As the New Year continues to unfold, what trends will take hold in our homes? How will living look different in the year ahead than in previous years? This is the question the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) aims to answer in its Trends Outlook Preview: Top Trends for 2024. Let’s unravel all these trends to get to the bottom of what this really means for each of us.
First, we need to live with and learn from Generation Z. This is something I have been touting since I published my book Sustainable in a Circular World. Gen Z is the next young generation that we must observe, as this generation has very targeted priorities which are different from previous generations. They also have a unique set of experiences including a pandemic, school shootings, natural disasters, and war. This young generation looks for connection, and it will be a trend that will evolve in our homes and our communities.
Second, solo living will continue to rise. The U.S. Census Bureau says the percentage of one-person households has increased every decade since 1940, reaching 27.6% in 2020. Even amid this solo living, Americans will continue to seek out connectedness to loved ones and their communities, which is a rising trend we will continue to watch. It represents something different than what have witnessed with the generations, but it also represents many of the same learned experiences.
Third, we will see the rise of connected living, as people are looking for comfort in spaces that can foster a sense of community and connection. As such, designers are emphasizing kitchen islands as a gathering space and are prioritizing amusement and entertainment as consumers are looking to combine fun activities to foster connections with family and friends. We can’t forget about our four-legged friends either. Pew Research Center suggests 62% of Americans own a pet and nearly all say their pet is as much a part of the family. The storms that separated us are opening up a world to our best friends in the world of pets.
Fourth, health and wellness is growing faster than ever before. In fact, McKinsey & Co., pins this at a $1.5 trillion market globally and it is expected to grow 10% annually. In homes, consumers will want more natural and clean products and will spend more on health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep, and mindfulness. This includes self-care and sleep.
Fifth, consumers are looking for a more low-key approach to luxury. Personalization and meaningful experiences that result in emotional connections will be key here. Many consumers will be hesitant to purchase trendy items in clothing and furnishing and would rather turn to a capsule approach, as a personal sustainability strategy.
Sixth, nontraditional travel will continue. The post-pandemic workplace has blurred the lines of living, working, staying, and playing, which will lead to unique and authentic travel experiences. Designers will need to design multi-faceted and functional spaces. Homes are including “eatertainment” spaces while offers are introducing informal living rooms, cafes and rooftop bars, and hotels are offering team workspace and conferencing. Experiential design—designing a space that interacts with all senses—will also grow. Gives new means to eating out, for sure.
Seventh, we will see a custom approach to today’s workforce. Designers have the opportunity to help organizations create a more personalized approach to a hybrid (which will be the way take on new meaning in 2024) work strategy. Age comes into play here as well. Millennials are embracing the flexibility of hybrid schedules, as many are parents of young and school-age children. But Gen Z and Baby Boomers will prefer to work often in the office, looking for professional mentoring and social interactions.
Eighth, we will see the rise of AI (artificial intelligence) technology in all walks of life. Designers can use it to generate floor plans, design iterations, occupancy, and energy models, coordinate sets of construction documents, specs, and reports, as just a few examples. AI can also be used to create experience-driven design and deliver environmental settings that occupants can customize.
Ninth, expect the rise of digital marketing in design. Thought leadership will be key to digital marketing and social media influencers will continue to impact business. This will continue to grow in the year ahead.
Tenth, we will continue to see the rise of extreme weather events and climate impact. A 2023 Pew Research Center survey found most Americans think climate change is causing harm to people in the United States and that things are likely to get worse. As such, designers will have to build homes that are sustainable and reliable, prioritizing renewable sources like solar and wind.
Finally, we know sustainability will be key. Designers who can help clients meet their sustainability targets will likely have a competitive advantage. At the same time, sustainability and wellness are interconnected. Home will include technologies that support both human health and environmental health. Both will continue to be a priority in the year ahead.
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