• Carmel Homes

Top Home Design Trends for 2022: What’s In and What’s Out?

As luxury custom home builders, a big part of our job is staying across the latest developments in design. From the hottest architectural styles to the new ‘must have’ features, we must be up to date on it all. And given that design trends are constantly changing and evolving, this is pretty much a full-time job.

Knowing the direction home designs are heading helps us keep our own ideas fresh and our constructions feeling contemporary. It also allows us to anticipate what our clients will be looking for in their dream home design. This means more constructive consultations, an easier design process and, ultimately, happier homeowners.

We also appreciate being able to elevate the conversation around home design by sharing our thoughts and insights. In that spirit, we want to explore what we are likely to see a lot more of in 2022. As part of this, we will look at the biggest emerging trends and how to incorporate them into your design.



Applying biophilic design principles is the new home design trend

Biophilic design is all about maximising the connection between the built and natural worlds. This approach has become extremely popular over the last couple of years, mainly in response to COVID restrictions. Put simply, being forced to spend more time inside has increased many homeowners’ desire to bring the outside in.

Importantly, biophilic design shapes much more than the connection between indoor and outdoor spaces – though this is also important. It focuses on bringing natural elements into the home in a thoughtful, efficient, and – most importantly – beautiful way. It also considers how to maximise natural light and airflow to create a more natural, but still comfortable, living environment.

On a practical level, adopting biophilic design principles means embracing the warmth, texture, and beauty of natural materials. While homeowners have been doing this for years – think timber flooring and stone benchtops – this movement takes it a step further. It looks at how these materials can be central to the design, rather than replaceable finishes and aesthetic choices.

It also means finding a way to incorporate greenery into the core of your home’s design. More than merely encouraging the keeping of pot plants, biophilic design looks for ways to make nature integral to the design. This could mean indoor planter boxes and greenhouses, or even developing the whole design around a significant tree.

This trend can also be seen in many of the colour palettes predicted to be popular this year. Building on a recent move toward more earthy tones, colour experts are forecasting olive greens and clay browns to be big in 2022. Darker timbers are also expected to experience a bit of a renaissance, after years of oak being the preferred choice.

Creating functional spaces

As most people are still spending more time at home than pre-pandemic, a functional floor plan is more critical than ever. Homeowners are now committed to having a layout that is perfectly tailored to their lifestyle and daily routine. And spaces that were once considered a luxury are now an absolute necessity and key to the home’s overall design.

Dedicated home office spaces are the most obvious example of the shift in design priorities we are seeing. The ongoing popularity of working from home has turned these from a “nice to have” to an essential feature. It has also seen these spaces become much grander – a small study nook off the living area no longer suffices.

In fact, for many luxury custom builds, the home office space has become quite a showpiece. It is usually generously proportioned and features bespoke cabinetry, custom lighting, and high-end materials and finishes. Importantly, it can also be closed off from the rest of the house to provide privacy and support maximum concentration.

We have also started to see a hybrid approach to living area layouts that some are calling zoned-open plan. While the sense of space open plan living provides is still highly valued, appreciation for the benefits of zoned living is growing. As such, features like foldaway doors are becoming more popular, allowing homeowners to temporarily divide up their free-flowing living spaces.


Home office trends

Rediscovering curves and geometry

Modern designs tend to be quite sharp and rigid, with forms dominated by crisp lines and straight edges. But that is rapidly changing as people embrace the softness of curves in almost every element of home’s design.

While curved furniture has become particularly popular, we’re also seeing curves reappearing within the structure of many new homes. From arched doorways and curved walls to rounded work surfaces, curves are being used in a variety of ways. This builds on centuries of architectural tradition and can give a property a sleeker, more grounded feel.

Conversely, we are also seeing a real return to geometric patterns being used to add detail into a design. Think a feature splashback of “kit kat” finger mosaic tiles or zigzag motifs inlayed into wooden furniture. However, this is generally only being seen in styling choices – at least for now.


Embracing traditional European styling

At Carmel Homes, we have long been fans of European architectural styles, with many of our designs featuring French Provincial influences. As such, we’re extremely excited to see how many designs are pulling inspiration from traditional European aesthetics. We believe these looks are effortlessly stylish and classically beautiful, and a great choice for any home.

In particular, Mediterranean techniques and finishes are having a major moment and influencing many new home designs. This is generally in more subtle ways, like through the use of render to create softer, more tactile surfaces. Though some designs are clearly paying homage to the style with their colour palette, material choices and use of archways.

That said, even in the more literal interpretations, there is always a more modern lens applied to the home design. For example, some match the traditional Mediterranean form with a more liberal use of glass to optimise the natural light. Others choose to bring in inspiration from other, complimentary styles (e.g. Palm Springs) to create new, truly unique designs.


Celebrating the structure in home trends

Over the last few decades, we have become progressive less ashamed of the inner workings of our homes. In fact, several design styles have actively embraced the beauty of the “nuts and bolts” of a structure. And it seems this is set to continue, with many new designs making a feature of the home’s structure elements.

While this is not new – exposed beams are a major feature of many heritage homes – how it is being done is. Traditionally, leaving the structure uncovered was mostly a matter of necessity, as enclosing it would have been prohibitively expensive. But now this is being done as a conscious choice to highlight the engineering marvel that is the modern home.

This means that, in many new homes, plaster and lining boards are often used sparingly. It also means that structural features, like the beams and brickwork, are used in a somewhat more stylised way. Together, this helps create a design that feels both raw and robust as well as sleek and refined.


Exposed beams and home trends

Adopting smart home technologies

While true smart homes are still a way off, technology is definitely a major consideration in many new home designs. However, this is manifesting in a few different ways, as homeowners try to meet their current needs and anticipate their future requirements. And, with the home automation landscape always changing, it can be difficult to know exactly what the future holds.

At the very least, most people want to be prepared to capitalise on new technologies as they become available. This means making sure there are plenty of power points located throughout the home, preferably with USB ports. It also often means running additional cabling to make it easier to set up high-speed home networks in the future.

More tech-savvy homeowners are incorporating many of the latest gadgets, like smart switches and smart locks, into their home design. Many are also making sure their home is adequately wired for future automation advances, including linking their lighting and air conditioning. There are also some that are enthusiastically adopting wireless technology, including remotely controlled appliances home automation management apps.

Importantly, many new home designs are also considering how technology can be used to increase sustainability and energy efficiency. Again, home automation is seen by many as the key to this, providing additional control of appliances and services. Many new homes are also being designed to maximise the effectiveness of power production and management technologies (rooftop solar, battery storage, etc.).


smart home trends

Want more information?

If you need help incorporating some of the latest trends into your new home design, give Carmel Homes a call. As one of Melbourne’s leading luxury custom builders, we have developed a reputation for creating beautiful bespoke living spaces. We are also experts in tailoring designs to truly suit our clients’ needs and pride ourselves on the quality of our knockdown and rebuild projects.

For more information on our services, or to book your free design consultation, contact Carmel Homes today.

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