The American Society of Interior Designers, a leading professional association for this industry, just released its top trend predictions in 2024. While we’re waiting for the full report to publish at the end of the month, I emailed questions to ASID member designers from across the country to weigh in on six of the outlined 11 trends that can enhance wellness potential. Their written insights on how they see and already incorporate them follow.
1. Solo Living and Seeking Connection
With solo living on the rise, Americans are seeking connectedness to loved ones and their communities, the trends report noted. How are designers implementing the desire for connectedness in their designs and in which rooms do they show up the most?
“For people who are living on their own, I’ve found that keeping the feeling of connectedness when they aren’t entertaining is the challenge,” shares Lomanto. “So, aside from creating kitchens where people love to gather, and including a game table in the space, I’ve tapped back into creating classic photo collage walls that includes both friends and family.”
The desire to connect shows up regularly, commented Breezeel. “Almost every project design is driven by connecting to others, a deep-rooted desire, even years after the restraints of the Covid era. Clients request being able to entertain, host, and enjoy their space with friends and loved ones.” This manifests in taking advantage of outdoor living and dining spaces, and providing proximity from the home office to the living and kitchen areas.
2. Comfortable and Connected Living
Designers can support the comfort and camaraderie occupants desire by creating opportunities for gathering in the home, incorporating pet-friendly products, and designing spaces for amusement and “eatertainment,” according to the trends report. What are designers including in their projects to fulfill these trends? Which rooms are most impacted and which features are most popular?
“Clients want to cook fabulous meals, but not miss out on the fun. We have had more clients request kitchen designs that will accommodate more than one cook, along with room for socializing and eating in,” Breezeel shares. “We try to create different moments for different scenarios, so that even in the same house or same space, you might experience it differently in various social settings.”
3. Health & Wellness
Consumers will spend more on the products that improve their health and well-being, the report observes, adding that designers must consider this self-care push, including harnessing sleep data to support more rest for occupants. What changes does that entail for bedroom design in particular?
“I integrate evidence-based principles that support optimal sleep patterns into my designs,” notes Carr. “This includes selecting materials with low toxicity; improving sleep quality with mattresses with third-party certified sustainable standards; natural light, and ventilation.” She also incorporates circadian lighting and window treatment systems to regulate sleep-wake cycles, considering windows for energy and noise efficiency for a more restful sleep, aromatherapy for relaxation, and using smart home technology to gather and analyze sleep data.
Hollis also takes a multi-faceted approach to primary suite design to enhance health and sleep, she says: “Many clients are using devices to track their sleep cycles and control body temperature. Accommodating the devices into a bedside table or under the bed has been a request and requires design planning to hide the device but ensure it works effectively.”
Blackout window coverings are also essential to restful sleep, she comments, adding, “But we also need to pay attention to the inside of the bedroom — such as glowing electronics, smoke detectors, and light switches.” Hollis’ strategies include creating a wired bedside table drawer for charging and storing electronics at night. “It’s best to place all electronics outside the bedroom, but that’s not always possible,” she observes. “Apart from bedrooms, bathrooms are being fitted with steam rooms and infrared saunas,” the San Francisco designer adds.
4. Quiet Luxury
Consumers seek a more low-key and personalized approach to luxury, investing in items that have more longevity and relevance — a more sustainable way to shop, as well, the trends list observes. How are designers incorporating personalization into their designs to achieve this quiet luxury, and which rooms are most impacted?
“By designing whole rooms that evoke positive emotional experiences or memories for a client and also incorporate furniture and decor pieces that were acquired through a client’s travels or family antiques, we create an environment that is both timeless and rich with personal narrative,” Lomanto shares. “It’s important to note that all the elements of the design must support the narrative: color palette, forms, textures (tactile experiences) art, and lighting design.”
“We encourage each of our clients to invest in furnishings with longevity and to incorporate items of special meaning and history into their décor,” Biles comments. “Composing rooms with these principles elevates a space to a subtle and quiet luxury reflective of the client’s personality and style, not just a replication of what is perceived to be luxurious.”
5. Artificial Intelligence
Generative AI applications are being used in a variety of applications, such as generating floor plans, design iterations, occupancy and energy models, among other solutions; others are using it to increase autonomy and create experience-driven design, the ASID trends list notes. How are designers incorporating artificial intelligence-enhanced technologies to improve health, wellness and/or resilience in their projects? What are they specifying and what benefits is this bringing homeowners?
Designer Martin is also an AI app developer, bringing a unique perspective to the question. “Generative AI is a new system popularly used by companies to make better products and technologies for users,” she points out. The Austinite sees its potential value to families, particularly in their kitchens. “AI can swiftly plan within dietary restrictions and use what is available within the home.” It’s already changing the meal planning process, she says. “This application of AI fits perfectly into the kitchen of any home!” she declares.
Manufacturers are using it to enhance appliances, she adds, helping to reduce waste and conserve resources. “The marriage of food and technology will be one of those things that we will wonder how we functioned without it.”
AI is also being used for aging in place design, energy and water conservation, air quality and leak detection, (as I wrote for a design industry trade publication recently).
6. Extreme Weather and Climate Impact
Two-thirds of Americans say that they’ve experienced at least one of the five types of extreme weather (heat wave, flood, drought, wildfire, rising sea level), in the past year, the trend list observed, adding that they support making changes to address global climate change and prioritizing renewable sources. The trend report also observes that designers have the power to contribute to these solutions. How are designers incorporating resilience in their projects?
“In addition to specifying flood and fire-resistant surfacing materials like advanced composites and innovative coatings, I am increasingly integrating microgrid systems into the spaces I design,” shares Carr. “Microgrids play a pivotal role in offering homeowners reliable and sustainable energy sources during unforeseen events.” (This is also a solution cited in a 2023 trade magazine article I wrote on resilience, and one I shared in my Lessons for How We Live Now Bonus Chapter to my Wellness by Design book.) “In the event of power outages caused by extreme weather conditions, homeowners with microgrids can continue to power essential appliances, maintain heating or cooling systems, and ensure the security of their homes,” the New York designer comments. They offer an independent and reliable power supply by incorporating renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines, coupled with energy storage solutions, she adds.
“Here in California, fires have been the main topic of discussion. Designers can consider this climate [challenge] by using fire-resistant building materials as well as incorporating air quality filtration systems for smokey days,” San Francisco-based Hollis says.