Living Needs Flexible Rooms
Though many people still want large, spacious homes, the reality is that with more and more people wanting to live in the city, homes are getting smaller. However, given that we are all less interested in stuff, this isn’t necessarily a problem.
Small living is gaining in popularity and many people now prefer to use a single flexible space (plus a separate bathroom). Many furniture designers are riding this trend and are offering more hidden storage solutions such as under the bed or in the sofa or even furniture on castors that can be rearranged at any moment.
As our lifestyles change so do our homes and though architecture sometimes seems to be behind the times, it is often what is shaping our idea of living and living well.
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