Q&A with Home Trends Report Research Partners; Trend Bible
Read our interview with our research partner; Trend Bible
Who is Trend Bible?
Trend Bible is a home and interiors dedicated trend agency based in the UK. We advise some of the world’s best retailers, brands, architects and design agencies, helping them to use future trend insights to inform all their strategic, design and marketing decisions.
How have you seen trends in homes – layout, interior décor, style – change over time?
If we consider trends in home and interiors on a macro scale, one of the major changes over the past decade has been a shift towards a much cleaner and minimal design aesthetic. Consumers aspire to have light, open spaces in their homes that serve a multifunctional purpose. In décor and product design this has meant a move away from excessive print and colour to a much more considered application.
How do you collate information on trends? Are there any sources you rely on in particular?
We collate research through a careful balance of primary and secondary research, and as our consultancy work is bespoke to each client this can vary depending on the nature of each project. Our research sources can range from attending the most influential shows and exhibitions and interviewing industry leaders in specific fields, through to sourcing academic research papers.
How did you put together the trends for Westbury Garden Rooms?
The first step, as with all our clients, was about getting to know Westbury Garden Rooms. This meant truly understanding their brand, market, and product to ground our forecast and set the parameters of the research. Following this discovery stage, our Senior Trend Analysts and Researchers were then able to embark on 3 months of research combined with our forecasting methodologies to develop clear commercial trends in consumer behavior and design & décor for garden rooms.
When does a trend become a trend – how many people does it take to start a trend?
Unfortunately there isn’t a simple answer to that question, it can vary greatly – from one influential brand causing a rapid peak in interest that is short lived (a ‘fad’) or something that develops very slowly over multiple industries for many years before hitting mass market. That’s why we believe it is essential to understand the wider influences across a range of sectors in order to analyse the emergence of trends. We continually track and monitor change, and have a thorough understanding of markets allowing us to identify exactly which trends our clients should respond to and when. We monitor what we call Mavens, the most influential group of consumers who are the first to pick up on a trend. They influence another slightly larger group called Early Adopters, and then if a trend is going to be big, the influence usually grows from there to mass-appeal level.
What’s your own front room/living room like?
I actually just bought my first home earlier this year! Although it’s small, the living room is a lovely open plan space that is always filled with light. I wanted to capture the airiness in the décor to create a very calm and soothing space so the lighting and wall colour was important. We don’t plan to stay there too long so created a very neutral palette of soft greys and ivory and added warmth and character through furniture and accessories; including a chesterfield sofa and Anglepoise lamp.
Does fashion influence interiors?
Fashion tends to respond to different set of influences to interiors, moving at a much faster pace. However, where we do see influence is often in materials and print, which translate easier to interiors products like soft furnishings and textiles. We actually saw some interesting examples of fashion style sports fabrics being used in furniture design at Milan Furniture Fair this year. But fashion alone isn’t enough to influence interior trends, there are restrictions with clothing – it has to be easy to move in and fit the body – that dictate how it performs and those aspects aren’t relevant to interiors.
How long do trends generally last for interiors?
At Trend Bible we often refer to Macro Design Trends – which are broad, overarching trends that are important and influence design in Home & Interiors for many years, for example ‘Minimal’. Seasonally there are themes that are driven by or reflect a bigger design trend like Minimal but respond in different ways. Rather than lasting only 6 months, these smaller themes, will evolve season on season through print, colour, material and shape, while continuing to reflect the ‘big picture trends’, which have much longer lifespans.
Updating a room can be costly; how do you justify the expense against a shorter-term trend?
Trends in home and interiors tend to be much longer lasting and don’t change too dramatically from one season to the next, but evolve. For this reason it can be easy to tap into a trend through simple updates and accessories.
What’s unique to garden rooms, in terms of interiors?
Garden rooms provide that much desired open plan space for modern day family life. They allow their owners to create transformable, multifunctional rooms that bring the whole family together. They are large spaces with plenty of light so are an ideal opportunity to create flexible spaces –partitioned through furniture so you can still find that ‘personal space’ while being with your family.
Where do you stand on form vs. function?
Both are absolutely intrinsic to good design and shouldn’t exist separate from one another. Any product at its core is designed to provide a solution or ‘function’ – a beautiful form should enable its function to shine, while engaging on an emotional level with its consumers.