What Makes Home?

“We always say home is at the heart of what we do, but really, it’s the whole of what we do.”

Our Founder and CEO Joanna Feeley, shares how her fascination with trend forecasting the future of life at home started and how its evolved into founding futures agency TrendBible.

It’s really no wonder that my focus became home.

My dad is a builder and my parents bought, built and renovated their way through my childhood and teenage years.
I’ve lived in a caravan. I’ve lived in a converted railway station. I’ve lived in a castle. I’ve lived in a working women’s hostel in New York City. I can home-make anywhere. My favourite pastime as a child was to cut up my mum’s old Laura Ashley catalogues and make little room scenes out of the stripes and floral swatches.

The sense of what makes, home, home has always fascinated me. I always loved colour and décor but it was the deeper meaning that interested me. What are the critical components of home? Clearly, it’s so much more than the physicality of the environment. It’s who is there, how we interact, and what behaviours the space prompts and accommodates.

I’ve built an entire business around understanding what will shape our future relationship with home.

When I founded TrendBible, centring the business completely around the future of life at home was a no-brainer for me. I could see home was becoming more important than ever and it was massively underserved in terms of trend forecasting. Home was becoming the epicentre of our lives in a way it hadn’t been previously.

Around the same time I set the business up, Netflix switched to a streaming service (2007). Suddenly, householders were able to have a cinematic experience without leaving home. Soon after, they were able to order restaurant quality food into their homes via new companies like Hello Fresh (2011) and Deliveroo (2013).

Pair this with the emergence of visual social platforms, namely Instagram and Pinterest – which both launched in 2010 – which created access to an abundance of décor inspiration, enabling householders to share snapshots of their homes with millions of people around the world. Previously only close friends and family would have been privy to such intimate detail. Home became a more pronounced status symbol, rivalling fashion as an outward expression of our personal style and character.

The nature of our work has become more expansive

Whilst the future of design and décor is still a huge part of what we inform at TrendBible, in recent years we’ve been advising brands and retailers on how to make complex decisions about the future and address the big topics of the day, from sustainability to an ageing society.

We’ve helped companies prepare innovation strategies for a future where water is a luxury in the developed world, enhanced equality and diversity for the next generation of children through a more inclusive approach to play, and explored the role that colour in the home can have on neurodivergent conditions, sleep disorders and stress.

The pandemic meant that many of us spent more time at home, but with a cost of living crisis gaining pace, home is the refuge we turn to again. The combination of other critical issues, like the ever-present environmental crisis, means the emotional and physical security of home is super important for householder wellbeing.

What will worry us the most?
How will our homes keep us safe?
What will shape the way we gather our friends and family around us?
What new behaviours and activities will we need to accommodate?
Will we cohabit in new ways, and with whom?
How important will it be to showcase our taste, style and social status?
What items will symbolise home most for us?
What will home mean?

These are just some of the questions we are putting a future lens on to help our customers make good quality decisions and navigate the future of home and how their audience is changing. We always say home is at the heart of what we do, but really, it’s the whole of what we do.

Get in touch to discuss how we could provide strategic recommendations on the future of life at home to help your business thrive in 2023 and beyond at [email protected]. Alternatively, browse our consultancy services page for more information on how we can help.

Follow Joanna Feeley Founder and CEO of TrendBible on LinkedIn and Twitter.