Kate's Collage
"Vinny Da Vendor"
"Benny Da Buyer"
Kizer & Bender
Memory, Paper & Stamps
Category Reports
Designing Perspectives
Scene & Heard

Creative Leisure News
306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com


Reports on shows, trends, and more

Printer Version

European Home Dec Trends

Fashion-forward décor and innovative design – but not without craft materials!

by Debba Haupert (October 23, 2006)

Known for their trend-forward designs, Europeans (especially the French and English) often create and grasp trends in advance of them appearing in our fashion, homes and, yes, even crafts. In the past, trends and innovations traveled overseas in a matter of years. Now, in this age of digital communication and global consumerism, "trend transference" is severely shortened – which makes staying abreast of trends more important and immediate than ever for retail and consumer competition.

Maison & Objet (www.maison-objet.com/en/index.htm) is a bi-annual international "home style exhibition" held in Paris. As Consumer Trend Manager for a home décor company, I had the privilege of attending this show in September, as well as trend shopping in Paris and London. (As my blisters will prove, it really was work!)

Having spent the past five years focused on marketing, product development, and design in the craft/hobby industry, I couldn’t help but notice, and be proud of, the handcrafted trends and accents of this futuristic show. Watch for these trends in home décor and consider them NOW as you design kits, projects, and products for tomorrow’s consumers!

Crochet. Knitting, we know, has been the entry point for many new, young crafters (as well as a perennial favorite). Well, move over knitting, crochet is here! Crochet appeared in home décor accents as well as jewelry and clothing. From colorful flower accents on pillows to wall hangings that appeared to be huge pieces of crochet frozen in time with hardening materials (almost like they were dunked in paint then hung as art). Crocheted cords and balls adorned necklaces and accessories (both home and wearables). Crocheted elements even wrapped candles, glass and vases. (Hmm. Perhaps home décor or wearable embellishment kits?)

Wire and Metal. Thinner wire than in years past, often in silver, created strong contemporary statements in hanging chandeliers and home accessories. On display were wire-wrapped vases and lampshades, and die-cut metal decorating home accessories. Tin was punched or hammered, and copper was everywhere! Mesh was layered in dimensional designs (like a 3-D tree on a flat mesh background) and used to create structures of home décor items. (Admittedly, I’ve always enjoyed working with metal and wire, so I noticed these quite a bit and got some great ideas!)

Wool. Wool balls (like the ones the Artgirlz have – which I love!) adorned fun and functional wearables and decorations. Stitched together for a pillow cover or hanging from a light fixture, these colorful elements are just fun! Felt, too, remains popular and a perfect material for layering, stitching, and building structures – in addition to felted items. Vases, wall hangings, candle holders, and pillows featuring felt and wool created versatile, colorful, and creative handcrafted home décor.

Die-cut. Wall hangings, room dividers, and light fixture decorations highlighted intricate shapes die-cut from felt, foil, and foam sheets. Leaves were a common motif as were geometric shapes. (With all the die-cutting systems available, I can see these designer elements easily made by crafty cutters!)

Fun Creative ‘Stuff’. "Scrunchies" on cords ... Light fixture cords with fabric covers ... Glitter remains hot with glitter-covered cups used for candleholders and seasonal decorations ... Micro beads held candles in place while providing a decorative accent ... Antique buttons decorated candles and pillows ... Hot glue-type designs decorated vases (in opaque white or black) with swirls and rose motifs ... Cool recycled art takes on a different flair with foreign language and vintage graphics ... Leather-covered vases in solid strips or with shapes cut out of them ... Dimensional flocking mimicked traditional to very contemporary designs on all types of surfaces ... Fringe wall décor and room dividers ... Swarovski-type crystals on pillows, towels and dishes.

Color Trends: Black and white dominated the show and trend shopping. When accented with color, it most often was watermelon red, strong pinks, reddish-purple, or lime green. (Lime green was everywhere in seasonal displays at AmericasMart Atlanta and the NY Gift and Stationery shows this year.) Red and white appeared together, reflecting a Scandinavian influence. Soft aqua mixed with creamy chocolate brown have already found its way into cool stores like Galeries Lafayette, Printemps, Habitat, Conran and John Lewis. The Christmas Shop in Harrod’s was filled with modern and traditional holiday décor - more lime green and red; or black, white and red holiday scenes. (The English refer to the holidays only as Christmas.)

More Trends. Raw and heavy wood items; smooth and textured areas on the same item; garlic shapes (in vases and light shades) and fiber accents. Elegance/luxury continues to be an ongoing trend that isn’t going anywhere as we retreat to our homes and crave the celebrity lifestyle. Modernism is embraced with innovative products, minimalist decor, and surreal design, including clear or colored flat acrylic surfaces (from chairs to candelabras). And, to no one’s surprise, the vintage look continues to be strong from Paris shops to Knotting Hill vendors, but with an eclectic and ethnic twist. (I bought a knitted and beaded wire bracelet on Portobello Road that I love and plan to make!)

And, just a thought as you prepare for CHA: Maison & Objet hosts the most trend-forward of Europe’s home décor companies, so you’d expect some creativity, right? Try booths with their floor and walls completely covered in live grass or bamboo. Or sand-covered floors, display walls covered in wadded paper, twigs, and other natural items – even a BMW in a booth. (Does your booth reflect your creative company?)

Inspiring? YES! It was an incredible experience. The atmosphere was charged with creativity and sparked a new way of looking at home décor and trends. I came back with an appreciation for the opportunity as well as my background in the craft/hobby industry. Creative craft materials and designers are the backbone of innovative, inspiring design for décor, wearables, and accessories. But I didn’t have to go to Europe to know that!

(Note: Debba Haupert is Sr. Manager of Consumer Trends for a large domestic manufacturer and importer of home décor products. For the past five years, she has provided marketing, product development, and design services for the craft/hobby industry including taping more than 200 on-camera demonstrations, writing an award-winning craft book, and publishing numerous articles, creating products and kits, and tracking trends. She can be reached at debba@bobella.com. To read previous Scene & Heard reports, click on the headlines in the right-hand column.)



horizontal rule

horizontal rule


Scene & Heard Recent Columns...
PITTSBURGH KNIT & CROCHET FESTIVAL REPORT; Changing the date boosted attendace.

DIARY FROM THE TUCSON BEAD SHOWS; Lots to do and people to see.

SHOWS, SHOWS, SHOWS; Quilt Market, Stationery Show, and Surtex(R).

TWO REPORTS FROM TOY FAIR; Add it to the list of bustling, productive winter shows.

FALL QUILT MARKET/QUILT FESTIVAL: 2011; Highlights from the recent trade and consumer shows.

REPORT: 2010 FALL QUILT MARKET; Technology, Charities, and beautiful products.


BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER; Smaller show, but a better mood than a year ago.

REPORT: QUILT MARKET 2009; Better than expected, and beautiful as ever.

CHA SUMMER TRADE & CONSUMER SHOWS; A big success, and then an even bigger one.

TNNA SUMMER MARKET REPORT; A busy, productive weekend for all.

NATIONAL STATIONERY SHOW REPORT; Save the earth, beautify your correspondence, and laugh.

INTERNATIONAL QUILT MARKET, PITTSBURGH, MAY 2009; Smaller, but beautiful as ever.

WHAT DO CONSUMERS WANT IN HARD TIMES? Using crafts and sewing to update their wardrobes.

TNNA: MARKET AND INDUSTRY COMMENT; Changing times call for smart decisions.

QUILT MARKET: HOUSTON, OCTOBER 2008; Comforting, in these troubled times.

AMERICAN SEWING GUILD CONFERENCE REPORT; A successful show and a tribute to Pati Palmer.


NEW YORK STATIONERY SHOW REPORT; Eco-friendly products were dominant.

CHA WINTER SHOW REPORT; The product trends - and good design.

REPORT FROM RECENT GIFT MARKETS; Better attendance, better mood than expected.

TRENDS AT THE TNNA WINTER MARKET; So many positive signs.

REPORTS FROM QUILT MARKET AND iHOBBY EXPO; Differing products and formats, but both successful.

MEMORYTRENDS PRODUCT REPORT; The show was smaller but...

CHA SUMMER SHOW PRODUCTS; Whether it's crafts or food exhibitors and buyers have a lot in common.

2007 NEW YORK STATIONERY SHOW REPORT; Earth-friendly products and creative new designs.

QUILT MARKET 2007; More youth-oriented products than has been reported.

THE SPRING SWAP-O-RAMA; Learning crafts and recycling clothing.

VENTING ABOUT TRADE SHOWS; Frustrastions ... and answers.

CRAFT CONGRESS IS IN SESSION; Indie/DIY craft movement organizers are holding their first worldwide conference.

A NEEDLEWORK PERSPECTIVE OF THE CHA WINTER SHOW; A new, fresh look at the industry's largest show.

QUILT MARKET AND PREMIERE VISION FALL/WINTER 2007/2008; Designs, colors, and fabrics that are making their mark this season -- and beyond.

EUROPEAN HOME DEC TRENDS; Fashion-forward decor and innovative design - but no without craft materials.

NEW YORK'S INTERNATIONAL GIFT SHOW; Bountiful "bling" and stark simplicity.


TRADE SHOW REPORTS; The NAMTA and Stationery shows, Quilt Market, and Bead Expo.

A LETTER FROM IRAQ; Want an exciting new job? Look no further.


REPORT; TNNA San Diego, 2006.

QUILT MARKET 2005; Beauty - and good causes.

NEW YORK GIFT SHOW REPORT; An upbeat show -- and then Katrina.

MORE THOUGHTS ON THE BEAD MARKET; Comparing beads with other categories, and trends from the latest show.

THE 2005 BEAD & BUTTON SHOW; Reactions to the CLN report.

VIEWS OF TNNA / COLUMBUS; And a final report on the SDP Convention.

STATIONERY, PAINTING, AND JAPAN; The SDP convention, the N.Y. Stationery Show, and the Japan Hobby Show.

REPORT: THE 2005 SPRING QUILT MARKET; Reports from one of the industry's top trend- and design-watchers, and a personal view from a traditional "craft" company.

NAMTA SHOW 2005: A REPORT; And a history of one of the industry's most influential products, Liquitex.


AHSA TRADE SHOW REPORT; Competing shows hurt the industry.

CRAFT, HOBBY AND STITCH INT. (ICHF) SHOW REPORT; Paper, paper ... and home dec.

A CRAFT VENDOR TRIES THE DALLAS GIFT SHOW; Plus reports on PaperWorld and a letter from Europe.

QUILT MARKET 2004; Technology continues to make major inroads.

PREMIER VISION FALL/WINTER 2005, 2006; Remember th saying "Less is more"? Not any more. 

2004 NEW YORK GIFT SHOW REPORT; Color, design, and product trends.

UPDATE; MICAH ASHLEY JONES; Friends and family never gave up hope.

NEW YORK STATIONERY SHOW REPORT; Some much more than just stationery.

NEW YORK HOME TEXTILES SHOW; The hottest fabrics, patterns, and more.

HIA 2004; So many products, so little time.

THE NEW YORK GIFT SHOW REPORT; Some similarities -- and some differences with Atlanta and Dallas shows.