The obsession with following trends influenced the way we design our homes. Often, when we think of our dream home, we would envision a space that features all the trends in interior design and decorating. The hottest style of kitchen cabinets and countertops, indoor-outdoor living, all-white palette, minimalist, etc. But how often we consider our actual lifestyles, and more importantly, our future, when building and designing our homes?
When we build our dream homes, we’re most likely building the place where we’d also spend the rest of our lives. As such, it’s not the trends that will make it truly livable. Rather, it’s the design elements, layout, and architecture that will support our future needs.
“Future-proof” home design has in fact been gaining traction recently. It involves the incorporation of smart technology, aging-friendly features, and sustainability measures in a space. It can be any aesthetic, from farmhouse to industrial, but designed with practicality and reality in mind.
That said, let’s explore more of the future-proof home design.
Future-proofing a home isn’t just about making it senior-friendly. It’s also about making it literally futuristic. Hence, a Smart Home system is a key characteristic of a future-proof home. With smart lights, smart thermostat controls, smart locks, and smart appliances, a home becomes one giant device that a person can control from their tablet or smartphone.
A Smart Home system works by connecting all your electronics and security devices to a network, which you would then connect to your smartphone. Essentially, your home becomes a WiFi network in itself. That’s how you’ll be able to control every switch using your smartphone or tablet. You can also issue voice commands instead if you find that easier.
It’s not necessarily expensive to make your home smart. But even if you have to splurge, it will be money well spent. Just in case you decide to move out of your future-proof home, the smart home system will add value to your abode, helping you earn hefty cash for another dream home.
The pandemic has made us realize how important it is to have high-quality entertainment at home. For that reason, it makes sense to assume that home entertainment will become even more immersive from now on. So prepare your entertainment rooms for upgrades. If you have a big budget, consider building or converting a large space solely for entertaining. Make room for LED video walls, interactive gaming, theater furniture, and playful lighting for the effect.
Energy Efficiency and Sustainability
As the earth continues to battle global warming, pollution, and climate change, forever homes should possess energy-efficient systems and sustainable features. It may incur higher upfront costs, but it’ll prove more cost-efficient in the long run.
Energy-efficient items include Energy Star appliances, low-flow toilets, tankless heaters, double-paned windows, and high-performing insulation. On the other hand, incorporating sustainability involves getting rid of harsh chemicals in favor of non-toxic ones, switching to a renewable energy source, and recycling items.
The less you rely on the “grid”, the more future-proof your home becomes.
This is one of the most crucial features of a future-proof home. If you’re going to live in your dream home forever, it should make your life easier the older you get.
It’s not necessary to install home modifications right away, but make allowances for it early on. Instead of building a multi-level home, consider settling for just two stories, so that you’d only need one stairlift in the future. For curbs, especially the one that goes from your front yard to the porch, don’t make it too elevated so that a high-quality residential vertical lift can be installed on it in time.
Senior-friendly features are also important if you plan to make your aging parents move in with you. For their comfort and safety, you’d need to equip their bathrooms with grab bars and make all common areas in your home easily accessible by wheelchair or walker. That is to say, make your doorways wider.
Furthermore, senior-friendly features make your abode disabled-friendly. In this world where their needs are poorly met in public settings, they need an environment that makes them feel included. Hence, making your home senior-friendly makes it accommodating to the disabled as well. Plus, it makes your space ready in case you sustain a serious injury. It’s a grim picture to anticipate, but better face it ready.
While it can be unhealthy or stressful to fuss about the future too much, disregarding it isn’t helping you either. To avoid unnecessary worries, be gradual in future-proofing your home. You don’t need to apply all the changes in one go. Just meet your needs when you see the time for them approaching.