The State of Dining

By Nicole Bowling, editor-in-chief of Lighting & Decor

Lighting & Decor magazine debuts in January as the evolution of two longstanding brands — Residential Lighting and Home Fashion Forecast. In observing marketplace trends, and listening to our readers, it was clear that a retail landscape with more multi-category stores, as well as the importance of the interior design segment, called for a fresh approach to better present information to members of our industry. We’ve definitely provided that with this new, glossy 10×12-inch coffee-table caliber magazine, but there’s one thing we didn’t change: our focus on trend reporting in the home furnishings space.

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In the last few years, we’ve been witnessing the whole home relaxing, adopting a more casual aesthetic thanks to today’s lifestyles and Millennial preferences. Millennials, a cohort of consumers age 17-34 that is expected to spend more than $200 billion annually starting in 2017 according to Advertising Age, are making their mark on all areas of the home, especially the dining room, the main feature of our inaugural issue.

Formal dining, china and overly fussy accessories have been exchanged for functional pieces with neutral color palettes, mix-and-match capabilities and durability — small homes and small budgets make these characteristics a necessity.  Despite this, entertaining is still a central part of our lifestyles, so barware and serveware that can be used every day, as well as housewares that make cooking and cleaning a breeze, are also in demand.

With all of this in mind, we compiled our January issue featuring two specific decor styles in dining rooms: Modern Rustic and Havana-Inspired.

Modern Rustic, a look that’s, in my opinion, the epitome of the casual takeover, makes contemporary style cozier and more inviting with rustic touches. I think some people are turned off by the starkness that very contemporary design can convey, so this new, more relaxed take is great. Textures, like wood and brick and chunky textiles, fuse with streamlined silhouettes that are undoubtedly modern for a style that’s polished but still warm. This type of decor can easily swing more contemporary or more rustic depending on the users’ preferences, and another bonus? Its gender neutrality works great for couples who both want their tastes to feel represented at home.

Then, there’s a look influenced by Havana. As U.S. relations with Cuba ease, this city’s iconic elements are inspiring a style all its own in home furnishings. Island living meets traditional here: bright colors, Mid-Century modern elements and art deco patterns are all perfectly sun-bleached and visibly worn to make for an eclectic decorating style that’s hard to mess up. To me, it has a bohemian vibe as well, another concept that screams “Millennial.”

If you’d like to read about today’s dining rooms and more, pick up a copy of January Lighting & Decor magazine at The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®, January 10-17, 2017. Also, stop by the Lighting & Decor Lounge in Building 1, Floor 5, 5-B-1 for more talk on trends in decor and the home furnishings business during our Daily Dialogue sessions, happening at 1 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. See you there!

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