All of a sudden I looked up and it was December.
OK — not really, but that’s what it felt like. This year, the first year of Lighting & Decor, has flown by, and now at the precipice of a new one, it’s time to look ahead at what’s to come.
I have a few predictions for 2018. But before that I’d like to say: While every facet of our industry is evolving, we know now more than ever that our professionals — retailers, interior designers, lighting designers — are needed. With new technology and changing lifestyles, everyday consumers can’t navigate it as successfully on their own as they once could.
Take, for instance, the smart home. This is one trend to bank on in 2018. It’s been rising and rising, and according to several industry experts, next year is the year it will explode. With an Echo Dot pricing in at $49.99 and LED bulbs costing on average $2 each across the country, I have to agree — entry into the market is as accessible as it’s ever been, and I think more consumers than not are “ready” to start their foray into smart home. Most of them will need your help to do it right.
Also, retail will continue to evolve, but brick-and-mortar will not go away. As we’ve heard time and again, retailers who have more to offer than just a product — knowledge, an experience, relationships — will prevail. More than just prevail, actually — they’ll become destinations. Interior designers have become a bigger part of this equation too, partnering with retailers or even becoming retailers themselves.
And we can’t talk 2018 trends without products — check out our Idea Boards, starting on page 20, for what will be hot next year. You can expect to see these trends at the upcoming winter markets, along with plenty of other exciting happenings.
In Atlanta, the Vignette Gallery will showcase the 2018 Pantone Color of the Year plus the PANTONEVIEW Home + Interiors 2018 Color Forecast in its “In Living Color” exhibition. Six interior designers will pair with six floral designers to explore color trends through product found across AmericasMart.
In Dallas, there are some big real estate changes: Modern Forms will now have its own 14,000+-square-foot showroom, plus Progress Lighting will also more than double its showroom space and will be featuring its expanding Design Series of products aimed at interior designers.
And in Las Vegas, Pavilion 3 opens expanding the temporary home decor offerings, and in Pavilion 2, Artexpo Las Vegas will debut, bringing nearly 100 fine artists to the market for the first time.
So that’s one thing that hasn’t changed — we’ll all have lots to keep us busy at the beginning of this new year. January also holds big significance to my team, because putting this December issue to bed means we have 12 under our belts. That’s a whole year that Lighting & Decor has been serving up content to the industry. Thank you to all who have supported this brand and believe in it as much as we do, and here’s to a prosperous, and exciting, 2018.