Home trends: In with the old, out with the new

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

Some ‘old fashioned’ home features are making a comeback while other trends look set to disappear forever. We take a look at what's become hot in the new world.

The modern world and the rapid pace of technological advance have undoubtedly changed the way we live, but this doesn't mean that the features which were commonplace in houses of yesteryear don't have a place in the modern home.


Our grannies or great grannies had pantries in their homes. We had no need for such rooms because we fitted modern kitchens that had more than enough space for our groceries. Well, guess what? The humble pantry is making a comeback and a growing number of homeowners in Great Britain have rediscovered the second smallest room in the house and are incorporating these into the design of their homes. Why the renewed interest, you may ask? Apparently cooking shows have a lot to do with it as more and more Brits opt for healthy homemade goodies such as jams and pickles and want a place where they can show off the fruits of their labour. People are also becoming more and more aware of the downside of eating processed food and instead are choosing to buy the ingredients necessary to make their own breads, sauces and the like - thus the need for additional storage space.

Snoring rooms

Another room which is making a comeback (and of which South Africans may not even have heard) is a snoring room. Yep, there is such a thing and a large number of upmarket homes have one. This room may have been referred to as a dressing room in the past and usually adjoins the main bedroom. However, an increasing number of homeowners are creating a second master bedroom in order to escape any night-time rumblings. Those who are at the mercy of a habitual snorer will fully understand the need for such a room and these additions may become more commonplace than ever before.

UK trends unlikely to take off

However, not all British trends are going to catch on here. Conservatories (basically glass rooms attached to homes) have always been big in the UK. Although the idea sounds lovely, there is a downside. It can become unbearably hot in these rooms (yes, the temperature does sometimes rise in the UK during the summer) and given the amount of sunshine and overall temperatures we experience here, a conservatory would be turned into furnace during the summer months.

Another feature which has taken off in the UK but which is unlikely to garner much support on this side of the the world is the doggy shower room. Priced from £1 200 (nearly R25 000) for the basics, some pet owners obviously feel nothing is too good for their hounds. One even installed an Aga (a heat storage unit and stove) in the canine shower room so that the dogs could dry off before being allowed into the main house.

Less is more

Less is rapidly becoming more as modern homeowners increasingly de-clutter their living spaces. Technology plays a huge role in this. Remember the old days when you had stacks and stacks of DVDs and rows and rows of books that took up valuable space in your lounge? New devices have made it completely unnecessary to own a movie or CD in a physical form as both can easily be stored on digital media players. Although true bookworms may bemoan the fact that nothing will ever replace a ‘real’ book, entire libraries can be amassed on e-readers, Kindles or iPads. But before you all rush out to fill the newly available space with an array of ornaments, this has also gone out of vogue and people are becoming far more selective as to how they accessorise. While the odd ornament is still acceptable, it's becoming taboo to fill every available space with some sort of trinket.

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