10 Key Trends Influencing the Home

on 1/11/09

The Trend Boutique brings you a countdown of 10 essential drivers for the interiors market, creating an instant snapshot of the socio-economic and design trends shaping our home-life.

No. 1: Open House
We are increasingly opening up more & more of our homes as we see them as an extension of our personalities & taste, and we want to show these off.

It is all part of the new blend between entertaining & home, where we see the whole house as an essential part of us, our family and our social life …. And as such the usage of rooms are evolving from bathrooms with seating in them so we can talk, read or just relax to the inside / outside vibe where we have started to extend our houses into the garden and vice versa.

Maison et Objet the interiors & product trade show even has a dedicated section the concept of Inside / Outside.

Inside Outside Display at Maison et Objet
Inside / Outside at Maison et Objet, Paris

No. 2: Work / Life Balance
In the same vein we are also still coming to terms with how to balance our personal and private space with the demands of either study or work.

Most of us answer work e-mails or complete additional tasks at home, either creating real or impromptu home offices or studies, so interior & product design has focused on how to create intimate bubbles to get away from the rigours of the day or where you can focus, creating micro-environments and zones within the home.

We still need to fully get to grips on how to incorporate PCs & the accompanying paraphernalia into the home, but the new breed of laptops & integrated technology are helping ….But look out for new, smarter, visually-pleasing home / office products soon.

Dutch Design Week
Chaos/Order, Atelierdorp & Strijp-X
Exhibited at Dutch Design Week

No. 3: Home Entertainment
The trend for home entertaining shows no sign of abating from amazing home cinemas to wow your friends, to the elaborate indoor / outdoor parties themed to create a stir, and now to the latest of creating pop-up restaurants in your own home.

‘Come Dine With Me’ taken to the extreme if you don’t have enough friends willing to pay, you can always go join one of the online communities and tempt them with your ‘cordon bleu’ skills.

Atomic Kitchen Concept by Phillips
Home Farming Concept By Phillips 'Design Probes'

No. 4: Big is Beautiful
When budgets are tight, what we look for is ‘value for money’ and investment pieces. So whilst we are happy to buy Waitrose ‘Essentials’ range to fill our cupboards we look for more iconic statement pieces of furniture for the home. All with a retro, and ‘flea market find’ aesthetic, we are effortlessly blending old sideboards of the 70’s, with sculptural minimalism of the 80’s, but all with a tongue-in-cheek kitsch.

Sculpt Black Drawer by Maarten Baas
Sculpt Drawer in Black by Maarten Baas
Photographer: Maarten van Houten www.maartenvanhouten.nl

No. 5: Eco-Proofing
Investing in the home just got eco-friendly thanks to rising fuel bills and the realities of global warming. The ‘green agenda’ continues to create the new design aesthetic in the home, from the softer self-sufficient ethos (think allotments, generating your own electricity, re-upholstering your own sofas) or the ultimate in innovation with the latest gadgets and technology to reduce one’s carbon footprint. ‘Eco-concierge’ services are even emerging for those that want to ease their environmental conscience without the work.

ID’09, Industrial Design - Technische Universiteit Eindhoven
Exhibited at Dutch Design Week

No. 6: Au Natural
Following on from the previous trend is the love of ‘all things natural’ as the new code is to celebrate everything for their inherent beauty. The Trend Boutique really likes the re-emergence of wood, leather, paper, wool and traditional china where imperfections are bought to the forefront, and adored because they bring an additional authenticity and luxurious feel to the product.

Curly Lampshade at Geffyre Museum Eco Homes
Curly Lampshade using Natural Birch
Exhibited as part of Eco Homes, Geffrye Museum

No. 7: Home Is Where The Heart Is
After the recent house market crash brought about by the recession and inappropriate lending we have to learn to 'fall back in love with our homes' rather than just see them as an investment. B&Q were the first mainstream company in the UK to adopt this in their TV advertising campaigns, and it wasn’t long before property development shows shifted their emphasis with Kirsty’s Home Made Home and The Home Show illustrating to us how to develop our homes for our own enjoyment.

This has meant we are now more interested in investment pieces, rooms being redecorated with attention to detail, and only buying 'items that we love'.

Ontwerpduo, Ontwerpduo
Exhibited at Dutch Design Week

No. 8: Let There Be Light
With the phasing out of the traditional light bulb, lighting has become big news as we look for new aesthetically pleasing alternatives that also have the eco credentials we desire.Light also has such a big influence on mood and the way colour is seen within the home (essential for the new entertaining & wellbeing trends), that there has never been such an important time for lighting to be re-examined, from traditional iconic lights such as the Anglepoise lamp that recently celebrated their 75th birthday to the amazing oversized Light Blubs by Pieke Bergmans.

Light Blubs by Pieke Bergmans
Light Blubs by Pieke Bergmans

No. 9: The New Minimalist
Even politicians are talking about the new era of austerity and as our revised reality dawns this sense of ‘less is more’ consumption and design hits the home. A counter-trend to some of the above influences, the idea is to strip everything down to the bare minimum to create a new, stark minimalist feel but without the gloss it had back in the 80’s. The frugal tone is completed by on-show brown paper packaging, recycled & re-usable products, and pared down wooden furniture.  

Hallenweg creative industry | deblick, deblick visuele beleving
Hallenweg creative industry | deblick, deblick visuele beleving
Exhibited at Dutch Design Week

No. 10: Rapid Prototyping
A trend that is now starting to gather commercial pace, the engineering process of creating rapid prototypes (traditionally developed 10+ years ago for creating moulds for tooling) is now featuring heavily within the forward-thinking design world. These amazing ‘3D printers’ can now work with metals, such as stainless steel & titanium, through to the more conceptual idea of ‘printing’ food developed by Phillips.

3D Food Printer by Phillips
3D Food Printer Concept by Phillips 'Design Probe'

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article resources

Heimtextil Trade Show

Heimtextil - Show & Trend Preview for 2010

Milan Salon De Mobile Trade Show

Eco Homes Exhibition, Geffrye Museum

The Home Show - Chanel 4

Kirstie's Home Made Home

Pieke Pergmans




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