Submitted By: Annette M. Callari, Allied ASID, CMG
Sometimes it’s helpful to look at the “bigger” picture, as we decide how to improve our homes and our lifestyle. Of course, I always gather research with an eye towards how trends will affect floor coverings, and this blog is no exception. So let me share with you the key emerging homebuyer trends for 2010—some of which will definitely impact floor coverings:
1. Consumers are more willing to pay for value, which results in better design
This trend is coming into its own as consumers are (warily) more confident in spending. They are drawn to higher quality goods in floor coverings, viewing it as an investment in the overall value of their home. And they are right!
2. Green design is important with qualifiers: “what’s in it for me?”
Floor covering manufacturers have paid close attention to developing Green products. What’s in it for you—the consumer—is a smart product that took less energy and natural resources to produce, and products that are either cradle-to-cradle recyclable, or can be repurposed into different products after their life cycle.
3. Multi-family floor plans and meaningful square footage
This is a significant trend in both new and existing homes. Contemporary families have to consider space for “bounce back” kids (out of a job, or newly graduated from school) and aging parents. Family structures continue to change, and floor coverings can re-define spaces as required, contributing greatly to safety as we plan our homes to accommodate aging parents.
4. Consumers are looking for mass-customization
This trend has been entrenched for a couple of years now. What it means is that consumers are looking for products and services that give them a say in the design process. Whether it’s tennis shoes (where they get to choose colors, materials, and have their name embroidered on them) or a custom area rug, they want it personalized to their tastes. Manufacturers are flocking to get on board with this trend—at prices you can afford.
5. Conversion of formal living room/dining rooms to other uses
Comfortable family gathering places are high on our wish lists. Consumers are spending money to reallocate spaces. Large, combined living room/ dining rooms are being repurposed into one big great room. Kitchens are becoming larger and more high-end. Quality appliances are important as we are cooking at home more and entertaining more.
To underscore our new lifestyle, flooring materials for kitchens are beautiful and forgiving! Hardwood floors are now available with aluminum oxide protectant in the TOP COAT to give the best protection possible. Laminate floors capture the look of hardwoods, but are more family-oriented and moisture resistant.
6. Master Suites are being designed to simulate a luxury hotel suite
This is a huge development on the design front. Consumers are pouring design dollars into transforming their existing master bedroom and bath. Spa tubs, towel warming racks, heated coil under-layments to warm stone and ceramic floors, even under-counter refrigerators, are at the top of the list for master baths designs.
Moving into the master bedroom, we are seeing cozy seating areas and reading corners being implemented into space plans. Beds are dressed in oversized snowy white comforters with tons of cushy pillows. Carpets are thicker, softer, and more welcoming under foot. All in all, master suites are being redesigned to become upscale, private retreats anytime day or night.
In conclusion, the lines are drawn to connect new trends directly to concepts in flooring. I’m happy to say that floor covering manufacturers are very much in touch with these evolving trends. They’ve invested heavily in research and development to bring to market just the right products to bring about your own impressive design transformation.