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Deco trends / In a year dominated by Covid, how has the international decor, design, and lifestyle market fared?

In a year dominated by Covid, how has the international decor, design, and lifestyle market fared?

Published on 16 June 2021 Share

Baromètre Maison&Objet Barometer - Mai/May 2021 - Deco Trends - Bilan d’une année Covid - © DR

Baromètre Maison&Objet #1. Maison&Objet is giving the entire interior design industry its say by publishing its first-ever barometer focusing on brands, retailers and specifiers. From revenue levels and emerging trends to challenges and new prospects, this report, which is set to be published every three months, deciphers the key factors driving the market in France and overseas, offering some valuable insights into a fast-changing sector.

It’s a first! On 16th June, Maison&Objet published the inaugural edition of its Barometer of the international decor, design, and lifestyle industries. Compiled with, and for, all those involved in the industry, this report is based on a global survey conducted amongst 1,152 industry professionals representing brands, retailers and specifiers. Three times a year, Maison&Objet will ask them to share their thoughts on a variety of subjects, both recurrent and topical. The aim of this new regular survey? Provide a snapshot of the current market and identify underlying trends and new development opportunities to help everyone shape their strategies.

Issue 1 - Baromètre Maison&Objet

A pandemic with moderate impact
56% of industry professionals surveyed say that although the pandemic has shaken their business, they can nonetheless weather the storm. 36% even say that their business has grown despite the health crisis. On top of that, more than two thirds of those surveyed have maintained a stable workforce over the past four months, proof itself that the majority of firms have successfully addressed the economic and human challenges brought about by Covid.

Encouraging prospects
The current period appears to be relatively buoyant for the sector. 35% of those who responded to the survey recorded an increase in revenue over the past four months (vs the same period last year), and 52% feel positive about the next four months. 

“Surprisingly enough, our business hasn’t suffered too badly during the pandemic, and we’re even expecting a boom in sales in the not-too-distant future.” Shanghai Trendzone Construction Decoration Group, China

Maison&Objet Barometer - Illustration "Brands" © DR

“Times are tough, but I believe a positive attitude makes for positive results. I am inspired on a daily basis with news from the industry and it warms my heart to see the passion. People are not lying low or using Covid-19 as an excuse not to work. Instead, they are making revolutionary plans to enhance the industry. This makes me excited about the future and is a true inspiration to make my own business grow positively.” Ninas Interior Design, South Africa - Interior decor and design – Mrs Rossouw

The birth of a new profession
A new “profession” is gaining traction amongst retailers the world over in the form of online sales. Sales volumes may have declined in retail outlets, but they have noticeably increased across digital channels. That has, however, come with its own set of problems: retailers dedicate an average of 16 hours each week to their online store, and over half of them say they find it difficult or very difficult managing their website and growing its reputation.

“The pandemic gave us the opportunity to focus on developing a stronger digital presence and acquire new skills.”

A thriving home design sector
For specifiers, the home design business is thriving, with almost half (45%) of those surveyed observing an increase in projects and ventures. This is notably linked to the boom in remote working, which has heightened clients’ interest in setting up a home office space, be that a modular solution within their living quarters or a space in its own right.

“The disruption caused by the pandemic over the past year has been decisive: clients are keen to improve the quality of their home environment and the way in which rooms are used... They have tangible needs, such as creating a home office space that is separate from their living space. The notion of creating a feel-good home is now more crucial than ever.” CDECO, France - Mrs Fougeray

Supply chain issues
During this period, transporting raw materials and goods has not always been an easy task. 60% of brand representatives say that the pandemic has triggered supply chain issues, particularly since 39% are in the habit of sourcing supplies from overseas. To address these challenges, 47% of those surveyed intend to make a shift to more local sourcing.

“The unavailability of raw materials and the increase in delivery costs point to the likelihood of price increases and problems absorbing growing demand.”

Maison&Objet Barometer- Illustration "Specifiers" © DR

“Rising raw material prices that continue to fluctuate, along with increased freight costs, is placing a strain on retail prices for consumers.”

A boom in all things ethical
One of the Barometer’s major takeaways is the trend for ethical products. 92% of brands have adopted an eco-responsible approach, whilst 75% of specifiers say they favour renewable materials. 62% of retailers, meanwhile, say their clients want ethical products, a trend further confirmed by the specifiers, 70% of whom say that clients are now increasingly interested in a product’s eco-responsible credentials.

“Recent events have massively impacted our clients’ way of thinking. They are now far more concerned with the sustainability of our products and how environmentally conscious they are. For brands, it is both a challenge and an opportunity.” LA-DESIGNSTORE CO, Thailand (Brand)

“As a general rule, our clients really appreciate anything that bears the Made in France label. It is an industrial policy that everyone needs to get behind, as it is still extremely fragile. French-made products are generally of exceptionally high quality, and customers seem happy to make the switch to buying them if the difference in price remains reasonable.”

“We are keen to source more and more of our materials in France and to raise clients’ awareness of this approach that focuses on short supply chains and respects artisan expertise.” Atelier Metalart, France – Mrs Ressaire

This inaugural survey, which was conducted at a time when the pandemic is still fresh in everyone’s minds, has provided a wealth of insight. The full results are available in our infographic.

The next edition of the Maison&Objet Barometer will be published in October. Get the date in your diary today!

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