5 Trends for modern living

We asked architect Louise Osborne and interior designer Tiggs Crozet of Indigo Design about some of the most popular on-trend and must-have home features

Modern living - courtyards

Louise Osborne: The layout of this house was developed around a central courtyard, which, in addition to providing a private and secluded outdoor living and entertaining space, also makes an attractive focal point on entry. It brings additional natural light into the rooms around it, facilitates cross ventilation and provides an attractive view from most areas of the house. The firepit extends the courtyard’s use late into the evenings and beyond the summer months


Modern living - kitchen and living space

Louise: As families are spending more time in the kitchen, it’s become the most important room in the house. Here, it’s been given the best position – facing north overlooking the pool – with sliding doors connecting it to the pool deck and garden. Although the contemporary look is popular, people love the comfort of traditional farmhouse style so we combined them both in the bespoke cabinetry and colours. A wine cellar is a must-have these days, and we built this one off the open-plan dining area and made it a focal point by using frameless glass doors and lighting the interior. I feel the cold room (not shown) is also essential in a home. As kitchens are open plan, most people try to hide their fridges. With a cold room you have plenty of space and it’s not centre stage, plus the temperature control means that fresh produce lasts longer.


Modern living - old and new

Tiggs Crozet: A room furnished with purely modern items can be bland, but mix in a few older pieces or furniture that’s made to look old and you immediately start adding soul. This house could have looked clinical but for touches like the refectory table used for dining and the server that holds the drinks. The same goes for decorating solely with traditional elements which often looks over done. Bring in a few modern touches and it invigorates the room immediately.


Modern living - lighting

Louise: Lighting has moved way beyond the central light fitting, and now plays a huge part in the design and the resulting feel and mood of a home. In collaboration with Jason Rivkind of Streamlight, we made it one of the main features in this house using it to highlight design elements such as demarcating the stairs, adding atmosphere and forming a connection between the various spaces.


Modern living - versatile rooms

Louise: We’re now designing spaces without defining them. These are flexible rooms that grow with the families who live in them. The positioning of these rooms is critical. This one is close to the main living areas and can be either open to them or closed off by shutters.

Essential to this type of room are adaptable screens and room dividers.

Tiggs: Good-looking, efficient storage space like these cupboards and shelves lets you change the function of a room easily. It could be a children’s play area, a computer room for teenagers, a study or a sewing room.