We’re dreaming of a brown Christmas

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Mud Pie’s newest holiday pillow collection includes several natural shades .

NEW YORK — Seasonal home décor is beginning to reflect consumers’ tastes year-round, and their holiday shopping habits are starting to reflect their values and beliefs.

So says trend expert Michelle Lamb, founder of the Trend Curve, who had a wide-ranging discussion about seasonal décor trends with Tom Mirabile, founder of Springboard Futures in “Color Cues,” a HomePage News video series produced by the International Housewares Association.

A greater emphasis on everyday décor has been broadening into the holidays, according to Lamb. “For instance, if brown is important in everyday décor — and it is increasingly important, whether the shade is beige all the way to milk chocolate — if that is what is going on, we will absolutely see that in Christmas palettes,” she said.

Consumers have moved from a sense of fragility in the early days of the pandemic to a growing sense of impatience now. Tired of having holidays upended or truncated in some way by public health concerns, consumers are ready to celebrate the way they did in the time prior to COVID, Lamb said.

Lamb expects seasonal shopping to start earlier this year, just as it has for the past two years. You can point to supply chain or other issues, said Lamb, but it also goes back to consumer impatience and the need for enjoyment.

“We want things to enjoy. So many people were flummoxed this Christmas. We thought this was ‘the one.’ [We thought] we’d be able to get out there and do everything we wanted to do. It didn’t really happen that way. Holidays are an excuse for enjoying yourself, so why not start early?”

When asked by Mirabile whether there were any other emotional touchpoints that retailers should be aware of, Lamb replied, “Nothing is predictable, and yet it is our job to predict. Just as everyday styles and palettes are moving into the holidays, we’re seeing everyday topics move into the holidays.

“Case in point: diversity and inclusion. This is something absolutely on the emotional radar of people shopping for the holidays. They are not looking for the predictable Santa Claus. If they are shopping for a Santa Claus, perhaps they are shopping for a Santa Claus that speaks to different cultures, or different motifs that are cultural touchpoints for some numbers of consumers.

“Consumers are also very interested in sustainability. This is another reason for brown to be as prominent as it is and will be in future palettes. If retailers are looking for emotion, it has to be bigger than ‘I feel anxiety’ or ‘I feel fragile.’ It also has to be, ‘I feel part of society in this way … and I want to express that in some way. It may not be overt, but it will be expressed in some way.”


See also:

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