For many years residential design has focused on functionality, especially when it comes to rental properties.
By that we mean, it has focused on designing a safe, reasonably comfortable place to live for anywhere from a few months to a few years. Really inspiring residential design is often saved for those who buy their own home and finally have the freedom to imprint their own stamp and personality on where they live.
However in recent years, perhaps due in part to the increasing numbers of those choosing to rent for longer and later into life, there has been a shift. Inspiring residential design is not necessarily considered a luxury anymore but an integral part of designing any living space - be it for temporary or more permanent housing.
What is inspirational residential design?
While there is no set industry-specific definition, and it really lies mainly in the hands and imaginations of those responsible for designing new homes, it means -
Design that moves beyond functionality and thinks not only about how a space will be used, but looks also at how people can best move around the space. It understands that living units are multi use spaces where their residents spend a considerable amount of time living, working and socialising.
It also understands that a space, especially an urban one where the actual size of space itself may be limited, has many functions - it is not just a living space, but must also expand its use to include somewhere to work, and to host, and to relax and unwind. This need for it to be multiple spaces within one, and the recognition of this, is a huge driver behind inspirational residential design.
It understands that the design of our homes can have a real and significant impact not only on our general and day-to-day mood, but also on our productivity too. Design matters - from the colours we use, to the way we utilize natural light, to the quality of the furniture, there are many ways to maximize the quality and positive impact of where we live.
Also inspirational residential design has at its core sustainability. It understands that the design must take into account all the factors that make it easier for someone to live a more sustainable lifestyle - from design that incorporates natural light as much as possible to potentially cut down on energy costs, to design that uses only sustainable materials in making it come to life.
At the same time it recognizes the importance of incorporating elements of nature - be it plants, growing walls or simply natural colours and materials - in our homes. Bringing nature in is an instant mood booster and has many positive effects.
Transformation in progress
Inspirational residential design doesn’t just concern itself with individual living and housing units. And this is where it tends to really live up to the ‘inspirational’ in its name - because it not only changes how we think about residential design, it also transforms how we look at how we design living spaces as a whole.
Let us explain - inspirational residential design also incorporates and includes community spaces in its planning. These can take many forms, but by their definition their goal is to bring residents together through shared pursuits, interests or collaboration. They can take the form of co-working spaces, or gyms, private cinemas, rooftop terraces and gardens. It is not so much about what they are, but what they do and how they are used.
Inspirational residential design can take many forms - and how inspirational our homes are depends to a large extent on how we respond to them. This is why the importance and significance of residential design that inspires is not necessarily about the furniture used or the colour coordination but is actually about something more important.
It is about how we choose and need to use our living spaces in order to live our lives not only happily, but effectively as well. It is about building connections between neighbours, creating a community within a community, and about recognizing that our homes are their own multi use spaces. It also understands that a better future rests on our ability to live more in harmony with nature, and to understand the priority of protecting it.
At Vonder we are big advocates of inspirational residential design - and this guides how we design and mange our living, working and leisure spaces across all of our co-living complexes.