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Digitally Decorated

As the dark winter nights fast approach us, everyone is spending that little bit more time cooped up indoors to avoid those blistering cold winds! Whilst sat longing for it to be summer again, you sit back and review at your home planning the next purchases for your little habitat.

Once upon a time, home retail was a subject no one could ever imagine being taken online. The pure excitement of going into a home store, plonking yourself on numerous chairs deciding which would be your perfect choice, or gazing aimlessly at hundreds of wallpapers… to conclude a few hours later when you just go home and paint the wall.

How simple we thought life was then… Today amidst the digital revolution, retail ecommerce sales of furniture and home furnishings are rising by the second. Between 2015 and 2016 there was a 15.7% increase in sales, in contrast to 15% of all other major eCommerce categories (Emarketer). A  recent report further supported this with the finding that UK home décor is predicted to beat all other sectors, accounting to over 12% of the homewares market, by 2021. The reasoning behind this is the level of accessibility and choice available online having soared above that obtainable in-store.

No longer do people have to sweat their way through an infinite number of home magazines to find something that sort of resembles what they wanted. Today the aspirational home makeover is at everyone’s fingertips.

Where to get inspiration?

Nowadays, magazines are seen as practically archaic, and instead Pinterest is on every aspirational interior designer’s list. Pinterest business  recently shared the statistic that 60% of Pinners have used the channel to help with their decision making for home décor purchases. It’s no surprise that 2017 welcomed the first Best of Pinterest UK Interior awards (House Beautiful). 87% of Pinners admit to purchasing an item due to Pinterest content (Pinterest Business). Research has concluded that Pinterest is predominantly female, with 81% of users being female, Omnicore), and 40% over age 45 (Pinterest Business). But who is using Pinterest for their home décor?

Pinterest Business suggests the following demographics:

Project enthusiasts: 25+, Project centric (remodels, upgrades, etc.) looking for project ideas and tips

  • Top interests: Room layouts, couches, fireplaces, floors

Everyday decorators: Teens, 18-24, Smaller/spontaneous purchases, interested in multipurpose items, affordable buys and creative DIY

  • Top interests: Rugs, TVs, wall décor

Subsequently, what are these ‘Project enthusiasts’ and ‘Everyday decorators’ inquiring after on Pinterest? The most fitting way to find out is to take you on a tour around the house, just make sure you wipe your feet and watch the dog… he bites…

In the kitchen, the best slice of trends for 2017 include coffee bars (+227%), kitchen islands pendants (+154%), and brick backsplashes (+140%; no more fairy liquid decorated walls).

Let’s make our way to the bedroom. The look for this year is to get snuggled up in enchanting mid-century master bedrooms with a +159% increase, a splash of some greige paint (+50%) and shiplap walls (+210%; Not going to lie had to look this one up!).

Finally, the bathroom… You’ll be the fairest of them all with your round mirror (+35%) and mermaid tiles scaling the walls (+69%).

How to visualise your products?

So we’ve concluded that you want a collection of kitchen island pendants with a new round mirror for the bathroom – however the next question is ‘Do you think it’ll work?’

It’s that sickening question which lingers inside all of us when purchasing an item for our homes. Home purchases are nothing like fast consumer goods; they demand a great deal more thought, time and money, hence why it’s essential to be sure that an item will work.

Customers are significantly adapting to their heightened digital experiences (Accenture), meaning it is imperative that home retail brands become innovative, as those who lack this skill will edge ever closer to failure (Salmon). Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also beginning to take the spotlight, meaning the services being provided to these digitally dynamic consumers need to constantly learn and evolve (Accenture).

An AI technology which is isn’t exactly new, yet has suddenly become the talk of the town is augmented reality (AR). Over 150 companies in multiple industries, including 52 of the Fortune 500, are deploying/testing AR and VR solutions (Deloitte). Over half of consumers want  to use AR to see how products will look before purchasing them – try before they buy, by experiencing products in their homes virtually. AR enriches the real world with digital information of 3D models overlaying in the camera view of smart device. The recent launch of iOS11 has been welcomed with the first batch of augmented reality apps using Apple’s new ARKit tech, including Ikea Place, from Ikea (Mashable). This app allows customers to superimpose furniture through their iOS device’s camera, which they can pick out from the app’s vast furniture offering. What’s more, customers can reposition, bring closer, position further away; with a full 360 view of the selected scene.

ikea place

What are the home products of the future?

Despite getting distracted with the technologies decorating our homes, the interest of actual products evolving is another fascinating area of development. Digital Home Assistants in the manner of Google Home and Amazon’s Echo are ever increasing in popularity. When solely focusing on Microsoft’s Cortana, this smart home tool has over 133 million current monthly users (Microsoft/Tech Radar) and predictions indicate that by 2020 50% of all searches will be voice searches (Comscore). As households become smarter, people must prepare themselves that in the future they will greeted by an automated home controlled by the Internet of Things (IoT) (PC Mag). The number of connected devices (IoT) will be almost 31 billion, and by 2025 a monstrous 75 billion (Statista). Welcome to a world where a countertop ovens have Wi-Fi, a camera and AI meaning your oven knows through food ID technology the correct way to cook your food,  additionally measuring the internal temperature ensuring the food is cooked exactly how you like it (June). Wake up this winter not feeling like you are going to freeze to death as soon as you remove the duvet with Nest Thermostat. This thermostat adapts as your life changes; by taking notes for one week about your daily habits, your Nest programs itself to your needs accordingly. Not only will our homes be revolutionised by these products, but our actual daily lives will be too.


In conclusion, decorating one’s home has become something we could imagine watching in back to the future. This sector is at the forefront of its digital revolution, and it’s thrilling to think where it’ll take us next! Beds informing you when they need to be replaced or even carpets that measure their level of dust telling you when they need to be hovered – who knows what the future holds.



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