What will our homes look like in the future?
It’s been said often but there’s no denying that we are living in strange times. The way we work, shop and socialise have all changed and although we are hopefully nearing the end of the pandemic, what lasting effects could we see in our homes? We take a look at some of the premonitions about how we may live in the future.
Living with robots
As artificial intelligence (AI) becomes more commonplace, experts are predicting that by 2050 robots will be a feature in many UK homes. Domestic chores may be a thing of the past with robots cooking and cleaning for us. Don’t get too carried away though, robots will have ‘rights’ and we may have to pay for their services.
More people will rent
As attitudes towards owning property changes and more people see the benefits of renting, the UK’s Build to Rent sector is set to boom. The effects on the pandemic on job security will lead to more people choosing to rent as opposed to committing to a mortgage. Therefore, it is no surprise that build to rent completions are forecast to double by 2025.
What is it - build to rent describes private rented residential property that is built specifically to rent.
Growth – the sector grew by 41% between 2018 and 2019, with further growth predicted.
Lifestyle - the key difference between build to rent and the rest of the rental market is that it is a lifestyle choice for tenants who come from a variety of backgrounds.
Quality – contemporary design are the key components of build to rent apartments.
Community – build to rent acknowledges the need for people to be part of a community and offers facilities to help this, including many apartments being pet- friendly.
Green and eco homes
Technology is set to help us reduce our carbon footprint and create more of an eco-friendly existence. More appliances are being developed to reduce the amount of gas and electricity we use in the home. In the future, we may be able to reduce the amount of emissions a boiler uses by installing an air source heat pump instead. The pump relies on electricity and natural, renewable energy.
Homes for older people
Stats and predictions are pointing to more older people renting than ever before. This is not because they have to, but because they want to for lifestyle choices. With the population living longer, homes will need to accommodate this change. The build to rent industry is focused on building homes specifically for the way people want to live so it will be the sector to look too for change and innovation. Many people experience mobility issues as they get older so architects may look to create buildings with level access throughout. Even the simple door knob needs to be reviewed. Older adults suffering from arthritis find these very hard to use so instead, door levers are a better solution. Proper lighting is also important; not just for reading but also for visibility because older people can have a bad fall due to poor lighting. Devices such as smoke alarms could also be adapted with a strobe light as well as sound to help people with hearing problems.
As well as getting used to sharing our homes with robots, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) will become more commonplace. Forget traditional artwork, VR will give us floor-to-ceiling wall displays and immersive experience furniture. The future of live events is currently uncertain but experts predict that with VR, we will be ableto attend live events from the comfort of our personalised sofa, which can predict how firm we like our pillows andhow we should sit correctly to prevent injury.
For the ultimate future kitchen, it seems there will be a combination of voice responsive appliances and smart technology to help us eat a healthier diet. Some of the predictions include:
Smart work surfaces – will offer up cooking tips, weigh your food and monitor your cooking ability.
Reusable water – experts predict that by 2050, the water will drain into a filter and feed a hydroponic plant system.
Solar panels – windows will collect solar power to generate energy for smart speakers and recipe-display screens.
Robots – robot dogs will help to clean and robot assistants will be able to pick up food from the shops.
Ovens – will send notifications to your phone when your dinner is ready.
Do you think any of these will see the light of day?
Smart wallpaper – acting as a projector to stream TV and movies.
Home décor – this will be customisable and can be changed by the flick of a switch.
Clean fabric - electro-active polymer fabrics will eliminate the need for cleaning.
Smart mirrors – personalised stylists offering outfit suggestions based on your wardrobe, the weather and your schedule.
Temperature controlled beds – duvets will heat up or cool down based on your body temperature.
3D printers – no need for the supermarket, you will be able to print your own food.
Virtual chefs – restaurant quality food at home with smart packaging and appliances to food prep and virtual chefs to guide you through the cooking.
Health checks – homes will remind us to take medication or send a warning for a bath that is too hot.