Some of the most creative minds in Southwest Florida design give us an exclusive glimpse into their predictions for how we’ll live.

There are many factors impacting home design now beyond aesthetic preferences. Sustainability concerns, climate, tech and—in the past year—factors regarding cleanliness, safety and space have become major drivers, too. The COVID-19 pandemic only fast-tracked the evolution of architecture and interior design. Here, nine local experts  share their predictions for how our homes will look and function in the next five to 10 years.

Lofty Pursuits

Office life changed radically in 2020. Now, after a year of interrupted Zoom calls and long days that blurred into long nights, many people are tired of working from a makeshift desk at home. But, Andrea Clark Brown and her husband, artist John Carroll Long, turn the idea of the home office on its head with this live-at-work space. The architect imagined this 950-square-foot loft that can sit atop the gallery or office below, allowing easy access to the business without sacrificing the much-needed distance after hours. “This allows for a comforting distinction of living domain from the work domain,” she says. “However, due to the immediate adjacency, the ‘commute’ back and forth is only a minute’s duration, and the address is the same.” 


Photo courtesy Andrea Clark Brown Architects

Cool + Collected

Fort Myers architect Joyce Owens says Florida’s unique geology and climate will be even more top-of-mind for homeowners. “As the need increases to address rising sea levels, buildings will be elevated,” she says. The Sanibel Island home in this rendering can be propped between 7 and 13 feet off the ground with concrete pilings to avoid flooding damage during a storm surge. The raised position provides another perk: adding cool, shaded exterior areas below the house, which creates additional livable outdoor space. “It’s like free real estate,” she says. The design also utilizes deep overhangs to minimize direct sunlight and lower cooling costs.

Photo courtesy Architecture Joyce Owens


Inspired Living

Privacy and a strong indoor-outdoor connection are top priorities for Florida residents who move here for the paradisiacal setting. This sculptural compound, by Nathan Moore of MHK Architecture & Planning, overdelivers on that goal. It’s plenty secluded, while looking and feeling completely open. “This case study is focused on being a sanctuary for art and the stay-at-home lifestyle,” Moore says. A glass-enclosed bridge that spans the top of the great room allows for easy movement between the two wings of the home (the left consists of bedrooms; the right holds a studio space for creative ventures or an office for working from home). Soaring ceilings in the central space yield ample room for large-scale artworks, while the floor-to-ceiling windows show off the resort-style backyard.

Photo courtesy MHK Architecture & Planning

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