With UK consumers looking to invest more in their homes and make changes to interior spaces to adapt to their lifestyles, it’s more important than ever for merchants to do all they can to support builders in meeting consumer demand.

As the UK economy begins to pick up again, consumers are becoming more confident about the state of their finances and starting to spend more on their homes. Much of this spending is simply to tackle long overdue maintenance put off during the recession, but increasingly consumers are requesting bigger renovation projects to make their home better suited for their household’s particular needs.

British Gypsum recently carried out a study of more than 2,000 adults nationwide and what we found in particular was that more and more homeowners want house interiors that allow them to be more creative with their décor and enable them to make their space work better for them.

Builders can really benefit from this drive by suggesting design ideas and construction products capable of boosting the flexibility of interior spaces. To help them achieve this, they need support from merchants in the form of in-depth product advice so that they can find the best solutions for their customers’ needs.

Using the insight gathered from our research about the latest consumer trends, we at British Gypsum developed a range of products that plasterers and dryliners can use to meet this goal.

Thistle Magnetic Plaster is one of these new solutions created to help homeowners use their homes more imaginatively. Designed to attract magnets, it can be used to transform a wall into an interactive and adaptable surface for use as a gallery of family pictures, a creative area for children, or a functional notice board, without fuss or mess. Some 44% of respondents to our study said they’d be interested in such a product for their children’s bedrooms, while 38% thought it would be useful for a home office. Three in 10 felt magnetic plaster would be ideal in their kitchen.

Our researchers also uncovered a strong desire among homeowners for solutions to make it easier for them to make changes to the fittings in their rooms in the future. Some 60% said they’d like to be able to add shelves or pegs as needed without having to worry about weight limits or using the right tools.

Installed in exactly the same way as standard plasterboard, our Lifestyle Wall system, which is available in March 2015, allows homeowners to screw fixtures directly into the super-strength core and enables them to fit TV brackets, shelves and curtain poles to their walls without the need for specialist fixings.

Manufacturers like British Gypsum are always working on new solutions to help the construction industry keep up with consumer trends. However, at the same time it is important that merchants and distributors understand both homeowner requirements and which products are available to ensure they continue to support their customers in meeting consumers’ specific and evolving needs.

Harjit Sandhu is domestic sector manager at British Gypsum.