20 December 2019
As the decade draws to a close, we take a look back at some of the key themes, shifts and disruptions explored in our trend forecasts and predict what’s next for householders in the new decade.
Following a complex period combining excessive consumerism, a ramping up of tech usage and a squeeze on disposable income, we began the decade with a craving for a life less complicated.
The desire to connect with the natural world strengthened this decade, as consumers became overwhelmed with the pace of modern life and constant digital connectivity. Homeowners embraced organic materials to ‘calm and soothe’, in an effort to balance out sleek tech objects and screens used on a daily basis. Increased urbanisation and the rising costs of living saw Millennial renters with little or no outside space bring the outdoors in, turning to house plants as an accessible way to inject colour, pattern and scent into their homes.
“We’ve moved from ‘connection to nature’ as a concept for using nature to balance out our digital lives, to a more extreme commitment to natural materials and products as the environmental crisis has started to build momentum over the past 3-4 years.” Joanna Feeley, Trend Bible Founder and CEO
As consumers started to change their behaviours in response to the environmental crisis, they sought out a guilt-free antidote to this pressure. Brands and designers turned their attention to using eco-friendly and recyclable materials in new and innovative ways to meet consumers’ rising expectations.
At the end of a decade we often see a cleanliness to design, a sort of palate-cleansing before we approach the next decade. This didn’t happen in 2010 because we were still deep in recession and nostalgic design still dominated during this period of austerity. It wasn’t until a few years later we started to see slicker and more pared-back design references filtering through. This is when the Scandi trend peaked, bringing hygge, minimalism and low-key colour palettes with it.
“A Scandi influence has dominated the decade with pale neutral colours and of course it’s been the decade of grey.” Joanna Feeley, Trend Bible Founder and CEO
Scandi came to represent much more than a geographical location; it shone the spotlight on a whole aesthetic discipline and way of life inspired by a desirable balanced work/life culture. Householders were ready to welcome this clean, clutter-free and comforting design movement into their homes against a backdrop of an ‘always-on’ work culture thanks to being contactable 24/7. As people become braver with neutrals, companies like Dulux and Farrow & Ball reported a rise in sales of grey paints.
Smart technology became integral to our daily lives, as consumers relied heavily on devices, applications and appliances as a natural part of making home life easier. Gadgets that streamlined chores or reminded us when the milk was running out were seen as a way to free up time to spend on more valuable activities. The living room became an adaptive family space where families gathered using multiple screens – rather than being in separate rooms watching separate TVs.
“We’ve seen this move from sci-fi concepts to reality in a decade. Smart doorbells that tell us who is knocking when we aren’t home, lighting and heating operated by an app are all now mainstream conveniences.” Joanna Feeley, Trend Bible Founder and CEO
As emotional wellbeing became a priority within healthcare, monitors and sensors connected to the home become a way to reduce anxieties and improve our mood. Sensory triggers, including sound and lighting, as well as our interest in products designed to soothe the senses like candles, helped our homes adapt with our psychological needs providing a true source of comfort.
Home was the place to be AND be seen
The home shifted from a place where you go when you’re not doing anything, to a dynamic social space where stuff happened. Moving beyond fashion, consumers found new ways to express themselves, choosing food, decoration or even DIY as a way to define who they were. Householders discovered the benefits of spending more leisure time at home; feeling comfortable and being able to socialise on a more intimate level, making home the preferred setting. Instead of spending money on cocktails in bars, Millennials invested in drinks trolleys, craft beers and beautiful bottles of gin to display at home.
“This was the decade where interiors replaced fashion as the way to tell the world something about your taste, status and creativity. Fuelled by the rise of visual social platforms Instagram and Pinterest, people share private corners of their home with millions of friends and strangers online. As we’ve moved through the decade, we see a shift from people sharing images of the perfect finished home to sharing the behind the scenes progress journeys of renovations and refurbs.” Joanna Feeley, Trend Bible Founder and CEO
Through social media our private lives became public. Rooms that were once private and personal such as the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen were publicly exposed for a network of followers to ‘like’ and see. Householders upscaled their daily routines, investing in luxury products and the things we used everyday became the things we used to decorate our homes. Carefully curated kitchen displays of cookery books, pots and pans for an Insta ‘shelfie’ not only gave the home ‘homeliness’ but allowed householders to express themselves and feel connected to others.
What’s next for the 2020s?
“As we move into the 20s, a new feeling of bravery and risk taking emerges. The beginning of this new decade will be marked by a very different direction; colour as emotional therapy, maximalism and individuality in design.
“We don’t see consumers moving away from the need for simplicity and convenience in their lives, but we are seeing brands take a much more urgent interest in understanding their customers’ relationship with both their immediate and global environmental factors. The pace of change in the past decade has felt rapid, and we don’t foresee any slowdown, meaning we continue to expect brands and products to take the hard work out of life for us.” Joanna Feeley, Trend Bible Founder and CEO
As we face the dawn of a new decade, at Trend Bible we’re already thinking well into the next decade, putting the finishing touches to our Spring Summer 2022 forecasts and working with clients on helping them understand the future consumer in the context of their 5 year strategy.
Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like us to introduce you to key trends you need to know about in order to stay relevant for your future consumers. Alternatively, for a glimpse into our AW2021/22 Home & Interior trends click the ‘Request a Demo’ button on this post.
Overall a great day which involved getting everyone's thoughts, ideas and reservations down on paper. I am looking forward to seeing how this information will be overlaid with the vital trend insights we need to drive new product development and long-term business growth.
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