, Women in the Home Furnishing Industries Today
, held its semi-annual Competitive Intelligence Trends Panel in High Point last Thursday. Panelists included Barry Dixon, Barry Dixon, Inc.; Raymond Waites, Raymond Waites Design, Inc. and Michael Wolk, Michael Wolk Design Associates. The panelists and moderator Ellen Gefen discussed several emerging trends in the industry:Colors:
Minimal and earthy neutral pallets, as well as organic influences were noted as strong. Dark brown, parchment, berry, rose and pink were mentioned as prominent colors. Further discussion indicated that reds are becoming warmer, greens are moving to more olive tones, and purple is lightening to lavender shades paired with grey for a subdued effect.
- Customization as a Competitive Weapon: Panelists discussed the ability to offer the customer exactly what he or she wants as a way to stand out from the competition in both upholstery and case goods. This has the added advantage of bolstering domestic production. Strong unique looks can draw attention, particularly on the high end of the market.
- Smaller Scales: The many advantages of featuring smaller-scale furniture were highlighted, including lower transportation costs (more units per container) and lower costs of the raw materials which translates to lower, more compelling, retail price points.
- Other Highlights: Case Good Trends - Inlays and marquetry in case goods with motifs inspired by and reminiscent of tattoos were noted with interest. Limed finishes to highlight the grain of wood, and walnut finishes were noted on case goods.
- Upholstery Trends - Swarovski crystal accents, bold Marimekko-style prints, flocked fabrics and linen weaves were mentioned by commentators when discussing upholstery.
- Overall Trends - Organic textures, pewter-finished metallics, softer aesthetics in contemporary furniture, and historical references in clean-lined, smaller updated traditional styles were mentioned about as impacting all categories.
When the discussion was opened up to the audience, attendees contributed the following observations:
- Berry was the "in" color in Paris's recent fashion season. Noted by Connie Post, the Connie Post Companies.
- We may be entering the era of "Victoriana II" where diverse styles and designs from cultures around the world, as well as past and present times, are combined into new forms. Noted by Jenna Hall, AspenHome.