Written by Rebekah Hutchinson

22 January 2019


Modern lifestyles are driving a need for harmony and balance between social and private spaces. 

With a rise in multi-generational households and co-living particularly in urban areas, there’s increasing conflict between wanting to nurture relationships with the people we live with, but also wanting to find privacy and time to ourselves. Householders need and seek comfort in human interaction, however mobile technology encourages individual behaviours, driving more solitary activities and fragmented family routines.

This has led to a new kind of approach to home layout and division of space. ‘Broken-plan’ rooms respond to the specific needs and interests of the individual as well as the group, creating spaces for focus and calm as well as conversation and community. Responding to this shift, kitchen manufacturers are designing products to make living at home easier, with a focus on space division and functional furniture.


Left to right: Ancona, Rochebobois

Creating space for privacy while maintaining a flow of space and light throughout the home becomes a key challenge for homeowners. Lightweight shelving and storage units that loosely define borders between living spaces increase in popularity, allowing users to adapt the products to suit the needs of their home. French brand Rochebobois have responded to this need with their JALOUSIE bookcase. The elegant solution is created with a slatted, solid wood structure that allows light to permeate through the object, while creating a screen-like quality between areas.

Casual Social Spaces

Left to right: Cesar, Xera

Modern day lifestyles that no longer fit with the traditional nine to five routine are changing the way we dine within the home. Full dining room settings make way for more informal areas that cater to the needs of householders who work at different times, eat on the go and follow individually tailored diets. As a result, kitchen manufacturers like Cesar and Xera are responding to these needs by developing breakfast bars that stylishly overlap with kitchen counters. As one householder sits and enjoys their first meal of the day they can interact with another who may be cooking a post-nightshift snack before they head to bed.

To find out more about how new living arrangements are affecting the design of the home, read our Blurred Spaces Future Insight Report. Providing a start point for innovation, Blurred Spaces 2019 explores the ways that householders will find and protect privacy in their home as well as the impact of online socialising on the way we design our homes. It is available to buy now in digital format from our online shop. To download a free abstract, click ‘download now’ to the right of 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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