Seeing the Future: What Will Design Be Like in Ten Years?

published Mar 2, 2016
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(Image credit: Janel Laban / Ellie Arciaga Lillstrom)

2006, left: Fall Colors Contest 2006: The Winners!
2016, right: Kenya & Conner’s Chic and Airy Marina District Apartment

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So much has changed in the world of design in the last ten years. Even a glance back through the best House Tours of 2006 speaks volumes. Of course, design always changes, and time marches on, but it’s worth taking a few moments to reflect on where we’ve been and, perhaps more interestingly, where we’re headed.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

2006, left: Fall Colors Contest 2006: The Winners!
2016, right: Alex’s Layered, Laid-Back Uptown New Orleans Rental

In the last decade, the blogosphere has revolutionized decor. Apps like Pinterest and Instagram have given us more inspiration, wider access to images and ideas, and a sense of community with a global network of creative people. The internet has also driven the trend cycle faster and faster, and certain decor elements—rustic wood, chevron patterns, brass, and many others—have come and gone with record speed. As a result, fast fashion has translated into the world of interior design, with the potential for both empowering and devastating consequences.

Decor has, in many ways, become more accessible, and there are new people interested in design each day. Designers have made the most of technology and social media, while online mood boards, budget design services like Homepolish, and the spread of high design to large companies like Target have put design within the reach of greater populations.

These are only a few of the changes that the last ten years have brought. I could go on and on, and you probably could, too—and please feel free to do so in the comments, if you are so inclined! But all this is simply a preface to ask you some questions about the future:

Where do you think we are headed in the next ten years? What kinds of changes will we be seeing, both in the design world, and in style? What kinds of values do you think design should embody as we move forward?

Personally, I am interested in green design, an increased emphasis on comfort, and the encouragement of diversity in the design world, both in terms of participants and decorative styles.

What are your thoughts? What does 2026 hold in store?