The End of a Trend and Four Other Takeaways from High Point Market – WWD
Although it may seem counterintuitive by nature, trend forecasters in the recent High Point market agreed that the era of major shifts in home fashion is over, at least for now.
“What’s happening with trends is the opposite of a revolution, we’re not seeing any big sweeping changes,” said Patty Carpenter, global brand ambassador at Maison & Objet. “In the wake of the pandemic, we’ve certainly seen some things that have been big shifts, but we’re seeing things stabilizing, and we’re seeing more evolution.”
Instead of seismic shifts—think gray’s takeover of furniture, finishes, and decor a decade ago—today’s trends are more subtle and extend beyond a season or two.
“The world is converging on the same macro trends,” said Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “There’s nothing completely new – we all talk about nature, we all have a bright palette – and we tell the same redundant stories.”
However, as I walked through the showrooms of the biannual Furniture Show in High Point, North Carolina, several topics seemed to dominate the conversation. They include:
Science formation design
Ahead of High Point Market, a group of scientists, architects and interior designers gathered to discuss the growing role of science in home design at the inaugural Design, Arts & Sciences Symposium. By exploring topics such as biophilic design (the practice of incorporating nature into the home) and neuroaesthetics (harnessing the way design influences the brain to create more inclusive spaces), the symposium highlighted the growing influence of scientific approaches in interior design.
“We want to bring information from different fields together, and promote interdisciplinary thinking that brings science, technology and arts together to create better design experiences,” said Suchi Reddy, founder, Reddymade Architecture and Design.
Home as a healthy haven
The pandemic-inspired desire to create a home that feels like a haven of wellness continues to dominate the world of design, influencing everything from colors to materials and production practices. In fact, starting in 2024, interior designers will be required to earn a certain number of continuing education credits in Health, Safety, and Welfare (HSW) each year.
“These are foundational practices,” Wadden said. “For example, it’s not just about color – it’s about color in the application and how color can impact interiors in both residential and commercial design. Things like making sure there’s enough light and color contrast in the kitchen so that the tasks being performed on Work surface in such a way that humans can see it to the best ability.
Dominance of green and blue
Perhaps because of their connection to nature, blue and green continue to dominate the home color palette. While green dominated the first part of this decade, blue will come in strong during the latter half, Wadden said. But that doesn’t mean green is going away any time soon.
An abundance of blue and green in this chair from Kenneth Cobonpo.
“There is definitely a physiological response, especially with the color green, because of its strong association with biophilic design,” she said. “The idea of bringing nature in is very important.” “This leads to human contentment in the space – there is a positive reaction to most green colours, so it is a way to bring a haven of color into the home.”
Blue is becoming richer in European markets such as Maison & Objet, with shades such as cobalt, Yves Klein blue, turquoise, aqua and teal dominating, Carpenter said.
“Blue represents a large area in terms of color — we call it the blue wave,” Carpenter said. “The turquoise has become bluer, the teal has become bluer – you are seeing this blue mixture.”
Neutrals are getting more sophisticated, with combinations of grey, blue, green and other colors adding richness and variety. Carpenter pointed to a shade she calls “frosted moss,” a gray-green that she considers a neutral color.
“We were talking about these subtle neutrals, this feeling of a touch of color on a neutral base,” she said. “It’s as if you took a can of paint and dropped another color in there to give it a tint, so we see these subtle colors playing with light and texture — in different lighting or on different materials they might look a little gray or green.”
This also applies to white, which Faden said has replaced neutral colors, especially when they have a tint of another color. For the first time, Sherwin-Williams has not included a neutral color palette in its color forecast, reflecting this more nuanced approach, she said.
“We are focusing on core gatherings with neutrals,” she said. “And it’s a very interesting conversation for North America since we rely so heavily on neutrals in design. It’ll be interesting to see how this color cycle evolves and becomes a little more colorful.”
Drawing on the rise of sustainability and a growing interest in craftsmanship, the importance of metals for the home has increased.
“We still see a lot happening in the metals space,” Carpenter said. “People want to work with materials that don’t require taking living things from the Earth, so we’re seeing a lot of interesting play in metals from modern to traditional.”
Furniture and decor makers have taken innovative approaches to using metals, incorporating unexpected techniques such as laser cutting, basket weaving and lattice work, Carpenter said.
As for metallic tones, Carpenter said something she calls “bronzino,” which is somewhere between bronze and brass, has grown in popularity. But above all, copper seems to be the main metal for the home during the coming seasons.
“We’re starting to see all these different ways in which the brass tones come through,” she said. “A lot of it is in the metal, but in other materials as well.”