‘Trend Hopping’ Seen Among Latest Emerging Trends

by WOHe

‘Trend Hopping’ Seen Among Latest Emerging
Trends

COLOGNEThe post-Sept. 11 world is radically changing homeowners’
views about their homes, the role of interior design and the
products they prefer inside their dwellings. It is also changing
the very notion of the word “trend” with the result being that
interior design “trends” may well be dead, replaced by a new
tendency: “trend hopping.”

That was one of the conclusions that emerged last month from the
International Furniture Fair 2002, the massive, week-long trade
show conducted annually in Cologne. The show which this year
featured the products of nearly 1,500 suppliers from almost 50
countries is widely viewed as the pre-eminent showcase for the
international furniture and interior design industries. The show
also frequently serves as a precursor to major trends in the U.S.,
including those in the kitchen and bath industry.

According to show sponsors, interior design professionals,
including kitchen/bath specialists, can look forward to a period of
swift and profound change in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks on America.

“A period of great change, of awakening, is on the horizon,”
show sponsors said. “The changes in our society will also bring
about a process of reorientation [among consumers].

“Changes in both the economic and social arenas are leading to
new types of living, new approaches, new attitudes and ways of
experiencing space and buildings. The world is in motion, markets
are changing, people feel different,” show sponsors added.
International Furniture Fair sponsors pointed to an increased
emphasis on personalized, quality design within the home. “Most
people associate a beautiful home with happiness,” they said.
“Dangers, complexities and the hum-drum of daily life can all be
forgotten in a harmonious home.”

Among the current movements driving consumer purchasing
tendencies, sponsors commented, are the following:

  • “Trend hopping” has become an important movement among today’s
    consumers.

    “This means cherry-picking the best aspects from the wide range of
    trends and fashions available,” show sponsors commented, adding
    that the personal style chosen by homeowners is often “as
    individual as a fingerprint.”

    “It is becoming increasingly clear that people are interested in
    selecting products from the broad range of furniture available to
    create their own individual mix for their homes,” International
    Furniture Fair sponsors added. “In other words, we can no longer
    talk about uniform trends.”
     

  • There is an overall “broadening” of consumer tastes. “Cultures
    that in the past were very foreign are now of interest, and
    are 
    considered exciting,” show sponsors observed. “The result is a
    cross-over style of interior design, perhaps featuring elements of
    traditional Oriental and European lifestyles.

    “People now take pleasure in integrating extensive, diverse styles
    into the way they design their home and live their life.”
     

  • Overall, two main design tendencies took center stage at the
    show: revival and retro designs from the 1970s and classic
    constructivist designs from the Europe of the 1950s and classic
    Japanese rationalism.
  • Simple forms, no frills and extremely solid materials “are the
    order of the day,” show sponsors have noted.
     
  • In addition to simplicity, multi-functionality and convenience
    “still play a major role in purchasing decisions,” it was
    observed. 
    “Flexible needs, the desire for individual design and the interest
    of many consumers in multi-functionality are all successfully
    reflected in many new designs.”
  • Sophistication, simplification, detail and cleverly designed
    fittings that are no longer visible were also seen as current
    consumer preferences. In addition, the growing popularity of “cult”
    furniture will see designers exercising an imaginative, innovative,
    “playful” side by continuing to introduce to interior design
    materials that are common outside the home, show sponsors
    said.

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