While the humble plug socket was once accepted as a purely practical addition to an interior, a new era for aesthetic wiring accessories has emerged. Jason Ng from wiring devices and accessories specialist, MK Electric, explains how the democratisation of design has impacted on the electrical industry.
Before a small selection of consumer brands – most famously Apple, led by its late founder Steve Jobs and chief designer Sir Jonathan Ives – turned the notion completely on its head, it was once accepted wisdom that function would always trump form when consumers were faced with choosing between competing technology products.
Today, despite their transformative effect on the intersection of design and technology, manufacturers charged with mass producing consumer-facing technology could be forgiven for cursing Apple, Ives, Jobs. Why? Because the success of the company’s products – iPod, iPhone, iPad – has completely and irreversibly reshaped our expectations of technology.
Take headphones as an example. Jump on a bus or train in an international city like New York, London, Hong Kong and you’ll notice that headphones are no longer just a device for listening to music. Today, they are fashion accessories, labels, brands; available in a rainbow of different colours, complete with funky designs on the earphones.
This trend has had a transformation impact on the electrical industry too. For years, plug sockets and light switches were just an accepted compromise in a consumer’s otherwise perfect bathroom, kitchen, lounge, hotel room. The democratisation of design has put paid to that cosy little compromise.
Hotels everywhere invest significant sums of money annually in building and refurbishing rooms designed to match the brand of their particular establishment. Sleek and stylish with leather and bright colours, grand and traditional with mahogany and brass. A customer’s impression of a hotel is sealed the minute they step into their room, drop their bag and look around. Hoteliers instinctively understand this.
However, as electrical manufacturers start to raise their game – offering a wide selection of customised finishes matching seasonal trends – hoteliers are running out of excuses to accept that wiring accessories in their hotel rooms, not to mention lobby, conference rooms or other shared spaces, will inevitably be an eyesore. On the contrary, the latest innovation in fashionable, customisable plug sockets and light switches presents hoteliers with another big opportunity to build their establishment’s brand.
As with all consumer trends, the winners will be the hoteliers that quickly mobilise and successfully ride the crest of the wave. At MK Electric, a Honeywell company, we have already embraced this trend with our Decorative Collection, offering 5000 different combinations of wiring devices matched closely with the hottest interior design trends.
Bespoke designs can also be developed using MK Electric’s Design Service team, offering hoteliers a full palette of designs and textures to lift a room aesthetically. As the democratisation of design marches on, your guests will expect nothing less.
About MK Electric
A subsidary of global technology specialist, Honeywell, MK Electric is one of the UK’s leading wiring devices and accessories manufacturers. Based in Basildon, Essex, the company is known for its innovative approach to product design.