The Future Of….. Functional Homeware
With many of us experiencing greater pressure on the size of the spaces we live in, how we use and decorate our spaces (whether rented, shared, bought or private) has gained increasing importance. Whether for the purpose of beauty or function, homeware has become a central part of how we express our philosophies and lifestyle choices in the UK.
Whilst there have been many design movements in Western history that incorporated aesthetics and function (Bauhaus, and the original success of Habitat being two), for a long time, customer investment in these remained a niche, rather than mainstream, choice.
Increasingly, however, the melding of functionality and beauty is understood to meet a basic need in homes – almost to the point of becoming a hygiene factor for brands. Today, most exciting new products within the home décor category blend specialist engineering with sculptural and artistic style – resulting in items that are both pragmatic, and beautiful enough for display within the home.
Here are some brands that are leading the way, and inspiring others to do the same:
Google’ s Home – a device that syncs up the technology in your home and acts as a speaker – all whilst maintaining a sleek aesthetic. Its cylindrical shape aligns with the all-encompassing nature of its function, the pointed tip creating a sense of fluidity and dynamism, which in turn reflects the innovation of its technological capabilities and design. Here, Google have successfully incorporated visuals to both compliment and emphasise the practical machine inside, providing the perfect home presence in use and look.
Though 15 years old, the UK brand JOSEPHJOSEPH has long created products which address the desire for beautiful functionality. Foldable chopping boards avoid spills and food going astray, while coded index sets imbue messy food prep with filing cabinet efficiency, offering organisation, safety and sleekness as they guide the customer in avoiding ingredient cross-contamination. And kitchen cupboards are organised with a clever nesting system of key kitchenware.
Finally, Dyson’s aptly named “PureHotCool” blends temperature control and air purification, whilst automatically detecting air pollution and reporting back on a room’s “air status” daily. But it does this all without sacrificing aesthetic pride – its sculptural qualities transform the household fan from a necessary eyesore into ergonomic art.
By merging the functional and aesthetic, these brands elevate home tools away from the world of mundane, laborious necessity ith which they were previously associated. Now and in the future, homeware must earn its stripes by bringing aesthetic richness to busy, space-constrained homes – we wouldn’t settle for any less.