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The industry as seen by top designers.

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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.

Decorating Styles.

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, and traditional.

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, nostalgic style.

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.

Translucency returns.

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 info@lamancusa.com. To read previous Designing Perspectives columns, click on the titles in the right-hand column.



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