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Might we see a change in design trends?

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worn thumbs

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Since the virus came to dominate our lives and we became more aware of the importance of sanitising our domestic surroundings,do you think we will see a change in design trends to make furniture easier to wipe clean?We have lived through a period when those mocked by one of my architect pals as "inferior desecrators" have filled design sections of magazines with items that feature cover panels to conceal lights or LED strip lighting and lots of shadow gaps.Having to wipe clean all the nooks and crannies if somebody sneezes could soon become rather tedious.Could this spark a trend to simpler surfaces?Where do we think the style will go?
 

MikeG.

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I doubt fashion will be driven by this pandemic, which I suspect will be short-lived. A vaccine changes everything. Fashion changes all the time, and I just yearn for a return to a fashion for quality and craft, rather than painted MDF and laminate flooring.
 

doctor Bob

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No.
But design and tech is always changing.
If anything it's become a much cleaner fresher look over the last 20 years.
 

Rorschach

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No we won't see any changes because sanitising our domestic surfaces has nothing to do with limiting the spread of the virus. Nobody is catching this inside their house from touching a table or a light switch.

We might see some changes to hospital design and care home design to make them sanitary but since they are already designed with this in mind I think the changes will be minimal.

One area that will change I think is a bit more multi functional furniture. IKEA already do a fair bit of this but I reckon there will be a much greater demand, especially for easily transformable/hidden desks etc. There will certainly be a rise in home working but the vast majority of people new to doing this type of work will not have a home office. Furniture that easily transforms into a comfortable desk and just as easily hides it all away again will be very popular, necessary even.
Of course this also means there will be a lot of scope for custom makers too, I think those in the custom cabinetry business (Doctor Bob, Peter Millard, to name a few of our members) will see lots of business in this area in the coming months and years and I think if you are in that business it would really be worth putting some thought into how you might execute those ideas in an innovative way.

If I had the workshop space for those kinds of projects I would be looking at it myself.
 

AJB Temple

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No, I don't expect radical design change. But we might see people evaluating what is important and what isn't. Perhaps realising that having fewer things of better quality trumps having a lot of disposable tat. Personally I will be decluttering and aiming for a much simpler style of life.
 

Rorschach

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AJB Temple":1myig8ry said:
No, I don't expect radical design change. But we might see people evaluating what is important and what isn't. Perhaps realising that having fewer things of better quality trumps having a lot of disposable tat. Personally I will be decluttering and aiming for a much simpler style of life.
What about recent events has made you think that people will value quality over price?
 

Doug71

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Coincidentally there is an archive feature in this months The Woodworker magazine on building furniture with "Dust-Easy Corners".

It is taken from a 1946 issue and opens with "Every housewife knows how awkward it is to dust square corners".
 

Richard_C

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I've been hoping (for years) that people will change from quantity/novelty to quality. Wishful thinking. Maybe 10 weeks of no shops will make a few people think "wanted it, shops shut, realized I didn't need it" but it seems likely that the opposite will happen. We can now rush to the furniture shops - so we will.

Few things are handed down any more - Shakespeare's will left his wife "my second-best bed", if you read the Alan Clarke diaries you realize that all his furniture was old and inherited - he referred to one nouveau riche political foe disparagingly - "he bought all his own furniture". Upstart. I am working at a desk my father bought in a country house furniture sale in the 1950's.

But now, few things need to last because few people want them to last. Its all about "this seasons look" whatever that might be.

If you look at the prices and business model of furniture stores like oak furniture land you quickly see that they are a finance business: I bet the money the make on the "only £££ a month for 5 years" deals is much more than the margin on the physical things they sell. Went to buy a bed last year - old one really was knackered - and the sales person sort of lost interest when they understood that I wanted to buy a bed, not a finance deal for a bed. So to keep going they have to sell more, novelty and fashion. Use advertising and fashion features to make people dissatisfied with what they have so they go buy something more.

The biggest driver for change is small rooms/small properties. Think back, many of us own books, vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, we once had big fat CRT tube TVs and tower computers. Now if you live in a small space that all lives on a phone and laptop with a big flat screen bolted to a wall. Some people even treat clothes as disposable - small wardrobe, buy wear until bored, throw away. No big stock of old clothes that progressively get demoted from diy to gardening to painting to fence staining then finally to the bin when they get to be a health and fire hazard.

To your original question. I'm sure 'easy clean' will find its way into marketing blurb but I doubt it will really change much. As someone has said, transmission by touch in the house is very unlikely and few of us lick our sofas regularly. I don't think we will end up living in a 2001 film set with Hal reminding us to wash the floor ("I think you should scrub the sink next, Dave"). As people who can end up working at home more, small and multi functional will be the main driver. Kitchen table a big flat shelf under the top so you can quickly stuff your work laptop and papers in when its time to have a proper kitchen table.
 

AJB Temple

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Rorschach":2dxsj06w said:
AJB Temple":2dxsj06w said:
No, I don't expect radical design change. But we might see people evaluating what is important and what isn't. Perhaps realising that having fewer things of better quality trumps having a lot of disposable tat. Personally I will be decluttering and aiming for a much simpler style of life.
What about recent events has made you think that people will value quality over price?
Various things:
Businesses will be far more wary of dependence on China and so will some consumers
People have realised they don't need cheap, virtually disposable clothes
Socially distanced shopping will dramatically reduce e demand and hence reduce impulse buys
Working from home has gathered impetus for those who can: they will spend differently
Many have saved money (eating out, takeaway coffee etc) and aspects of it may stick
We re-evaluate our lifestyle during extended lock down - we value different things and some of this will be retained
Economic recession will reduce spending power - we need to buy wisely, things that last
We can expect vastly more un employed for some years. AI introduction will also speed up. Reduces average buying power, which will reduce un necessary consumerism (as will inevitably higher taxes and NIC)

Buying lots of cheap junk requires disposable income or credit card debt to fund it. Some people are in for a serious wake up call.
 

Inspector

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Consider the huge increase in online buying of which furniture goods are growing rapidly. That type of furniture does not lend itself to high quality in anyway shape or form. :|

Pete
 

Rorschach

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AJB Temple":22xqnxr1 said:
Buying lots of cheap junk requires disposable income or credit card debt to fund it. Some people are in for a serious wake up call.
People who buy cheap junk often buy it because they can't afford anything more. I am afraid I think you are wrong, while I do see scope for higher quality items and especially more custom work, I think the trend for cheap items will continue mostly through necessity. People with low incomes make do with what they can get and times are going to be tight for a while.
 

thetyreman

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sadly fashion and vanity will never die, I'm hoping copper handles become normal but I doubt it will ever become mainstream.
 

TheTiddles

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If anyone’s old enough to remember the recession of 2008.... might have heard this discussion before :)

Aidan
 
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