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Design Industry Leaders Predict The Future Of The Home

These predictions will help you decide what your homes need in 2021 and onward


We’ve bid our goodbyes to 2020, and we’re slowly inching towards the future, the “new normal.” While we’ve overcome a year full of anxiety and uncertainties, in the following years, events will yet unfold.  We can only pray are better than the previous one… or we can be prepared!


However, there are aspects in life that we can, somehow, predict. Throughout this pandemic season, we’ve all been a constant homebody thanks to restrictions on going outdoors. We now spend almost 24/7 at home, and with our lives revolving within this safe space, it must also adapt to the modern times. So we ask our design experts how the future of homes will be.







These individuals share their thoughts on features of the home that we should invest for the unforeseeable future, materials that we should invest in, and will define a home in the years to come, and more. 


Cathy Saldana, PDP Architects



What features should the home have in the next decades in light of the crises we’ve experienced this year (pandemic, typhoons, global warming)?

“The homes of the future should have better appropriations for technology. With online work and learning in place, communications should be seamless. There should be shared and enclosed quarters that must allow for virtual interaction. Also, there must always be an ante-room or a space for people to leave their shoes at an entryway, and a distinction between public and private areas in homes. Natural ventilation options should be a primary objective in design alongside air conditioning. Plants, access to gardens, and perhaps water features or a pool are soothing to the soul. A home should ensconce, embrace, strengthen, and likewise be a space for calm and relaxation.”


What material(s) do you predict will be at the forefront in the next coming years?

“Non-microbial surfaces will be long-lasting. Finishes that are easy to clean and maintain will be best. Home components that respond to technology and can be controlled with smart features will be part of the future home.”


What do you predict will be the most used area(s) of the home in the next coming years? 

“The kitchen! There is value in eating at home and creating your own food. However, the desk/study/ home office will be the most utilized for the inevitable global online shift.”


What home features should people invest in? 

“People must invest in good work desks and chairs. Health in posture is important. Excellent filters in air conditioning are also good investments. Flexible lighting will also allow for great virtual gatherings. The adaptability of rooms from an office to, say, a dining space must also be considered.”


What will define the home of the future?

“Flexibility. Technologically-connected. Secure. Safe. Providing a healthy environment. Nurturing.”



Rebecca Plaza, Plaza + Partners



What features should the home have in the next decades in light of the crises we’ve experienced this year (pandemic, typhoons, global warming)?

“If there is anything the lockdowns of 2020 have taught us, it is that people need routine access to nature. A growing body of empirical evidence explicates that exposure to urban green spaces have positive impacts on both our physical and mental health. Homes will benefit from pocket gardens or access to green communal space.”


What material(s) do you predict will be at the forefront in the next coming years?

“In a startling sign of the impact that humans are having on our planet, a study by scientists at Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science published on the 9th of December estimates that 2020 marks the point when human-made materials outweigh the total mass of Earth’s living biomass. As humans have constructed more buildings, roads, structures, and objects over the last 120 years, the mass of human-produced materials has grown from less than 0.1 teraton to roughly 1 teraton (1 trillion tonnes). Not only do we need to be exploring how we can reuse and upcycle what we already have, but we need to be looking at flora as a building material. Building façades can have protruding balconies populated with trees and other vegetation. Mesh screens can serve as a trellis for creeper plants, which are not only beautiful, but also help protect homes from sun with the greenery serving as an active and living interface between the interior and exterior environment.”


What do you predict will be the most used area(s) of the home in the next coming years?

“This is unique to everybody. For my family, it always has been and will continue to be the kitchen. We gather in the kitchen to cook, eat, and make new memories.”


What home features should people invest in? 

“Good, natural lighting is something we need to be maximizing with the use of skylights, roof lights, and oculi. Not only will this drive down our electricity costs and reduce our carbon footprint, but good lighting can make or break a space.”


What will define the home of the future? 

“Around the world, more than a billion informal settlers live in slums with poor sanitation and limited access to electricity. In Metro Manila alone, 4.5 million people are homeless. The home of the future is in a world where everyone has a home.”


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Sonny Sunga & Arnold Austria, Jagnus Design Studio


What features should the home have in the next decades in light of the crises we’ve experienced this year (pandemic, typhoons, global warming)?

"There is no 100% sure way to future-proof your home, but here are a few points that’s worth doing: 1) Start by making your home functional, comfortable and delightful to live in; 2) Make your home energy-efficient by using green products, energy efficient lights, and appliances, installing recycling bins; 3) Flexible accommodation for remote working and multi-generational use; 4) Incorporate technology: A fast and stable internet connection for remote work, entertainment, and home security; and 5) A backup power source like portable or fixed generators, solar generator or battery back-up systems in case of power failures."


What material(s) do you predict will be at the forefront in the next coming years?

“We won’t be specific, but materials that are durable and easy to clean will be at the forefront of our material choices.”


What do you predict will be the most used area(s) of the home in the next coming years?

“The most usable space will be ones that can accommodate multifunctionality like an open kitchen that spills over the dining and lounging space and has access to an outdoor area.”


What home features should people invest in?

“Instead of features, invest in remodeling spaces frequently used by the family that will make it more functional, give comfort, and cultivate good relationships.”


What will define the home of the future?

“Technology, with its ever growing presence in our daily lives, will define how our homes will be like 10 to 20 years from now. Although the aesthetic might still be the same, the future home will work differently with emphasis on health, happiness, and functionality.”




William Ti, WTA Architecture and Design Studio



What features should the home have in the next decades in light of the crises we’ve experienced this year (pandemic, typhoons, global warming)?

“I feel that location and space will still prove to be the main things we will look for in our homes in the coming decades. We will be needing more open spaces along with bigger and more room as we realize the value of investing in our homes. Location will have an increased premium with shorter distances from the workplace to reduce our reliance on public transport and increase our personal mobility.”


What material(s) do you predict will be at the forefront in the next coming years?

“Wood and stone. More natural materials that will better enhance the organic feel of our spaces and our relationship with nature.”


What do you predict will be the most used area(s) of the home in the next coming years? 

“Gardens and balconies will be of increasing importance in the planning of our homes. Flexible areas which can be utilized for a variety of uses and shared with the whole family will be essential.”


What home features should people invest in? 

“We should invest in windows and openings that will allow much better ventilation of our spaces. Skylights and clerestories. Courtyards and porches that will allow us to be more relaxed in our homes.”


What will define the home of the future?

“The home of the future will be more than just a place for rest at the end of a long day at work. It will serve various functions as small enterprises develop and as remote working increases. It will serve as a gathering space where everyone in the family can be together and also more frequently entertain friends and relatives. It will be defined by the shared spaces that everyone can use and enjoy.”


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Anton Barretto, Metro Home TV Host and Interior Designer



What features should the home have in the next decades in light of the crises we’ve experienced this year (pandemic, typhoons, global warming)?

“I believe that homes won’t change in a major way with regards to addressing the present pandemic. Homes are basically equipped with what is necessary to cope with the pandemic. There is room enough for disinfecting stations, there are windows for good ventilation and other provisions. What might change would be the designated areas for staff and perhaps an extra room or two for isolation if need be. I do notice that every year, there are many new offerings to address global warming. I appreciate the fact that many have come around and developed products that encourage green living. This, for me, is important, because we need to do our share in doing what we can to save Mother Earth. It's actually not expensive to indulge in these materials; the range in price is very competitive with non-green materials.”


What material(s) do you predict will be at the forefront in the next coming years?

“I think we will see more and more of the green friendly and sustainable materials—the development of these products are fast and innovative. Functional, utilitarian, and aesthetically pleasing. I believe there will also be a big movement to use more organic and natural materials, recycled, reclaimed, and repurposed.”


What do you predict will be the most used area(s) of the home in the next coming years? 

“I notice that more homes now have bigger communal areas that encourage family bonding. Great rooms, family rooms, a gracious terrace/lanai. These areas have all the accouterments needed to answer all entertainment aspects like television, a good sound system, strong WiFi connections, USB ports, essential storage to keep things in, and sometimes, even a mini bar.”


What home features should people invest in? 

“Home features that I feel should be given importance would be big expansive windows with operable panels for good ventilation. Glass with UV protection and sound proofing. Low flow fixtures that reduce water consumption. Central automation systems that make life more convenient with the touch of a button—it lessens the use of single function accessories. Solar panels are a wise investment.”


What will define the home of the future?

“I think homes will have more open spaces and free flowing layouts that provide a strong connection between the indoors and outdoors. A lot of natural light and warm colors.”



Jason Buensalido, Buensalido Architects



What features should the home have in the next decades in light of the crises we’ve experienced this year (pandemic, typhoons, global warming)?

“A lot of people shifted the way that they use their homes. We’re all staying in our homes for a longer period of time—it’s really a new way of living. Many are discovering new nooks and crannies in their homes; we're slowly learning how to really use our home in a way that you’ll get to enjoy the home on a daily basis. For the future, I think it’s allowing new functions, like work, school, exercise, hobbies, and so on in a space that wasn't designed to accommodate all of these in a single location. People will look for more transitional and multifunctional spaces. People will start to unlabel the spaces that limit the function of a room. Adaptable interiors and homes will come out more and more. There will definitely be less fixed or fitted and more flexible furniture so you can move thighs around. And I think moving forward, people definitely will look for more space. Not only more space in the interiors, but also more outdoor space. There's also a huge spike on this plant phenomenon. We always say that there's something soothing or rejuvenating about nature. Since we’re in the confines of our own homes, we are sort of reaching out to be connected to nature.”


What material(s) do you predict will be at the forefront in the next coming years?

“For furniture, it’s definitely flexible furniture. For interior architecture, it’s materials that really focus on health and wellness. Even if it’s more expensive, people will want to invest in it. Also, materials will start to become more natural and organic. And then, I think there's gonna be a more hyped tendency to use more local materials. It’s using whatever is made according to the latest technology, locally.”


What do you predict will be the most used area(s) of the home in the next coming years?

“Public spaces, semi-outdoor spaces, and the multi-purpose spaces. When we talk about public spaces in a home, it's the larger areas—people are naturally drawn to space. If there's a bigger space, it’ll be used. Outdoor spaces will be utilized for working out, farming, making your own food, or harvesting your dinner. Multi-purpose or -functional spaces are the enclosed areas where you get the privacy that you can't achieve in other areas of the home.” 


What home features should people invest in? 

“If you're looking for a home, we shouldn't look at it per area or what areas will be relevant now. A home is something that you buy, for most of us, once in a lifetime. If we’re gonna buy a home, what you invest in is really something that is capable of adapting to a future that we don't even know about. So more open spaces, less walls that are hard to break, etc. Second, find a home that fits you, I wouldn't say lifestyle because it changes depending on the season of your life, but maybe values. A house is not a one size fits all. As people, we need to know internally what we believe in as a person, as a family, and look for a home to match that—not the other way around.”


What will define the home of the future?

“I think it's the values of the people who will be living in it.” 




Misty Floro and Pai Edles, Morfosis


What features should the home have in the next decades in light of the crises we’ve experienced this year (pandemic, typhoons, global warming)?

“Sanitation stations. Because of the pandemic, everyone had to take additional safety precautions upon entering and exiting the home. At the start of the pandemic, we would see people have makeshift sanitation stations (trays, tables, etc.) that they would place near their home's main entrance to store their alcohol, masks, and other sanitizing aids. It's a good thing for homes to have this as a more permanent fixture for overall health and well-being. Apart from that, features that make a home more self-sufficient, especially for basic needs such as food production. During the pandemic, a lot of people turned to urban gardening or farming. Since we now spend a lot of time indoors, we now see the benefit of being surrounded by greens and having access to food you can produce on your own. Urban farming also helps reduce the carbon footprint from mass production of food. If the majority of people get into urban farming, it would have a great positive impact on the environment, on food security, and on the economy. Another example for self-sufficiency is a home that can produce its own energy. There are a lot of new technologies now for making use of solar energy as a home's main source of power. A home can also be self-sufficient with the collection and recycling of rainwater. Overall, a home can and should be built with recyclable and renewable materials in order to be sustainable in the next decades to come. As people spend more and more time in their homes, a lot have now realized the importance of a well-designed home that is suited to the lifestyle of the owner—not just one specific feature but overall, the space should be efficient and should improve the quality of life of the user.”


What material(s) do you predict will be at the forefront in the next coming years?

“Durable and timeless natural materials such as stone, easy to clean surfaces such as stainless steel and copper (metals), and recyclable and renewable materials that are locally sourced.”


What do you predict will be the most used area(s) of the home in the next coming years? 

“One is home offices. More people are working from home these days. A lot of our new clients have requested for home offices in their home renovations. Two, the kitchen. Many people have also learned to cook or have cooked more often during the pandemic, since dining out carries risks with it. The kitchen is the heart of many homes and it will continue to be so in the future. Three, the balconies or gardens. During the pandemic, people were deprived of going outdoors, so there became a new appreciation for balconies or gardens, no matter how small they are, in people's homes. A lot of people also acquired indoor gardening as their hobby during the pandemic. And finally, the study area for students. Home schooling or online schooling has created the need for a more dedicated study space for students inside their homes."


What home features should people invest in? 

“Investing in things that will make a house self-sufficient and sustainable is always worth it.”


What will define the home of the future?

“The home of the future is one that is self-sufficient and sustainable. It is important to note that these crises can be said to be caused by humans themselves. Yes, some are natural occurrences such as typhoons, but studies show that the effects of global warming have exacerbated or made these natural occurrences much worse or disastrous. As people become more aware of the impact we have on the environment, it is our hope that by building more sustainable homes and structures, we would lessen these negative impacts that we have. Homes of the future are flexible spaces that incorporate the latest technologies for an improved quality of life—with happier and healthier inhabitants. Homes of the future are better, safer, and smarter with the help of the latest innovation and technology.”


A recap of what will be big in the home of the future:

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