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Sunday, January 11, 2009
Top Trends affecting Design and Lifestyle for 2009
We start 2009 with a whole new outlook – good riddance to 2008. In reviewing several magazine articles, websites, and blogs, below is the prevalent list of items that seem to be on everyone’s radar. It seems a return to simpler times and ways is definitely the direction as people move towards familiarity, comfort, and retro. Mixed in with what’s green and techno.
Return to the Kitchen:
This has been noted on several trend watches and prediction articles for 2009. I have to agree with this one and we are definitely seeing this in our practice. I think with the current state of the economy people are staying home more and where do you spend more time than in the kitchen. Cooking, game playing be it on a computer or handheld, and simply getting back to family conversations, we will all return to the safety and closeness of the Kitchen.
Rise of the Cottage Industry
We are definitely seeing this and the internet is helping this along. We are seeing the Craft Room, and Hobby Room taking over the wish list on people’s homes and we have seen businesses grow from these activities. Book writing, gardening, textiles, sewing, jewelry making, photography and film making, and of course cooking,….Look for this trend in what is being called credit-crunch couture. – check out Hermes Do-it-Yourself status bags.
From indoor herb and spice gardens to full on outdoor gardens we are seeing this trend really taking off. People want fresh produce and are willing to do more to get it. We have clients taking their entire property and planting olive groves, pecan and date groves, orange and citrus groves, raised vegetable gardens, and herb gardens and of course a compost pile to make use of the household wastes in an eco-friendly way.
We are seeing this trend starting to pop up. With travel becoming so expensive and again with the downturn in the economy we see several services starting that basically give you a virtual tour of any city in the world. People are then able to hook this up to their home theater system and sit with a glass of wine in their own home and enjoy a trip to Prague without fighting the crowds, needing a passport or having to go through security and a 22 hour plane trip. We see this even entering the Dining Room whereby you can have friends over for dinner on the rooftop in Rome or overlooking the French Riviera. Watch this trend both in terms of how it changes design and the way people entertain.
We are seeing more and more space dedicated to one’s pets. From pet rooms with access to a contained courtyard with various features such as a small pet pool or exercise equipment dedicated to one’s pets., it is amazing what people will do for their little four legged friends. With the demographics getting older and more and more empty-nesters in the years ahead we see this trend growing.
Home Stages & Virtual Activity Areas
With the Virtual Guitars, Rock Bands, and virtual Bowling or Golf cropping up on Wii and Xboxes we see a stage space working with the Theater space. Whole families and friends come over and perform rock concerts and with a Club room or Bar space next to this you have yourself a real party.
With the downsizing hitting all aspects of the economy we see both the bigger houses getting smaller and the smaller houses getting even smaller. 3500 square feet will be the new 7500 square feet on the large homes and we see smaller homes being remodeled rather than enlarged. Smaller will allow for nicer furnishings and interior features and accessories and so more attention will be given to the details instead of just having a lot of vanilla space.
Comfort & Sustainable Foods
See more home baking and scratch cooking as nostalgia, retro, and a return to the safety of the home takes hold. Soups, salads, stews with simple ingredients will become very popular as they will save money and make people feel good. Watch the continued rise of the farmer’s markets where local farmers can sell their produce directly to the consumer and reduce the carbon footprint and consumers can be assured the food is safe and organic. We see the trend of larger pantries and the walk-in refrigerator is becoming more popular and being incorporated into nearly 25% of the houses we design.
Websites, Facebook, blogging, YouTube video presentations, Skype – all are affecting the way we work and live. Skypeing with your family whereby you can talk and see them live sure can save on a lot of airfares. Same for meetings – no more flights necessary for a business meeting. All of these technologies are changing the way we stay in touch with friends, clients, vendors, and family.
Green Movement is Huge!!!!
All of these trends noted above seem to all have a Green aspect to them. Generally, I see people using their homes more and staying home more and spending more time with friends and family. Living and living in harmony with nature will become a real focus again.