Technology and Furniture: Two Sectors moving forward together

Published on 19 October 2021

Reading time 5 minutes

As the world around us becomes ever more connected, the furniture and interior design sectors are no exception! Discover tech trends within these sectors in our article dedicated to this topic.

The furniture and interior design sectors today: what context?

Last month, in our article entitled "How Can Technology Help Wellness?," we were able to note the paramount importance of well-being among populations since the beginning of the pandemic. Following the waves of confinements it brought on, a great portion of the global population found themselves confined at home. 

Some people took advantage of these periods of confinement to review the interior design of their apartment or work on larger house projects to redecorate their little cocoon. Others reorganized their home's layout in the most optimal and pleasant way possible.

According to the report "Home Decor Market: Global Industry Trends, Share, Size, Growth, Opportunity and Forecast 2021-2026," the global home decor market reached $ 641.4 billion in 2020. Experts from the IMARC Group, which conducts market research, forecast the market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.8% between 2021 and 2026.

While more than half of the world's population lives in urban areas, it seems that their number will only increase in the coming years. Global aggregate income is also expected to increase continuously in the coming years in emerging economies such as Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. This can be compared with the potential growth in demand for furniture and interior design products. This trend is underlined by the renewed interest in e-commerce—notably because of its advantages: products made more easily available on a larger scale, at affordable prices, and with infinite variations to suit all tastes.

When technology and furnishings merge 

Today's hyper connectivity has led to a real acceleration of the digital transformation of the furniture and interior design sector.

Among the pure players (exclusively online sales) in the furniture market, we can speak of Made, which was launching its dedicated innovation lab, "MADE Labs" in London in 2019 to create unique digital experiences for its customers.

On French ex-pure player Miliboo’s side, the company opened its hyper-connected concept store in 2014, where consumers could view different product ranges via touch-screen terminals.

"Home automation" and "smart home design" or the tech revolution in interior design

What's a smart home?

A smart home is a home that's connected to the Internet and equipped with home automation products that allow you to automate and control the environment. For example, if you have several connected objects in your home, which are both interconnected and can be controlled remotely, you have home automation products!

Today, there are a significant number of tools that are multi-connected via Bluetooth and/or Wifi: audio and visual functions, heating, ventilation, security, or even lighting. 

These make today's connected homes self-sufficient as...

  • cleaners
  • heaters
  • lighting
  • locking devices
  • organizational tools

... to best meet the needs of the inhabitants without interfering with their daily lives.

There were over 22.5 million smart homes in Europe alone in 2017. And today, there are an estimated 175 million smart homes worldwide. Note that the revenue of the connected home market is mainly generated by the U.S., which could account for 40% of the global connected home market share by 2023! 

How are these smart homes transforming the lives of their users?

Today's smart homes can practically think for themselves. This autonomous and ultra-connected aspect transforms not only the life of the elderly, but also that of people with reduced or limited mobility. Thanks to the availability of easy-to-use digital tools, their daily lives are made easier. 

Another notable positive point is that certain technological tools such as the Google Home or Amazon's Alexa can blend in with the decor, thus adapting to the interior design. This makes it possible to create an interior that not only makes our lives easier, but also looks like us!

Technology and furniture: what are the advantages?

Reducing costs 

Technology has a way of making new products accessible at a lower cost for all types of profiles.

Visualize the house of your dreams in a few clicks 

Brands like IKEA offer their customers apps such as IKEA Place (an augmented reality design tool) so that you can view a variety of furniture and home decor items right where you'd like them in your home.

Create personalized objects at a low cost via 3D printing 

Companies such as Forust are revolutionizing the interior design market by also aligning themselves with an ecological approach by creating decorative wooden objects using 3D printers.

Other companies like ICON are even dreaming bigger and building houses with materials created with 3D printers: 

Contribute to the preservation of the environment 

These more ecological approaches are made possible by smart homes, which allow us to self-regulate our energy consumption directly from our connected objects.

Along with these approaches, new trends are emerging in interior design (as we have seen with Forust, for example). Today, people seek not just original, decorative objects but also more ecological objects, with natural and sustainable materials.

The architectural structures will also be rethought to optimize energy consumption. From now on, more and more thought will be given to the natural circulation of air, light, and water throughout the property.

To find out more

If you're interested in the topic of interior design, decoration, and renovation, we invite you to read our dedicated interviews: