Two years of pandemic and harsh confinement have caused us to rethink our way of life in many ways. One of these is housing: the impossibility of leaving home and the imposition of teleworking have made us more conscious of the spaces in which we spend our daily lives. We have become aware of the limitations of our homes in the face of this drastic change in the way we live and work.
As a result, there is a boom in home renovation work, work that is now an important driving force for the stone industry: terraces are being extended, work spaces are being fitted out, gardens are being improved, houses in towns are being refurbished, now that it is no longer imperative to live in the city where the office is located... Interior design has also adapted to this new reality, with the adoption of new criteria, among which sustainability and openness to the outside are of paramount importance.
The study presented at Casa Decor, Madrid (Spain) on 10 May 2022 by the company APE Grupo, "The New Habitat 23-24. Así cambian los espacios que habitamos", carried out by the consultancy Futurea with the collaboration of World Design Capital Valencia 2022, Casa Decor and the Colegio de Diseño de Interiores de la Comunidad Valenciana, analyses how the crisis of the coronavirus has influenced the design of the spaces in which we move: homes, hotels, offices and shops.
In summary, the conclusions drawn from this research work for each of the spaces mentioned are as follows:
Openness to the outside and flexibility in the interior space to create multipurpose rooms are, according to this study, the main factors when developing an interior design project. "The bases on which the new homes will be built will be the use of spaces and products that can withstand from external climates to crises of all kinds. The rooms designed for private living will become smaller and more flexible, giving way to larger living spaces that promote community living".
Kitchen, living room, dining room and terrace are conceived as a single space with openness to the outside.
According to the study, up to 67% of hotel revenue is determined by their interior design. Hotels become tourist destinations in their own right (museum hotels) thanks to the contribution of interior design.
Interior design requires creative solutions to give several functions to the same location. Flexibility is one of the most important values to be considered in the future of offices, along with ergonomics and sustainability.
Good interior design improves productivity in an office by 78%.
Interior design determines 80% of a retailer's success. The key point is to create display spaces that offer new motivations to visit physical shops after the health crisis we have experienced.
What do the findings of this study mean for the natural stone industry? Perhaps the most relevant is that the new sensibilities and trends will drive a large increase in activity in the renovation sector for several years to come, something which, in principle, should provide some stability in overall demand, but, in addition, these new trends open up a range of possibilities if people in the sector are more creative and are able to develop new uses for stone.
NOTE: In order to carry out this study, a survey of international trends was carried out and, during the months of February and March 2022, a consultation of Spanish interior designers and architects was carried out, with a total of 302 responses.