The building game is forever improving and evolving. Materials are getting safer, warmer and more durable and trends are ever-evolving to meet the modern marketplace. If you are researching building materials and would like some pointers, cast your eye over these popular trends.
Traditionally a ‘behind the scenes’ – or under the flooring – component of the building structure, concrete is now seeing its day in the sun. Not just as polished concrete flooring, but also as concrete walls, panels, benchtops and bathtubs. With a unique and edgy look, concrete is easily balanced by soft furnishings. It is extremely hard-wearing and looks fantastic.
Gone are the days when we would harvest an ancient kauri to machine for flooring. With a movement towards more sustainable timbers, we have seen the use of pine and bamboo on the rise. These timber options still give the warmth and ambience that traditional native and hardwood timbers do, but they are produced specifically for building use and are more sustainable resources. We have even seen an increase in the use of ply-wood for timber-panelled ceilings and cabinetry.
Tiling is having a big resurgence in modern buildings. The use of coloured or feature tiles is an excellent way to imbed personality into your home. With so many variations in colour and pattern, the options are literally endless. Coral, peach and ivory tones have made a big come-back, as have darker forest green and midnight blue. Keep your colour palette clean and simple and let a key colour be the hero against white walls and blond timber accents.
Tapware is even getting more design attention these days. What used to be just a practical tool, is now a chance to create a beautifully appointed, artistic space. We are increasingly seeing the use of copper and brass in unique tapware shapes such as crosses, mixers, long spouts and so on. Let your personal taste guide you in choosing tapware that feels right for your space. Also work with the specialists to balance your tapware and basin so that they work seamlessly together to allow for ease of use without spillage.
With a strong movement towards environmentally friendlier building products, rammed earth is becoming increasingly more popular. A mixture of earth and concrete is compacted to create entire walls, meaning there is no wall lining. The material has excellent passive heating and cooling capacity and creates a beautiful, earthy feel.
With so many building options, and an ever-increasing list of products and materials to choose from – the most important thing when considering what to use for your home build is if it is right for you. Choose timeless, durable materials and fittings that resonate with you and your personal style – and that won’t date too quickly.