Rae Moore's Design Tips for 2021


Whether you are a First Time Buyer, Home Mover or Self-Builder, at AIB, we understand that securing a mortgage isn’t the only thing you’re thinking about when looking at either renovating a home or starting from scratch with a new build. The design choices you make in those early days are so important to transform a space from a functional house or apartment into a home. Each year brings about new trends in architectural and interior design, and Irish architect Rae Moore is known for her bold, innovative style and her interesting use of space and materials. Here she shares her three top design trends in 2021, from unlocking the hidden space in your home to being kinder to the environment.

Reimagine the Functional


An interesting way to unlock the space in your home is by changing the way that you think about things that seem very functional. Take something like a staircase, which we often assume has to be the way it is and turn it into a feature that has a much stronger spatial presence.

If you’re doing refurbishment work, consider redesigning your staircase so it goes from being a very basic thing to something that adds joy to your home. You can take a dark, small hallway dominated by a boxy staircase and create a room that has personality and a statement stairs that adds light and views. Your hall is no longer a lost area of wasted space that is an underutilised dumping ground for coats and shoes but is now a room of its own with clever design and useful storage.

Embrace the Outdoors


Outdoor living is going to be something we will continue to do for some time and embracing our outdoor space has so many benefits. Being outside and surrounded by plants will have a big impact year-round on your personal wellbeing and on the environment.

What you want to do is create a nice sequence of spaces in your home and treat the garden like an outdoor room.

What we’re learning now is that even very small amounts of greenery can actually do a huge amount for local biodiversity, particularly for insects. So, if you’re living in the city you can still make a big difference.

When it comes to greening your outside space, you don't need a huge amount of room for planting to take over. Be aware of where you might be planting, what the aspect of the space is going to be and then find things that will grow well there. I’ve seen a lot of extensions where people have paved large areas in their back garden, and there's no space left for planting.

Adding greenery and bringing nature into your home is so good for you and really lifts your mood, but you don’t need lots of space. Planting up pots and containers for small yards or balconies will have the same impact on your mood and environment.

Small Changes, Big Impact


Your home doesn’t have to be this standard idea of what a green home might be. There are a lot of ways within the architecture and the design of the house that you can make significant improvements with small changes. Think about the materials that you’re using and opt for something like recycled plastics made using plastic bottles, yoghurt pots and packaging, plant pots, food packaging and coffee grounds. It’s very interesting visually, easy to use, heat-safe, fireproof and everything you want from the standard construction material, all while locking away plastic waste.

It’s a lovely material to use because it’s a large block of plastic but it's very soft to touch. Plastic has a naturally insulating capacity and is always warm unlike marble, concrete, and stone which are very cold.  It’s great in bathroom spaces where we’re used to really cold, hard materials because it’s brings a softness and a warmth.

It’s great that while you're getting that environmental aspect, you're also getting this fun, new design, with the added comfort that the material brings.

Changing the way we think about design can make a huge difference to our homes. There doesn’t always have to be one way to do things and making small changes can have a big impact. The way we live is different now and it’s more important than ever that we consider the materials we use and combine our inside space with any outdoor areas we might have. We want beautiful homes that are a great place to live, kinder to the environment and clever in their design.

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