Excerpt via WGSN
Accelerating forward into 2021 and beyond, these are some of the overarching trends that will influence lifestyle and interiors, from digital colour and pets to reframing how consumers will interact with their furniture and spaces. When combined, these trends are all about a growing sense of digital-cozy that will develop in the coming decade
1. Back in the room
One of the long-term learnings from lockdown is that open-plan living quarters and airy lofts are far from ideal when multiple people are trying to work, live and play from the same space. Instead of taking walls down, architects will be asked to put them up and design separate rooms, with extra noise insulation.
Consumers will hack their own rooms within rooms using partitions, from homemade study and work cubicles to room dividers and decorative screens that provide visual separation from others.
Luxury will be having a room that does only one thing: a workout room, powder room, personal office, library and maybe even a room to host other people…
2. Cleaning with light
As hygiene has risen to the top of the agenda for consumers during the pandemic, the long-term need for sanitation stations at home will go further than soap and wet wipes.
Zapping germs and viruses with UV light is already happening in the public sphere – sanitising hospital floors and transport – but UV light remains dangerous to people. However, scientists have discovered a new type of Far-UVC and if further research demonstrates it could be harnessed safely, we will witness it moving into the home, evolving into gadgets that will give consumers a clean conscience, with all the wow effects of a lightsaber.
Moving on from the self-cleaning water bottles we have today, we will see decorative boxes and lamps where we can place our keys, phones and small objects for safekeeping and sterilisation. Our clothes will be stored in specialised wardrobes to be washed with light while we sleep. One day, we may enter homes and public spaces through UV light portals worthy of a science-fiction film – emerging not only clean, but with something of a halo effect. Light housekeeping at its finest.
3. Robot pets
To combat lockdown loneliness, consumers have sought out new companions: plants, pets and even robots.
With solo living on the rise, electronic companions are set to grow, providing social connection and someone to come home to, without any of the long-term commitment of a real furbaby.
Robots will increasingly become part of the family household, too, as consumers move from relating to their robot vacuum on a first-name basis to having a full-on robot friend at home who can balance writing shopping lists with keeping elderly parents company and supporting kids’ emotional wellbeing. For this reason, tech will be built with personality, with animators and psychologists brought on board to design character and empathy into machines, taking the human-robot relationship to the next level.
4. A.I. Aqua
It’s perhaps no surprise that our Colour of the Year is digitally friendly. Back in March 2019, with our sister brand Coloro, we forecast that A.I. Aqua would have key relevance in 2021. Our tech-inspired hero colour to watch (Coloro: 098-59-30) is a truly versatile shade. It can look simultaneously sporty and trend-forward, making it suitable for fashion and activewear, but is also a fresh take on blue that’s suitable for interiors and tech products.
A recent survey of the tones used on the world’s biggest websites found blue easily outstripped others, and shades of blue, which are used prominently in tech, are set to become more immersive and important. In a digital age when we’re able to curate our identities and our online personas are as important as our offline ones (if not more so), we expect this hue to resonate broadly with consumers and have strong appeal across all design categories and demographics.
5. The deconstructed sofa
Static sofas are so last decade. This year we’ll be seeing more flexible and completely deconstructible sofas. Each cushion able to live its best life as a pouf, a daybed or an imaginative pillow fort, depending on customer needs and whims.
Taking modular furniture to the next level, the Nugget sofa has saved many a family, with its soft, sleek and easily washable and interchangeable cushions in huggable geometric shapes that can be transformed in an instant into a pirate ship, a playground or even a Christmas tree. When kids prefer playing with a sofa to staring at a screen, you know the product has a bright future. Perfect for students, young families and conceptual artists. And also bringing a whole new meaning to couch surfing.