FOCUS | The year ahead

It’s home, but not as we knew it

Jane Blakeborough, research director at Trend-Monitor, identifies three new trends that will shape the households of the future

confusion and change, forcing us to become more focused on our immediate environment – our homes, our businesses, our supply chain. 2021

W 30 is when we must open

ourselves up, look at the bigger picture and plan beyond the next few weeks. We have light at the end of the tunnel in the form of vaccines, fast and efficient testing and a Government that is determined to get our economy back up and running.

e have gone through many months of national upheaval,

The team at Trend-Monitor has identified three interlinking trends that will have the biggest impact on the KBB industry in 2021 and beyond...

The new healthier home Covid-19 has put health at the top of our priority list. The Global Wellness Summit

in November put ‘home

wellness’ and ‘at home beauty’ in their top six trends for 2021. Priorities for our homes have moved to the aesthetics of health, such as natural light, biophilia, improved acoustics and circadian lighting, with air quality in particular jumping to the

top of the list. Prior to lockdown,

worries about the quality of the air we breathe had already given rise to a new wave of technology. The resulting heat-efficient homes are like sealed boxes, driving this trend for air quality.

The new sustainable home

There is a growing interest in products, innovations and apps that make it easy for households to save water and energy, cut food waste, recycle and understand their carbon footprint. Changes in the consumer mind-set

brought about by the pandemic have meant that we are re-evaluating our life choices and in particular our impact on the environment. The result is that people have been forced to face their individual responsibility and recognise that the greatest impact on the planet

comes from three things – food, water and energy usage.

The new flexible home This is an emerging trend that Trend- Monitor has been tracking for some time now and in 2020 it became a reality for many. The concept that one room has one function changed as we were suddenly forced to use our rooms for a range of activities. There is expected to be a growth in the number of multigenerational households over the next few years, partly driven by an ageing population and changes in social structures, but also by the impact on many families of being separated from parents and grandparents when the increased threat of Covid-19 on the elderly became evident.

Where open-plan was seen as the popular option for the larger household, this is giving way to ‘broken-plan’, which is a more flexible option.

· January 2021

What next for the


In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic turned normal routines on their head, but the KBB industry is resilient and retailers and suppliers adapted, made use of new technologies and digital communications, while the end of lockdown unleashed a pent- up demand that surprised many. Will that impetus continue? We asked leading players in the industry for their predictions

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