The big home design trends of 2016

  • 15 Dec 2016

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As we approach the end of the year, it’s natural to think back on months gone by and consider what trends effected the home design industry in the last year.

What new innovations did we see? What new materials were architects incorporating into their designs and what new innovations did builders work on?

Creative concrete

Mention concrete as a building material and most people think of high-rise car parks or extremely functional buildings. 

2016 however, saw the rise of creative concrete, the use of the material in new and different ways that made it more attractive while retaining the function that has made it a core material for builders for decades.

Concrete floors (pictured above) are one example, paired with timber frameworks for a modern and very practical effect that has been highlighted in a number of award winning projects.

New styles of doors

One of the reasons sliding doors have always been popular is that they use less room than a standard door does. If space isn’t your issue though, then one of the new door trends might be great for you. 

This year saw the pivoted patio door come to the fore, using a large pane of glass that pivots inwards for access rather than sliding or opening in the standard way.


Another innovation in door design that we have seen this year is the use of discreet joinery. Basically this means that doors no longer need to look like doors. 

Examples include timber cladding on walls with a door as a part of the wall and a small, discreet handle and hinges being the only sign that there is a space beyond the wall.  This style of door is popular for utility rooms, en-suites and even for wardrobes.

Attractive guttering

If there’s a phrase that sounds contradictory, it is “attractive guttering” but 2016 saw the rise of guttering and drainpipes that actually looked nice as well as being functional.


While the stark, white styles that we see on many houses are perfectly adequate and have great durability; some builders and homeowners have sought something more. So aesthetically pleasing drainpipes, coordinating guttering that fits in with the house and even alternative solutions have all been popular this year. 

Hidden lighting

While the guttering is getting a makeover to become a feature, lighting is hiding away in discreet places.


The use of natural but hidden lighting increases the overall light in a space without necessarily having lots of bold lighting fixtures hanging around. Some clever designers are even incorporating lighting into the fabric of the building to make the very walls emit light.

Ceilings as features

Stick a coat of paint on it and its done was often the approach to the ceiling in a room but this year has seen several developments to this approach.


Dramatic sloping ceilings and exposed roof beams have proven popular while altering ceiling heights to give a staggered or varied effect is another popular trend in new build properties and conversions alike.

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