We asked Gabby lead product designer Hillary Park to tell us about what will drive furniture design trends in 2016. She outlined several consumer furniture buying trends.
In past years furniture finishes have been copper, rose gold or antique brass. This year the industry is bringing all those design elements together and using them in the same piece. Eclectic style speaks to our customers. We are seeing people want more pieces that are special or inspiring in some way and speak to their personal sense of style.
We’re getting more requests for alternate finishes because people are mixing more in their finished design.
In addition to this we’re seeing more glossy finishes. Many furniture manufacturers are experimenting with different glosses with textures that juxtapose it.
I feel like our customer base is already there, but people are looking for hand made, quality materials and construction now instead of trendy pieces. On the flip side, companies are making trendy pieces more rapidly and collaborating with designers. Target is creating trending pieces at a disposable price. And people are buying small accent pieces in the value priced category. Our customers are becoming more intelligent about trends in design. They are sourcing larger and more costly goods looking for quality, with an eye for detail. They’re investing in those pieces. It’s cool because it’s letting those trends cycle down a lot faster, and placing more emphasis on design and the company values.
There’s not a prevalent style like mid century or 80’s. Mid century is so iconic and specific that it will always have a place, but there is no longer a singular style. Rather it is a blend of stylistic cues. Interior designers are using an eclectic mix of a lot of different styles, like mid century chairs with a French Provincial dining table. We’re starting to look at a lot of darker finishes to pair with our metal, which is a different look for us. This is for a different customer that maybe doesn’t want everything in lighter painted finishes.
There’s always a call for investing in multi-functional design pieces. Things like tables that can be used in different ways for entertaining like a piece that folds out as your party grows. Maybe pieces that break apart and serve. There’s a new trend of young people that have guests over often.
We’ve always done well with blues, but I haven’t seen singular color trends emerge. Pantone’s color prediction confirms that people are drawn to lighter and calming colors. Spring always generates an interest in color and flowers, but there’s not a global pattern emerging for our customer. Also, in every election year, with “unpredictable” being the general feeling, people are searching for “calm”. It’s interesting how society and current events really influence fashion and how we live. I don’t ever think about what I’m buying in the moment, but it’s important to reflect about how current events and our subconscious can influence our buying patterns.
People are investing more in their smaller spaces like half-baths, closets, and laundry/mud rooms. Areas that are usually overlooked are being really designed with nicer wallpapers, wonderful mirrors and higher-end decorative sconces.
For flooring, instead of the usual hardwoods, people are going with more surface interest on the floor, like ceramic tile that looks like wood or in a cool geometric pattern.
The Millennial is purchasing a home for the first time and are using interior designers, which could be adding to this booming business. The millennial is very conscious of aesthetics and how everything looks together. Designers and trends are far more accessible so they can get everything they want for their spaces easily.
People want their outdoor room design to reflect what their indoor spaces say and feel. There’s a lot more indoor/outdoor living these days, especially in coastal regions and the south.
As technology advances, we will begin to focus on how the furniture we contact daily make technology accessible. Side tables that accept charging stations. Flat tvs are narrow and thin, but the electronic boxes underneath still need to be accessed in a thoughtful and beautiful way. Set your phone on the item and it charges. How convenient not to have to find a charger!
Now there are so many different bulbs available that are efficient, low energy solutions that are still beautiful. There’s no excuse for bad lighting or a lack of lighting in the finished design.