By Vanessa Walker
How will we be living in 10 years' time? 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 tell us his predictions about where and how we'll be living a decade from now.
How will we be living?
Attitudes towards property ownership are changing. For baby boomers (those born between 1954 and 1965) owning a property was evidence of a successful life. Their children aren't interested in that. For today's twenty-somethings, success is judged by how many likes you have on your social media accounts – success is about adventure and experience, not assets.
With many priced out of the property market, people will be renting long term rather than looking to buy. They'll take the opportunity to lead a more nomadic lifestyle: they'll travel more and be happy to pack up their lives and accept that job across the other side of the world.
The trend of downsizing and moving closer to the city will continue, particularly among baby boomers, who are living longer than ever. Expect to see an increase in compact four- to six-storey inner-city dwellings near transport lines (convenience will be key). These homes will be in mixed-purpose builds, often above shops and cafes. There was once a real stigma attached to living in the flat above the shop, so this just proves how much our attitudes have changed in a generation or two.
In 10 years' time, moving to an inner-city abode will be a lifestyle choice – these homes will be easier to maintain than the traditional quarter-acre block in the suburbs that previous generations valued so highly; few will want a huge, high-maintenance home.
The kitchen will see some of the biggest changes in the future home. In 10 years' time it will be a multi-purpose space that shifts smoothly between cooking, dining and entertaining.
Benchtops will come into their own. Today, they are static objects, but in 10 years' time the average kitchen benchtop 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 too, such as measuring ingredients and choosing the correct cooking temperatures.
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 fresh.
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 multi-generational homes
As property and childcare costs continue to rise, the trend for multi-generational living will rise with them. Three generations living under one roof will not be unusual. Homes will be designed to accommodate this, with features such as two or more living spaces (or a separate granny 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 and turning our homes from meeting spaces 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 just one function. Multi-functional designs, such as the Ori robotic furniture system, which is a compact, adaptable unit designed for apartments containing a bookshelf, bed, table and more, will become increasingly popular.
Your home will adapt and change shape throughout the day according to its usage.
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 diary 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 customised environment to suit your needs, including setting the perfect 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 the arrival of Google Home and apps such as Nest, which can recognise when you're 10 minutes' from home, then switch on the kettle and open the garage door.
Your home will also be able to distinguish between the different people entering your home and create environments to suit them too.
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 builds, giving you perfect connectivity anywhere in the home.
Be your own decorator
Technology will also give you new ways to explore products and make shopping decisions. Already, apps such as Planner 5D allow you to don virtual reality glasses and walk through a space to see how it looks with different furniture set-ups and various colours on the walls.
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, when to take our medication, how many calories we've consumed that day, and make suggestions for healthy meals based on what's in the fridge.
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 communal vegetable gardens.
A passion for the handcrafted
Our increasingly transient lifestyle will give us greater access to different countries and cultures, but less ability to transport big pieces with us. 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 artworks and handcrafted soft furnishings that stamp our personality on the spaces we inhabit.
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