Holiday Decorating Tips

For most retailers and designers it’s definitely looking a lot like Christmas. 

How can buyers make the most of seasonal décor? We asked the decorators extraordinaire at Studio M  Executive Vice President and General Manager Tammy Hickel, Senior Director of Product Development Anne Brown and Marketing Coordinator Maura Lodes  for their tips for making the season and the upcoming Market merry and bright. 

What trend are you most excited about for Holiday 2016?

holidaytrends-merrimentartplanters_studiom_rgb Holiday décor for 2016 features lots of black, white and red color schemes and has a classic, homespun feel that we just love. Popular nubby knits, burlap and muslin give a warm, relaxed feel that’s perfect for the holidays. The red-and-white ticking stripe and large-scale buffalo check seen throughout this year’s holiday décor provide a nice pop of pattern. We’re really excited about all of the natural elements like birch, pinecones and antlers that are being woven into holiday décor for 2016. These characteristics can be seen throughout Nordic, woodland and forest themes that are very trendy this winter.

What are your tips for customers decorating their homes?

unexpectedholidaydecor-gypsygarden_studiom_rgbOur advice is to create something unexpected. The holidays are all about that sense of wonderment and joy, and your décor can reflect that. Decorate in unexpected places — put a small Christmas tree in your child’s room, add a fun holiday pillow to the bed in your guest room, or brighten up the space above your kitchen cabinets with Christmas decorations. Think of the areas in your house that you may not always pay attention to, and add a little something there for the holidays.

For outdoor holiday decorating, think of ways to create a welcoming front door statement that reflects your personality and is seasonally relevant. Many people are looking for outdoor décor to accomplish this goal, and that’s a huge reason why we’ve expanded our seasonal flag collections to include Art Planters, Art Poles and other outdoor décor. We encourage people to think beyond just lights and candy canes. There are so many unique ways to decorate — festive Art Planters and a coordinating MatMate at the front door, a holiday terrarium full of colorful mini garden items as a centerpiece — think outside the box!

What are your tips for retailers decorating their stores?

retailertips-gifts-to-go_artpots_studiom_rgbCreative merchandising is key to generating sales. Shoppers can’t resist stopping to “ooh” and “ahh” at a clever display. Welcoming seasonal décor and an attractive display in a window will draw people in, giving them an opportunity to see everything your store has to offer. That doesn’t mean you have to spend big bucks on extra holiday decorations — use as much product as possible to decorate your store. For example, use monogram garden flags to spell out a festive message like “Let it snow” or “Ho Ho Ho.” This way, your store showcases its own merchandise and helps to decorate it at the same time!

Another great way to approach a display is to use your products to tell a color story. Pull everyday red or green products into a Christmas display — they’ll fit right in and feel more like a holiday item when surrounded by seasonal products. Don’t underestimate the power of a little holiday ribbon to turn everyday items into Christmas gifts.

Special Tip: Many plain red and green items can move forward into Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s Day displays, giving those products a longer life.

holidaytrends-winterpalette_studiom_rgbWe also advise retailers to make shopping as easy as possible for their customers. Create pre-wrapped gifts-to-go for different recipients – mom, dad, friend, hostess, etc. Think about all the unique items you have in your store and turn them into containers to hold additional product. We find that our 6-inch Art Pots are great to fill with holiday gourmet treats or unique personal care items. Not only are gifts-to-go convenient for shoppers, they’re also a great way to increase the average sale for the retailer. Set some by the register or checkout area for those last-minute impulse buys.

Special Tip: Another great way to increase sales and help shoppers find great gifts is to create a “Staff Favorite” or “Item of the Week” that can be promoted and suggested by staff.

What trends do you see emerging for Holiday 2017?

Next year’s holiday trends will be somewhat of a derivative of 2016, but with lots of white-on-white and green-and-white color schemes. Textural elements will prevail and homespun, cozy-cabin themes will expand, but in a cleaner, more refined way — kind of a mid-century-modern-meets-cabin look. We’ll see more woodland animal elements like antlers and snowy owls as the wise, nocturnal birds continue to be a strong trend.

holidaytrends-shoplocalThe shop local movement will continue to have a large influence on trends for 2017. City and state pride will remain a popular theme in both décor and gift items, as communities’ support for independent retailers grows. We don’t want to give too much away, but retailers can expect to see some state-themed products from Studio M at summer markets in 2017!

The farm-to-table movement is picking up steam and the desire to grow food at home is increasing. As more people spend time in their outdoor spaces and learn about gardening, gifts for gardeners will become a big part of the holidays for 2017. These can range from decorative gifts such as mini garden items or a festive Art Planter to functional products like a birdhouse or birdbath.

 What are your Market shopping tips?

newproducts-kaleidoscopemobiles_studiom_rgbOur biggest tip for retailers is to come to market with a Buying Plan. Take stock of all your current inventory and future needs. Then determine your budget by deciding how much product you need to buy to reach your target sales volume for the season. Identify every product category that you need in order to drive business in your store, and then allocate dollars to each area. This will ensure that you are purchasing the right mix of products for your store and save you from buying too much of one category and too little of another. Make sure to hold back some reserve dollars for hot new items or product categories you find at market that weren’t in your plan. Your Buying Plan will be a huge help in figuring out when you’ve purchased enough of each category and make it easy to see what areas still need to be filled in.

Special Tip: Ask vendors if they have any best-seller lists that they can show you. While best sellers do not work in every region or store, they can be a good place to start!

Do some research before market and decide which vendors you’d like to visit. Look through trade publications and the Market Magazine to see what catches your eye and make a list of vendors you can’t miss. Once you have your list, map out a schedule of when to visit each showroom. Don’t forget to leave time to look for new items or to stop by vendors that weren’t on your initial list. When making your schedule, plan to get your essential items first. There will be lots to see and you don’t want to get distracted by too many new products and leave market without ordering the necessities.

Special Tip: Take advantage of showrooms like OneCoast that open early in the morning and close late in the evening. This way, you can visit more vendors per day.

newproducts-cambriaartplanters_studiom_rgbAnother thing many retailers find very helpful is working with their local rep whenever possible. Reps know the product well and are a great source of information. They can tell you what has been selling well in your area and help you make better-informed purchasing decision to help round out your offering. They also may be aware of special incentives being offered on products.

Special Tip: Schedule your showroom visits by floor so you don’t waste any time waiting for the elevator in order to go up and down the building throughout the day.

You’re going to see some amazing merchandising ideas and unique ways to display product as you make your way through the mart. Bring a camera to photograph anything that inspires you or that you may want to replicate in your store. Not every vendor allows photos to be taken, so make sure to ask permission first. At Studio M, we love when retailers take photographs! While flattering, it is one of the biggest reasons we spend so much time planning out and creating our displays, We want retailers to get inspired and take ideas home that will help them be more successful.

We hope these tips ensure that you have a smooth and successful market! Stop by and see Studio M at our main showroom in The Gardens (9-B-84, Bldg. 2) or in the OneCoast showroom on the 18th floor of Building 2.

In addition to our five floors of Holiday and Floral merchandise in Building 1, retailers and designers can also find holiday merchandise in The Gardens®. Shop the collection at The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, January 10 – 17, 2017, and use our Market Plan to create your budget and plan your visit.

Images courtesy of Studio M.

PANTONE Color of the Year 2017: Greenery

Today, PANTONE announced its Color of the Year for 2017: Greenery.

“A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings,” according to the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries.

At AmericasMart, we’re also seeing Greenery – in home furnishings, home accents, gifts, tabletop and more.

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Global Views

How can you use Greenery in your designs or store? Check out our trend report “Tropical Escape” in the January 2017 edition of the AmericasMart Magazine, arriving to your stores, homes and offices this month.

Get an inside glimpse into the selection of the PANTONE Color of the Year and learn more about key color trends for 2017 — where they are coming from, why they are happening and where they are headed in the future — from Laurie Pressman, vice president of the PANTONE Color Institute in a presentation “Home 2017: At a Crossroads for Color + Design” on Friday, January 13 at The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market.

Staying at Home

Key interior concepts for Fall/Winter 2016

The rise of working freelance or being a consultant is changing the way home interiors are viewed and valued. More people are working out of their homes, and a renewed interest in housewarming and home dining make the home the focal point for many. Design is thoughtful, tactile and reflects humans’ desire to reconnect while keeping personal space. Understanding these shifts in trends is vital to selecting a product mix that will resonate with customers. Trend Specialists at WGSN, a subscription based trend forecasting service, offer a few of their predictions for trends in Fall/Winter 2016 home décor.

ALL NATURAL
WitImage courtesy of WGSNh concerns for the environment progressively influencing major design choices, interiors will take on more natural looks this fall. Organic walls and floors will become more common, with cork, plywood and chipboard appreciated for their natural qualities. Soft to the touch, sound-absorbing, thermally insulating, these materials are also highly renewable, as are bamboo, wicker and rattan, which will be prominent in furniture and decorative accessories.

Image courtesy of WGSN

 

LAYERED TEXTURE
Tactility and warmth add new dimension to interiors this season, with an emphasis on comfort. Combining and mixing surfaces looks fresh in neutral tones to allow surface depth to be the main focal point in the room.

 

 

Image courtesy of WGSN
1970S GEO
Geos are simplified in thick, bold outlines and blocks of rounded shape. Chevrons and openwork designs reference the 1970s, with key colors including earth tones with splashes of acid orange, espresso brown, and forest green.

 

 

Image courtesy of WGSN

 

DRAMATIC FLORALS
Black and inky hues are used as core colors to create strong prints and patterns on wallpapers and fabrics. Large florals create dramatic settings with a classic, historical look, while the tropical trend also takes a dark twist, moving away from last summer’s bright interpretations.

 

 

Image courtesy of WGSN

 

 

CAPTURED NATURE
Fragile, poetic floral motifs look dusty and moody on white grounds and overlaid on sheer materials. The whole plant is used for design inspiration; stems and leaves mix with buds in whimsical tonal hues.

 

 


Ali Lind, senior trend consultant for WGSN— the industry-leading content and technology solution for professionals in the style, fashion and design sectors—joins us for Fall Design Week Featuring Gourmet & Gift to present 2017 Trend Forecast: A Tour of Lifestyle, Interiors & Fashion Influences to Know in the Year Ahead on Thursday, September 22. Come enjoy a complimentary lunch at noon and then see how high fashion will inspire and translate into home interiors and accessories in the year ahead. Educational Sponsor: Olliix #AtlMkt

Images courtesy of WGSN. For more information, visit wgsn.com.

Crossroads of Design

By Christina O’Flaherty

Retail and design intersect in the latest iteration of AmericasMart’s celebrated vignette design exhibition revealed this past July. The Retail Meets Design Exhibition features vignettes curated by the Southeast’s top design retailers who created their spaces with products sourced at AmericasMart. The spaces express each designer’s unique take on how interior design influences retail to showcase that it’s all here in Atlanta.

Vignette design by Steve McKenzie

Vignette design by Steve McKenzie

Steve McKenzie’s (steve mckenzie’s)
“Usually I don’t infuse a lot of glamour into my interiors,” says Steve, “and the vignette was a great way to experiment.”

Vignette design by Ann Huff and Meg Harrington

Vignette design by Ann Huff and Meg Harrington

Ann Huff & Meg Harrington (Huff Harrington)
“We wanted an elegant but peaceful environment made for daydreaming,” say Meg and Ann, “and a quiet joie de vivre.”

Vignette design by Paige Schnell

Vignette design by Paige Schnell

Paige Schnell (Tracery Interiors)
“We love strong design,” says Paige. “We wanted some rich color to balance the black and white, and we were inspired by some [pink] peonies we had in a vase.”

Vignette design by Susan Victor and John Ishmael

Vignette design by Susan Victor and John Ishmael

Susan Victor & John Ishmael (Nandina Home & Design)
“True to our brand statement of ‘real life, real style,’ we wanted to create a room that would wow you with style but would also function perfectly in real life,” says Susan and John.

Vignette design by Nina Nash and Jared Hughes

Vignette design by Nina Nash and Jared Hughes

Nina Nash & Jared Hughes’s (Mathews Furniture + Design)
“We felt creatively drawn to the ‘Silk Road’,” say Nina and Jared, “where inspiration from across Asia and northern Africa can be felt.”

Vignette Design by Rozanne Jackson

Vignette Design by Rozanne Jackson

Rozanne Jackson (The Iron Gate)
“The inspiration behind our designer vignette is a blooming garden at midnight. The organic element of hand-formed ceramics adds a nice contrast to the elegance of the furnishings,” says Rozanne Jackson.

The vignettes are sponsored by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Restylesource, Castelle, CODARUS, Currey & Company, Jaipur Living, Oly, Up Country Home and VIETRI. Visit the display in Building 1, Floor 14, 14-D-9, during Fall Design Week Featuring Atlanta Gourmet & Gift, September 19 – 23 and VOW | New World of Bridal, September 21 – 23. Stay tuned to AmericasMart.com/January this winter to be the first to see what’s in store for the designer vignettes this January!

 

The Great Outdoors

Consumers are spending for casual living options

Open any shelter magazine or turn on any home improvement show, and you’ll find talk about outdoor spaces. Whether it’s a prospective home buyer looking for the perfect backyard barbecue, a flipper adding some curb appeal or a designer creating usable recreation space for a growing family, Americans are spending more time—and more money—outdoors. Home builders and architects agree, as they face an ever-increasing demand for outdoor rooms and outdoor spaces for entertaining and recreation. Outdoor features are included in nine out of 10 newly constructed homes.

Outdoor FurnitureAs the demand for outdoor living grows, outdoor furniture sales continue to rise. Backed by rebounding home sales, low mortgage rates and rising consumer confidence, 2015 sales were projected to bring in an estimated $6.8 billion dollars, up 4.5 percent from 2014.

Dining sets continue to lead outdoor furniture sales, topping $2 billion last year and accounting for 48 percent of the market share. According to last year’s Casual Living’s Consumer Buying Trends Survey, 4.7 million households said they planned to purchase an outdoor dining set in 2015, with most spending between $100 and $399 for a set. While the majority of consumers look to home improvement centers and discount department stores when purchasing dining sets, furniture stores are seeing a marked increase in sales.

By ProductOne of the fastest growing segments in outdoor furniture is conversation or chat groups—akin to living room furniture for the outdoors—which may include a combination of chairs, love seats, ottomans and occasional tables, with some sets including fire pits. Households with incomes of $150,000 or more are the chief buyers of chat groups, and they are looking for high style and smart design.

Shade products are also experiencing substantial growth. Modern, movable and repositionable options allow for more comfortable outdoor experiences, while also protecting furniture from the harsh rays of the sun. Umbrellas, shade sails, gazebos and other shade items account for nearly $600 million in sales.

Garden oasis every day
Comfort and style shouldn’t be reserved for indoor rooms. Consumers’ continued desire for the same comfort and style outdoors as they demand inside is driving an industry to evolve and grow. As designers and retailers, you can capitalize on that concept year round by shopping The Gardens® floors at AmericasMart both during Markets and in between.

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There’s unlimited potential for home stores, hardware stores, garden centers, even gift stores to capitalize on the popularity of outdoor living. Think of all the potential customers. Families want to enjoy their decks. Empty nesters want a cozy porch to relax. And new homeowners are eager to build their own nest, complete with versatile outdoor entertaining spaces. Whether it’s furnishing a pool house, finding the perfect comfy chairs for a front porch, using a water feature to add life to a space, or building the perfect evening seating group around an outdoor fire pit, there are product lines at AmericasMart to please any client.

Floors 9 and 10 in Building 2 encompass 170,000 square feet of unique space that feature leading casual lifestyles and gardens companies in a one-of-a-kind outdoor living environment. The floor configuration and product mix encourages shopping for an array of high quality visual displays in a relaxed, vibrant atmosphere. During Markets, the floors provide inspiration down each pathway. And the opportunity is
available every day: Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Gardens® staff is always ready to help you find exactly what you need to place orders between Markets.


To learn more, attend What’s in? Going out! Trends for the Ultimate Outdoor Living Spaces presented by Modern Luxury Interiors Atlanta during Fall Design Week featuring Atlanta Gourmet & Gift, September 19 – 23, 2016. Educational Sponsor: Olliix.

For more information on The Gardens® Open Daily opportunities, visit AmericasMart.com or call 404.220.2030 to personally speak with a showroom manager.

Images provided by Windham Enterprises, Summer Classics, RATANA and Castelle.

The Daily Strut Sponsored by Esley Collection

By Briar Davis

During the June Atlanta Apparel, The Daily Strut sponsored by Esley Collection showcased a vibrant young contemporary collection of pieces that were perfect for any occasion. The collection included classic silhouettes, a bold use of patterns, feminine flair and other timely trends. Watch for the up and coming looks this season: denim, fringe, lace and more.

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The Daily Strut Sponsored By Gracia Fashion

By Briar Davis

Gracia Fashion sponsored one of The Daily Strut shows during the June Atlanta Apparel Market. The line showcased a timeless assortment of fashions in black and white along with a slew of fun pieces mixing solid color statements and brightly patterned styles. Be on the lookout for tiered ruffles, touches of lace and playful prints this season.

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