Home Design Trends For 2010: Part I – Concept vs. Fashion

“The race isn’t always won by the swift and the strong,

but that’s how you bet.”

The bi-annual High Point Furniture Market has come to be regarded as the Crystal Ball in predicting

home furnishings trends for the coming year.

For more than a century, High Point, North Carolina has been known as the Furniture Fair Capital of the World. There are over 85,000 home furnishings professionals each season with more than 2,000 exhibitors presenting their best ideas in more than sixty categories.

On display are the home fashion trends that each exhibitor has placed their bet on and now has produced to be competitively ahead of the curve and on top of consumer need and desire.

When High Point speaks, the home design world listens.

According to reports, this year’s design trends seen at High Point are similar to last year’s but what was then a tentative toe in the water approach, has become a strong dive headlong into the waters of shaping public opinion by example. There is a certain clarity of desire and direction where there were only whispers last year.

A Lot Of Bang For A Few Bucks Is Preferable

People are willing to buy but the vetting process is stringent. In most cases, if a big-ticket item is purchased at all, it will be described as a well-designed “smart” purchase, maybe a little on the safe and neutral side. The fun is reserved for color updates and edgier accessories at lower price points.

Gone is the concept of shopping for entertainment.

The desire for higher quality and an overall mindfulness of resources, sustainable materials and the environment with everything from food to furniture is more pronounced than before.

Creating a home is really never accomplished with one stop shopping.

It takes years of acquiring, actively collecting and editing to hone a home into a residence with personal meaning.

Most consumers aren’t in the position of being able to toss it all and start fresh, so a certain “use what you have” point of view mixed with a desire to spice it up is the way it plays.

Practicality rules: small space solutions and multi-functioning furniture meet cute.

There is a sense of an overall paring down. We’ve swung full circle away from previous years when only “more was more/not enough”, and back to “less is more”, again. No puddling skirts, no clutter or frou-frou. Keep it simple.

For example, this could translate into keeping your traditional style club chair but having it reupholstered in patent leather.

Classic/Traditional styling has a proven track record of value over time. This year’s version of “Classic/Traditional” is cleaner lined than before but still softer than modern designs. Speaking of modern, think mid-century modern with George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames.


Backward Forward Around And Through

Historically speaking, trends tend to slow down with recessions, but now thanks to the internet and social media sites such as Twitter, ideas are broadcast as instant media messages to and from anywhere in the world. As a result, there is a greater mixing of architectural styles, design influences of any culture and time period, including future visions, from all around the country and around the world.

With so much input available, along with the demands of a sluggish economy and tighter purse strings, the search parameters have been narrowed down by necessity to arrive at a less complicated look and life style that also has personal meaning.

We are pulling the past classics and future visions into the present to create new and higher standards of quality, reliability, authenticity and high performance that are also uniquely beautiful and environmentally responsible. It’s not about the packaging, it’s about the goods.

Next Time: Home Design Trends For 2010: Part II – Color of the Year

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Photo: www.bydesignthestore.com

This part of a recent article I wrote for publication on Hamptons.com. It’s represented here as a foundation for further topic discussion, updates and commentaries…

Questions? Write to: Cindy@DecodingDecor.com