Understanding the latest Architecture and Design Trends

By Hafsa Kader Dawood

of Dawood Kader and Associates


Trends define a generation. In architecture, they create moods for the industry and determine how personal space may influence daily lifestyles. Before presenting our 7 current home design trends, it is important to clarify the difference between ‘trend’ and ‘fad.’ Often used synonymously, their meanings are quite different.

A trend is something that catches on. It has the potential to persist for decades in some cases. What confuses many people is that a trend and a fad often look very similar in the beginning. Put concisely: a trend will give direction and a fad is just a craze.

Now on to the architecture & design trends in 2016 that we are excited about! From sustainable materials to functional living spaces and art deco prints, here are 7 architecture and design trends in 2016 to keep an eye out for…

Bespoke Houses

Bespoke Houses/Renovations

Often used in relation to men’s tailoring, this term can also be applied to a new home or renovation that has been carefully designed to the reflect the home owner’s personality and complement their lifestyle.

Small-scale cocktail bars, purpose-built quiet rooms and walk-in closets that could be found in a 5th Avenue fashion store are just some of the in-demand bespoke inclusions homeowners are seeking.

Blesso Loft, Location: New York NY, Architect: Joel Sanders. Loft in penthouse in Nolita section of Manhattan with central light well and garden.


Open Concept

Gone are the days where every room had a door and four walls. Instead of traditional rooms, there are now implied spaces. Rooms are visually connected making a home feel larger. Rooms are defined by changes in the ceiling or floors, rather then walls.

These spaces connect to each other without obstructions creating minimalistic interior design. This concept can be applied to multiple floors creating an enlarging effect of the interior space.


Flexi Rooms

Tying in with open concept design, homes are including more and more spaces that have less defined purposes. Architects are now designing flex rooms with the ability to easily transform into a new area without a complete makeover or costly renovation.

This is especially true as the aging population grows. Adaptations to make independent living simpler, or adjusting a family home for the addition of an older family member are two main drivers in this growing trend.

indoor outdoor feel

Indoor/ Outdoor feel

What used to be a very defined line, or wall, is now blurred. Rooms now blend into the outdoors without worrying about a solid distinction. Homeowners want the exterior to be just as important as the interior living spaces and are including everything from full kitchens, to furniture and TVs.

Private courtyards that open up to two or three rooms in the home extend the living and entertaining space and accessibility as well as the utility.

larger windows

Larger Windows

There is nothing like having architectural elements that allow your indoor living to expand and blend with the outdoor space. Large, sliding glass windows and/or doors serve to discard the separation between indoors and outdoors completely.

Floor-to-ceiling windows replace walls so each room has unobstructed views. . Advancements in window energy performance make this possible. Well-performing custom windows and doors have never been cheaper and more accessible.

health conscious design

Health Conscious Design

Sustainability and energy conservation are no longer niche concerns but factor prominently in the design decisions of many clients. The myriad of sustainable materials on-tap to choose from is exploding! Things like cork flooring and colorful no-VOC paints illustrate a great confluence of style, sustainable practices and functional design.

smart homes

Smart Homes and Home Automation

We’re seeing an explosion of new WiFi-enabled smart gadgets as tech companies compete to ride this new wave of innovation. The result: an abundance of new smart gadgets and gizmos that you can connect to your smartphone or tablet to accomplish things like designing your lighting, automating a schedule for your sprinkler system, or remotely adjusting your thermostat. interiors palette


Interiors Palette 

Interior styling will be focused on personal interest and experiences, where a combination of styles and pieces will be the direction for many homes. You’ll be seeing a lot of art deco-inspired patterns and shapes, nubby wool rugs, encaustic tiles and artisan accent pieces.

Pantone announced the 2016 Color of the Year, and it is, for the first time, a pairing of two colors — Serenity and Rose Quartz, which are slightly dustier versions of baby blue and blush pink.

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