How We Will Live in 2020





The International Furnishings and Design Association recently came out with a 2020 projection on how our homes will look in a decade. I am skeptical of what they are seeing, but I will hold my judgement until afterwords. Here are the projections listed on Apartment Therapy.


Small is Cool: 76% of the members forsee Americans living in smaller spaces with fewer rooms. When asked the same question at the turn of the Millenium the percentage who predicted a shift to smaller spaces was only 49%.

Goodbye Dining Room: 71% of the members predict formal dining room extinction in most homes by 2020 as the space gets used for other things, such as working from home.

in fact…

Separate Rooms Are Disappearing: A huge number of respondents, 91.5 %, said that the see single-use rooms morphing into spaces that serve many different purposes across the board.

which leads us to the idea that…

Furniture will become Increasingly Multipurpose: 65.7% say movable, modular, small scale pieces are going to overtake things that are built-ins and/or big. They also predict that interest in ergonomics will be up and interest in “designed to be disposable” furniture will have come to and end.

Eat in Kitchens Come Back in Style: As dining rooms disappear, a place to enjoy meals in the space where they are prepared will be the way things shift, which means kitchens are going to get bigger, says 65% of members.


Masters Get Busier: As homes sizes shrink and the number of rooms lessens, media makes a move to the bedroom as does the exercise room, according to 52.2% of the respondents.


Everyone has a Home Office: More than 75% say that a home office is a given, with 37.3% kicking it up another notch by suggesting that multiple home offices under one roof will be the norm.

Finally, and this stat is the one that influenced my choice of image…

Here Comes High Tech: The most resounding near-universal prediction is that voice and sensor controls will take over from touch as more and more home equipment and furnishings activation go high tech. 97% of the designers, retailers and other professionals say this is the wave of the (not so distant!) future.


There are a few things here I agree with, but their overall projection seems to be that homes will get smaller and more efficient with space. While i whole heatedly advocate furnishings that accomplish dual if not triple purposes, I cannot see homes getting smaller. 

This is an economic prediction. This will be due to a wave of foreclosures driving down home sales, giving families more fore less and rates staying low until June 2013. Home prices will rebound, but getting back to 2007 levels is tough to anticipate in only 9 years. Eventually, people will begin feeling opportunistic and snatch up larger properties at depressed prices, and they will buy an extra few hundred square feet because it is at a discount. So I find it hard to say that homes will get smaller. 

So, I do not see the dinning rooms going anywhere and people moving toward smaller homes. However, an infusion of more technology, more home offices and more media in the master bedroom is entirely possible. This is more of a social prediction than an economic one.

Tell me what you think. 


One comment on “How We Will Live in 2020

  1. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is magnificent blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.

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