Retail buyers and stylists from around Australia will be flocking to Melbourne next month to see the latest in homeware and giftware products from more than 50 categories at the Home & Giving Fair.
Eryn Behan, managing director at trend forecasters Ginger Trend Consulting, says the fair is the best place to see products showcasing the upcoming homewares and interiors trends for Summer 2011/12.
She says the trends for raw, natural and organic materials will continue into the warmer months, as consumers choose furniture and soft furnishings which bring the outside indoors and showcase sustainable materials and techniques.
“This trend is a long-term one – consumers have an increased awareness of their eco footprint and also want natural and more relaxed surrounds as work-life balance becomes more important – we want our homes to be havens,” she said.
For summer, these natural looks will focus on earthy tones and wood grain finishes, with soft lemon being a key colour for the season. “Interior spaces are becoming more open and we’re seeing natural light become a key feature of new home designs and renovations, all in line with bringing the outside in,” said Behan.
Another key trend for the summer is the use of patterns to create colour and interest in soft furnishings throughout the house, from exotic cultures to retro revisited. “Psychedelic seventies-inspired patterns with a contemporary twist are emerging, with mauve being a key colour in the palette along with other pastel hues.The retro seventies inspiration also extends to the shape of furniture and the use of materials such as plywood.”
Soft furnishings are a budget-friendly way to update the look of your home for the new season, with Behan identifying cultural influences such as Moroccan and Indian also emerging in the fabrics and patterns for everything from cushions and bedspreads to curtains. “Consider using warm tones in neutral colours against sharp earthy pinks, jade greens, desert yellows or a deep Mexican red,” she said.
Featuring a broad range of exhibitors, including Australia’s leading suppliers of gift and homewares and unique new suppliers at the fair for the first time, the Home & Giving Fair will showcase everything from soft furnishings to stationery, toys to electronics and fashion accessories to furniture. This annual fair is a must attend if you’re looking to get first hand knowledge of upcoming trends in homewares and gifts, and to see the latest new products before the hit the shelves.