Market season is upon us, and we know what that means. It’s time to ask the all-important question as we visit showrooms: “What’s new?” We know we can count on seeing it: new vendors, new styles and, of course, new products. New is important in home furnishings as you need to resonate with your customers and offer the latest in innovation and style—nightstands and chairs with built-in chargers; landscape lighting that can be controlled with an app; there is plenty we may not have expected to see until we see it.
These new pieces bring admirers, sure—in the showroom, on the retail floor, in a designer’s plans. New is exciting and it offers a great way to freshen up a room or make a statement: adding a new paint color or pattern on the wall, a new sofa in the latest textiles, a sculptural LED chandelier in the dining room.
However, “new” shouldn’t be the only focus. Have you determined how these styles and products came to be, or how they resonate with your customers? What’s the style’s longevity? Furniture, lighting and even decor are rarely throwaway purchases. Most consumers are in for at least a while when choosing these pieces. While they may want to see what’s new, they also want to know what will be relevant a year from now.
The savvy consumer will be looking at tomorrow’s trends as well as what’s hot today. There are HGTV renovation shows, trend bloggers, style spotters and Instagram influencers they can connect with, all driving what they see as up-and-coming
in home design.
Beyond what’s new right now, maybe we also need to be on top of what we can expect to see in 2020 and 2021 as we peruse showrooms during this summer’s markets. It’s easy to be attracted by the new styles we see today. Who doesn’t love a rich, deep green velvet sofa with elegant curves? But as upholstery colors move to warmer tones, such as golds, rusts and browns, like we saw at ITA Showtime, does that green velvet hold up?
You need to ensure the new you choose today continues to work when the next round becomes available. Style certainly isn’t static, and trends can come and go in the blink of an eye. The choices you lead your customers to should have staying power or be easily updated—morphing into the next trend style at the change of a pillow!
From the manufacturer level to retailer and designer, thinking ahead is essential in this industry. Styles are always changing and, as we know, some new trends and products can miss the mark or grow old quickly.
So, as you make your way through the showrooms of summer markets, while it’s important to ask what’s new, it also
might be wise to follow up with, “What’s next?”