As global consumers emerge from lockdown their needs have changed. In this post, we explore the outdoor boom, known as friluftsliv (open-air living), and how the pandemic has permanently changed the way we live, from sporting activities and open-air adventures to hipsteading pursuits and alfresco (outdoor) entertaining.
We take a look at the shifts in consumer behaviour and what new product opportunities there are for brands.
‘Outdoor Rooms’ and the growth of ‘horticool’
As families spent more time at home as a result of the pandemic consumers around the world took to nature and outdoor spaces to exercise their freedom.
In fact, Strava (largest fitness sports tracking app) reported that 1,1 billion activities were uploaded in 2020, a 33% increase from the year before. Consumers were geared toward overall improved fitness and good health.
Since the pandemic consumers are also showing a growing interest in mindfulness and meditation.
Immersing in nature and the awareness of the effects on mental health have consumers expanding into activities like gardening and creative crafting. Consumers have developed increased confidence in gardening and DIY projects and shifted spending in this area.
“We see the emergence of ʻOutdoor Roomsʼ, as consumers try to maximise the available square footage of their homes, and create more space for working, homeschooling, exercise and relaxing.
“Sunrooms, super porches and pergolas offer an accessible way to expand living spaces, along with partitions and flooring used to designate different areas,” says a senior strategist at WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors.
In addition, we see the emergence of the trend known as “Horticool”, which is also linked to the growing interest in gardening and plant-based products.
Cottagecore interior trend
The global trend themes outlined above lend themselves well to the latest Cottagecore interior trend. Cottagecore is a whimsical and homely visual aesthetic that has seen a rise in popularity during the lockdown.
“Due to the events of 2020, I think that Cottagecore, nostalgia and the need for comfort are all here to stay,” says Instagram influencer and blogger Paula Sutton of Hill House Vintage.
“Mix and match natural textures for a cosy and inviting look that lift both home and spirit. Mix muted colours with folksy and characterful prints for a more modern country kind-of-vibe”.
Warm whites, pale pinks, duck egg blues and neutrals form the colour palette for this trend.
It’s getting personal
This is the year of personalisation. More than ever, enthusiastic and innovative interior designers are embracing design that brings joy, embracing individual taste in design and colour.
Since the home is where we spend most of our time, there is an increased desire to decorate a space with pattern and colour that makes you truly happy, rather than being confined to the latest trends.
Whether you love bold colourful statement prints, or love a wilderness theme or possibly enjoy a famous artists work, designing a space that you love living in has never been more on-trend.
Are you a ‘Global Influencer’?
‘We’ve seen ‘Global Influence’ as a key trend for the season across both interiors and fashion. Who doesn’t like travelling?
We already know most of us won’t be doing much in 2021. But just because we can’t travel the globe doesn’t mean that we can’t bring several international influences into our home.
From grand millennial style to South East Asia to the Mediterranean to the tropics the world’ is your oyster. With the tropics trend, images of tigers, peacocks, beautiful ostrich feathers, tropical animals and exotic fruit are the perfect way to feel like you are in the tropics.
For an African theme, a bold safari feel is influenced by wildlife and African plains.
Ocean Blues are tranquil and modern
The imagery of lazing around the poolside and sun-drenched beach getaways, aqua and inky blues offer a calm, modern look.
Benjamin Moore’s Colour of the Year 2021 reflects this shift towards tranquil, yet modern interiors with Aegean Teal (above), a colour that is known for its association with peace, calm and comfort.
Ocean blues are a key colour trend for the year. This popular trend arises from our need for renewed spiritual connection, well-being balanced and sustainable living.
Playful plants bring the outdoors indoors
The popularity of houseplants and succulents sees cacti, Monstera, banana leaves and all kinds of foliage, from woodlands to tropical, emblazon surfaces across dishcloths to tabletops.
A kitsch and playful aesthetic translate well for summer dining, while these motifs are also key to bringing nature indoors all year round.
Marbling is trending
Marble stone is trending across interiors. At the retail level, marbled accessories show some of the highest increases out of stocks in both UK and US online markets.
This gives brands an opportunity to develop a range of homewares decorated with a distinctly crafted element by experimenting with new and traditional methods of marble-making.
Share your creative processes through your packaging and product launch to offer a narrative attached to crafted products users will want to buy into.
The outdoor boom, friluftsliv, has certainly created a number of opportunities for brands to develop products from homeware decoratives to upholstery and soft furnishing.
Print and pattern direction stems from these global trends defining the direction brands will take.