Lifestyle, life stages and life values all indicate consumer style trends, according to The Institute for Color Research, a division of Color Communications, Inc., Chicago, IL. Look for warmth, texture, sumptuous luxury and ultimate simplicity to be the immediate trends in home accessories and interiors, it reports. Consumers will be looking to discover what makes them different and will be defining their home environments.
The institute says red, camel, soft yellow, iced green, silver and blues are important colors that can be used to create a center stage or focal point in any room where the eye goes first and is held for a moment-a window detail, accent wall or fireplace, it suggests. Window coverings retailers should find no shortage of new products presented in rich textured fabrics and a warm array of new colors and finishes, especially on today's wood treatments.
Adjusting the Curve
Speaking at an open house unveiling a new product showroom at Levolor Home Fashions' High Point, NC, facility in August, Michelle Lamb, Marketing Directions, Inc., Minneapolis, MN, noted several changes on the horizon in color, texture and design trends. By 2000, metallics will make up half of the neutral colors being used, Lamb said. In particular, look for silver-especially warm silver-to continue gaining in popularity along with steel, copper and brass.
In patterns and textures, Lamb says leaf designs are on the immediate horizon, but look for bamboo to make a strong statement in everything from prints to furnishings.
For window coverings retailers, the natural answer for this trend is woven woods, which have been regaining popularity in the past few years.
The next big style trend Lamb sees will be English Country as French Country fades. In the meantime, southern European and Mediterranean style remains strong. Exquisite details, such as crocheted buttons and tassels, will be important for their shapes and added interest not just as embellishments.
Lamb also said mosaics will be important incorporating both color and texture. Pieced quilting is already seen as starting this trend, she said. Combining these trends will be placing up-and-coming motifs (leaves and elegant flowers) in a box such as a frame.
Lamb also pointed out that the bell curve for trends usually last between four and 10 years as colors and styles emerge, gain in popularity and mass merchandising appeal, then fall off. But this curve, she warned, varies depending on the customer. For Baby Boomers approaching their 50s, for example, the curve often is longer as stability and continuity become important. Younger customers are likely to seek out the newest trends and styles more frequently and shorten the length of the curve considerably. nurturing, yet stimulating
Color Marketing Group (CMG) forecasts color palettes for 2000 will be flexible and versatile as consumers customize or personalize their environments. A strong influence on color selection will be consumers' desire to simplify or humanize their surroundings. To that end they will look for softer and lighter colors, CMG says. Innocent Blush, a sheer pink that is feminine and nurturing; Biscotti, a new softer neutral; and Colorado Mist, a sophisticated, warm silver that bridges beige and gray are all emerging colors in CMG's forecast that meet this need.
By the new millennium, the average person will spend as many as 16 hours a day in front of a computer, CMG notes. To escape this monotony, consumers will search for products to stimulate their creativity and will find solace in color, texture and the calming influence of water. Cleansing and pure, water is the final evolution of nature's influence on color palettes, says CMG. Spaqua, the green side of water imagery, and an intense and iridescent Atlantis Blue are colors that will emerge to answer consumers' calls.
Texture and finish also will be important influences by 2000. Visual and actual texture, pattern and finishes increase the perception of quality and value. Smooth and soft textures can be used to complement or act as a counterbalance to coarse textures.
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