Now that the 2017 TISE Surfaces Event is in our rear view mirror, it’s an ideal time to pause and reflect on the predictions that were made, as well as the various new looks we spotted while at the show reflecting those trends. As any seasoned trend forecaster does, I enjoy finding the products representative of the recently published “Top 10 Flooring Trends” at Surfaces. Beyond the trends or products themselves, it’s important to consider the bigger picture of where and how it all fits in, how they might impact the marketplace and what changes could follow.
As TISE attendance and exhibitors go, I’m certain the numbers are larger than last year or the year before. What interests me most is the level of enthusiasm industry-friends showed when I asked them how the show was going. In walking about with squinted eyes, the basic palette certain looked muted but with a strong influence of blues. For example if there was a color line of eight to ten colors, there would be taupes, grays, off-whites, creamy whites, washed denimy-blues and saturated indigo blues. While the warm neutrals are found in longer colorlines, they were still veering far from the terracottas and yellow golds of years past. We can expect to see gradually more of the terracotta tiles to work their way into our world of design in the form of clay-like terracotta hues. Gray, taupe and mushroom are still the majority of the neutrals that I spotted and are still going to remain important for the next several years. While it takes years for trends to make their presence known, it also takes years for trends to recede…and keep in mind that gray has been so much more than a trend.
- Understated luxury…i.e. marbled effects
- Clean or zero grout lines, no visible wood grain for “uncluttered” living
- Global or travel inspired design movement.. layered rugs over sisal or hardwood
- Urban Farmhouse look which is a blend of rustic and reclaimed
- Hybrid traditional and modern details. Natural neutrals, keep things light.
- Wood has migrated up from the floor to the walls and ship lap boards.
- Danish design movement aka “hygge”, indicative of comfort, includes a rope-like yarns, matte, plastered or concrete finishes
- Jewel-tones + a set of new warm neutrals. Muted earth-tones, terracotta, camel & sand
- Blue, all shades of blue
- Open living floor plans
With the trends list in mind, consider this big thought which has been a topic of ongoing hot debate in our floor covering industry…”… Is hard surface going to eventually replace carpet or does carpet maintain a position in the floorcovering industry’s overall picture?”…I believe carpet not only holds its own, but through continual innovation and highly creative product development, carpet more than exceeds expectations fitting many of the “Top 10” trends, while enhancing and complementing the areas where only hard surfaces should be.
Carpet and rugs are literally a luxury to the senses as they are soft and quiet underfoot…and provide ample ways to express design statements through pattern and color. While this may sound like a biased opinion, it’s unbiased fact because the newest introductions in hard surfaces have become so well designed, offer a plethera of price points and aesthetics on which carpet and rugs can be positioned. Carpet and rugs can seamlessly flow or strategically delineate spaces within an interior as the perfect mate to the hard surface beneath, the all important “blank canvas”. Whether made by machine or by hand, many of the tufted and woven goods launched and expo’d at Surfaces were a delight to the senses amongst the beauty of the wood and stone visuals…not as a rose among thorns but as the “crowning touch”.
As our day to day lives get busier and under more pressure, our homes have transformed from being a “statement” of our style to become our sanctuaries. Consumers are looking for simplicity, serenity and comfort, looking for a place to unplug and reconnect with one another. Calming neutrals in natural textures and soft shapes reflect the simplistic comfort of the “Danish design” sensibility, also known as “Hygge” which is especially apparent in matte, delustered and chalky finished floors, soft fibers and furnishings. What goes better with luxurious materials like marble, aged gold or polished gold metallics? Concrete visuals, light-colored zero-gloss hardwoods, chalky pastels and quiet whites.
Today’s empowered consumers know they have a choice of what they do and don’t bring into their homes, and we as the designers, specifiers, providers, retailers and manufacturers can only do what’s smart…inform them as best we can and give them stunning and attainable options.