Last week Mercer released its 20th annual global Quality of Living Survey rankings, which saw Copenhagen placed at number nine while London fell to 41st, with Vienna claiming the number one spot.
Scandinavian homes rank high on happiness
It’s widely known that the Scandinavian countries consistently rank among the happiest in the world because their relationship with and the design of their homes is key to enjoying their lifestyle.
The influence of Scandinavian architectural and interior design continues to extend beyond flat-pack furniture. “Scandi” design and increasingly “smart home technology” are proving a winning formula for housebuilders and developers creating new-build developments across the UK.
Functional design principles are tried and tested
Functionality, a pared down, simple look and a clever, selective colour palette are very much top of the modern housebuilder’s list of priorities. All key principles dating back to the 1950s Scandinavian design movement, which originated from a need to capitalise on craftsmanship to construct housing able to withstand their extreme weather conditions.
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The winning combination of colour, practicality, aesthetics and harmony both for external and internal design aims to eliminate residents’ stress and allow for a more relaxing home life by de-cluttering space. The property sector regularly uses “well-being” and “mindfulness” to promote a lifestyle concept. These are influencing the design and construction of developments from small-scale first-time buyer developments to luxury boutique new-builds.
Drawing together and linking the inside with nature is a classic Nordic trend; working to maximise the natural light and incorporating natural materials such as timber, linen, stone and leather pieces is an established approach. In recent years, British homes have embraced the open plan style, with simple furniture, light wooden flooring and neutral but ‘moody’ colour schemes influenced by the building’s natural setting and location.
Smart homes don’t need to cost millions
From the north to south, examples of Scandi influenced new developments can be spotted. In Liverpool, Orleans House in Liverpool, Merseyside (Forty 8) has just released a selection of 71 apartments located in the heart of the city’s trendy commercial district within a former converted cotton warehouse. The development is offering studios, one, two and three bedroom homes for young professionals or buy to let investments. The design is all about light, space and airy interiors, and already 70% have been reserved and units are ready for occupation.
Technology to suit lifestyles
It’s not just interior design but the appearance of fully secure and encrypted smart technology that is now finding its way into UK developments. Swedish housebuilder Trivselhus , in partnership with the “end-to-end developer” Places for People, has designed interconnected smart technology for ease and energy-efficient family living at their Milton Keynes, Sommar Place development. Designed for everyday growing cost-conscious families, the newly built 39 smart homes have been modelled on a Scandinavian model fully integrated with Apple technology to boost energy savings and make daily life run smoothly. Homeowners can set up their homes to run to suit their lifestyle inside and away from the home; from setting the central heating, to turning on and off lights, playing a favourite track or programming the television before they cross the threshold, or putting the kettle on before you even get downstairs. Functional, stylish and oh so Scandi, and without a flat-pack manual in sight.
Trivselhus‘s managing director Ken Forster said: “To date, this level of connected technology integrated into the build of a new property has only been available in multi-million-pound, bespoke smart homes. The technology has otherwise been available to retrofit, but this inevitably results in controls that are fragmented and therefore less seamless to use. It’s our mission at Trivselhus to develop family homes that have a positive impact on how people live.
“Technology is essential in easing people’s lives and it is important that when moving home, smart technology is a priority when creating contemporary family homes.”