By now, designers are undoubtedly aware of how Covid-19 has ushered in changes in terms of where and how we live. But the pandemic isn’t the only factor reshaping how interior designers will approach their work in the months and years ahead. Here, to act as a playbook for what’s ahead, is the American Society of Interior Designers’ (ASID) 2022 Trends Outlook, which spells out the industry’s most game-changing phenomena—from demographic shifts impacting the housing market to the ever-greater movement toward sustainability and human-centered design.
For interior designers, the report offers insights that could help inform long-term decision making —whether that means investing in skill development around multi-generational design to predicting the best location for a future satellite office. Here are six of the report’s key findings that designers should know.
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More adults are living alone—but multigenerational households are also on the rise.
U.S. population growth has stalled over the past decade, so it should be no great shock that the amount of adults living with children has decreased by 8%. Meanwhile, the number of multigenerational households jumped 271% between 2011 and 2021.
In both cases, the function of a living space is changing. With fewer parents, there may be less demand for single-family homes designed with children in mind, as well as an increased opportunity for redesigns that accommodate a household with a wider variety of ages.
Where we live is changing, too.
If you’re looking to tap into a new market for clients, look to the American south and west. Those two regions experienced the fastest growth from 2010 to 2020, with the south growing its population just over 10%, followed by 9% percent out west. Coupled with the freedom of remote work and the fact that half of all U.S. adults aged 55 or older are now retired, it may be time to cast a wider geographic net in your search for clients.
Wellness real estate is outpacing other types of construction.
Sheltered pandemic life inspired many to turn inward and focus on their physical and mental health. Now, the construction of wellness-oriented properties is outpacing the rest of the real estate market, with health and wellness features serving as a differentiator in luxury residences. Enhancing wellness is also an increasing justification for remodeling or reinvigorating the home, namely in the kitchen, bath, and outdoor spaces. On the commercial side, the use of wellness-oriented certifications, including the WELL Building Standard—which monitors factors like indoor air purification, natural light, and water quality—increased 476% from 2018 to 2020.
It is hardly surprising that health is top of mind given what has been collectively experienced since 2020. The trend is poised to stick around, meaning designers may want to brush up on the products and services leading today’s wellness conversation, even as pandemic concerns dissipate.
For Gen Z and Millennials, sustainability and pre-owned luxury go hand in hand.
There’s been a recent proliferation of reputable online marketplaces for pre-owned luxury items. Reason being? The ASID notes that Gen Z and millennial buyers are much more willing to incorporate secondhand goods into their living spaces, which intersects with their increased regard for sustainable design. That opens up new possibilities for sourcing, especially as these generations reach homebuying age.
Consolidation of architecture and design firms is on the horizon.
While the homebound years of 2020 and 2021 created unexpected opportunities for those breaking into the design business, the ASID’s report predicts that an increasing number of firm mergers will occur in the years ahead. Their survey data suggests that 37 percent of large firms with at least $5 million in annual billings expect to acquire another firm in the next three to five years.
Smart home tech is here to stay.
Anyone who’s scanned a QR code to look at a menu knows we’ve become more receptive to smart, interactive tech in retail environments over the past two years. And according to the ASID, that comfort extends into the domestic realm, too, as they project that more than half of all homes will have three or more smart items in them by 2023. Understanding how this tech can enhance the function of how we live—not to mention having a sense of the installation required for smart tech in residential and commercial applications—could be a key differentiator going forward.