Huge swings in custom home design trends in 2021 are here, culminating from the year that was 2020.  A year that has left a lasting mark on all of us.  Shifting what we find important in our daily lives and at home.

At SBR Group, we are not huge advocates of design fads generally.  We think your new custom home’s final design should be lasting—one of timeless design and comfort that also adds value to your lifestyle and your home.

If you are designing and building a brand-new custom home for your family, while these trends are not new in the design world, their significance is.

Have a look at some of the elements you should consider in your new home – you may like to incorporate them into your custom home design!

Custom home design trend 1: Passive design


We are all spending more time at home, whether forced by our company’s ‘work from home policy or the home-schooling the children.  Even our reluctance to spend time in public means we want our home to be more comfortable than ever. And not cost the earth to make it comfortable!

A house that uses good passive design considers the climate.  It uses natural sources of heating and cooling to control the temperature in the house.

Using passive design principles can drastically reduce the need for extra cooling and heating from air conditioners and heaters.  As well as reduce costs in maintaining temperature control, passive design, protect the environment and reduce our footprint at the same time.

The most cost-effective time to achieve a good passive design in a home is during the design and build phase.

Passive design elements to consider in your new home design –

  1. Design for the climate – consider the temperature ranges and weather conditions you build – hot, windy, cold, snow? A clever home design can address any weather conditions that may affect how you live and make your family more comfortable every day.
  2. Orientation – by re-orientating your home on the site, you can significantly maintain temperature control in your home.
  3. Shading –by considering shading, your house can stay cool even on the hottest days and prevent your home from getting too cold in winter.
  4. Passive heating and cooling – utilising the thermal qualities of the materials used in your build mean you can keep your house warmer and cooler.  This can reduce the need or reliance on air conditioning and heating.
  5. Insulation – installing insulation in the house, not just in the ceiling but also in floors and walls, maintains a pleasant temperature.  It can significantly reduce the need for artificial and expensive heating and cooling.

New home design trend 2: Sustainable materials

During the pandemic, everyone has been travelling less by car and plane. We have witnessed this reduced impact from humans and their activity on the environment.  Remember all the marine life that came back to Venice, Italy, in 2020 with fewer tourists?

Sustainable building materials are those that do not disrupt the equilibrium of the environment.  They are key natural materials that do not deplete our non-renewable resources.

Use sustainable materials such as wood, natural stone, concrete, rammed earth (made from gravel, soil and cement), mud brick, even straw bales (beware, certain criteria need to be considered!).  These materials create an environmentally friendly home at the same time as reducing your carbon footprint.

With advancing technology and improved know-how, building an eco-friendly custom home can now be a beautiful, comfortable home.  One that boasts of natural good style benefits our environment and costs less to run.  A win-win for you and nature!

Custom home design trend 3: Adaptable layouts

One thing that 2020 has taught many of us is that the home is much more than a place to sleep, eat, and entertain.  We now need homes with adaptable spaces that can shift with our changing daily lives.

We need a quiet space to work and zoom, an area where the children do their schooling close enough for parental supervision—even room to accommodate our multigenerational family members.

Incorporating non-permanent or flexible walls can be ways to create rooms within rooms.  Try large sliding doors to split spaces when needed, or reduce the number of built-ins that limit your use of a room.  Using design features such as modifying floor or ceiling heights or splitting floor levels using stairs or ramps can split larger open plan areas into zones in open-plan spaces.

It’s important when designing adaptable layouts to consider ways –

  • to reduce noise in quiet zones,
  • to ensure privacy,
  • to position outdoor spaces to bring the outside in as we spend more time in our homes.

New home design trend 4: A healthier home

Although health has always been a recurring theme throughout our daily lives, the pandemic has stepped it up a notch. So much so that it is now a huge consideration in the design of custom homes.

Louvre windows in laundry

In this new laundry, we installed louvre windows to improve ventilation using the dryer in a small room.

Being aware and making small changes to our home’s design can create a healthier home for all the family.

How can we achieve a healthier home?
  • By choosing environmentally friendly building materials that emit little to no toxins. These product types have been produced with a fewer harmful chemical, environmental pollutants.
  • Stepping up the ventilation, whether this is natural and/or artificial. Design that considers the orientation of windows and utilises cross ventilation.  Even choosing window types to direct breezes.
  • The value of lighting on our health. This includes both natural and artificial, reducing harsh lighting and providing appropriate options for different tasks and times of the day.
  • Controlling noise throughout the house. Whether internal or external noise, being aware of noises that may impact family living and designed to overcome these issues.
  • Hygiene and cleanliness have come to the forefront of our homes – using materials and surfaces that are easy to clean and do not harbour bacteria will be important. Additionally, adopting technology to improve hygiene – sensor-activated technology such as self-flushing toilets.

Home design trend 5: Focus on architectural detail

New custom home design in 2021 will be more intricate and impressive, using a mixture of architectural detail in the design features.

North Epping builder subdivision new build

Brick, render, and panelling is used in the exterior of this North Epping subdivision we built to add an architectural design.

Ideas can include using the style statement of laying bricks in various patterns, introducing two-tone brick or playing with the brick mortar.  For a surprise twist to design, use wall panelling in interesting patterns like diamond or honeycomb.  Try a modern look by mixing materials in interesting textures – natural stone with wood and shiny metal or corrugated iron with a shingle-style exterior.

2021 is the time to get creative – but you may need a little help from your architect to pull it off confidently!

At SBR Group of custom home designers and builders, we are always looking for more than a passing trend.  It’s important to us that you spend your custom home build budget on elements that will provide lasting value in terms of comfort, liveability, and aesthetically appealing and make good budget sense and enable you to capitalise on your home.  We know this can be a big ask when designing, but SBR Group achieves this time and time again for all our clients because there is no point otherwise.

Ready to unlock the potential in your new home?  Talk to our architects and design team. Let’s create together to build the home you love!  Call us now on 1300 676166 or contact us here.

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