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Drawing the outside in – the future of home building

As more people dream of crafting their own home, the appeal of contemporary, bespoke design is growing more popular, offering a blend of beauty, sustainability and identity that reflects the evolving lifestyles of their owners.

Modern country home
A modern arts and crafts type house extension

By John Caul, Marshall McCann Architects

More than ever, homes are seen as sanctuaries, offices, and most importantly, the nucleus of the owners’ social world.  Why should we be bound by design minimums, speculative housing models and uninspiring aesthetics, when so much more is possible?

Here’s an architect’s perspective of what to consider when designing your dream home.

A New Era of Design

Contemporary architecture is not just about creating structures, it’s about weaving personal stories into the fabric of each home and reflecting the nature of its surroundings.

Such designs go beyond mere shelter, becoming reflections of the individual, their personal values, and the natural beauty of the setting. Your home should be a reflection of you, your style and your personality.

Spaces, both inside and out, can be planned to take advantage of the sun’s movement around the home, depending on when you use the spaces in your home. Walking through a home, there should be a series of experiences, views hidden, then revealed: creating intrigue. The emphasis should be on a design that is not only visually striking but also functional, practical and sustainable. An architect should weave design elements into your home, creating spaces for social, relaxing and quiet times.

Modern beautiful home
Blending builds with their natural environment

Open Spaces and Natural Light

Contemporary home design is increasingly centred around open, flexible living spaces that encourage family interaction and draw the outside in.

Large windows and sliding glass doors allow natural light to flood the living spaces, blurring the lines between inside and out, making spaces feel open and spacious. Openings can be clear apertures to frame a view, or comfortable window seating set into the landscape, allowing you to enjoy your garden, despite the rain.

The Opulence of Space

Double height spaces can provide connections throughout the home, from first floor study to informal living spaces at lower levels, whilst bringing light in from above.

Breaking the ceiling line also makes spaces feel more generous, airy and luxurious. Creating ‘the feeling of space’ is just as important as creating space.

Modern House
New builds should blend seamlessly with nature (Marshall McCann Architects)

Heritage with a Modern Twist

While contemporary in spirit, the future of home building should pay homage to this country’s wonderful, rich architectural heritage.

Contemporary homes are being designed with a nod to traditional aesthetics, incorporating established materials of timber, plaster, corrugated metal, brick and slate, which respect historical landscapes. Taking inspiration from our older buildings ensures that contemporary homes feel rooted in their environment, contributing to the cultural tapestry of Ireland.

Looking Ahead

The future of home building in Ireland is bright, driven by a desire for homes that are more than just places to live; they are personal havens which reflect the identity of you, their residents. In the future, the focus should be on sustainability, technology, and aesthetics, ensuring that Irish homes continue to be at the forefront of design innovation.

For those dreaming of building their contemporary home, the possibilities are endless. With the guidance of skilled architects and designers, the vision of a contemporary, bespoke home can become a reality, setting the stage for a new chapter in Irish residential architecture that honours the past while looking towards the future.

After all, it’s not about the masonry, it’s about the magic.