Vanessa Walker, Houzz
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish.
How will we be living 10 years from now? With property prices on the rise, more of us working from home and technology permeating practically every corner of our lives, it’s a question on many people’s lips. We’ve asked futurist Morris Miselowski to give us his predictions on where and how we’ll be living a decade from now. Here’s what he has to say.
How Will We Be Living?
Attitudes toward property ownership are changing. For baby boomers, owning property was evidence of a successful life. Their children aren’t interested in that. For today’s twentysomethings, success is judged by how many likes you have on your social media accounts — success is about adventure and experiences, not assets.
With many priced out of the housing market, people will be renting long-term rather than looking to buy. They’ll take the opportunity to lead a more nomadic lifestyle — traveling more and happy to pack up their lives and accept that job on the other side of the world.
The trend of downsizing and moving closer to the city will continue, particularly among baby boomers, who have life expectancies longer than ever. Expect to see an increase in compact, four-to-six-story urban dwellings near transportation lines. (Convenience will be key.) These homes will be in mixed-use buildings, often above shops and cafes. There was once a real stigma attached to living above a business, but attitudes have changed greatly in the last generation or two.
In 10 years, moving to a city abode will be a lifestyle choice —these homes will be easier to maintain than the traditional quarter-acre lot in the suburbs that previous generations valued so highly. Few people will want a huge, high-maintenance home.
The kitchen will see some of the biggest changes in the future home. A decade from now, it will be a multipurpose space that shifts smoothly between cooking, dining and entertaining.
Countertops will come into their own. Today they are static objects, but in 10 years the average kitchen counter will perform myriad functions. Touch the surface and it will transform from prep area to induction cooktop or technology station. It will perform time-saving tasks such as measuring ingredients and choosing the correct cooking temperature.
The kitchen will be a fully connected space that can monitor the progress of your cooking, connect to social media to discover what your guests like to eat, and tell you whether the milk in the fridge is still good.
There will be a focus on smart surfaces that reduce the amount of work you have to do around the home, such as self-cleaning cutlery and china, as well as surfaces that tell you when it’s time for a deep clean. Cleaning of floors and windows will be done robotically.
The Rise of Multigenerational Homes
As property and child care costs continue to rise, the trend for multigenerational living will rise with them. Three generations living under one roof won’t be unusual. Homes will be designed to accommodate this, with features such as two or more living spaces (or a separate in-law flat), a separate kitchenette and a large communal space where the family can spend time together.
With more of us working from home, our properties will be in use 24/7. We will expect our homes to adapt to our changing needs throughout the day. Floor plans will be flexible; walls will move and ceilings will rise, allowing us to configure the space as we want it, turning our homes from meeting places to chill-out zones in an instant.
With floor plans shrinking, we won’t be able to accommodate as much furniture, and what we do have will need to perform more than one function. Multifunctional designs, such as the Ori robotic furniture system — a compact, adaptable unit containing a bookshelf, bed, table and more — will become increasingly popular.
Your home will adapt and change shape throughout the day according to how it’s being used.
Technology will feature increasingly in our lives, and will be smarter than ever. Already we’re moving from touchable devices to voice-activated ones, and in 10 years, intuitive devices that do the thinking for us will be the norm. With access to your calendar and emails, your phone already knows more about you than just about anyone else, and soon it will be able to make predictions about you based on your movements, then tailor your home to suit.
You’ll walk through the door and your home will automatically create a customized environment to meet your needs, including setting the temperature, opening the blinds and suggesting what to have for dinner based on what’s in the fridge. This sort of technology has already begun to enter our lives with Google Home and apps such as Nest, which can recognize when you’re 10 minutes from home and open the garage door for you.
Your home will also be able to distinguish between the different people entering your home and create environments to suit them as well.
While the influence of technology in our lives will increase, its presence will be more seamlessly integrated. Wi-Fi, for example, has already begun to be integrated into the walls of new buildings, providing perfect connectivity anywhere in the home.
Be Your Own Decorator
Technology will also give us new ways to explore products and make shopping decisions. Already, apps such as Houzz’s View in My Room 3D allow you to see how a room looks with different furniture arrangements.
The Care Factor
Our homes will be able to monitor our health and take care of us, allowing us to stay in them longer. They will remind us when to exercise and take our medication, tell us how many calories we’ve consumed that day and make suggestions for healthy meals.
With more of us living in urban areas, we’ll see greenery integrated into our homes in increasingly creative ways, such as vertical gardens both inside and out, balcony gardens and community gardens.
A Passion for the Handcrafted
Our increasingly transient lifestyle will give us greater access to different countries and cultures —but less ability to acquire big things. Large pieces of furniture, such as sofas, beds and tables, will often come with the property you rent. As a result, we’ll be investing in transportable pieces, such as unique artwork and handcrafted soft furnishings that stamp our personality on the spaces we inhabit.