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Talking to Resene’s Karen Warman about sales of interior products confirms that the weather continues to have an effect on the type of work being done by Kiwis at home.
“The effect of the weather on interior vs exterior painting has probably been more noticeable in the last few months than it has in previous years,” Warman explains.
“With the excellent weather in January and February we saw more decorators tackling exterior projects, and the sales balance shifted more towards those products. As the weather starts to cool and worsen coming into winter, we expect to see more of the interior painting projects which were put off earlier in the year.”
I also asked Karen Warman what other interior trends she feels are making waves. “Interior painting is now moving beyond just the walls as more decorators start to upcycle furniture and use paint as a quick makeover option for cabinetry, and products like Seratone and Melteca where the decorator needs a fresh new look but doesn’t want to commit to a complete replacement,” she says.
Resene’s Warman also says that wallpaper continues to be a good choice for feature walls though there may be some division with some decorators moving to colour blocking as a new twist on feature walls.
CURTAINS FOR COLOURPLUS
Another who has done well with wallpaper in recent years is ColourPlus’ David Ryan who however admits that this product may have taken a small dip.
“The market for wallpaper has been a little softer in recent months, partly due to the slowdown in Christchurch particularly in repair,” Ryan says. “There is the odd housebuilding company out there that uses wallpaper but mostly new homes are painted from top to bottom and it seems to be a preferred finish still.”
In terms of the broader business, Ryan comments that the last 12 months for ColourPlus have been “a bit of a rollercoaster with a strong autumn, soft winter and spring, and a strong summer” and is happy to report store numbers holding strong at 29 nationwide.
While ColourPlus’ paint and wallpaper business seems to be prone to fluctuation, a consistent winner for the company has been its blind and curtain business, with custom curtain solutions in particular continuing to provide ColourPlus with a point of difference that sets them apart from larger retailers.
“The custom curtain business in New Zealand is still very strong even though it’s quite expensive and takes time. It’s quite a process but that suits our type of store because of the bespoke nature of it and, because of the way we have historically built houses in New Zealand, every window is different.
“In Europe the ready-made curtain market is very strong as the variety of window shapes isn’t there and the big population means you can afford to make a huge range of readymade curtains whereas here we just couldn’t possible do that,” Ryan explains.
For now the limitations of New Zealand’s small market are working in favour of specialised players like ColourPlus when offering custom curtain solutions.
“That is one aspect of our industry that requires refinement as it is quite a labour intensive. But the good thing is that the big retail chains would struggle with the process which involves a consultant measuring at someone’s house. So it’s a lengthy and skilled procedure that suits us better than the big box stores,” says David Ryan.
Ryan explains that another advantage of the custom curtain process is that it can establish the entire aesthetic for a home, including paint and other interior furnishings. This almost holistic approach to offering advice to their customers seems to be another strength that specialist interior stores like ColourPlus can offer.
“It’s a good niche for us as people are spending a lot of money on those curtains and are wanting good interior design advice to go with them around colour, fabrics, wallpapers and what goes with what,” Ryan says.
“So it’s more interior decorating advice, as opposed to just product advice, because customers are investing a lot of money in custom made curtains and wallpapers and want them to look fantastic in the home. And while our people aren’t interior designers, they are well skilled in helping people achieve a really good look that will last a long time,” Ryan explains.
So it sounds like this very hands-on approach is working for ColourPlus – proof that there is life outside the big boxes if you can meet the needs of Kiwis who are serious about their interior space.
Interior trends for 2015 and beyond
Starting locally, and in the present and near future, several major players give their thoughts on what is hot now and will be trending in the next 12 months and beyond.
Dulux (Jessica Blake): Key palettes for the coming season.
• Silent Shift: Delicate pastel hues with subtle, tonal patterns to create a space for rest and quiet; simple curves and block colours in cosmetic hues create a dreamlike space for the quiet moments.
• Wildland: This embraces the human need to connect with our untamed landscape - colours of inky blues and earthy grey beiges but with light and dark contrast. This colour theme also takes inspiration from primitive materials such as timber, stone, leather and fur.
• Earthwerks: This explores the desire to have greenery in our homes and workspaces - the urge to get our hands dirty. This palette draws from greens and mineral hues.
• Modhaus: This palette draws from Memphis design of the 80s. Contrasting bold colour blocks spliced between graphic patterns and geometric shapes that repeat - this order balances the play with colour.
Resene (Karen Warman): “Greige” all the go?
“While there is a trend to some creams, such as Resene Clotted Cream, we’re still seeing a strong trend towards neutrals with a hint of green in them, such as Resene Thorndon Cream and ‘greige’ on the upswing as beige hues move to greyed off versions. Beige is still big, but greige offers a new sleeker alternative for those looking for something new.”
ColourPlus (Victoria Burnette): Big pictures looks & styles.
• Faux finishes such as distressed wood, brick walls.
• Industrial chic.
• Large scale floral designs, watercolour effects.
• Duck egg blue still hugely popular, a great “base” colour to build on.
• Black and gold colour combinations.
• Metallics, with copper especially strong this season.
• Cool, soft greys with yellow/mustard accents.
• Light and bright – flooring, walls and furniture in white and pale wood tones.
IKEA (Marcus Engman via Fast Company): The home in 2020.
IKEA head designer Marcus Engman recently spoke to future oriented business magazine Fast Company to give his top predictions for the key home trends we may see by 2020. Here’s a round-up:
• The fluid home: Increasingly smaller homes means that traditional models like a couch and a TV for the lounge and a bed and set of drawers for the bedroom may be replaced by items that can crossover into day and night and blur those traditional lines. Engman reports that day beds are already beginning to replace couches in terms of popularity in Ikea’s sales.
• Furniture that does more: Like the humble stool… “You can use it as a bedside table, a seat, an end table, or a step ladder, and you can easily design them to be nestable.”
• The death of storage: Less room, coupled with the space saving advantages of digital music, books and video, means that displaying beautiful objects rather than storing CDs, books etc will be the focus in future. So think glass cabinets and open shelves rather than chest of drawers and CD racks.
• Smarter furniture: Products like lamps that can charge your gadgets wirelessly are already available from IKEA and this trend looks ready to continue.
• Flat design: IKEA and its competitors are currently working on making furniture that packs even flatter for shipping to further reduce transportation costs.
• Personalisation: Whether it’s uploading your own images (see Resene’s WallPrint application on page 33) or selling unique designs on a mass scale, personalising furniture and interiors affordably is an area of massive interest for the likes of IKEA.
• Weird fabrics weird sensations: Touching mobile device screens is boring and not what people want. IKEA’s Engman believes “weird” fabrics and textiles that offer new tactile sensations could be a big thing for the future home.
Go to this shortened link for the full article at Fast Company – http://bit.ly/18yzExf