1stdibs, the global marketplace for antiques and one-of-a-kind furniture and decorative accessories, art, jewelry, vintage fashions and objects d’art, just released its Interior Designer Trends Survey.
Tapping the insights from its 40,000 designer members of its 1stdibs Trade Program, it reveals the design trends that its members believe will take center stage this year for the most discerning clients that these designers serve. The designers also shared what design trends will fade and morph in 2018.
“This group is responsible for putting together some of the most beautiful spaces throughout the world,” said Sarah Liebel, general manager of the 1stdibs Trade Program. “We are thrilled that we are able to share their predictions for interior design in 2018.”
Here’s a look at what’s hot and what’s not for design in 2018, plus what designers advise for working with clients this year:
What’s Hot in Design Trends for 2018
When asked about trends in color, materials and finishes, purchasing patterns (preowned versus new), furniture styles, patterns and motifs from the past year, the surveyed designers had the following to say:
- More color: Gray is fading away, as designers see a trend toward more color, warmer tones and brighter shades. Jewel tones top the list of on trend colors, with designers predicting shades of teal, eggplant and emerald green as prime choices for 2018.
- Be modern, be contemporary: Contemporary design projects are increasingly in demand. Modern dominated four of the top five styles designers report planning to use in 2018. Art Deco and vintage were also popular choices, but trailing behind contemporary and modern styles.
- New textures: Velvet and stone are the textural elements that are on the rise, as brushed metals (for example, bronze and copper) appear to be waning in popularity this year.
- Geometric patterns and nature: Geometric patterns and nature motifs, such as florals, will be hot this year.
- Individuality: Designers’ clients want one-of-a-kind pieces that express their individuality and personal style. Artisan crafts are an important element to help them realize that expression.
“This year we anticipate clients taking more chances by focusing on composition,” said Charles Fletcher, Principal, De Choix. Design. “Exploring unexpected connections between furniture and other design elements will give your space stunning results.”
Design trends that are fading this year and how they are evolving include:
- Minimalism gives way to Complexity: While modern design maintains popularity, designers see more complexity in both color and details coming into vogue versus the minimalist style popular recently.
- Millennial Pink over: The once-loved Millennial Pink dropped sharply in popularity.
- Metal finishes out: Brass, nickel and other metals, such as chrome, were materials most designers reported they expect to see fall out of favor.
Working with Clients
With more complexity in design on tap with greater emphasis on creating unique personal statements for their clients, designers are turning more often to 1stdibs as a valuable design resource with its 500,000 unique finds from dealers and artisans all over the world.
“Most people want authenticity in their lives, and most especially in their homes. Home is the expression of one’s personality and interests. The objects in our marketplace are different than what everyone else has. Our customers don’t want their homes to look like a page out of a catalog or the same furnishings you can buy in a furniture store. All 5 million of our customers can buy something truly unique and different on 1stdibs,” said David Rosenblatt, 1stdibs CEO.
- Listen & Learn: Designers said the biggest mistake clients make is not listening to or trusting their designers. The solution for this is for designers to listen more carefully and attentively to their client’s. That first client interview is vitally important. Designers have to structure that first interview so that the clients do most of the talking and they do most of the listening. That will establish a relationship of trust with clients so that when it is time for the designers to share their design interpretation of the clients’ needs and vision, they will be ready to listen.
- Educate: Another mistake clients’ make is putting quantity over quality. For this designers must demonstrate the real value of quality choices so that clients have the information to help them choose properly. Clients don’t necessarily understand the intricacies of quality design. Designers’ job is to educate them.
- Interpret fads for the person: This will also help designers with another client problem, which is following fads too closely. They need help with exploring their own personal style, not just what is trendy in the magazines or other places clients look for inspiration. Designers must act as their clients’ guide and interpreter for how the latest fads can be adapted to their spaces and lifestyle.
- Help them make the right choice: In working with clients, designers are challenged with budgeting properly. For this the solution is to offer a selection of good-better-best with budget to match. Nine times out of ten, the client will choose the ‘better’ option, so that is where designers need to focus.
- Give best value: For the greatest design ‘bang for the buck,’ designers advise their clients to invest the most in a quality sofa, followed by a dining table and art. By contrast, mirrors, sideboards and sculptures took a back seat as being a good investment for their clients.
Marketing the Luxury of Interior Design
Interior designers face disruption in their traditional businesses. Disruption is arising as a result of greater competition from retailers moving upscale with more sophisticated design resources (RH, Crate & Barrel), offering complimentary design services (Ethan Allen, Pottery Barn, West Elm), and emerging new-age internet etailers and services (Wayfair.com, Havenly.com). What these competitors share is expert marketing.
Complicating matters further, consumers are increasingly taking a do-it-yourself approach to home design and decorating challenges, empowered by HGTV and other sources of information that portray a oversimplified and unrealistic picture of home improvement projects.
To win in this new marketplace, designers must be exceptional marketers as well as exceptional designers.
Designers dedicated to providing customized, professional interior design services need new marketing strategies to succeed in today’s competitive and complex market. To win in this new marketplace, designers must be exceptional marketers as well as exceptional designers.
This book, Marketing the Luxury of Interior Design, is a designer’s guide to marketing success. Based upon research that author Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, is known for, this book identifies the best clients for interior designer services and reveals how to reach the target customer with branding and marketing that connects.
With a foreword by Cary Kravet, President and CEO of Kravet Inc., a leader in to-the-trade design resources, this book helps prepare interior designers to be more proficient and effective marketers as they confront today’s changing market for professional interior design services.