Ashley Furniture HomeStores lists top 10 furniture trends of 2012
Furniture Today Staff -- Furniture Today, January 23, 2012
ARCADIA, Wis. — Sectionals and storage beds lead a list of the top 10 furniture trends of 2012, according to Ashley Furniture HomeStores.
The retail division of Ashley Furniture, which is the nation's largest furniture retailer, said the popularity of certain items relates to the Americans' changing lifestyles.
"Decisions about how and where to live have never been more critical," said Kris Woodcock, vice president of merchandising. "With older consumers wanting to stay put as long as possible, graduating children returning home after college and adult children inviting their parents to live with them, our houses are requiring smarter choices, better use of space and more long-term planning rather than resale considerations."
Here is Ashley's top 10:
1. Sectionals. Thanks to family rooms, more entertaining at home and fashion-forward, younger shoppers, sectionals are going to be big. Durable, high performance fabrics and leathers make sectionals appealing in 2012, along with versatile pieces, such as a chaise ottoman that can flip to either end.
2. Storage beds. They're not just for kids' rooms anymore. Bedroom furniture pieces with storage are entering master bedroom suites in a big way, with sleek designs inspired by elegant platform beds. For 2012, many of them will include enough storage to reduce the need for both a chest and dresser, or add much-needed extra storage for shoes, off-season clothing, linens and more.
3. Better mattresses. Ever since hotels began replacing their mattresses with more heavenly versions, consumers have been upgrading their own homes with better mattresses and pillows. For 2012, look for a move away from plush pillow-tops to streamlined, flatter beds.
4. Console seating. Once a luxury product in need of a designated home theater room, theater seating today is going anywhere there's a big-screen TV. And the console loveseat is the rising star. Perfect for small spaces and budgets, it's as fully loaded as home theater sofas and sectionals, including cup holders, storage console, plush arms, headrest and chaise-style ottomans, multiple comfort positions and power.
5. TV consoles. Flat-screen TVs are cheaper, bigger and better, and are making their way into every room in the house. In 2012, the vast majority of those TVs will be housed in or on furniture rather than hung on the wall. Look for better-designed, better-quality TV stands (that look like real furniture), along with clever places to store components - and taller, multi-purpose versions that double as a drawer chest.
6. Servers. The growing trend to hosting buffets rather than sit-down dinners explains the growing popularity of servers and sideboards. Easy access to cords for warming trays and blenders, less fancy china to display (younger consumers are opting out of rarely used dinnerware) and smaller homes all add to their popularity. For 2012, look for servers with as many drawers as doors, integrated power bars or moisture-resistant tops.
7. Writing desks. Laptop computers and wireless networks are changing our concept of a home office. A single "official" work area is being joined, or replaced, by multiple workstations that can go anywhere. For 2012, it's all about compact workstations, with a simple table in a bedroom, hallway or behind the sofa. Look for warmer styles that blend with other furniture pieces.
8. Bigger coffee tables. Many people opt to eat dinner on the sofa rather than at the kitchen table, explaining the trend to bigger and better coffee tables. Harking back to the 1960s conversation pit, a larger coffee table is a magnet for gathering. For 2012, look for pop-up coffee tables for eating or working in front of the TV, storage drawers or shelves and deeper sizes scaled for sectionals.
9. Gathering tables. The kitchen may be the emotional and physical center of the home, but it's the eating area that's becoming the hub - especially when it's designed to be a comfortable, live-in gathering place. Higher-height gathering tables or pub tables are the perfect choice, able to house a crowd, double as a workstation or extra cooking surface, or act as space divider between the kitchen and living room (with enough height to see over the sofa to the TV). For 2012, look for unique, transitional styles that bridge more stylish kitchens and less formal living areas.
10. Accent furniture. Stand-alone accent furniture will add storage, flexibility, and plenty of character in 2012 - satiating our appetite for something fresh, new or daring when budgets don't allow a full room makeover. Accent chairs, small tables, ottomans, shelves, drawer chests and screens will bring designer-style décor home, with a range of exotic or antiqued finishes, reclaimed woods or hand-painted pieces that look acquired from an antique store or exotic trip.