2017
Universe Study

Interior Design just released its 2017 Universe Study, a comprehensive look at the interior design industry that it publishes every three years. The research, which includes findings from over 3,200 designers from firms specifying over $500,000, indicates that designers are overwhelmingly optimistic, increasingly reliant on technology, and specifying more products. See below for the Universe Study highlights.

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Design Firms
33,651
Design Firms in the Universe
LOCATION OF OFFICES
US South
28%
US Northeast
19%
US Midwest
17%
US West
17%
Canada
19%
DESIGN FIRMS WORKING IN EACH SEGMENT
27,930
Workplace
21,537
Residential
19,181
Hospitality
14,133
Healthcare + Wellness
13,460
Education / Library
13,124
Retail
12,451
Government
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Top 3 Segments
Work Volume 2017 2014
Workplace 83% 77%
Residential 64% 47%
Hospitality 57% 53%
Top 5 Segments (Growth Potential)
Workplace
53%
Residential
49%
Healthcare + Wellness
42%
Hospitality
34%
Education
33%
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THEMES INCORPORATED IN RECENT DESIGN PROJECTS
Modern / Contemporary
66%
Transitional
58%
Technology-Centric
53%
Health / Wellness
46%
Bold Use of Color
44%
Agile / Flexible
41%
Mobility-Friendly
39%
Hospitality Feel
37%
Non-Corporate Feel
37%
Home Away from Home
28%
Traditional
23%
TOTAL DOLLAR VOLUME OF PRODUCTS SPECIFIED IN UNIVERSE
$77.95 Billion
Worth of Products Specified Annually
Size of Markets by product category
$ in Billions
Contract Furniture*$12.47
Building Products**$10.13
Paint$8.57
Flooring$8.18
Lighting$7.79
Residential Furniture$7.02
Surface Material$7.02
Kitchen / Bath Products$6.24
Fabric / Wallcovering$5.46
Window Treatments$2.73
Outdoor Products$1.56
Other$0.78
Total Specified in Universe $77.95
* includes office, hospitality, healthcare, educational furniture
** includes doors, windows, ceilings
DESIGNERS
112,006
Designers in the Universe
98% of designers
are "optimistic" about business
in the coming year
GENERALISTS VS. SPECIALISTS
8 in 10 designers are generalists,
working across multiple segments
DESIGNERS' ONLINE ACTIVITIES
85%
....
Research Products
75%
....
Research Products Seen in a Magazine
69%
....
Get Inspiration For Projects
69%
....
Access Manufacturer’s Contact Info
68%
....
Review or Download Catalogs
67%
....
Request Product Samples
65%
....
Request More Info from Manufacturers
64%
....
Search Online Products Directory
63%
....
Source or Specify Products
57%
....
Obtain Pricing
46%
....
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Written by Anna Gibertini
Designed by Darlene Portades
Built by Joe Zeleny
Methodology: The Universe Study is an independent, blind research study conducted by Interior Design Intelligence. From May to July 2017, over 3,200 responses to the study were logged from firms specifying at least $500,000 worth of products annually across North America. All data reported is based on a statistically significant sample size of designers and all numbers are based on this sample.

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