For 2015, interior trends have taken a distinctly holistic turn, with designers selecting colour palettes, floor plans and technological gadgets based on their conduciveness to a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle. Optimising outdoor space and providing plenty of light and air indoors establishes a greater connection between properties and their natural surroundings, with smart home systems installed to assist with everything from security to utility management. These six modern lifestyle solutions allow homeowners to enjoy a balanced and productive daily routine by decreasing energy waste, purifying unclean air and encouraging residents to spend time outside.
The biophilic school of thought acknowledges that humans need to be surrounded by nature for their physical and mental wellbeing. Biophilic interior design aspires to reconnect us with the outdoors and optimise its healing properties, placing great emphasis on sunlit spaces, rough-hewn wood, natural stone and the innovative use of verdant plant life and water features. Aromatherapy and Reiki centres also align with biophilic principles, as do gyms and swimming pools.
Outdoor living spaces
This year, the imbalance between indoor and outdoor living is being redressed, as home design increasingly focuses on promoting open-air living. Tennis courts and swimming pools have always been popular, but are now combined with outdoor showers and comfortable lounge areas to ensure that residents have everything they need outside the house. Families with pets are extending the same courtesies to their cats and dogs, installing private exercise courses and dedicated wash stations.
Solving the problem of the multiple-car household with limited parking space, subterranean garages can now be found in high-end homes around the world. With car lifts, temperature controls, audiovisual monitoring and advanced security features including number-plate recognition, these ultra-modern garages make driving simpler, more comfortable and more secure.
Rooms traditionally relegated to being used as storage areas are now being fully realised as functional and important spaces. Basements can be converted into dine-in wine cellars, complete with ventilation systems and mood lighting. Kitchens are undergoing major redesigns in order to provide designated places for each gadget and appliance, with separate stations for food preparation, cooking, informal dining and washing up.
Once considered a thoughtful addition, energy efficiency has quickly become an essential feature for contemporary high-end homes. Motion-sensor water and light are ubiquitous in environmentally aware households, and investors will carefully consider whether a property's orientation lends itself to effective solar panel electricity generation. Smart home systems allow homeowners to control irrigation, lighting, heat and security via a touch-screen pad installed in the walls, minimising waste and maximising comfort.
With a portfolio of luxury properties that extends around the world, Engel & Völkers will be delighted to assist you in finding a home that encapsulates the best trends of 2015.