When you think about the Fifties home, or even the Nineties home, what comes to mind is a fairly traditional formation of rooms. Separate kitchen and dining areas, and a dedicated living room for the telly. With the Noughties a more flexible, open-plan lay out took over. The dining room has since become, for many, obsolete – as more of us embrace the TV dinner, or eat perched at the kitchen table. The fact homes are getting smaller could be a contributing factor too.
What will our homes look like in, say, 20 years? AXA Insurance has appealed to the public for their predictions on future homes, and the results are pretty interesting.
1. Within 5 years: we'll be working from home (not at a desk, mind)
According to AXA's report, a quarter of people now think of their home as a place of work and leisure. Thirty-six per cent of people feel that there are more people working from home today compared with ten years ago. Sixty-four per cent think even more people will work from home in the near future.
That's not to say we all have our very own home office – in fact, only a third of people have that luxury. A third of us work in our living rooms, and fifteen percent work in their bedrooms. Most of us our plugging away on our laptops rather than a desktop computer (sixty nine per cent). Amazingly less than half of us have an actual desk, office chair or monitor.
2. Within 10 years: we'll be tech addicts
It's quite amazing, given our (very literal) attachment to the iPhone, that it came out less than 11 years ago. This just shows how quickly new technology becomes commonplace. It is probably with this in mind that twenty six per cent of AXA's respondents predict our homes will more or less all include tech like Hive or Alexa in the next five years.
Twenty seven percent predict that there will be smart screens embraced throughout the house within 10 years (as part of your fridge, for example). Twenty five per cent of people even believe that within the same time frame we will be able to charge our electric cars at home. Yikes.
3. Within 20 years: sustainability will be key
Sustainability is on our minds, with almost twenty per cent of AXA's respondents hoping our homes will be mostly made of sustainable materials in 10 years' time. That includes solar panels, and flood resistant technology that will help our homes to withstand storms, rain and wind.
One in five believe homes will have access to driverless cars within the next 10 years. Having said that, a quarter of people (twenty four per cent) predict that the UK's electricity network will struggle to keep up with demand in ten years' time.
Other predictions include the increase of the multi-generational household (twenty three per cent of people think the UK has more of these already). With salaries stagnating and house prices creeping up, it seems inevitable that younger generations will struggle to get onto the housing ladder. Although certainly unpalatable to some, the multi-generational house has its practicalities. Most dramatically of all, a quarter of people actually think that our homes will never become larger in size again.
You can peruse the full report on future homes here.
How do you imagine your home will change in the next twenty years?
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