How to Stay Up to Date on Interior Trends
Selling to the interior design community has some unique challenges, including aesthetics. Your product can be durable, made quickly, and at the perfect price point, but if it doesn’t look good, none of that will matter. Any business hoping to drive sales in the interior design community must have at least a basic knowledge of what trends are happening in that industry to respond to them accordingly.
How much trend knowledge do you need?
That depends. If you’re creating original designs in-house to sell directly to designers, you need to have a firm grasp of current trends. On the flip side, if you’re planning on printing what designers bring you or tapping into an image library created by a designer in tune with trends, you might not need to know as much. However, a general idea of what is going on is always valuable, even in the latter situation.
Keep in mind that trends are very different from fads. While no business needs to be on top of (or necessarily even aware of) every passing fad, trends impact everyone’s business.
What trends should you pay attention to?
With interior designers, color plays a huge role in whether you get a sale or not, so it is critical to be aware of what colors are trending.
Interior designers are obsessed with materials and are constantly looking for new and innovative materials to work with. Since they use materials to communicate in a space, their selections significantly impact the final project.
At NeoCon 2022, there was a lot of emphasis on transparency in manufacturing. Consumers and designers want to make well-informed decisions about how and by whom their materials are made and sourced.
Where do you begin researching trends?
Research current events
Current events are often the catalyst behind major change and are the perfect place to start. Look at the events happening, but also the mood around those events. For example, we’re currently witnessing how a global pandemic upended our whole way of life. Architects and interior designers are suddenly designing offices and public spaces with privacy and adaptability at the forefront. Climate change is another driving force pushing sustainability issues in manufacturing to the forefront of decision-making.
Look to other industries
No industry exists in a vacuum. Look around at what is happening in the world of fashion, film, travel, food, restaurants, everything! See what types of exhibits major museums of showcasing and what kinds of public art are popping up.
Power off the screen
Get out of the office and spend a few days researching in person, not behind a screen. Visit places such as high-end fashion shops, home furnishing stores, and even bookstores. If trade shows are in your budget, try to attend one to see many new products in one place.
Consume more content
The content the population is consuming directly reflects trends happening and evolving. Watch, listen and take notes on movies, tv shows, and what’s on social media. Pay particular attention to the mood. Are people feeling hopeful and optimistic or contemplative and protective? These moods impact what people want to surround themselves with in their homes and offices.
Work with a trend research professional
Working with a professional trend research company or independent consultant can be extremely valuable if you have the resources. These services do extensive research and prepare a presentation targeted at your industry and customer.
It may be evident that trends impact how people dress and decorate their homes, but at their core, trends reflect people’s values, behavior, and decision-making. This is true both personally and professionally. No one can afford to ignore trends. Doing so will mean playing catch up down the road or missing out on business entirely.
Kristen Dettoni is the founder and CEO of Design Pool LLC, the only pattern library created exclusively for interior designers. Since 1996, Kristen has worked for mills throughout North America, designing fabrics for automobiles, furniture, and home furnishings. She developed the first sustainable upholstery fabric for office interiors, the first sustainable upholstery fabric for automotive interiors, and was awarded a patent for automotive suspension seating. Kristen believes strongly in the power of good design to transform our environments and experiences.