A Look Back on 2021’s Consumer Trends

As people invest more in their homes, consumer priorities shift to wellness.

By Angela Harris

The pandemic had an impact on almost every facet of our lives. From how we work, to how we spend time with our loved ones, our priorities, and more. As we take a look back at 2021 and gear up for 2022, we have identified some interesting trends among homeowners that we expect to continue for the foreseeable future.

Since March of 2020, humans have had to adjust to spending more time at home. What used to be “home” is now our office, gym, school, restaurant, and more. Given this, people have had more time to reflect on their homes and think deeply about how to make a space where we spend almost all of our time more conducive to our health, and better for our earth.

While healthier living and sustainable manufacturing have always piqued consumers interest, it has – understandably – become one of the most popular trends of 2021. Now more than ever, we are noticing homeowners who are looking to incorporate things like indoor and outdoor living for better airflow, biophilic design for more connectivity to the natural environment, natural light and materials to help improve overall mood and concentration, and healthier manufacturing that is better for the earth and our well-being. 

Now more than ever, consumers are becoming more involved in the process and focusing on making informed decisions when it comes to the materials they are allowing in their homes. This ranges from healthy building products like non toxic paints, textiles, and floor coverings, to green decor like all natural bedding, soy candles, and nontoxic pots and pans. 

TRIO has always prioritized building community spaces that resonate with the target market and promote wellness, socialization and activity. Now that this has become even more important to consumers, we have found ways to make healthy and sustainable living even more central to what we do. This includes off-gassing furnishings prior to install, specifying more sustainable products for our projects, and not only educating our firm about utilizing healthier products but motivating all of our manufacturing partners to produce healthier products as well.

According to The America at Home Study 2020, the pandemic has shifted consumer’s home priorities to having an environment that evokes safety, comfortability, and security. Another finding was the emphasis on making home a sanctuary;  developing spaces that enhance the wellness of your mind, body, and soul, which we know has become especially important during the pandemic and beyond. 

“Now more than ever, consumers are more focused on making informed decisions when it comes to the materials they are allowing in their homes.”

We have specifically seen this be a recurring theme as people invest more in their homes, especially outdoor living rooms, private offices, workout spaces, and increased storage. What was once a spare room has now been converted into flex spaces that might be used in a variety of ways, including a sanctuary complete with good energy flow, color palettes that boost your mood and calming decor that makes you feel safe, healthy and positive. 

Overall, the pandemic has shifted our focus and has forced us to prioritize what is truly important. In this case, it’s the health not only of ourselves and our loved ones, but the health of our planet. As we move into 2022, we expect to see more interior designers, architects, builders and home & design companies in general take more tangible steps towards being more sustainable, conscious and health-driven.

Angela Harris is the CEO and Principal of TRIO, a renowned interior architecture firm. She can be reached at aharris@triodesign.com.