Caring Wood is a re-imagined traditional English country house, designed by British architects James Macdonald Wright and Niall Maxwell. The house is divided into four interconnected blocks built from traditional materials which echo the neighbouring oast houses, and provides accommodation for four family units; the owners and their daughters along with their husbands and children.
“This ambitious house explores new architectural methods, materials and crafts and allows us to question the future of housing and the concept of multi-generational living,” said RIBA president Ben Derbyshire. “I’ve no doubt many of the ideas displayed at Caring Wood will influence UK housing for many years to come.”
According to RIBA House of the Year 2017 jury chair, Deborah Saunt “Beyond the impression of sublime craftsmanship and spatial grandeur this house offers, Caring Wood leads us to fundamentally question how we might live together in the future.
“At a time when we are increasingly atomised, individually preoccupied and lost in personalised digital worlds, designing homes where families come together – in their many permutations – is an increasingly important aim. Whilst this might seem to be a particular brief for one extended family, it is one taking huge risks in asking how we collectively might live inter-generationally as social structures evolve.
“Here we find a family enjoying each other’s time and company, but also enabling timeless layers of support to emerge between generations. Grandparents and grandchildren exchanging experiences and enlivening each other’s sense of self, parents finding a place to catch up alone as children play. Siblings together with cousins, building the foundation for mutual support for years to come, the network that builds a strong society of mutual respect.
“This is a brave project offering a new prototype. In deploying homes that cater for extended families across urban, suburban and rural sites, this may offer solutions not only to the country’s housing crisis – where families might live together longer- but also by providing care solutions for young and old alike, freeing people from punishing costs throughout their lifetimes.
“This intimate house delights in the way it beautifully manipulates space and avoids grandiosity. Unobtrusive within its landscape, it builds on the pattern of settlement centuries old. This is a house for all ages.”
Sleep, Europe’s hospitality design and development event, is the place to be if you have a passion for creating innovative hotels, restaurants and bars – or if you want to spot the trends and new collections that will be crossing over into domestic interiors.
The 2017 show was no exception, and Trend Monitor joined the record number of visitors at The Business Design Centre in London in November to get an insight into the key looks of 2018.
Design Trend #1. Tactile times
Taps have tended to be smooth for the simple reason that we need to keep them clean. But, if you read our report from ISH 2017 , you’ll already know that smooth is giving way to decorative patterns, creating tactile brassware that has the power to elevate even the plainest of bathrooms.
Geometric patterns have a timeless appeal, so it’s not surprising that we’re now seeing them in the bathroom. Leading the way at Sleep was interior designer Jo Love, who’s collaborated with British brassware manufacturer Vado to create the Omika collection of taps, showers and accessories. These flirt with texture to great effect – think strong clean lines, a slim minimalist silhouette and a delicate geometric pattern.
Texture has also captured the imagination of Italian manufacturers. Stella 1882 has incorporated guilloche, a decorative engraving technique based on intricate patterns, into the surface of its taps. There’s a choice of 12 patterns, available in any Stella finish.
The guilloche finish by Stella 1882 is hand-engraved by craftsmen at its workshop in Milan.
It was good to see luxury French bathroom brand THG Paris step outside its comfort zone with Collection Bain, its first sanitaryware collection since the brand was established in 1956.
THG’s small stand at Sleep could only accommodate a freestanding bath, but the full collection includes different styles of bath and a series of basins and shower trays, all created to complement its handcrafted tap fittings. THG’s material of choice is MineralStone, a composite material containing natural mineral fillers and reinforced resins that create strong, easy-to-clean pieces.
Selecting a look for your bathroom has become a question of taste now that so many sanitaryware producers have set up customised production departments. THG is among them, offering its Collection Bain as made-to measure to individuals as well as hotel chains.
Collection Bain is the debut sanitaryware collection by bathroom fittings specialist THG Paris.
Brassware manufacturer Grohe is also looking to broaden its appeal with the launch of Bau, its first-ever ceramics range. Developed following research that found customers struggle to match a washbasin with a mixer, Bau is designed to address the problem head-on by complementing Grohe’s Bau mixer collection.
Grohe has dipped its toe into the ceramics market with Bau, its first sanitaryware collection.
‘The thinner the better’ seems to be the mantra of modern sanitaryware – as seen in the use of cutting-edge materials that allow manufacturers to reduce rim width on basins and baths without compromising strength.
Previously, fine edges wouldn’t have survived the firing process, but materials such as Cerafine, seen in VitrA’s Outline collection of ultra-fine countertop basins, mean that manufacturers can now create slim, elegant shapes with defined edges.
The advantage of these slim rims is more than sleek good looks. It means that the modern basin can hold more water than its bulky predecessor, making it a practical addition to the bathroom.
Manufacturers continue to stress the relationship between their products and the primary function of the bathroom: hygiene. For example, VitrA basins are coated with VitrA Clean surface finish to keep them easy to clean with just a mild detergent and a damp cloth.
These ultra-fine countertop basins from VitrA’s Outline collection are manufactured from Cerafine, a new material that’s both strong and elegant.
VitrA isn’t the only manufacturer looking to slim down. Since the launch of SaphirKeramik in 2013, Swiss manufacturer Laufen has worked with numerous designers on products for a variety of collections.
For those not in the know, SaphirKeramik is a hard and rigid ceramic material that can be sued to create super-thin but extremely robust ceramic walls. These can be as narrow as 2mm (traditional ceramic measures between 7 to 8mm).
Laufen’s third and latest collaboration is with Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, who has used SaphirKeramik to create her Sonar range (launched at ISH 2017). Although Sonar was not on display at Sleep, SaphirKeramik was well represented by existing products from Konstantin Grcic’s Val collection.
The internationally acclaimed German designer Konstantin Grcic worked with Laufen’s SaphirKeramik to produce Val.
You know when a trend has truly arrived when the world’s biggest sanitaryware brands sit up and take notice. Cue Japanese-style washlets, which have spent years lurking on the periphery of the UK bathroom, possibly because their spacecraft-style looks tend to intimidate the conservative-minded British consumer.
Realising the key to success was to redesign the washlet to look like a regular WC, Laufen set about developing Cleanet Riva, defined by a streamlined aesthetic but packed full of high-end engineering.
At the heart of Cleanet Riva is the shower function, which is operated using the button located on the side of the WC bowl or via a touchscreen remote control. This also provides additional settings and personal preferences, including a choice of various spray modes, based on pressure, temperature and timing.
Laufen’s Cleanet Riva boasts various spray modes that can be personalised by pressure, temperature and timing.
Our post-ISH report touched on the growing influence of multi-generational households on bathroom design, and how manufacturers are now creating products that are accessible to all the family.
Hansgrohe’s understated Unica Comfort shower bar is just one example. Doubling as a sturdy grab handle for those less steady on their feet, it can support up to 200kg in weight. The hand shower can be easily positioned at the desired height using just one hand, and an additional hand shower holder at the lower end of the bar is ideal for children, wheelchair users and those who like to shower sitting down. A detachable shower caddy provides the finishing flourish, creating essential space for toiletries.
A shower bar or a convenient grab handle with integrated shower caddy for toiletries, the Unica Comfort by Hansgrohe is ideal for multigenerational households.
You can’t fail to have noticed the wide range of brassware colour options now available, including bronze, brass, rose and brushed gold, copper and matt black. These aren’t exclusive to brassware either, with designers keen for other elements of the bathroom to match up in the style stakes.
VitrA has collaborated with product designer Sebastian Conran to create a new bathroom accessory collection aimed at both domestic and luxury hotel markets. The Eternity collection comprises 31 products that combine luxury with practicality, including a toothbrush holder that incorporates a removable strainer so that toothbrushes don’t languish in stale water, and robe hooks designed not to leave pinch marks in collars and necks. Within the range there are three finish options: white with chrome, black with chrome and black with gold. All have hardwearing teak wood accents.
VitrA has teamed up with product designer Sebastian Conran to create Eternity, a new bathroom accessory collection for domestic and hotel bathrooms.
100% Design is the showcase for leading contemporary design and is the largest and longest running design trade event for industry professionals in the UK
First staged in 1995, the show is now in its 23rd year and is widely considered to be the cornerstone event of the London Design Festival, as well as one of the most significant events on the global trade calendar
The show, held between 20-23 September at Olympia London, featured over 400 exhibitors, from internationally recognised brands through to younger design studios and new design talent emerging on the market.
Trend-Monitor was there too, checking out the strongest design trends …
Design Trend #1. Indoor and Outdoor Brights
In a refreshing move away from whites and neutrals, 100% design was crammed with vibrant colour, pattern and texture. Interiors, outdoor living, bathroom and kitchens were all showing their colourful sides at the show
Modular furniture has been fundamental to offices and work-spaces for many years, but we are now seeing the trend for modular applications growing in popularity in the home environment. Driven by today’s transient lifestyles and the growth of the high-end rental market, there is a demand for functional, stylish furniture pieces that are also flexible in terms of assembly and arranging.
The Modulo cabinets by Ercol are available individually, or can be stacked up to three high, in any combination of the customer’s choosing.
Stainless steel and chrome has continued to dominate the commercial environment long after metals have warmed up in the more design-led interiors and homes. Simple Human has changed this and launched their commercial bins in a range of warmer finishes such as rose-gold.
The use of folding tubular steel for furniture started in the 1920s and 1930s with the Bauhaus movement and their innovative use of steel tubing. At 100% Design this trend was clearly enjoying a revival with the simple clean lines of tubular steel featuring in furniture and storage.
Carried by a wave of craft distilleries and boutique bars, gin is fast becoming the nation’s most fashionable spirit, available in every conceivable flavour from citrus to seaweed to tea. It’s not surprising therefore that the gin revolution is now hitting the homes and interiors.
(Ok, we admit it’s probably more of a fad than a true trend, but we spotted this fabulous gin trolley and wanted an excuse to feature it)
IFA, the international trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances, is well known for showcasing the latest innovations. This year’s show, held in Berlin from 1 – 6 September 2017, attracted 2,000 exhibitors and 253,000 visitors – and Trend Monitor was there to check out the latest smart home trends.
#1 Look who’s talking
Only time will tell whether consumers really want to ‘talk’ to their appliances. All the same, Candy is getting a head start on the competition with Bianca, a washing machine that you can communicate with by talking to Candy’s simply-Fi app.
For example, you can ask Bianca to start a cycle or request help choosing the right washing settings. Bianca will also dispense tips and tell you if it needs maintenance.
Samsung has also joined the voice-activated appliance war. Its Family Hub fridge, already on the market, has been upgraded with Samsung Connect, a cloud-based voice function that you can use to interact with it: ask for time and weather updates, search the internet, read news articles, play music and radio and add items to a shopping list.
Not to be outdone, Bosch presented Roxxter, the first robotic vacuum cleaner that can be controlled via Amazon’s Alexa. Just say, ‘Alexa, tell the Home Connect robot to clean the kitchen’ and your helper will be on its way.
Roxxter comes with RoomSelect, which lets you schedule cleaning for individual rooms. Plus, there’s an integrated streaming camera so you can keep an eye on your home via the app when you’re not there.
It’s not just appliance manufacturers that are taking a punt on voice control: Sony has launched the LF-S50G wireless speaker powered by Google Assistant, a virtual personal assistant that can engage in two-way conversations. Want to know what the traffic will be like on your route to work, set a wake-up alarm or retrieve the flight booking details for your next trip? Then bring the speaker to life by saying, “OK Google”.
The LG-S50G doesn’t work alone. Google Assistant can also voice control other smart devices from compatible platforms, including Chromecast built-in, Nest, Philips Hue and IFTTT, so you can adjust many aspects of your home environment with voice commands.
Elsewhere, Panasonic has partnered with Google to produce the first hi-fi speakers with Google Assistant built in. The idea is that you can treat the SC-GA10 like your virtual personal assistant: for example, you can request a favourite music track or ask questions.
If all this sounds – dare we say it – gimmicky, then perhaps you’ll find the Smarter FridgeCam more useful. The first wireless camera to fit inside any fridge, the FridgeCam allows you to see the content from anywhere via the Smarter app. You can also track expiry dates and get recipe suggestions based on the food in your fridge.
The question is, why? Well, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to approximately 1.3 billion tonnes per year. While a fridge camera isn’t the only solution, it may go some way to improving the situation.
Home security systems are hot right now. Armed with just a smartphone and an app, you can control door locks, monitor and control cameras and double-check door and window sensors wherever you are.
Solutions on show at IFA included the Fibaro Intercom, which allows for video calls between a smartphone and whoever is ringing the doorbell. A Full HD camera with a 180-degree recording angle provides a wide field of view, while IR (infrared) LEDs are automatically activated at night.
Smart locks are also enjoying a moment. Negating the need for a bunch of keys, a smart lock will lock and unlock a door when it receives instructions from an authorised smartphone.
And that’s not all. Models such as Nuki allow you to share access permissions and change them – ideal if yours is a rental property or if you care for relatives whose home you need to enter in emergencies.
The added bonus is that an elderly parent doesn’t even need a smartphone: he or she can keep using a key to lock and unlock the door from the outside and can turn the smart lock manually from the inside.
Just in time for the winter, tado° has launched Smart Climate Assistant, which adjusts the temperature of your home based on both environmental factors and your own needs.
Features include open-window detection, which automatically adjusts the heating if a window is opened, and weather detection, which turns the heating down when sunshine is predicted.
Geofencing is another feature. This ensures that the heating is automatically turned down when the last person leaves home and that it’s turned on again when the first person is returning. You can now manually adjust the geofencing radius when tado° switches to home mode. Plus, you’ll get a monthly energy savings report so you can see tado°’s impact.
Fitted on hot-water radiators, Netatmo Smart Valves allow you to control your heating on a room-by-room basis, whether you have individual or collective heating. The valves set a heating schedule for each room, and you can customise the temperature of each room via the app.
For example, you could heat the bathroom to 21°C in the morning and cool it while you’re out for the day, while keeping children’s rooms at 19°C from 5pm on weekdays when they come back from school.
Designed by French design studio Starck, the Smart Valves work with Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant. Could Alexa support be next on the agenda? Watch this space.
As must-do events for designers and trend-spotters go, Milan’s Salone del Mobile is top of the list. Now 56 years old, it continues to attract big names and huge crowds, welcoming 2,000 exhibitors to its 200,000m2 of exhibition space this year, along with 340,000 visitors from 165 countries.
Trend-Monitor was there too, and we scoured the stands to bring you the key trends from the 2017 show.
Furniture Trend #1: Design for Decadent Times
Pantone’s colour of the year for 2017 is Greenery, so we were surprised to see little evidence of it among the wares on display. There was plenty of green on offer though: Greenery’s zesty tones were eclipsed by a deeper, richer shade that serves as a luxurious antidote to the austere climate in which we find ourselves.
Mastering the opulent spirit was Lili Castilla’s asymmetrical Illusion sofa for Roche Bobois. It’s a sophisticated green velvet piece with an integrated smoked oak table – perfect for resting a glass of fizz.
Spanish artist-cum-designer Jaime Hayón adopted a similar shade of dark green for his Milà table for Magis, inspired by the façade of Gaudí’s modernist Casa Battlò in Barcelona. With its angular steel frame and die-cast detailing, Milà is a smart but versatile choice as it’s available with a choice of tops and in various sizes.
At first glance, Salone del Mobile’s metallic offerings seemed rather dated. After all, the use of gold, brass, bronze and copper is nothing new. But a second look revealed that the new crop of designs dare to be different. For example, take German brand e15, which explored the interplay of solid wood and metal with Trunk II, a 4100mm-long European walnut table top that supports a sculptural base manufactured from solid polished brass.
Other manufacturers used metallic finishes to bring classic designs up to date. Piergiorgio Cazzaniga’s Sign chair for MDF Italia has adopted a new attitude to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Still made from 45 metres of steel wire in four different diameters to create its distinctive structure, Sign Filo is available in a glossy galvanic finish in black chrome, gold and pink gold.
The next trend on the agenda is one we predicted. Pantone calls it Pale Dogwood, others call it Millennial Pink; either way, it was hard to miss at Salone del Mobile where this soft and friendly colour – somewhere between beige and blush – was as popular as we thought it would be.
A striking example was the Isla sofa for Spanish brand Sancal from Stockholm-based Note Design Studio.
Fashion brand Diesel Living continued its successful collaboration with Moroso to create the Assembly sofa, which is available as a love seat or occasional chair. Pink has long shed its reputation for being girly, but just to make sure, the designers used prominent steel bolts as a counterpoint to the pink velvet.
Poltrona Frau used Salone del Mobile as an opportunity to update its iconic Chester sofa for more casual social settings. Chester Line maintains the elegance of its deep-buttoned, leather-clad predecessor but acknowledges contemporary ways of living. Thus, it’s broken down into a series of five elements that allow you create different configurations.
Similarly, Piero Lissoni responded to users’ wishes for convenience and sociability when designing his Avio sofa for Knoll. A large irregular end or corner element has been introduced that alters Avio’s pure line, suggesting a more relaxed atmosphere.
Those who prefer muted colours to bold ones will welcome the news that terracotta is back in the spotlight. Both warming and calming, terracotta is versatile and can be used for small and large pieces.
It proved popular with exhibitors at Salone del Mobile. Arper, for example, embraced its terracotta side in its Arcos easy chair, which it describes as “a restrained interpretation of Art Deco’s geometric glamour.” The signature cast aluminium armrests that form twin curves also evoke the elegant archways of classical architecture.
Minotti also featured terracotta via a refresh of the sculptural base of Rodolfo Dordoni’s popular Van Dyck table. This is now available as an outdoor version and can be teamed with the Aston Cord outdoor chair, the painted metal frame of which is specially treated for exterior use, as are the padded waterproof cushions.
Even fledgling brands are getting in on the terracotta act. At SaloneSatellite – the emerging design section of Salone del Mobile – Jonathan Sabine and Jessica Nakanishi (the duo behind Canadian label MSDS Studio) used it as the base for their minimalist office furniture collection.
Design used to come at a price but times are changing: manufacturers are starting to use innovative materials to lower the environmental impact of furniture and furnishings. Leading the way at Salone del Mobile was Finnish furniture company Woodnotes, which launched its San Francisco carpet collection. The carpets are made from yarn that’s been spun from durable heavyweight paper and can be recycled or burned to produce energy.
San Francisco is also biodegradable: its white paper is produced without the use of chlorine gas, and the dyes used to colour the yarn contain no halogen-organic compounds or heavy metals.
Emerging in response to the urgent global issue of waste, Kvadrat has teamed up with British designer Max Lamb and start-up Really to upcycle end-of-life textiles into new materials for design and architecture. The first collection, Solid Textile Board, is an engineered board made from end-of-life cotton and wool textiles sourced from fashion, industry, households and Kvadrat cut offs.
Kvadrat CEO Anders Byriel explains: “We see Really as a first step on a circular journey that will help us fast track to a time when industrially manufactured products will be made – and remade – from old versions of themselves; to a time when, hopefully only years away, we look back at this as the moment when we realised we can’t afford to waste waste.”
TREND-MONITOR went tile trend-spotting at Cevisama, the Spanish tile industry’s annual exhibition in Valencia
Once a year, Spain’s tile manufacturers come together at Cevisama to exhibit the best of what the ceramic tile industry has to offer including textures, glazes and colours. Covering over 10,000 sq m of exhibition space and attracting 86,000 buyers, also on show was bathrooms, as well as complementary sectors such as natural stone, raw materials, roof tiles and bricks, materials and tools for laying and installing tiles, and machinery used in the ceramic tile industry.
We spotted eight dominant tile trends among the exhibitors.
Tile Trend #1: Go Geometric
Triangles are the way forward, with manufacturers working the trend for geometrics into many of their designs. Favourites included Gayafores’ Melange, a wood-effect porcelain tile featuring triangles in blue, natural or black, and Caleidos by Undefasa, a striking hexagonal porcelain wall and floor tile in five matt colours.
The peril of using pastels is that your home can feel a bit sickly sweet. Fortunately, advances in technology mean manufacturers can now create a wider range of colours. The result is that pale can now also be playful.
Lenos by Onset is an excellent case in point. A new addition to the Harmony Signature collection by Peronda, this porcelain wall and floor tile is available in multiple pastel shades.
Surface embellishment was another strong trend at Cevisama , with tile manufacturers delivering an ode to artists. Cue hand-drawn sketches: think chalk marks, pencil and paintbrush strokes used either large scale or as an accent.
Stealing the spotlight was Cas Cerámica’s Carson Relax, a ceramic wall tile with an original art design by American graphic designer David Carson. No less noteworthy was Maritima Alboran by Grespania, a ceramic wall tile featuring a hand-drawn effect in a matt or satin finish.
The mark of the maker is not exclusive to conventional art forms. Underground by Dune is a porcelain wall tile available in a range of patterns that can be mixed and matched to create a graffiti effect. It’s available in matt, satin or a mixed gloss-matt finish.
Lines never go out of style and at Cevisama they were everywhere: running vertically or horizontally across the surface of tiles, and criss-crossing to create more drama. Some designers opted for the subtlest of suggestions, while others allowed their lines to stand out – quite literally – using texture. Examples include Mileto by Saloni and Arame by Metropol Ceramica.
Designers certainly don’t seem to have felt hemmed in by lines. Instead, they’re feeling inspired. Eleusine, the work of Japanese designer Jin Kuramoto for Peronda, is a natural-stone wall tile inspired by the shadows of lines cast by the sun on a wall. Elsewhere, Osaka by Gayafores is a porcelain wall tile sporting a rough hewn linear effect that can be used to create striking textural patterns.
Even if you are not familiar with the name of Terrazzo flooring, you’ll have seen the product: a specked surface first used in Italian palazzos and later in offices and public spaces because of its distinctive look and reputation for durability and affordability. It’s made of chips of stone or resin set in concrete and polished to create a smooth surface.
The classic Mediterranean look of Terrazzo has taken off in the last couple of years, conjuring up a sense of relaxed style that’s inspired everything from furniture and furnishings. Terrazzo itself now comes with a twist; metallic accents and unusual colour choices have been thrown into the mix
Nostalgia is no longer the preserve of furniture manufacturers: the makers and shapers of the tile industry are turning back the clock too. The Concept collection by Cas Cerámica is an excellent case in point, comprising satin-finished ceramic tiles in five retro designs that give owners the opportunity to create dramatic effects on both walls and floors.
Nostalgic prints remain popular because they’re versatile. Take Forma, for example: it’s a relief-effect porcelain wall tile by Apavisa, available in two finishes and four colours, and used to striking effect in the bedroom below.
The latest ceramics are in full bloom, featuring flowers either as a feature wall or as a strip effect. At Cevisama, there was barely a brand that didn’t embrace the trend, with collections featuring everything from ditsy buds to statement blooms.
Proponents include Mainzu’s Livorno Sonata collection (think big, bold and exotic) and Futura by Pamesa, which is more traditional in its appeal but no less noteworthy.
Of course, there was a counterpoint to all this boldness; after all, florals can be as much about tranquillity as they are about making a statement. Cas Cerámica made a case for a more muted aesthetic with Forever, a handcrafted tile with a homespun feel.
While 3D-effect tiles are by no means new, progress in production methods means that manufacturers have evolved the aesthetic to create designs that skillfully draw in the eye. Coming up trumps is Apavisa with Nanoforma – a 3D porcelain wall tile in six colours including seductive silver (shown) – and Natucer with Dual, an extruded porcelain wall tile with a micro crackle glaze, available in six neutral colours.
A fascinating report by the The Silestone Institute, which looks at the characteristics of the kitchen of the future through the eyes of kitchen professionals, designers and anthropologists
The report, entitled ‘Global Kitchen: the home kitchen in the era of globalisation’ is the result of a collaboration with 17 distinguished experts from the worlds of design, cooking, domestic technology, sociology, nutrition and sustainability. In addition, a survey carried out in over 800 kitchen studios across the world provides data on the importance consumers afford to this room in their homes.
Key experts included chefs Andoi Luis Aduriz (**Michelin in Mugaritz), Gaston Acurio, Harvard anthropologist, Richard Wrangham, architect Piero Lissoni and industrial designer Patricia Moore.
Santiago Alfonso, marketing vice president for the Cosentino Group says, “Global Kitchen is an international project providing valuable insights into the kitchen of the future and aims to become an essential reference tool for professionals and consumers. It creates the opportunity for multidisciplinary reflection to analyse the effect of globalisation on kitchen architecture and design, to determine how this space will develop over the next 25 years.”
Key predictions in the Global Kitchen report include:
The kitchen will be a hyper-connected, multi-functional space for work, leisure, health and relaxation.
It will incorporate techniques and smart devices normally found in professional kitchens such as vacuum cooking and packaging.
It will further cement its role as the ‘centre of the home’; the largest and most invested room in the house.
The kitchen will develop as a multi-functional space in all countries and is expected to disappear as an independent room.
Its design will not only take aesthetics and function into account but also emotional value and it will strengthen its use as a space for relaxing and well-being.
Connectivity and smart appliances will be managed from mobile and wearable devices and will not only make shopping and laundry easier, but ensure endless access to information from the Internet of Things.
The worktops will be able to cook, make calls, broadcast TV or provide access to the internet. They will be height adjustable, contain recipe databases where chefs will guide the user through the method, ingredient information and be able to weigh food.
The refrigerator will offer permanent access to nutritional information on screens.
They will be sustainable, with appliances solar powered and will be aligned with ‘Multi- R’ thinking – Rethink, Redesign, Repair, Reuse, Remanufacture, Recover.
Intelligent lighting will be variable to match the time of day, mood or the type of food being cooked.
Forecasting and Sales Experts’ Opinions on the Future of the Home Kitchen
Highlights from the survey include:
87% of respondents said that the kitchen would become more relevant as an activity and meeting place in the house. (In many countries, the kitchen is a separate room).
5% said that it will be a single space combining dining and living rooms.
3% said it will be used to get together with family, to work and do homework (60.9%) and surf the internet (62.4%).
1% expect cooking will be directly on the work surface.
7% predict that the work surface will integrate a control panel for appliances with access to the internet and device connection.
3% imagine the work surface will incorporate weighing scales and nutritional analysis.
Australia and Brazil agree that the new cooking methods will be the most important development, while the UK and Italy prefer smart appliances. In contrast, Spain and the US value connectivity above all.
For more information about how homeowners are using their kitchens here in the UK, have a look at our Kitchen Purchase Behaviour, Consumer Insight Report No.2, which surveyed 500 homeowners who had recently purchased a new kitchen to understand how they use their kitchen and what motivated them to install a new kitchen
Ad-Tech company, Unruly has unveiled Home, a 2,000-square foot apartment which aims to show what the home of the future will see, hear, feel, taste and smell like.
This new space showcases actual and conceptual internet of things (IoT) gadgets, and combines emerging technology with the latest research from anthropologists, interior designers and experts in well-being to show how marketers can authentically engage with consumers in the connected home.
The apartment is a collaboration with over 25 innovation partners including Dixons Carphone, Dow Jones, Harper Collins, Heineken, HTC Vive, Matterport, PepsiCo, realtor.com®, Sky, The Sun, Taste.com.au, The White Company, The Wall Street Journal and Withings (part of Nokia).
Complete with a living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and children’s room, Home is packed with connected devices, all of which present opportunities for brands. A kitchen that orders food for you and tells you what to cook based on ingredients left in your fridge. A hallway that says hello, makes you coffee and plays songs and displays art that match your mood. And a bedroom that tracks your sleep and helps you choose your outfit depending on the weather forecast.
Unruly CEO Sarah Wood said: “Brands that are passionate about the consumer experience and keen to understand the value they can bring to consumers in their home will be the ones who make the most of this opportunity.
“Home will give marketers a synapse-tingling shot of the future. It will help brands and agencies future-proof their marketing strategies, demonstrating how connected tech will enable brands to share their stories with consumers in new and exciting ways.”
According to the Unruly Future Home Study, 84% of UK consumers would be open to brands engaging with them in the connected home, while 67% of Brits think a connected home will make their lives happier, safer or healthier. Just under two-thirds (60%) think artificial intelligence (AI) and robots will be an essential part of the future.
However, consumer responses also demonstrate the need for brands to interact responsibly within the connected home, with 84% considering home as their sanctuary and 43% worried about security. Meanwhile, ‘invade my privacy’ was given as the most annoying thing a brand could do in the home.
Other findings from the Unruly Future Home Study, in which 1,000 people from across the UK were asked the best way for brands to interact with them in the connected home, include:
55% of Brits would rather buy washing powder through a button on their connected washing machines than go to the shops
Saving money (61%) was the biggest reason Brits are interested in having a connected home
The living room is the room where Brits are the most happy to engage with brands (52%). The kitchen is the second (45%).
Visit the Home digital hub to arrange a visit, view the list of partners and download the full survey findings.
Smart Home technology has reached a pivotal point in its development, where the surrounding hype is teetering on the edge of convincing the sceptical consumer.
Perceived high prices and doubts about the reliability of the technology has led to sluggish sales in the UK, but recent research by Deloitte indicates that this is set to change.
What is a Smart Home?
Ask this question twenty years ago and having your lights on a plug-in timer would have been considered smart home technology. With more ‘smart’ devices coming onto the market at an increasing fast pace, the term ‘smart home device’ today covers anything in the home that can be controlled remotely by a smartphone, tablet or computer; from a thermostat that ‘learns’ your desired temperature throughout the day to a washing machine that orders your washing powder before you run out.
However, this is an industry more concerned about competition than collaboration and there are very few worldwide accepted industry standards for smart home devices.
In 2016 80 million smart home devices were delivered world-wide (Source IHS Markit). This is up 64% on 2015 with predictions being made suggesting that 130 million devices will be delivered in 2017 and by 2020 13.5 billion consumer items are expected to be connected to the web (Source Gartner)
The home entertainment sector has led the way in the Smart Home and consumers are already accepting of and appear to understand the benefits of a smart TV, a games console or wireless speakers
Energy management systems such as Nest are expected to be the next major drivers of the Smart Home market growth, closely followed by smart security devices and smart lighting; all areas where there is a definable financial or comfort benefit to the home owner. Deloitte suggest that two fifths of people plan to replace lighting, thermostats and security devices with connected devices once they need to.
And as consumers start to become more aware of how smart technology has the potential to make life in the home easier, smart devices that will enable the ill or elderly to stay in their own homes or in assisted living situations longer are also expected to push market growth.
The majority of new home appliances are now ‘smart-ready’ with connected features as standard. As consumers replace their old kettles, ovens, fridges and lighting in the coming years, there will be a gradual escalation of Smart Home adoption. By speeding up the replacement cycle through promotions, in-store demonstration and targeted marketing campaigns, retailers can potentially drive faster market growth.
Barriers to Sales of Smart Home Technology
Although the technology is improving and the pricing is stabilizing – coming down even, the main barrier remains the indifference to ‘smart’ devices and appliances; consumers simply don’t ask for them or understand the relevant to their own homes.
Smart Home technology is not yet considered a selling point for properties, according to estate agents, especially in older properties, although there is a growing expectation that it will be included in a high-end new build property.
Trend-Monitor’s recent research into kitchen purchase behaviour found that although the inclusion of a smart kitchen appliance when purchasing a complete new kitchen had increased significantly over the 3 year research time-frame, this was from a very low base. And 35% of those homeowners who didn’t have any smart kitchen appliances didn’t think the technology was relevant for their own kitchen, with a further 23% being unaware that the technology was available.
Convincing the consumer that the technology actually works has proved a stumbling block to sales. There is evidence that stores have benefited from increased sales where they have allowed consumers to try out the technology for themselves with advice from store assistants. John Lewis, for example, has dedicated space in its Oxford Street store in London to the smart home, and is actively demonstrating what it is and how it can make homeowners’ lives easier
At this stage in the development of Smart Home technology, creating a fully automated home is hard work for the consumer. A confusing lack of interconnection between devices and an incohesive consumer offer means that research is required to understand the different platforms and which devices are compatible with each other before each device is manually connected once in the home.
Suspicions surrounding personal privacy and the potential danger of a cyber-attack via your fridge have not yet been fully addressed. The Deloitte research shows that 13 per cent of people are holding back from buying connected devices because they are concerned about their device getting hacked, while 11 per cent do not want their usage data accessed by companies.
A Question of When not If
Despite a slow start to sales of connected devices, Deloitte reports that two-thirds of consumers (66 per cent) agree that connected devices have the potential to make their lives easier, rising to 91 per cent for 18-to-24-year olds. And whilst low ownership of these devices is unlikely to change dramatically in the next 12 months, interest in the automated home is growing, albeit not expected to follow a smooth trajectory over the next few years.
Instead growth is likely to come in stages as different categories take off. The fast replacement cycle of TV’s and sound systems means that this category is already ahead of the rest of the smart home market. The next stage of growth is looking to be home monitoring and security as consumers can easily see the benefits of automating these areas.
Following behind is the connected kitchen – the longer replacement cycle of ovens and fridges means that this market could take some time to catch up.
The connected bathroom is an area that few consumers are considering at this stage and the statement in KBBreview from Roca’s corporate marketing director, Carlos Velázquez, claiming that the mid-market was not ready for smart home bathroom solutions, will come as no surprise to the bathroom industry. Like many home improvement brands, Roca are choosing to bide their time until there is stronger evidence of consumer demand before launching a smart product.
The Smart Home market is still in its infancy and for it to reach its full potential it is becoming increasing clear that there is a need for a secure, standardised operating system for the home which brands can build on. Until this happens, the different categories will remain fragmented and consumers will continue to be sceptical about the benefits and security of a fully-automated home.
TREND-MONITOR went bathroom trend-spotting at ISH 2017, which was held at the Frankfurt Exhibition Centre between 12th and 16th March 2017
ISH Frankfurt is the world’s largest showcase for innovative bathroom design, energy energy efficient heating and air-conditioning technology and renewable energies. Over 2,400 international exhibitors, including all market leaders, launched their latest products, innovations and technologies onto the world market at ISH, which has been running for over 50 years.
Here’s our top eight bathroom trends from the exhibition …