I love it when an issue comes together. Not when the pages head to the printer (although that’s always a good feeling), but when the realization hits that the stories we’ve written, diverse as they may seem at the outset, reveal an unexpected synergy throughout the issue. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it’s kind of magical.
This August issue is like that. I’m not talking about the editorial thread that naturally connects our features through a common theme. This is a subtle nuance, which emerged as the stories developed. The features in this issue offer up different projects, products and profiles that, at first glance, don’t necessarily connect. But look a little deeper and they showcase what can happen when creativity takes over and we begin to think outside of the box. From an interior designer working on a cutting-edge airport hotel or a 500-year-old landmark restoration project to a pillow designer who creates a pointed personal connection, these stories are inspirational in their uniqueness.
We also share the stories of our 10th annual Showroom of the Year winners here. These retailers are far from ordinary, and their willingness to approach their businesses creatively is what makes them stand out.
When our stories converge with a common underlying connection like this, I pay attention.
These types of synergies are not that uncommon, no matter what business you’re in — interior design, retail, product design and manufacturing. Are you watching for the subtle nuances that connect when you see them in your design projects or retail selection and customer inquiries? They might be coincidence or they might be something more, and that could be important. I’d like to think these synergies can point to impending business and design trends your clients and customers might be discovering.
From all sides, like any business, home furnishings faces its challenges. There are plenty of outside influences that can disrupt the status quo — potential tariffs and increased prices, online retailers diverting local traffic and more.
To stay ahead of the curve, we need to tune into the whole picture, not just work through each project individually. It’s how you determine what’s coming next.
If you think about the markets you may have attended this summer, you didn’t decide what was trending after one showroom visit. It took visiting several showrooms, or maybe several markets, to determine that next color, pattern or style gaining steam.
In your own business, calculating what’s “next” from the subtle threads you see running throughout mitigates the risk if you watch for the potential. The synergies you find when you connect the dots between trends, design projects or company direction could indicate the next evolution that will help your business flourish. So pay attention.