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New York NOW Trade Show Puts Design In the Spotlight


New York’s largest home and lifestyle trade show, ‘New York Now,’ is currently showing at the expansive Javits Center on the city’s West Side. Organizers brand the industry-only show as the ‘premier event for home, lifestyle, and handcrafted merchandise.’ With nearly 3,000 companies exhibiting close to 100,000 products, you can understand why.

Formerly called the ‘New York Gift Show’ the event is tailored towards those in the boutique retail industry to see and pre-order the hottest products for the upcoming holiday season. For interior designers, such as myself, it’s also a great place to gain insight into areas of the home industry that will be featured and trending in stores over the coming months.

The show, as I saw it, can be broken down into three key thematic motifs. Renee Hytry of Formica coined the following titles in a “Morning Colors Forecast” seminar given at the event:

  • CORE ~ 2014’s main color themes for large furnishings and general décor are calling for a reduction to the essential. This is expressed through fabrics like denim, linen, leather, and concrete-like materials. These fabrics pave the way to a palette of greys, browns and tonal-blues.

  • IMPULSE ~ This theme represents the fabulous POPS of color that compliment the CORE story so well. Here, we’re talking oranges, reds, poolside blues and spontaneous summery hues. This trend manifests itself in pared down mid-century modern shapes in furnishings and colored LED lighting.

  • REAL ~ This is the theme of green, natural and sustainable thought; a backlash against artificiality, if you will. Objects within this category have a rustic, hand-made, or natural aesthetic in muted colors like old rose, moss green and copper. Patterns and textures are derived from nature such as nude wood and seaweed-like laser cutouts.

As Renee so correctly pointed out, the rise of a trend doesn’t mean the immediate death of prior trends, especially within the home furnishings arena. The reality here is that no one wants, or can afford, to change a sofa with the same frequency as they change an item of clothing! The gradual rise and fall of trends does, however, signal a cultural turning point from whence we start to see ideas and aesthetics move in new and exciting directions.

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