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20/20: IFDA's Visions For the Future Home Furnishings Survey Results

Furniture World Magazine


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Survey respondents predict that homes of the future will be wired for every conceivable function. Living spaces will be more multi-functional, office space will be a standard component to any new home, and furnishings will utilize more "green" materials and new, undiscovered synthetics. Bed and bath spaces in the future will be larger and incorporate a greater variety of equipment and activities, ranging from exercising and health maintenance to ubiquitous computers and telephones. The Internet, home automation and the explosion of home offices will irrevocably transform home interiors and furnishings. Furnishings also will change, reflecting consumers' desires for increased functionality and storage. The use of synthetic micro-fibers, green materials and new, undiscovered fibers are expected to increase substantially, as will the prevalence of plastics and nylon. There will be a slight increase in materials such as metals and wool, while substances such as wood, silk and linen will continue to be used at about the same rate as they are today. Other predictions from IFDA members are: Bed & Bath 41% expect the trend toward additional bathrooms, larger bathrooms and more luxurious bathrooms to increase. 84% believe a telephone will be part of the bathroom; 76% say spa showers and whirlpool tubs are expected to become an integral part of the bathroom; 66% foresee digital scales become standard in home bathrooms; 63% expect to see television sets in the bathroom; 58% say audio reception will be incorporated; 44% anticipate that exercise equipment will be used in the bathroom; and 3 1 % expect saunas to become a common feature. 66% say this is very likely spa and health-oriented activities will be incorporated into many bathrooms; 61% believe it is likely that separate health facilities will become an integral part of remodeling and new home construction. 71% predict that bedrooms will be dual or multi-purpose: 67% say bedrooms will also become an exercise center; 66% predict bedrooms will become a media center, and 44% expect bedrooms to be used as a home office. At Work, At Home 97% say it is very likely that a home office will be integrated into home design and planning; 69% believe it is likely that home design will incorporate more than one home office. 54% say cable lines are expected to have the most significant impact on the way we live and do business in the home; 48.7% say wireless phones also will have a major impact, and 29.6% believe solar power will have a substantial influence. 97% anticipate that voice, sensor and other types of activation may come into wider general use by 2020; 92% say that lighting will be automatically controlled; 89% predict elements in media rooms will be managed by advanced technology; 84% look forward to automatically controlled environments; 83% believe Internet access will be directed by this type of technology; 78% expect energy-saving devices to be controlled by advanced activation technology; 65% say window coverings will be operated automatically; 65% believe kitchen equipment will be managed in this way; 45% anticipate automatically controlled windows; 39% predict cleaning and maintenance duties will be managed by technology; and 33% say this technology will be used to control recycling. Material Matters 76 % say the use of micro-fibers will increase significantly; 67% believe the use of new, undiscovered fibers will increase significantly; 65% say the use of green materials in home furnishings is expected to increase significantly; 54% say the use of plastics will increase somewhat or significantly; 52% say the use of cotton will increase somewhat; 5 1 % believe the use of nylon will increase somewhat or significantly; metals will increase somewhat according to 46%; wool usage is expected to increase somewhat by 45%, and 40% believe wood usage will increase somewhat.

Furniture World is the oldest, continuously published trade publication in the United States. It is published for the benefit of furniture retail executives. Print circulation of 20,000 is directed primarily to furniture retailers in the US and Canada.  In 1970, the magazine established and endowed the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library (www.furniturelibrary.com) in High Point, NC, now a public foundation containing more than 5,000 books on furniture and design dating from 1620. For more information contact editor@furninfo.com.