Ideas and Inspirations for 2011

While we encourage retailers to know their customers and find products suited to their niche, we also know people love to seek the next-big-thing and remain enamored of all things trend-related. So, in the spirit of being trendy, we watched, read and researched everything from major forecasting services to design blogs to paint company predictions (plus about 327 other sources) to come up with an overview of concepts worth keeping on your purchasing radar for 2011. Here’s a glimpse into just a few inspirations and ideas:

 ist1_4024312-farmer-s-market-organic-vegetables   ist1_2348334-preparing-hay   ist1_2579606-healthy-living   ist1_3721058-milk-jug

Down on the Farm: Look for colors inspired by the vegetable garden as well as rich, fertile farmland. Rough-hewn textures balance with rich embroidery and delicate florals. Stone and mineral finishes offer another element. Whites are buttery and milky. But natural doesn’t have to mean just rustic; look for sophisticated organic interpretations. This also plays into an overall environmental influence and ongoing green movement.

276933_fogos_3   1137904_sunset_in_black_and_white_   ist1_331880-rich-treasure   851897_smoke  

Escapist Dreams: Surreal, transparent, hazy looks offer a departure from reality. Pearlized, smoky, chalky – all bring to mind a dreamlike state of light and shadow. It’s both angelic and sensual. This can be shades of white as well as mauves and grays along with candied fairy tale colors.

 1143200_tribal_dress   948207_market_stalls_in_south_america   710017_pacific_motifs   994829_paper_lanterns

Tribal Influence: Ethnic, primitive prints aren’t new but invoking symbols, maps and cultural icons creates a modern urban chic. A bold palette with mixed patterns adds richness to any décor. Be careful about overuse. In this case, a strong statement piece can be enough to all a multi-cultural element.

 854338_colour_my_world   ist1_7321227-colorful-origami-polyhedron 373680_rhombus    1154156_steel_structures

World Order: Strong structural elements using both black & white and primary colors can be both modern and traditional. Contemporary doesn’t have to be cold when pieces are combined with softer components.

 t_WineBarrelStickChandelier.Small   t_Wine Sphere Chandelier - 20L, 34L & 54L   67544_1_468   67749_3_468

Hybrids: Look for combinations of nature and innovation to appeal to those who want organic without seeming rural. Sleek pieces in materials such as reclaimed wood and cardboard satisfy both demands.

1146557_texture_101   260537_textures_chenille_1   ist1_7569238-colorful-scarfs-on-street-market   ist1_12511723-indian-fabric

Color Burst:  After a few years of warm neutrals dominating, people are ready for some color. The combinations and hues will vary greatly but color is making a comeback. Some will move toward deep reds and purples, others toward rich pastels while some go for livelier, pulsating tones. Energetic color as well as soothing palettes have a place. The key is not to be afraid to use bursts of color.

Remember, almost any concept can be tailored to fit your customer and price point. Trends should be like suggestions – not strict guidelines. So keep an open mind and keep an eye on these ideas for the coming year as you shop the remaining 2010 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Markets. With more than 2,000 permanent and 4,000 temporary exhibitors each July and January, you’re sure to find just the right lines to suit your customers – while ensuring they see the “latest and greatest” products available.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s