In this issue, we’re diving into the topic of “today’s homes,” tackling how we live in this day and age and the products that help us do so.
In gathering content for the issue, I was pleasantly surprised at how much positive feedback I received on the topic. I think because it’s something that seems so basic, but it’s actually pretty transformative — to look at how our lifestyles have changed and understand what consumers today are pining for as they build, or transform, their own personal oasis.
One word that comes to mind to describe just this is “casual.” Formal dining and seating areas are being replaced with functional rooms used daily. Bathrooms are no longer just for washing; they’re a place for ultimate relaxation. Kitchens are now a place to congregate and eat, and even backyards are now becoming an extension of an interior, complete with furniture and decor for year-round outdoor living.
The National Association of Home Builders’ 2017 Design Trends report cited trends like “somewhat defined open floor plan with the ability to transform spaces,” “taking advantage of under-utilized spaces,” “return to traditional materials and details” and “warm interiors, even in modern homes” as being top of mind for homeowners. Basically, creating a home that works for you and your family in the space you have, prioritizing comfort.
We’ve got some ideas: Our Idea Boards, starting on page 16, will provide you with a snapshot of living, dining and working today, and our product galleries on kitchen lighting, ceiling fans and dinnerware will inspire.
And more food for thought: I moderated a panel at AmericasMart Atlanta Fall Design Week that focused on “What Millennials Want,” and when I asked the two designer panelists — Gen Sohr of Pencil and Paper Co. and Katelyn Rountree of Terracotta Design Build — to generalize this generation’s style at home they both agreed almost instantaneously — “collected.” Collected meaning combining heirlooms passed down from mom and dad with an Ikea table with a memento from that trip to Europe last summer, melded with accessories from Wayfair and a couch that you saved up for a year to purchase.
I think this perfectly describes “Today’s Homes” — a mix of high and low, showcasing meaningful pieces full of memories and products that provide utility for the way you live. Casual, curated and collected.
Today’s homes are not cookie-cutter, and they’re not “unbox and go.” They tell a story, and our industry gets to help write them. We may not be curing cancer, but our jobs are still pretty cool.