As a professional, you know that home style trends are constantly evolving. What you may not know is how what’s going on in the world influences these trends. As we face unpredictable times, it’s critical to understand how your customers’ demands might shift according to cultural macro trends. These macro trends play a significant role in influencing the underlying motivators of your customers’ design choices — like whether they shift away from the cool grays of yesterday to today’s favorite warm whites. Or transition from industrial and geometric to colorful and organic styles. Understanding today’s macro trends will help you stay ahead of your customers — and your competition.
While no one can see the future, a STEEP analysis might be the best way to predict it. STEEP stands for Social, Tech, Economic, Environmental and Political, which together help us bucket the big conversations that influence how consumers think, feel and behave. Ultimately, these trends affect what and when your customers buy. Now let’s take a look at specific macro trends that are prevalent today — and how they’re influencing home design trends today.
Macro Trend: Emotional Anxiety
As we continue to publicly curate our lives on social media, our feelings of envy and anxiety may continue to perpetuate internally. We all want to go on the fabulous trip, be at the special birthday party or relax with a loved one, but we’re only one person who can only be in one place at one time. So how do we curate a home to reset these emotions?
Design response: Designing for Joy
No matter what’s going on in the “real world,” people will continue to desire a place of joy, warmth and happiness to return to at the end of a long day. We’ve noticed that people are preferring to infuse saturated pops of color with organic, oversized shapes to brighten their home — and their mindsets.
Macro Trend: Time Poverty
Increased wealth and standard of living have not been translating into having more time. Feeling time-poor actually causes a reduction in mental and physical well-being. How can design help assist us with our busy lives?
Design response: Home as a Partner
Homeowners are looking for ways to maximize the time they do have by being more intentional with what they choose to do and who to be with. Having the right spaces with the right home features enables homeowners to live their idealized life, whether it’s a dining room for entertaining or a sunny room for yoga.
Macro Trend: Luxe in Flux
What luxury meant yesterday is not the same today. Luxury in the past meant exclusive fabrics, bespoke suites and financial wealth. But over the past few years, large design houses have seen a decline in sales. Average homeowners now rely more on Instagram influencers for inspiration. So what does this mean for luxury brands today, and what is luxury?
Design response: Light Luxury
Luxury today is found in experience and perception. More homeowners are creating the perception of luxury with more natural light and floor-to-ceiling expanses.
Macro Trend: Nature’s Crisis
Every time homeowners tune into media, there’s another natural disaster brewing in the world. The floods of Venice, the fires of California, the Caribbean hurricanes — the world is changing around us, and it seems a little scary. So how do we retain our love for nature in home design?
Design response: Home as an Escape
Because the world around us is often unpredictable, more people are turning their homes into nature-inspired “getaways.” Homeowners are opting for design elements like wood accents, earth tones, natural light and indoor plants to create serene spaces within their walls.
Macro Trend: Systemic Chaos
Like natural disasters, uncontrollable events like violence, protests and security breaches are putting homeowners on edge. We need to help homeowners feel safe day and night.
Design response: Home as a Safe Space
Smart home features are giving homeowners more control of their personal space. Interactive security systems, video doorbells and smart speakers are becoming more popular as people strive to create safe havens for their families. Smart home features like Pella® Insynctive® products are becoming more popular in managing their day-to-day lives.
As you design homes in 2021, be sure to look beyond personal style and taste to what problems your customers want help solving. Homeowners are looking for ways to live their best lives in a complex world, and you can help them achieve their goals with informed home design.