Category Archives: Trade Show Reports

We offer reports from the world’s best home interior and design trade shows for our clients. Here’s a snapshot of each report, for a full and detailed show report please enquire about our subscription service. Contact us via email at

Trade Show Report: NYIGF

The New York International Gift Fair ran August 2010 at the Javits Center in New York, USA. The show is a key destination for buyers and designers from around the world with 2,800 exhibitors and over 35,000 attendees. As we’ve reported from various other show, there is an overall sense of optimism, fun and positivity as we start to emerge from the ashes of the global recession. It seems the exhibitors and attendees agreed with us. “This is a very exciting time for design. When the economy suffers, creativity thrives” explained Tony Moxham of DFC, one of the exhibitors at the show. We sent our US trend editor Estela Lugo to check out the key directions at this years show. Next year’s show will run from January 29 – 3rd February 2011.

Hard Lines

We’ve reported on this new, cleaner aesthetic from the Maison show in Paris in January, through to New Designers in London in July, and here we’re seeing it in August in New York. Bold, clean shapes and geometric print and pattern featured heavily- watch out for prisms and squared-off shapes as  print icons and shape direction for decorative accessories.

above image: lighting at the NYIGF

Gold and Bronze

Hammered metals, bronze casts and mixing gold glazes with rustic enamels were seen at the show. Texture is the key message here. 

above images left to right: frame by

Vintage Letters and Numbers

Our typography obsession continues! Vintage style fonts were used across ceramics and tableware, paperweights and packaging design.

Viva Mexico

Funky Prints

Illustrative Prints

Rainbow Colours

This trend has been evident at all the key shows this summer and who better to demonstrate how colour updates classic pieces than Pantone? Consumers have more confidence than ever using colour in their homes, from smaller items like accessories through to more permanent items like wallpaper and furniture.

Birds and Botanicals

Birds and flowers are mainstay print icons but we love these vintage style illustrative versions as spotted at NYIGF. We flagged up botanical and anatomical studies and sketches as part of a trend called Secret Garden for Spring Summer 2011 in our Kids Lifestyle Trends for the Home book.




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Trade Show Report: New Designers Show, July 2010

This year’s design graduates enter the jobs market at a very difficult time but we have to say the standard of work was so high at New Designers in London, we doubt these students have anything to worry about. Some will be snapped up as up-coming talent by the best home interior and furniture brands, others will shine as designers in their own right.

The key story this year was that designers addressed function, not decoration, responding to a wider social and cultural trend for simplicity and honesty in design (also seen across finances, food and technology). Designers quite literally laid bare their materials, showing us the nuts and bolts of construction and celebrated the art of manufacture.

Mixed Materials

Mixing different materials was a key trend; such as mixing leather with wood for tables, and mixing different types of wood within a single piece.

Playful Tableware

Despite the seriousness, there were more playful elements evident at the show counteracting the lingering effects of the recession. This trend was big for tableware and textiles.

Space Saving

Saving space was also high on the agenda, as designers battled with the modern problems of multi-generational habitats and redefining personal space in communal areas. Products that folded away, were multi-functional and allowed users personal space in increasingly cramped homes featured heavily. Furniture designer-maker, Eiry Rock  also took inspiration from the growing kids furniture market, and showed space-saving kids furniture with an adult design aesthetic.

New Clean Lines

Angular shapes dominated the show as we saw increasing evidence of a cleaner linear form starting to infiltrate homeware. Multiplied patterns and intricate repeat prints sat alongside hard-edges, defined and geometric shapes, as predicted in our Autumn Winter 2010 forecast.


Objects that are humble, tactile and rustic reflect a bigger picture trend for hand-crafted and home made goods. This trend was particularly big for ceramics.

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Trade Show Report: Design Indaba Expo, Cape Town

Many thanks for Vicki at I Want That for getting in touch and recommending her trade show reports from the Design Indaba Expo in Cape Town. Click here to read her fantastic reports. You’ll see some real cross-overs in trends- particularly for the global design phenomenon for crafted goods…Great Blog!


Images above courtesy of I Want That.

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Trade show report: The British Craft Trade Fair

The British Craft Trade Fair was held on 12th April in Harrogate, UK, celebrating the re-emergence of craft in design as a powerful aesthetic. With the rise of Folksy and Etsy, the appetite for hand-crafted, home-made goods has never been stronger, as consumers move away from ‘cookie-cutter’ replicas and mass-produced faceless design. Authenticity is a key buzzword for 2010 in trend circles, and this show demonstrated this in abundance. We loved the personal touches like hand-drawn logos on business cards-see our favourites below…

The British Connection

We featured a trend called A Very British Affair last year in our 100% Design trade show report and the Quintessentially British obsession seems to have taken hold and is evolving into a trend which combines kitsch iconography like British holidays. There are increasing references to vintage suitcases and postcards, highlighting a wider trend we’ve found for reconnecting with old fashioned methods of communication. We loved Catherine Hammerton’s stamp print wallpapers and embroidered cushions which see traditional silk screen printing and hand embroidery combined with cutting edge digital technology.


We saw a big trend for natural products which borrow botanical motifs and natural materials. With a shift towards old-fashioned values and traditional ethics, many designers are taking a subtle, sober approach to design. This new pared-down style sees a shift towards crafted design which infuses hand made and natural processes.

Above- canvas print by Rachael Taylor Designs

Micro trend: Birds

Our fixation with birds is still very much alive, as we see them reinvented for summer to include hand drawn illustrations and collaged textures. The colour palette is bright and bold, whilst graphics develop a hand-drawn style as seen in Faye Powers’ new collection. We also loved Rachel Coleman’s seagull cushions which are inspired by childhood memories and represent the hand craft trend in its purest form with hand stitched and layered fabrics to build up interesting textures.


There is a graphic element to this trend which runs alongside a growing interest in DIY projects and handicrafts. Lending inspiration from culture and travel to create a vibrant and optimistic colour palette of purple and turquoises this trend is not necessarily about looking crafted but about a personalised response to design and moves us on to a more modern and sophisticated approach to textiles.

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Trade Show Report: Spring Fair 7-11 February ’10

Our Trend Bible trend researcher Rachael Hodgson visited Spring Fair, Birmingham, UK,  to bring you the latest trends and products from the show…Here are Rachael’s ones to watch…

Above: Forks by Nina Campbell

With value still at the forefront of consumer minds, we’re noticing a return to quality and craftsmanship as a key trend. For the home, this translates as luxe accessories, statement pieces that add glamour and sophistication. After all, with many of us deciding to entertain our friends at home instead of splashing out on expensive restaurants, the presentation factor for tableware has rocketed in importance.   Watch out for luxe finishes like metallic and mirrored accents, pearlised and glossy finishes, sophisticated (and very commercial!) tonal palettes of purple, grey, white, silver and mushroom.


Above Images:Glasses by LSA international ,Velvet fabrics by Biggie Best, Mirror by Gallery Direct, espresso cups by LSA international, crockery by Ethos.


Image above: Nina Campbell

Whether its candy striped cushions or old fashions sweet jars, Candyshop references crept in everywhere at Spring Fair, (as forecast in our Spring Summer 2010 trend book, a theme we called Vintage Tea Party). We loved these gorgeous Swirl cordial jugs (above) by Nina Campbell which  add a splash of colour summer dining and the glass sweet jars (below) by LSA international, perfect for decorative storage.


Images above: Cushions by Nicky Thompson Textiles, glassware by LSA international, sweet jars by LSA international, kitchenware by Nina Campbell, cake plate by Nina Campbell

Images above: Boxes by Nina Campbell

This bold look was evident at the Maison et Object show earlier this year, and was also in full flow at Spring Fair. Rainbow colours look great for glassware and ceramics, but work best for picnic and outdoor dining in coloured plastics and melamines. In simple terms this trend was executed in primary colours, but we loved pink, yellow and cobalt blue.  Who needs print and pattern when colour says so much?


Images above: Mugs by Cornishware, Glassware by LSA international, Bowls by Zak! designs, Kitchen accessories by Colourworks, Tea Towel by Ferm.

Image above: Tea pot by  Pip Studio

Inspired by the iconic success of Cath Kidston, many brands took inspiration from posy florals, ditzy prints and classic roses and camellias mixed with candy stripes and polka dots. This trend has been unravelling for 3 summers now and started to really blossom in summer 08, but seems to still be going strong for a certain level of the market.  This is all about pastels mixed with red and turquoise, cute print icons like strawberries, teapots and butterflies and lashings of crochet, patchwork and embroidery for a vintage craft feel.

Images above: Bed linen by Pip Studio, homeware by Gisela Graham, teapot by Pip Studio, art by Susie Watson Designs, mug by Susie Watson Designs.

Image Above: Tray by Anorak

Escapist themes are big news in trend world right now, not surprising considering the global financial crisis (someone please tell us when it’s over!) and other harsh realities of life during a recession. Why else would you get adults reading kids books (the phenomenon that is Harry Potter) or hype for film interpretations of kids books (Alice in Wonderland), and surreal escapist films like Avatar breaking box office records? People are switching off from reality and tuning in to their imaginations. We saw evidence of the importance of this trend back in October 08 when we forecast our Spring 10 trends, and at Spring Fair it was clear that this trend is still going strong. Watch our for spooky woodland and forest imagery, ferns, stags and deer, owls and gothic storytelling references.

Above images: Wallpaper by Ferm, kitchen accessories by Orchid , Bedlinen by Anorak, Cushion by Ferm, Cup and Saucer by Biggie Best.

Thomas Forsyth and Owen Gildersleeve recently collaborated to create ‘Aschenputtel’, after being approached by Designersblock to exhibit in Interiors 2010 at the Birmingham NEC. The name “Aschenputtel” is taken from a Brothers Grimm version of the classic folk tale Cinderella. A story about neglect and transformation.

Roll on Autumn Fair!


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Trade Show Report: Stockholm Furniture Fair

We loved the Design Bar by Jonas Wagell of Sweden, which was an installation representing the forest and the city at the Stockholm Furniture Fair last week, which follows on from our research about urbanisation and merging rural and city life. Watch out for this continuing theme in our forthcoming Autumn Winter 2011/12 trend book, available end March 2010.

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Trade Show Report: Maison et Object January ’10

Ok deep breath guys….So, we visited the Maison et Object show last weekend, which as always was inspirational, exciting and totally exhausting. We just wanted to share a few of our thoughts on the key trends from the show in general terms, and we’ll follow this up later with our top picks from the show in our This Week We Love section…

Key Materials

Lo-Tec: polystyrene, cardboard, paper, plywood and felt. The move towards pared-down simple products and materials for homeware begins, as predicted in our Post-materialist social trend influence report.

Refined: Superfine porcelain, paper thin shapes, mixing ceramic and bamboo. This is all about exquisitely crafted, unique pieces that can’t be replicated, a key theme outlined in our Epicurean story for Spring 2011.

Crafted: origami paper, knited, crochet, pointelle and laser cutting. Craft is still high on the agenda for textiles, furniture and tableware, hand-made and make-do-and-mend are evident here.

Colour Vehicle Synthietics: Synthetics allow for intense, saturated colours- we saw rubber, melamine, neoprene, glass and glossy laminates.

Above; Knitted and felted wool at Donna Wilson for SCP

We loved this felt lightshade by Ango made up of lots of tiny felt cups suspended on wire.

Key Colour Palettes

Neutrals with chlorophyl green; green is the hot colour for 2010, but we think the focus will move to yellow tones for 2011. Yellow was already starting to come through for Spring 11 products at the show. Purples and pinks were also predominant.


Acid greens were layered up with sunshine yellow and deep leaf green on tableware, pic-nicware and serveware.

Above images; green cushions and tableware at A&D Home


Yellow was starting to come through in textiles and home accessories, we love yellow dressed with white and stone for a more commercial take.

Images above; yellow print lightshade by Miss Print; yellow cabinet by Nordal; quilted sofa by Ligne Roset.

Rainbow Brights

Eyecatching displays of simple products executed in a rainbow of colours looked great across stationary and cookshop items. Plastics, melamines and felted wool showed these vivid, saturated colours off beautifully. This is a great way to update commodity products or add newness to core ranges.

Above images from left to right; coloured glass candle holders by Nordal; felt totes and accessories by Hey Signs; melamine utensils by Rosti Mepal.


We saw lots of brands producing a spectrum of colours across all types of commodities from stationary to cookware. Felt bags and coasters at DAFF. Joseph Joseph went a step further with their neon range, neon pink was also seen at Adonde.

Above; bold colour at Nordal; mixing stripes and floral at Missoni; bold coloured laquered metal stool/storage.

Above images; neon pink mixed with lo-tec cardboard looked modern at Adonde.

Above; some of the irresistible masking tapes at MT…


We noticed a softer trend toward pastel colours. We loved Australian brand MUD with their delicately coloured ceramics- this seasons newest colour addition…yellow. Pastels were also spotted at the delightful Alexa Lixfeld stand- we loved this palette of lilacs and grey. Pastel bedding was seen at Ourson SA, we loved the pastel dinnerware at Richard Genori.

Above images left to right; lilac and pink tableware by Nordal; painted pasel cabinets by Nordal; tie dye sofa by Futura; pastel cushions by Au Maison; pastel tableware at Nordal; powder blue sofa at Ligne Roset.

Above; Stelton pastel melamine bowls also looked great

Above; layering soft lilac shades, Alexa Lixfeld

Trend bible love these pastel coloured kitchen knives by Pure Komachi at Kai Corporation.


The biggest overall theme was natural. We loved the resin encased branches and logs as seen at Bleu Nature, which featured as stools and lamp bases, and this fantastic origami lampshade by..We also saw wooden handle cutlery, bamboo serving bowls, napkins tied with string. Mixing bamboo and ceramics was seen at JIA Inc and mixing bamboo and laminate at Bibol.

Texture is key, particularly for white and natural colours across textiles, dinnerware and decorative ceramics. We saw etched, scratched, embossed, and heavily textured finishes on plates and vases, and loved the braille effects which add a textural dimension to plain white porcelain. Pebble shaped vessels and embossed plates also looked new at Bruno Evrand.

Above images; Braille effect vases by Coming B


Not us- not yet anyway! As you know we’ve been talking about the charms of plain old cardboard as a material for homeware and packaging for a while now, and we loved the CARTON PLEIN exhibition at the Maison show, where 13 architects were asked to create a cardboard home.

Above images from left to right; cardboard houses as part of the Carton Plein! exhibition; paper jacket by MT

Among our favourites were the beautiful paper tote bags at Siwa- the ultimate in post-materialist chic!

Innovative paper and cardboard stand at Molo.

 Print Trends

We saw a continuation of retro and vintage florals in a ‘tea party’ or ‘shabby chic’ style theme for textiles, the best were at Blanc Mariclo, Au Maison and Villa Collection. Overscaled sketchy florals and micro posy florals were big for bedding, while the main bedding trend is still mixing stripes with florals and plaids. We saw lace prints as a key trend on textiles and ceramics, and found retro imagery like old SLR cameras and pretty birdcages as print icons across textiles and stationary.
Watch out for watercolour style prints with blurred edges including oversized blooms like roses and chrysanthemums, and a continuation of allium and dandelion style print references. Pencil sketch florals also looked fresh.

Above images; left; overscaled at Sonia Rykiel; sketch floral bedding; cushions and floral chair at Miss Print, a Trend Bible favourite!

Allium wall sticker by Miss Print

Floral floor cushions at Nordal

Plate by Deshoulieres

Floral purple plate by Deshoulieres- purple mixed with leaf green was another predominant trend at the show…


Above image; Danish brand Lene Bjerre had modern interpretations of lace and crochet.

Lace print and crochet cushions were key

Above; Lace print boxes and camera icon lace print by Seletti

Text and Type

Text and type are still strong as print motifs; above number cushions by A&D Home.


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