Trend spotting at the furniture show

Having recently attended the January Furniture Show, delayed until April due to Covid restrictions, I took it upon myself to do some trend spotting. Being the UK’s largest and most prominent furniture show, where better place to do it?

Although it was delayed and far smaller than previous years, the 2022 show was still well worth attending. Based in Birmingham’s NEC, ordinarily taking up 5 large halls, it is a fair distance from little Seaford but worth the long drive once a year. Some of the more prominent manufacturers such as Parker Knoll, G-Plan and TCH were not in attendance, but this gave greater provenance to the smaller, sometimes overlooked, manufacturers. There was a pleasure in this as I discovered some new suppliers worth considering in the future. There’s no harm in bringing new and exciting products to our customers!

Bring colour back to your home

Many of the latest trends were displayed in a variety of colours. Stylistically, there was not a great deal of ‘mould breaking’ this year, but that is to be expected when you consider that we are not long out of Covid restrictions and, some countries, are still experiencing it. That said, there was some stand out colours moving forward into the 22-23 season. A heavy focus on deep bottle green was featured across many stands. The colour is a favourite of mine. Dusky pinks seem to still have a position but to a lesser extent than in previous years. A pleasant surprise would have to be some more earthy colour options appearing, such as terracotta and pastel greens. Brighter blues and even the occasional yellow also featured, something I didn’t expect but was pleased to see some new and exciting colours on the stands. Dare I say it, grey has somewhat faded off into the distance, which is a welcomed change. It would be fair to say that the pallet of colours available to consumers is growing. I regret not photographing this, but one stand was full of paisley patterned furniture – the whole stand! Whilst I wouldn’t want to comment on the desire for that cover style, it was definitely a standout in my view.

Cabinet furniture

Upholstery aside, the cabinet furniture section remained relatively unchanged. It seems the UK has settled on the styles they like, and that’s that. The familiar oak options were plentiful and in varying degrees of qualities and shades; there’s no surprise there. Some more ‘Nordic’ options were coming to the forefront with ash-coloured tops, but these are not revolutionary. I had noticed a trend in the switch from bulky oak options to a more minimalistic approach; more on that below. Pleasingly, there were some more modern designs around, which is a big step for cabinet furniture.

Accessories for the home

Accessories wise, JFS did not disappoint. The Kettle Interiors stand was the busiest stand by far, although this may have had something to do with the fact they had a fully stocked bar – not that I indulged, of course. Cold beverages aside, they did have some wonderful accessories – everything from small lamps for side tables to full-length mirrors. It really did give me some excellent inspiration for dressing up our 4 floors of furniture. Likewise, exhibitors such as Gallery had suitable offerings of accessories for your home. Geometrical shapes, splashes of gold, bronzed items, and some marvellous ‘trinkets’ were all on display. Truthfully, I could have spent the whole day and a considerable sum of money in just the accessory hall. Luckily, I had another member of staff to reign me in.

Designed room sets

With the 2022 Furniture Show over, I think the next 12 months of trading will be interesting. A definite shift from ‘just’ displaying furniture in groups to designing full-blown room sets is evident for all to see. This allows exhibitors and retailers to not be qualified interior designers to get the best out of their stores. In turn, this gives customers that much-needed inspiration. Adding a small splash of gold or a few accessories makes the home feel far more luxurious for not too much money.

See you in 2023, JFS!