5 Home Trends to Watch from High Point Market
Biophilic design. Craftivism. Traditional reinterpreted. These were just a few of the design trends bandied about at the recent High Point Market. The home furnishings and decor trade show, held in April and October in High Point, North Carolina, offers a glimpse into the future of home via new products and the vision of trend forecasters and interior designers who attend in droves.
And while some of the trends at this market were brand-new, others have been percolating for several seasons now, a shift from the pace of change in years past.
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“I don’t think color is moving as quickly as it used to,” said Jaye Anna Mize, vice president, home and lifestyle, Fashion Snoops. “Trends in general are not moving as quickly—it’s not season to season anymore, it’s almost seasonless.”
That said, Mize and other trend spotters identified several shifts shaping the future of home design.
The focus on craft and artisanal processes has been trending for several seasons now, but that maker movement is taking on a more socially conscious slant with “craftivism.” Through craftivism, makers use their talents to start conversations around social justice and mental health.
“Community activism is expanding into the craft world, with makers using their medium of choice to start the conversation around race, mental health and global issues,” said Samantha Noonan, design account executive, Sherwin Williams.
This trend plays out in multiple ways, from the focus on using organic or recycled materials to make a statement about sustainability and circularity to an increased awareness and conversation about cultural appropriation in motifs and designs used on products. This movement also is characterized by an increased emphasis on fair trade production and supporting and uplifting artisans from marginalized communities.
Since the onset of the pandemic, nature has been a huge influence on home design, and that expands further with biophilic design principles coming into greater prominence. Makers and designers are pushing the boundaries of incorporating nature in the home beyond earth-inspired colors and botanical or floral patterns—new materials incorporate items from nature, increasing sustainability and the connection to the outside world.
“We’re seeing biophilic influences in design and architecture through an increasing preference for sustainable systems and products, things created using Earth-friendly processes and designed to last a lifetime and minimize waste,” Noonan said. “So you see things like seafood waste such as oyster shells integrated in bio-composites for interior products and surfaces.”
The use of more natural, untouched materials such as stone and wood continues, and organic, nature-inspired shapes also remain on trend.
“We’ll see marble minerals in soft bio-human colors that are explored on interior products and surface materials,” Noonan said. “We’ll see natural wood grains where wood is cross-cut and spliced to enhance natural fibers.”
The marriage of sustainability and wellness
Both sustainability and wellness in the home have been major trends in the seasons since the onset of the pandemic, and Mize said she’s seeing these two concepts further combine in a way that hasn’t happened in the past.
“There’s a huge development in healthy living, and the consumer wants everything around them to be healthy—the pandemic sped that up,” she said. “I can’t remember seeing two consumer moments merge into one the way sustainability and wellness are now.”
That plays out in the desire for organic, chemical-free products, particularly textiles.
“Textiles are really leading in sustainability and wellness—people don’t want to sleep on chemicals,” Mize said. “And textile companies are leading the charge to get rid of things like formaldehyde and PFAS.”
Color-wise, one of the biggest hues for the coming season also feels perhaps the most unlikely in the home: Purple. The color shows up in a range of shades from the palest lavender in Sherwin Williams’ Wallflower to a rich jewel tone in the company’s Fabulous Grape.
“[Pantone’s] Digital Lavender has a bit of a retro touch,” Mize said. She also pointed to purple as a cast in other color families, such as brown.
“These new browns don’t feel as gray casted as the taupe generation,” she said. “A lot of them are actually purple casted, so you feel like you’ve dug into the earth and found some of these warm, organic hues, which are really lovely.”
Looking at other color trends, Mize said brown continues to come on strong, with consumers shifting away from black, white and gray. And hues that tap into other trends, such as sustainability and wellness, also continue to be important.
“Calming light blue—that’s a staple color,” she said. “We love these compost greens and olive greens coming into the forefront. We’re actually predicting olive will take the place of navy in a lot of places and become a new neutral.”
With the chaotic nature of the world over the past few years, consumers have been craving stability and comfort, leading to a boon in nostalgia and traditional styles for the home. But that doesn’t mean everyone’s filling their homes with antiques or going full-on grannycore.
Traditional design styles and motifs are showing up with an updated take—perhaps a classic silhouette in a fresh color or a vintage piece updated with contemporary fabrics.
“We’re having a heavy moment of a return to tradition in a more contemporary, classic feel than we’ve had in the past,” Mize said. “Traditional kind of merged into rustic for a while there for a kind of farmhouse feel. Now we’re seeing a lot more cleaner applications to tradition, particularly because younger generations are gravitating to those secondhand movements, looking for updates to midcentury modern, updates to those classic furniture applications.”
This trend also plays into sustainability, with younger generations in particular turning to vintage or re-used furnishings to not only potentially save money, but also contribute to a more circular lifecycle for home goods.
“It’s not just antiques—there really is a huge market for re-used furniture as long as it was a quality piece,” said Christian Daw, interior designer, Christian Daw Design. “The ability to reuse something or re-stuff it or add new back cushions on a sectional—if you can do it locally, it’s so great.”
Mize said many of these trends have already hit the fashion and beauty industries, making their adoption in the home almost inevitable.
“A lot of fashion companies are leading the forefront on these movements,” she said. “I’m often asked how fashion trickles into home, and I think one of the biggest ways we see that with colors and patterns and sustainability.”