Posted by Brandon Weaver on Fri, Oct 24, 2014 @ 12:00 PM
Dictionary.com defines ‘trend’ as something being “currently popular” – and is especially applicable in the fashion and design industries. By their very nature, trends come and go and it’s your job as a manager to anticipate what customers want when ordering inventory, and ultimately maximizing sales to your bottom line. This is true whether you run a retail store or independent home furnishings outlet. As we near the end of 2014, let’s take a look at what is likely to trend in 2015:
Colors - Think Neutrals, Brights, and Pastels
The beginning of 2014 saw warm grays gaining popularity with consumers. Gray’s neutrality was particularly appealing for those consumers wishing to decorate living rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Lighter shades of earth tones and bright blues were also on the watch list. Interestingly enough, monochromatic colors (using one color and layering it on top of itself) also saw an uptick in popularity. And, as you can see in these examples, monochromatic is not synonymous with “boring.” Pinterest boards such as this one can help you track what colors, patterns, and combinations could be trending.
Fast forward to 2015 when Behr released their Color Trend Report, which emphasizes four main palettes likely to be in high demand next year. These colorfully named palettes include “deep dreams,” frosted pastels, social brights, and nuanced neutrals. Deep dreams may best be applied to bedrooms, frosted pastels are particularly appealing for bathrooms, social brights can be found in dining rooms and the occasional home office, and nuanced neutrals match well with kitchen and dining room setups. No matter your customer’s home furnishings project, each palette has something for every type of room in the home.
Design – Think Clean and Energy Efficiency
As seen in the 2014 House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year, reflectivity can enrich a space – designer Steven Miller even put reflective wallpaper inside the cabinets. To top it off, the metallic finish throughout provided a really clean look. Even if your customer’s cannot take advantage of the picturesque San Francisco bay, they can still capitalize on natural light with surfaces of glass or shiny tile on the stove’s backsplash to reflect light back into the space.
Clean and contemporary will be the way of 2015, as told by the 2014 National Kitchen and Bath Association’s style report. Designers see increased demand for upgrades like flat-screen TVs and energy-efficient appliances and they expect touch-activated faucets to become the norm. Let us not forget style and personality will still reign supreme, so mixing old and new elements can help your customers create a memorable experience. So for your male customers looking to build that awesome new man-cave, salvaged or rustic woods may do well when they’re constructing a mini bar.
In the mini bar or the bathroom say goodbye to bowl sinks. To some consumers they may have seemed like a hip new concept. To others they looked awkward and out of place. Instead, under-mounted leggy sinks will be the preferred choice in 2015.
Lighting – Think LED Tape
Of the four types of light in the home – ambient, task, accent and decorative –task lighting in the kitchen and office will change the most. Fluorescent lights used to be preferred choice for under-cabinet because of its similarity to sunlight but LED has evolved into the preferred choice. This year’s consumer will figure in the long-term energy savings LED provides and so will be less worried about a higher initial cost. Of all the innovations in this area flexible LED tape may become the most popular due to its custom made fit and long-lasting durability of up to 22 years!
Color, design, and lighting preferences may change year to year, but one thing that never goes out of style is your customer’s preference for payment flexibility. Debit and credit can be convenient; but plastic payments come with inherent security and interest rate risks that cause many of today’s more fiscally conservative consumers to hesitate to purchase. You may increase sales by not only accepting checks but offering a Multiple Check option that allows customers to take home merchandise the same day without financing it and without requiring you to incur any risk. It may be the perfect solution to help you clear your floor before year end so you can replenish it with new products targeted to 2015’s hottest trends. Learn more here.
Tags: Home Furnishings