Top Design Trends Found at the Atlanta Furnishings Market
Comfort and nature serve as big influences for fall and winter products this year. Also watch for fresh shapes, textures and finishes.
With people spending more time within their own four walls this year, home has taken on new importance. At the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market held recently, offerings supported a pleasant, multifaceted and healthy home.
Here are seven trends that stood out:
1. Comfort at Home
Summer markets serve to introduce fall and winter products, and while comfort always plays a role in new offerings, there was an even bigger focus on it this year with everyone spending so much time at home these days.
From novelty pillows, throws, poufs and chair cushions, to warm neutral shades that work well with chunky knits, fringe, and nubby textiles, coziness was definitely showcased. Soothing tans, beiges, pale yellows, ivories, and mocha browns continued their comeback.
However, joyful, vibrant colors plucked from nature also made a strong showing at the market — soft lilacs, sky blues, terra-cotta reds, and Daffodil yellow.
2. Bringing Nature Into Design
Also known as Biophilic design, this trend focuses on bringing nature into your home through color, materials and shapes (in addition to live plants) to encourage health and wellness. Products that reflect this design strategy were prominently showcased at the market.
On display were gorgeous planters, attractive misters and watering cans, as well as other items related to indoor plants, such as terrariums, tools and other supplies that support tending to indoor gardens. In the kitchen, Biophilic design was represented by items like cute little pots for kitchen herb gardens and handcrafted live-edge cutting boards.
As far as artwork goes, Biophilic design made its presence known in maximalist floral prints on display — many vintage-feeling and inspired by English cottage gardens. These floral prints mesh perfectly with the popular cottagecore aesthetic, which embraces nostalgic woodland animals, old-fashioned cutting gardens, dreamlike moss- and fern-covered landscapes, and other settings that represent simpler times.
Floral prints were also seen on kitchen and dining room textiles, like dish towels, aprons, tablecloths, and even tea cozies. Lighthearted florals also made an appearance underfoot on rugs.
Natural woven textures, another way the outdoors is effectively brought inside the home, were found in furniture and accessories, such as wicker chairs and cabinets, lampshades, and serving trays.
3. Matte Finishes
While metallics still shone bright around the market, as they have for the last several years, matte finishes toned things down and added contrast this summer. The calm, flat finish complements both the previously mentioned trends, supporting coziness and natural design elements, and also serves as the perfect foundation for botanicals and vibrant color.
4. Light Wood Pieces
Whether bleached, whitewashed, having a limed finish, or just made from a light-colored species of wood, designers are embracing the arrival of light wood furniture. Light-colored pieces tend to bring a warm Scandinavian modern feel to furnishings and have the ability to update the look of a more traditional piece.
In addition, light-colored wood furniture fits well with popular modern cottage looks and transitional-coastal vibes. Overall, light wood does a fine job of amplifying the whole “stay home, feel comfy” atmosphere people are gravitating toward.
5. New Variations on the Tight-Back Sofa
Many brands are putting fresh spins on the classic tight-fixed-back sofa this year, and designers say this sofa style is one to keep your eye on. In addition to providing striking sculptural lines — almost doubling as a piece of freestanding sculptural art — these sofas provide comfort, rich color, classic staying power, and the potential to evolve design-wise, meaning they adapt well to different looks. Their simple shapes combined with clean upholstered lines allow them to fit into traditional or transitional spaces as well as more modern, streamlined rooms.
6. Sculptural Curves Combined With Pleats and Folds
Strong sculptural curves showed up on more than just furniture — they appeared on all kinds of furnishings, including daybeds, chairs, cabinets and shelves, and were oftentimes paired with pleated patterns and folded looks. In fact, a finalist in the Market Snapshot contest, which showcased innovative products from the event, featured a chair that mixed striking curves, a pleated texture, and a tall back that incorporated a folded look.
As people work towards finding a live-work balance in their homes, striking and unique storage pieces are moving to the forefront and taking on new importance. For many, it’s absolutely critical that work and schoolwork be stashed away at the end of the day when it’s time to unwind. Independent cabinets, shelves, bins and baskets help rooms accommodate multiple functions.
7. Bringing the Comfort of Indoors Outside
The last big trend that emerged was taking the comforts of familiar indoor spaces and applying them to the outdoors. Homeowners are longing to extend the coziness of their homes into their yards. Therefore, new outdoor furniture, lighting and other accessories to help make that possible were spotted throughout the market.
Notably, an impressive lineup of outdoor rug options in fresh colors and patterns were on hand, many inspired by bestselling designs for indoor rugs. To put it simply, indoor rug patterns are no longer reserved for formal indoor living spaces, and conversely, long-lasting outdoor rugs are no longer limited to patios and porches. With the merging of outdoor rug durability and interior rug stylings, this new crop of rugs can be used to dress up outdoor spaces as well as hold up in high-traffic interior spaces.