So truth be told, I actually loathe trends. I personally value quality and longevity. That being said, who doesn’t love a trend report? I, therefore, acquiesce to the trends. For the sake of hating the word, I’ll use patterns instead. This article will cover the fabric, frame, finish and color stories we saw last year and what I predict we will see going forward.
Just a little bit about our boutique company. Our clients are prestigious established design firms, young hip design firms and also individual consumers (at a different price point, we protect our designers). What the designers purchase, and the consumers purchase vary slightly. When we track buying trends, we do it by cataloging a cutting of each fabric used in every project. We also track the finishes that are ordered and the frames we are selling. The best way we can determine the market is by evaluating the custom work our design clients have us fabricate. These are usually items they can’t find in the current market. When we see repeat requests for an item, we are likely to put it into our line.
For example, we were asked by two design firms in one week to produce a specific style of bed. That designer bed will soon be part of the line. We don’t pay too much attention to what other companies are doing. Originality is the key and being on the cusp rather than a follower is more appealing. We listen to all of our clients. They are the best source of pattern discovery.
Let’s get on with it.
We will start with fabric. What are trending upholstery choices? We have good stuff out there.
Velvets are still popular, but I’m really seeing a huge demand for stylish, durable performance fabrics. We are adding them to the line monthly. Crypton even has a velvet that is marvelous.
Linen also continues to be popular, and with new Crypton linens and other performance textures that mimic linen, this is a strong pattern that will continue into 2018.
Performance fabrics, in general, are probably the biggest trend. I remember the first Cryptons we used 9 yrs ago. They had a thick backing and were stiff. They didn’t let the cushions breathe and made for a firm, crunchy sit. The new Cryptons are soft and they now come in an array of textures. Other performance lines also have washable twills that work for the farmhouse and coastal movement.
Everything we carry also has a commercial rating for durability by having at least 30,000 Wyzenbeek double rubs. What is that you ask? Wyzenbeek is the flagship abrasion test for fabrics. A fabric is put on a machine that rubs the fabric along the warp and weft until two yarn breaks occur. When a fabric has a rating of 30,000 double rubs, it is considered sturdy enough for a commercial application. 15,000 is the standard for a residential application. It is pretty important to specifically use an excellent abrasion test fabric on high use upholstery.
Designers are extremely aware and are diligent about using fabrics in this category.
We predict the increased usage of leather as well. We don’t really know why, but we are seeing more and more people using it.
We have covered fabric content and construction, you still need to select colors to make a Crypton sofa! I find this to be very entertaining. Light neutrals like cream and greige were very popular, and I don’t see that slowing down next year. Blues of every color were also ubiquitous. I don’t see that changing either. We did a lot of gray this year, but I think that will slow a bit next year.
I Instagrammed about purple one week before Pantone announced the color and that was not the first post. We did a decent amount of pink and purple this year. I think that will continue into next year since the Pantone COTY was Ultra Violet. We also saw orange and green in smaller consistent doses. I think green will stay and orange may fade in 2018.
What will we see this year? I predict emerging warmer neutrals like camel and brown. I think ivory and shades of blue will also continue to be strong. I really want to see red back, but I’ve been hoping for that the past 2 years. I don’t know if my personal yearning holds any concrete evidence. I just like red.
What about the styles and finishes. Well, we did a ton of gray finishes this year and a lot of crème and black. We had to add a couple “grays” to the line. Dark brown finishes were still used a lot. Especially ones with a gray undertone vs. a red. I think we will see more ivory and lighter gray browns for next year. Red or orange browns still remain “out.” I think lighter wood finishes will also increase in use for next year.
What sold this year in frame styles? What will be popular next year?
This year we saw clean-lined classics as probably the number one “trend” (I used it… UGH). I don’t see that changing going into next year. We did a lot of tufting, but I think that could taper slightly. It is always a classic and really never goes out. Tufting is an elegant look, and I think there is an overall movement towards casual. Which leads me to the use of slip covers.
I have to admit hating this look 9 yrs ago. I’m now fully on board. The styling is so much better, and the fabric options are incredible. We’ve added several slipped frames to our line. Actually, almost any of our frames can be slipcovered.
We partnered with Erin Gates of Elements of Style and did a new slipped sectional for the line, called the Cape Cod. Check it out, it is awesome. Erin has great design instinct. We have also added a fabulous new washable performance twill in several colors to the options. It is amazing!!!
These fabrics can be washed on the delicate cycle with cold water accompanied with laundry detergent and bleach. After the wash is complete, dry your fabric on low heat for 10 minutes. Plus it is soft. It doesn’t get any better than that. You don’t have to limit the use to slip covers. It can be used anywhere.
We were asked to do a lot more metal frames. I think mixed media, in general, is something I saw all over Fall HP and we are seeing it in our factory as well. We’ve added several pieces to the collection. I just don’t see this going away anytime soon.
That wraps up our reporting. Feel free to follow us on Instagram @kristindrohan for the most up to date info and gorgeous lifestyle photos featuring our products. Also, visit our website www.kristindrohancollection to see all the new stuff.