Over the last decade the desire to own an ultra modern home design has become increasingly popular. Partly driven by the dawn of a new century but also directly related to the sustainability movement, “ultra modern” is a different animal to pain old “modern”. If modern design is the idea of form following function then ultra modern design is the belief that function is paramount and, amid news of global warming, energy crises and limited natural resources, the most important function of design is sustainability.
Only when a home is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable can it truly be considered ultra modern.
So why bother? Well, in the UK around 30% of all carbon emissions released into the atmosphere come from the energy used in our homes and energy efficiency can easily reduce this impact by a third, reducing yearly emissions of carbon dioxide by two tonnes. Saving energy will save you money; it will reduce bills, improve the warmth of your home and reduce condensation.
There are many things to can do to make your home more sustainable.
Install a high efficiency condensing boiler. Working on the principle of recovering as much of the heat as possible from the waste heat that is normally rejected to the atmosphere from the flu of a conventional boiler, a HEC boiler wastes only 10% of its fuel compared to 22% in a normal boiler, it cuts fuel bills by 40%/yr and if everyone in the UK had one we would save enough energy to heat 3.7 million homes for a year. Radiators should conspicuously absent in the ultra modern home. They should be replaced by under floor heating which massively reduces energy use as it runs at 35 degrees.
Conventional radiators run at over twice that temperature at 75 degrees. It may be pricey but Low E windows are essential components of the ultra modern home. These windows are double glazed and the cavity is filled with an inert gas such as argon which decreases the thermal conductivity of the windows and therefore reduces heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. The UV filter on the glass allows light to travel through the glass, therefore keeping lighting costs down, but prevents harmful UV rays into the property which prevents the rooms from heating up during summer months.
You can help these windows do their jobs whilst adding some sleek design to your rooms by installing blinds or/and curtains. Black wooden blinds are particularly popular amongst interior designers at the minute, as are elston curtains !
In terms of styling, far from being overly sleek and pretentiously space-age, the ultra modern interior should be inspired by the natural world in order to allow us to get back in touch with nature and remind us of what we are trying to revive and indeed save whilst brining down the boundaries between mans world and the real world. Use naturally renewable materials, materials with high recycled content, or long-lasting, durable materials.
This includes aluminum, wood, bamboo, linoleum, teak, steel and vinyl. Conveniently, you will tend to find that the best of modern furniture design is made with such materials as designers at the forefront understand the importance of using them. So by doing your bit for the environment you will be handsomely rewarded in the style stakes.