28 May 2020
The home has increasingly become a place for self-expression; sharing our decor and home styling on social media platforms tells the world a story about our personal taste in a way that previously fashion, cars and watches did. Even before the global pandemic, we were forecasting a consumer desire for positivity and bolder self-expression at home, and this has been exacerbated in recent months as the home becomes the centre of our universe. This shift was a huge topic of discussion at our Home and Interiors Trend Panel back in 2018, and heavily influenced the thinking behind our Spring Summer 2020 trend, ‘Italian Suite’.
The past few months have been challenging to say the least, with supply chains as well as retail channels and consumer demand all impacted by the coronavirus crisis. Whilst we might not be entering peak Summer season in exactly the way we expected, for those tapping into the right emotional and cultural drivers, there is still an opportunity to reach an audience who have never been more ready for something positive and new to sink their teeth into.
In this first instalment of our Spring Summer 2020 trend tracker, we explore how our Home & Interiors Italian Suite has been interpreted by brands and retailers worldwide, as well as how this trend has been embraced by consumers and why it’s important for now.
This trend in particular taps into the current desire for positivity and cheer, the importance of colour and optimism when selling online and the transition of the home into a space for individuality.
Driven by the desire for more personality and vibrancy in interior design after a decade of austere minimalism, the Italian Suite trend is a breath of fresh air for customers who want to inject a little colour into their everyday lives. This is a trend for bold decorators, a mindset we’re seeing emerge through the lens of Instagram and Pinterest. Customers today are braver than they once were, more willing to take risks and more interested in new ideas. It’s no longer about blending in, it’s about standing out.
To ground this trend, Italian luxe coastal towns set the scene. Bursting with colour and pattern, art and kitsch are combined nonchalantly and historic Italian references are given a colourful new twist. Colour is unapologetic, with clashing combinations of pink and red and green providing innovative new groupings. This maximal style celebrates the joy of life with a ‘more is more’ approach. Bold colour is an important element in this trend, alongside an eclectic styling – demonstrated beautifully in the new seasonal photography from UK retailer John Lewis in particular.
Luxurious feasts are laid out on glamorous table settings. Lobster platters and piled-high citrus fruits inspire print motifs. An eclectic and eccentric mix of visuals sit side-by-side as Matisse meets Picasso and figurative line drawings are mixed with floral and Greco-Roman flourishes.
So how has the Pandemic influenced the emergence of this trend?
With the sudden sharp adoption of video conferencing tech within the home to communicate with the outside world, our homes are more on view than ever. Private spaces suddenly become public, and householders will seek to express their personality through their interiors. In search of escapism, consumers turn their attention to the home and seek uplifting colour, pattern and fun design to boost their moods.
“With travel restrictions still in place and householders facing a summer of staycations, escapism through design and colour is essential. This provides a strong driver for exotic and destination inspired décor as householders create a proxy holiday destination in their back yard. We’ll see nostalgia for tourist destinations like Italy and Spain, which were hard hit by the virus as well as décor inspired by popular culture or TV shows we might be exposed to more than usual.” Jamie Shackleton, Visual Trend Researcher.
For the foreseeable future, post-pandemic, the art of intimate dinner hosting will be a creative and self-indulgent outlet for householders forced to socialise at home alone or in smaller groups, encouraging spend on home entertaining, serveware and tableware.
While our Spring Summer 2020 trends were forecast way back in 2018, the methodologies we put to use ensure that the trends are based on robust consumer foresight – meaning they will still resonate with the mood of the day.
For more on the future of home life and navigating risk in an uncertain world, view our on demand webinar on 2021 Home Trends with our Trend Consultant, Kate Usher.
We send the bespoke trend reports out to different departments in our organisation from product development to digital and customer teams. The report acts as internal inspiration that everyone can read and get something from. The feedback we get is overwhelmingly positive.
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