The industry as seen by top designers.
Market Research on Decorating Trends
"Casual" decorating is our most
popular style, but not by much.
by Kathy Lamancusa (May, 2004)
Note: Kathy is one of the industry's premier trendspotters
and designers. Her books, her articles in Craftrends, and her
numerous trade show seminars have made her one of the industry's
most recognized personalities.
Kathy continues to publish a free trend newsletter. Here are some
excepts from recent issues. To register for her newsletter and to
learn about her various business and inspirational seminars, visit www.lamancusa.com.
Research conducted by Creative Specialties International, a
division of Moen Incorporated, and by Rooms of America, a consumer
research organization, has shown that consumers typically decorate
in three primary thematic approaches: country, casual/contemporary,
This quantitative research showed that 74% of those surveyed
believe style is "very important" to "extremely
important" in their overall decorating decisions and it does
vary across regional areas.
In terms of specific style preferences, 38% of the population
decorates in a casual style, often referred to as contemporary.
Following closely behind, 35% of consumers choose a traditional
style of decorating. Lastly, 27% of Americans decorate in a country
theme, which includes secondary themes such as Shaker, Country
French and Mission.
Consumers who decorate in a casual fashion include furnishings
with clean, simple lines, geometric shapes, and neutral colors such
as beige, white and gray. Furniture and accessories falling under
this style typically include light woods, such as natural maple.
The traditional style of decorating still includes rich, ornate
designs and deep, dark colors. Jewel tones, such as emerald green,
burgundy, and navy blue, are very popular, as are ornate detailing
in polished brass and gold. Woodwork and furniture in this style is
typically made of leather, cherry wood, and dark stains.
Today's "cool" country is very stylish through a mix of
bright colors, such as lime green, bright blue, and red, as well as
softer tones including some pastels and earth tones. Much of the
furniture in this style is sturdy and overstuffed, and features a
crackle or distressed painted finish to give it almost an antique,
Chrome is the most popular bath accessory finish, but brushed
nickel, consumers' second choice, is on the rise. In addition, other
finishes, such as oil-rubbed bronze and wrought iron, are also
increasing in popularity. Non-chrome finishes represent almost half
of bath accessory sales.
Dream images: floating cushions, transparent walls and chairs and
beds that are almost invisible. But it isn't a dream, it's reality.
Translucent Lucite and glass are back in home design, the Wall
Street Journal reports. Lucite, considered kitsch from the `70s,
is showing up in furniture. Architects are designing glass walls.
Home Depot's Expo Design Center now has 40 percent more glass tiles
for sale than last year.
It appears to be a reaction against the dark, traditional decor
that took hold in the late `90s. Lucite was popular, so it wasn't a
new idea . . . more of a retro one. And some people like the sense
of light and openness the material brings.
To contact Kathy, call 330-704-4615 or email email@example.com.
To read previous Designing Perspectives columns, click on the titles
in the right-hand column.