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In my previous post, I spoke about Top 5 Winter Interior Design Trends for 2018. Fast-forward to 2019 and we’re already seeing some distinct trends emerging in both furniture and furnishings. Here’s my take on what you can expect will be flying off the shelves in 2019.

TEXTURES AND FABRICS: CLASSIC GOLD!

Soft cotton will continue to be a big draw for furnishings, particularly sheets. Over the past few years, we’ve observed that cottons from India and Pakistan are particularly popular with Home Box shoppers. Heavy Jacquard bedding sets that include bedspreads, cushion covers and throws are best sellers, and we expect this to continue.

Velvet is huge, but mostly on accent furniture. Customers like to pair easy chairs, benches, winged armchairs and ottomans in pop colours with more neutral styles. Otherwise, the demand is mostly for rich textures like faux suede, self-printed fabrics, woven linen and granular microfibers.

Upholstered furniture from Turkey will continue its domination in our markets - these come in multiple styles at economic prices that budget-conscious shoppers are attracted to.


As we all know bling is big in the region. We’re seeing it reappear in new avatars now, updated as gold finished mosaic or hammered gold. These textures make your décor luxe but less in-your-face. Finally, embellished napkin rings and beaded placemats are also great ways to introduce hints of gold.

It’s safe to say that this trend will never die out in the region.


PATTERNS: WHAT YOU NEED TO LOOK OUT FOR

Patterns will continue to be subtle going into 2019. Furnishings with botanical prints will be less popular than in 2018, but deep, solid greens inspired by this trend are a safe alternative to try.

Regional customers seem to prefer their furniture upholstery in solid or neutral colours, possibly because these shades are much more versatile. Patterns are confined to accent furniture – such as ottomans, single winged sofas, or benches.

When it comes to furnishings, floral prints in blush and geometric prints in mint are set to rule. The GCC loves its abstract and geometric prints!

For as far back as I can remember, luxe carpets and rugs with Middle Eastern motifs have been a big hit with local customers and I expect no change in this in 2019. The typical Home Box customer likes the classics but we keep a lookout for modern takes and tweaks on these designs to keep them feeling fresh.


EXPRESS YOURSELF: THE MILLENIAL WAY

Open up your Instagram feed and it’s full of inspirational quotes, usually on a beautifully designed background. At Home Box too, we’re seeing the millennial influence on décor preferences – for instance there’s an increase in demand for cute mugs, cushions and framed art featuring slogans. This is already an established trend in the West and will be a key look in the region for 2019. However, we’re careful not to blindly use this; it requires research and adapting for the GCC, so as to not offend regional sensibilities.

While selecting products with slogans, we try to stick to motivational and positive sayings rather than humorous or sarcastic ones as these could be open to misinterpretation. We make it a point to hold small focus groups to vet these products.


TRICKS OF THE TRADE: IT'S ABOUT MORE THAN JUST 'TRENDS'

When it comes to what’s ‘trending’ or as we like to call it, research, we meet with store staff on a regular basis to gain a thorough understanding of what exactly flies off the shelf – often it is not what we expect. Did you know that neutrals do better than out-there colours?

The botanical trend has been successful, but not to the extent it is in the West. This tied in with the feedback we received at our annual retail meet in September. Other key learnings from that event were that customers prefer simpler silhouettes and matte finishes.


These insights, over and above our research with WGSN and furniture exhibitions like INDEX, inform our decisions every year. For instance, we saw a tremendous demand for small-space and modular furniture and this plays nicely to Home Box’s core audience of value-conscious customers.

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