The January, 2013 Atlanta Gift Show was filled with bustling shoppers looking for new products and trends to stock their retail establishments for the upcoming summer and fall seasons. This is the good news. There is perhaps some not-so-good news as well? Usually the winter show features the presence of new color palettes, design shifts and the uplifting energy of a new forecast. This year however, the show was more about what wasn’t present.
Gone are the joy filled colors and bling in home accessories – replaced by gray. That’s right, gray often accompanied with a splash of yellow and some blue. Blue is back; although blue hasn’t been in the marketplace for ten or more years this year it was featured in a number of the trend palettes in varying shades.
Area and accent rugs are king. Gone are the days of wall-to-wall carpeting and in are all types of unique flooring and accent rugs. Priceless Oriental and Persian rugs are temporarily being shelved in favor of trendy rugs made from natural fibers, tribal prints, animal prints and geometrics or enormous art deco patterns that can only be described as floor art. Some rugs even sport offset and oversize creatures like a butterfly. Even animal hide rugs like cow hide are back as an accent, to be layered over another area rug.
With rugs playing such a huge role in décor, wall art and accessories like pillows, lamps and throws are subdued with very simple lines, neutral tones and only texture to help them stand out. Furniture is simple, understated and lean with straight lines – and without any cushioning or curves for comfort. The rugs, instead of the accents, turn up the volume in a room.
Color and Interior Design Trends
One way to describe the colors and designs that were present is to look at the runway fashions that were shown last fall – you will either love them or hate them.
There are six basic trend categories in 2013: Survival Comfort, Hollywood Opulence, Into the Woods, Passionate Pastels, Seaside Serenity and Tribal Spirit.
Survival Comfort is filled with rustic materials like burlap and felt, rugged primitive designs reflecting a slowed economic growth, expressed in earthy colors, natural materials and fibers. Think wood and simple plaids, and accents that feel or look handmade. The colors are vegetable greens, beiges and browns, dull orange, soft blue, mustard yellow and gray.
Hollywood Opulence is nostalgic and reminiscent of the glamorous 1930s and 40s. A reinvention of art deco, it is sophisticated and elegant with lots of high gloss from silver, mirrors and chandeliers. This style features varying shades of purple to lavender, wine to pink, gold, silver, copper, champagne, yellow, blue-gray and gray.
Into the Woods is eco-friendly or “green” and includes things like bamboo, recycled glass, and features lots of greens and browns or anything that expresses concern for the environment. As you might expect, this look includes branches, twigs, birds and bird nests. This palette features lots of kitchen spice colors like paprika, eggplant and saffron, terracotta, apple cinnamon and shades of green and gray.
Passionate Pastels are no longer the Easter egg pastels. As one designer described it, they now have textural complexity giving them a grownup look. This look prevailed in pottery ware, kitchen items, candles and the like. These pastels are bolder with yellow green being very strong followed by sea green, light blues to azure, peach to pink and lavender to pearl white.
Seaside Serenity was like a mental walk on the beach. While it wasn’t a huge segment at the gift show, it was consistent in the calming comforting colors of the beach. The predominant color was liquid blue and various combinations of the sea and sky with lots of sandy beige to brown beach tones along with ivory, gray and gray-green.
Tribal Spirit was the liveliest trend unless it was on the floor. In rugs it was usually very neutral beiges and browns or black tribal print on a neutral background. Animal prints included in this grouping are getting stronger again and are either rich and warm or faded colors. A global influence was present in this trend providing a worldwide cultural tapestry of color and design. In décor items this category tended to express joy and happiness through its rich hues, which included deep blues, reds to oranges, browns to melon and pumpkin, violet, cinnamon, gray and black.
Secondary but Important Trends to Watch
While the above were the major trends that will impact your buying and for the next twelve to twenty-four month there are some secondary trends that made things a bit more interesting.
Inspiring Gifts were available for all areas of the home because market buyers have indicated that consumers are looking for products and items that bring faith and inspiration into their daily lives. People are looking for décor pieces that provide strength, hope and encouragement as they struggle with the everyday difficulties of life. Inspirational and spiritual items are no longer relegated to the New Age or Christian marketplace but rather permeate the entire gift and décor arena. Items could be simple like plaques, pictures and stone coasters to books, note cards and statues of strength appealing to the male purchaser.
Fun and Funky is the only way to describe the juxtaposition of themes like cowboy décor next to robots or notes and musical instruments next to America’s favorite foods (hotdogs and popcorn) or silver and crystal beside burlap and metal ribbons. This certainly added a bit of spice and panache to an otherwise upside down show which primarily featured gray.
Whether you decide to change up your décor or keep what you have, the design experts estimate that these trends will not last long. Purchasers of the new rug craze are shopping at IKEA and Pier One, just to spice up their lives for twelve months or so.
Whatever you do, make sure your surroundings provide you security, serenity and comfort so you can deal with the chaos in the world and maintain calm.
© Pat Heydlauff, all rights reserved 2013