Eclectic home interior style popular in Flanders
To gauge whether home interiors and decoration are still important to consumers, Sanoma Media Belgium launched its Woonstijlenmonitor, an independent survey conducted by Gfk on its behalf, for the second time this spring. In March 2016, 1,000 Belgian consumers were surveyed about their preferences for different home interior styles.
The Woonstijlenmonitor reveals that in 2016, home interiors and decoration remain an important theme for the average Belgian. 76% attached great importance to to the design and decoration of their home, while 68% said that they had recently done significant work on or renewed their interior, or wished to do so in the near future. One striking finding is that the eclectic style is on the rise: a remarkable 64% of respondents said that they found more than three different styles attractive. This is a sharp increase from the previous Woonstijlenmonitor, dating from 2012: whereas Belgians used to be very loyal to a single home interior style, they are keen to combine different styles today. And this is something they are already putting enthusiastically into practice: 76% of respondents said that they had more than three different styles in their home. This eclecticism in people’s homes is therefore expected to continue in the years ahead.
A unique place for vtwonen on the Flemish lifestyle magazine scene
The survey also shows that inspiration is still important: no less than 39% of Belgian consumers enjoy looking through magazines about home interiors. Magazines thus remain one of the most important sources of inspiration for the consumer. What is more, people give serious thought to their interior decor. For instance, 59% of respondents say that functional and practical considerations outweigh aesthetic factors. People also need concrete and practical information before they get to work.
Nico Smout, Home & Deco Domain Director at Sanoma Media Belgium, explains: “The results of our Woonstijlenmonitor show growing consumer demand for a lifestyle magazine that offers inspiration and practical advice and is also accessible and realistic. To meet this need, we have decided to also launch vtwonen in Belgium, and bring to bear the experience from more than 50 years of success in the Netherlands in our own country. The positioning of vtwonen is unique in Belgium and perfectly complements he rest of our lifestyle magazine portfolio. Using a mix and match approach, the brand reflects the growing trend in favour of eclecticism and aims to help consumers create a personalised interior made up of elements from different living styles.”
Reinforcement of Home & Deco portfolio and Belgian-Dutch cooperation
With the addition of vtwonen to the portfolio, Sanoma Media Belgium reinforces its position in the Home & Deco segment, with brands such as Wonen Landelijke Stijl, Stijlvol Wonen and Feeling Wonen in the Dutch-speaking part of the country and Maisons de Charme, Pure Maison and GAEL Maison in the French-speaking part. With these brands, market leader Sanoma Media Belgium already accounts for 64% of the total paid circulation of home interior magazines on the Belgian market. In addition, Sanoma Media Belgium has launched the vtwonen e-commerce platform with vtwonen.be and vtdéco.be, where the ‘shoppable experience’ is central.
Moreover, this launch further develops Sanoma Media Belgium’s Belgian-Dutch strategy, cashing in on the partnership with Sanoma Media Netherlands. There will be close cross-border collaboration on vtwonen on the editorial, marketing and e-commerce fronts. Carlein Kieboom from the Netherlands will also be chief editor of the Flemish version. She works with the Belgian team to seek out Flemish home interiors to feature and useful addresses. Such synergies are consistent with the Belgian-Dutch cooperation already implemented at Flair.