Thursday, January 19, 2012

Latest Design Trends from Americasmart

We just got back from Atlanta's Americasmart Gift & Home Design Show. WOW! Great show ... and we are bringing in some wonderful new lines for you. This show has over 4000 exhibitors showcased in four tall multistory buildings. I would guess that we traveled through about 50 floors of displays in five days. We bring back a lot of new ideas and a whole lot of new products reaching us over the next three months or so. More on these as they arrive.

We discovered several trends that were reflected in the market: "Made in America" is strong; bright colors, especially tangerine/orange are in; designing with antiques is going mainstream; and industrial chic has crept into just about everything from accessories to furniture to jewelry.

Made in America
Over the years we have been bringing in more American made product and this show gave us the opportunity to bring in even more. There was a whole section devoted to products from the USA. Most of the product, but not all, is handmade. We ordered some wonderful pottery from Southern California, magnetic DIY frame components from Michigan, reclaimed wood hearts from Georgia, fence post fish from Connecticut ... and more.

Color of the Year • Tangerine Tango
Every year Pantone designates a designer's "color of the year". This year it is a bright, luscious orange Tangerine Tango. The color is already reflected in a number of products from fashion to interiors to fabrics to accessories.

Antiques in Design
While antiques have been incorporated into design for centuries and such design themes as country and shabby chic utilize antique and vintage accents, we saw a real push toward antiques (and antique reproductions) making it into the mainstream of design at the show. The lifestyle reflected in these items is one of bringing much of the outdoors -- rugged furniture, weathered watering cans, old fence posts, etc. -- inside the dwelling. It can have a masculine feel when the primary shades are dark browns and greys, or a softer, feminine touch when age-worn shades of pink or green are added.

Industrial Chic
Steampunk and industrial elements have been in the designer's vocabulary for a couple of years now, but with the release of several industrial age movies in the past year (think Hugo for one), there are gears, mechanical gadgets and industrial hardware showing up everywhere. Much of these items utilize a mixture of materials, burlap and glass, iron and ceramic, silver and gold, painted surfaces and natural finishes. The design trend includes a wonderful juxtaposition of industrial items with modern gadgets.
The story behind the movie Hugo is an interesting one. It is based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Here are a couple of interesting images from the book and movie.

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