What’s hot in home design this year

Building architecture and design are hot topics this year, with a range of new trends predicted to take both the commercial and residential worlds by storm. Design professionals looking for the next big thing should consider these building and home decorating ideas before getting started on their next project.

Eco-living in city centres

The increased interest in environmentally sustainable housing will likely lead to more "off the grid" homes in the middle of the city. These buildings utilise natural resources to reduce their impact on the environment, and have traditionally been located outside of city areas due to the space required to go off the grid.

However, the recent trend of solar energy, recycling and using water tanks in homes has been sneaking into the city, allowing residents to further decrease their carbon footprint by accessing public transport, inner-city jobs and commodities such as food on foot.

Black interiors

Grey has been the colour du jour for interiors in recent times, but 2014 sees an even bolder shift into black interiors. Expect to see black kitchens with crisp white and stainless steel fixtures and trimmings, and even bathrooms coated in black paint such as Resene Black Sheep as a bold statement.

Take things one step further in creative spaces with Resene Blackboard Paint, which allows occupants and visitors to draw on surfaces it's applied to with chalk of all colours. Modern kitchens are likely to utilise this feature to display menus, grocery lists or inspirational cooking quotes across walls.

Open concept kitchens

If you're considering placing your kitchen in a closed-off room, you might want to think again. A recent shift has seen kitchens develop into wide open spaces, often sharing rooms with living and dining areas.

Homeowners looking to entertain guests will appreciate the ability to chat and mingle with visitors while they prepare food without having to flit to and from a segregated kitchen. Look for appliance designers to continue creating discrete machines that blend seamlessly into your kitchen design. Many appliances are now hidden behind cupboards and drawers.

Subtle glamour

Neutral palettes are back with a vengeance, perhaps as a backlash to recent trends of bright colours and bold designs. In 2014, designers may want to go for clean, neutral colour schemes in whites, greys and creams.

This pared back design doesn't mean you have to avoid opulence, however. Inject subtle dazzling details, such as glitzy door handles or a statement piece of art, to show off your flair and make sure the area doesn't look boring.

Neutral colour schemes also allow for frequent renovations – a wall painted stark white is easy to update and transform with fresh accessories and curtains as the homeowner's tastes develop and change.

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