Simple Holiday Home Decor 2016-17

Holiday Decorating Ideas For Contemporary & Neutral Spaces

Decorating for the holidays is about creating a cozy, warm and hospitable experience whether you host numerous parties and overnight guests or you simply enjoy peaceful solitude in the season.

Many people struggle with the prospect of introducing seasonal color and patterns into their contemporary or neutral spaces.

Creating a comfortable “warming effect” in your home for the holiday season is about appealing to the senses in a tactile and experiential way, not necessarily in a traditional holiday fashion. Simple holiday decor is endlessly livable, with a longer shelf life through winter.

Adding texture, rustic and sensual touches will suggest a seasonal change while transforming the most austere loft or condo into a welcoming home. This is also a big trend in home decor for 2016-2017, as neutral colors are having a resurgence. When decorating with neutrals you need to mix textures to create interest. For holiday it is a matter of “turning up the heat” with subtle touches that make a house a home.dix-pond-holiday-decor-2016

7 Best Elements to Create a Holiday Home

Here are seven elements to create inviting holiday home decor:

Light creates a holiday mood like no other design element. An empty room can be magical, simply because of lighting. A tastefully, decorated room will be uninviting with cold, dreary light. Multiple candles, clustered votives, spot lights, incandescent table lamps, white Christmas lights and wood fires are endlessly romantic.

Texture is an essential element for visual interest and ups the coziness factor in a room. This comes from plush wool or cashmere throws, layering hand-woven, novelty or knitted pillows,  natural, rustic accessories including baskets, wood, stone or slate pieces. Mix complementary pillow textures, like smooth with chunky, shine with matte, etc.

Shine. Adding subtle shimmer adds luminous sophistication to a holiday room. Silver, gold and copper metallic fabrics, beads and details on pillows, trays, mercury glass, hand-blown candle holders and serving pieces add a magical sparkle.

Handmade imperfection is perfect for adding warmth to contemporary and urban interiors. Accessories such as chunky, hand knit throws and pillows, hand-woven textiles and rugs, hand-cut wood boards and trays, hand blown glass, stone vessels, hand-thrown ceramics, soften a room and help create a comforting space.

Nature added to a room in the form of flowers, plants, twigs, trees, wreaths, wood, stone slabs, slate and marble serving pieces add natural texture and beauty to a room. Rustic elements in modern spaces are a hot trend in home decor.

Scent. Add natural fragrance to a room. Balsam fir, pumpkin spice, paper whites, cinnamon, a burning fire, etc., in candles, infusers, flowers, plants and seasonal foods stimulates the imagination and sets an exciting party mood.

Sound. Make your own playlist of holiday, cocktail or party music. It can transform the atmosphere better than any design element, except lighting.

Neutral holiday rooms provide a backdrop to add and rotate seasonal color like autumnal shades, rich reds and black accents. Use pillows, throws, area rugs, flowers, plants and colorful serveware to interject a pop of seasonal color.

Festive holiday neutral style works in any region, from a Boston condo, a Brooklyn loft, Aspen, California beachfront or Florida coastal home.

 

You might enjoy these other popular posts:

4 Hot Home Decor Trends for 2016-2017

4 Big Trends in Bath Decor 2016-2017

 

 

The Dix & Pond Blog, by Stephanie Bernier is the blog of  Dix & Pond Consulting, a Boston-based, company that consults on creative direction, brand experience, trends, business strategy, product development and merchandising. Clients include home, apparel, footwear & consumer companies.  CONTACT US TODAY! 

Thank you for sharing with a friend, if you enjoyed the post! 

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4 Big Trends in Bath Decor 2016-2017

Bathroom Décor & Accessory Trends

Here’s a sampling of 4 of the biggest trends in bath décor for 2016 that will continue onto 2017. (Two contemporary and two transitional) They mirror some of the hottest home furnishings fashion trends…handmade, worldly, utilitarian and organic looks. Overall looks are informal and textural. They are Industrial Chic, Nature Calls, In The Navy and Worldly Loo. Bathroom trends 1 revised

“Industrial Chic” is an urbane contemporary bath trend that is simple, spare and with industrial touches. Bathroom accessory shapes are utilitarian and unadorned. Materials include mixed woods and plastic. The look is neutral black and pure white, warmed up with handmade baskets, abstract organic prints and stripes on shower curtains, towels and storage.Bathroom trends 3 revised (2)

“Nature Calls” for contemporary bathrooms that are spa-like, inspired by nature and organic references. They are spare and clean, but contrasted with textural, handcrafted textiles, wood and wicker accessories. Bath accessories are modern and basic. Organic and ethic patterns are key on shower curtains, storage and towels. Colors include the continuing popular favorites, grey, porcelain white and citrine.

Bathroom trends 3 revised navy

“In the Navy” is a transitional bath trend, that is glamourous and classic. It appeals to both traditional and more modern customers. The colors are predominantly navy and pure white, but popped with a modern tangerine. Textile patterns run the gamut from symmetrical stripes, ethnic and geometric patterns. Accessories gleam in clear glass and silver metal.Bathroom trends 4 revised“Worldly Loo” is a warm, transitional bath trend rooted in handcrafted, textural and natural materials. The color story is neutral, but the contrast of textures is serene and livable. Patterns include handcrafted ethnic patterns and stripes. Bath accessory materials include ceramic, stone, rattan, grasses and wood.

 

Some other posts you might enjoy:

Tough Retail: 7 Ways to Grow Your Consumer Brand

4 Hot Soft Home Trends For 2016-2017

Simple Holiday Home Decor 2016-17

 

The Dix & Pond Blog, by Stephanie Bernier is the blog of  Dix & Pond Consulting, a Boston-based, company that consults on business strategy, creative direction, brand experience, trends, product development and merchandising. Clients include retailers, home, apparel, footwear & consumer companies.  CONTACT US TODAY! 

Thank you for sharing with a friend, if you enjoyed the post! 

 

 

Tough Retail: 7 Ways to Grow Your Consumer Brand

Seismic Changes Are Happening to Retail

Under-employment, stagnant wages, historically high school debt, credit card debt, large healthcare deductibles, staggering urban rent, first homes, weddings and new babies, is there any wonder why Millennials seek value in their discretionary purchases like apparel, accessories, footwear and home?

This is the overhang from a deep recession, the Affordable Care Act and lackluster recovery. It has given rise to the Amazon-effect, outlets, successful discounters like TJX, fast-fashion, rental, consignment and intense comparison shopping. Who can afford to pay full-price?

Practically every retailer and brand is chasing the most cash-strapped generation in decades, because the Millennial generation, ages 15-33 is now the largest population in the US, finally surpassing the much wealthier Baby Boomers and Generation X.

A quote in the Wall Street Journal on May 12, really caught my attention. “Non-discretionary spending on health, insurance, education, and housing has taken an extra 4% out of personal consumption expenditures in 2015 compared with 2000, according to Craig Johnson, president of consulting firm Customer Growth Partners. That has reduced the discretionary spending available for traditional retailers by $500 billon, more than the combined annual sales of Walmart Stores and Costco Wholesale combined.” No wonder  we are seriously over-stored.

Traffic is down at brick and mortar retailers, everyone is trying to explain it, but the reasons are actually quite obvious. There are huge headwinds on spending, so consumers are chasing good deals or staying home.

Online retail, even though it represents less than 10% of all purchases is the fastest growing retail channel. This reflects the ease of comparison shopping, selection and simplicity for insanely time-strapped consumers. It isn’t the best way to browse or make impulse purchases. Who goes on Amazon, just to see what’s new?

Survival Strategies in Tough Times for Consumer Brands

What should apparel, footwear, home and consumer discretionary companies do to combat intense spending headwinds? Here are seven ways to grow in tough times:

Offer brand value. Brands with a consistent, clear identity and experience will rise above the clutter and command higher prices than weak concepts and me-too products. Think Apple, Nike, Under Armour, Kate Spade, Madewell and West Elm.

Be strategically focused on core strengths. It’s necessary to test new things, but focus on your sweet spots, invest in your strengths and best brands. Don’t get romanced with low-value, expensive projects and extensions.

Value great design. Creativity and innovation create demand and pricing power. Big marketing efforts without great products to back them up, won’t fool consumers, who value authenticity.

Look for untapped markets or niche opportunities. For instance, the  underserved plus-size markets for women and men, trending activities, hot fitness trends, growing sports, hobbies, etc..

Increase DTC efforts. Many stores will close, decreasing available doors for your apparel, footwear and consumer products. Your direct to consumer efforts online, with company-owned stores, pop-up stores, partnerships, direct mail etc., will help you control your brand message and destiny.

Think beyond Millennials. Brands with cross-generational “lifestyle” appeal will weather the competitive storm better than discretionary fashion brands just targeting Millennials. Baby Boomers have the greatest wealth in the history of the US and are due to inherit even more, even though they also took a hit during the Recession.

Take risks. This is counterintuitive in bad times. Hire experienced and visionary people who can execute a well-balanced strategy of taking creative risks while covering established business.

 

Some other posts you might enjoy:

7 Common Fashion Brand Management Mistakes

The New Definition of Athletic Apparel

Decoding Millennial Shopping Traits & Habits

 

The Dix & Pond Blog, by Stephanie Bernier is the blog of  Dix & Pond Consulting, a Boston-based, company that consults on business strategy, creative direction, brand experience, trends, product development and merchandising. Clients include retailers, apparel, footwear & consumer companies.  CONTACT US TODAY! 

Thank you for sharing with a friend, if you enjoyed the post! 

 

 

4 Hot Home Decor Trends for 2016-2017

There are four big trends in home textiles and hard home for 2016-2017. I call them “Craft”, “World View”, “Fresh Take” and “Silver Mining”.

Consumers value things that are authentic and have a sense of handcrafted individuality in an tech-obsessed world. These tactile, handmade, hand-embroidered, washed and deconstructed, bed linens, decorative pillows, throws, rugs and towels provide grounding, in a world filled with man-made anxiety. This crafted aesthetic carries over into storage baskets, lamps, vases, mirrors, trays and other hard home décor accessories.

In general home textiles are more casual in material or spirit, less refined and flat. Big soft home trends include “luxe-casual”, the combination of luxurious fabrics or materials combined in casual prints or with rustic weaves; copious textural mixing, embroidery, novelty decoration such as beading or applique and voluminous oversized knitting.

Important colors include the neutral white and ivories, pastels emerge, especially purples and pink, a full spectrum of blues and the continuance of grey as a key color for livable master bedrooms and baths.

Patterns include ethnic prints and geometrics, embroideries and tie-dye in casual, washed fabrics or rich, high-count textiles; sweet flower prints, floral embroideries and menswear looks.

Fabrics are dominated by casual natural 100% cotton, linen, rustic wools and mohair.

I expect these hot home textile and décor trends will continue well into 2017.

Craft Trend Home 2016 - Handmade, rustic and textural textiles and accessories

Craft Trend Home 2016 – Handmade, rustic and textural textiles and accessories

World View Trend Home 2016 - Boho and luxe ethnic and handcrafted textiles and accessories

World View Trend Home 2016 – Boho and luxe ethnic and handcrafted textiles and accessories

Fresh Take Trend Home 2016 - Feminine soft colors, textures and floral textiles and accessories

Fresh Take Trend Home 2016 – Feminine soft colors, textures and floral textiles and accessories

Silver Mining Trend Home 2016 - Grey colors and textures from crafted to metallic textiles and accessories

Silver Mining Trend Home 2016 – Grey colors and textures from crafted to metallic textiles and accessories

 

You might enjoy these other posts:

4 Big Trends in Bath Decor 2016-2017

Simple Holiday Home Decor 2016-17

Tough Retail: 7 Ways to Grow Your Consumer Brand

 

 

The Dix & Pond Blog, by Stephanie Bernier is the blog of  Dix & Pond Consulting, a Boston-based, company that consults on business strategy, creative direction, brand experience, trends, product development and merchandising. Clients include retailers, apparel, footwear & consumer companies.  CONTACT US TODAY! 

Thank you for sharing with a friend, if you enjoyed the post! 

Flaming Hot – Warm Color Trend in Home & Fashion

Go from the frying pan into the fire. Flaming hot maraschino, tomato, mandarin and pumpkin colors are trending in home décor and fashion accessories for fall 2015. These in-your-face, sizzling shades are creating fashion flare-ups everywhere they go.

This powerful fall color trend is best used in small does for maximum effect. In home furnishings warm, bright colors are on pillows, sheets, towels, lamps, rugs, vases, tabletop, etc. They add a playful pop and seasonal update to neutral rooms and tablescapes. They look especially good when paired with greys. clean white and navy.

Warm colors add serious pop to home décor and fall 2015 fashion.

Warm colors add serious pop to home décor and fall 2015 fashion.

Hot, bright colors say uber-sexy or athletic, like no others, on fashion accessories or apparel. A red-hot handbag, pair of shoes, lingerie, dress, puffer, jean, top or nail color has the power to steal scenes. Again, restraint is key here, overdoing can send you down in fashion flames. Pair best with neutrals, denim, navy and black.

Dix&Pond is the blog of Dix & Pond Consulting, Boston-based, product development, creative, branding, business consulting and executive coaching for apparel, footwear, home & consumer products companies and retail analysts. Follow me to get the latest posts

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Bloody Truth- Why Hot Entrepreneurs Start to Fail

Three, five maybe fifteen years ago, you were a hot entrepreneur in the consumer, fashion or tech space. You were the cool startup, the one getting tons of attention, calls from VCs and interview requests. You were growing rapidly and could do no wrong. Things have started to slide. Now the fresh-faced startups are getting all the press.

There are real leadership reasons, I see them every day. They are painful and bloody revelations. Do you have the courage to read on?

Here are the 12 biggies:

1. Numbers don’t lie. There are reasons for your slide or stagnant sales. When sales dip there is always a reason. You can blame the economy, the weather or currency fluctuations, but there are always other painful reasons that leaders often don’t want to face.

2. You surrounded yourself with friends in key leadership roles. When people start companies they often surround themselves with friends, relatives and available people who will take a lesser salary to work with other friends. You often chose talent on price not quality. These early managers aren’t necessarily the ones to lead a company through growth or tougher times. It is also very hard for entrepreneurs to hold them accountable for poor performance. This is one of the most damaging of the biggies.

3. You aren’t focused on the priorities. Many companies start to lose focus on the core business or model that created their success. Lululemon lost sight of their “fashion driven” model, while edgier competitors sprouted up.

Sales lagged as Lululemon lost sight of their "fashion driven" model.

Sales lagged as Lululemon lost sight of their “fashion driven” model.

4. You have no strategic business plan. Entrepreneurs get distracted by personal or rewarding side projects, instead of the mundane day-to-day. Your employees see this and lose focus as well.

5. You are frequently absent. Human nature hasn’t changed for thousands of years. When the boss is away, the mice will play. You are more interested in your trip to France, building a new house, or just losing daily discipline. Your tardiness or absenteeism is taking a toll on momentum.

6. You isolate yourself. You have started to believe your own self-importance. You surround yourself with gatekeepers who thrill in protecting you from information. You hide your email address and cell number, like state secrets. Your ear is “no longer on the ground” and have created your own reality. You stop communicating and are now the Emperor With No Clothes.

7. You tolerate bad behavior. You want everyone to like you so you never set any standards for office discipline. You allow lateness, texting in meetings, inappropriate behavior and outright fighting. Does Dov Charney at American Apparel come to mind?  You fill the office with perks like beer on Fridays, games and free food; but hesitate to set a tone that everyone’s time is money and the business is why everyone is here, in the first place.

8. You micro-manage. You feel your input and decision-making are critical in every area. You never heard one of your own ideas you didn’t love. This takes accountability from the players, slows down the business and demoralizes everyone. Are you deciding on the brand of coffee for the kitchen?

9. You lose the pulse of the market. When you started you were front and center with customers and on top of the competition. You now live in your bubble and rely on second-hand input from subordinates.

10. You build a team with no diversity. You took the easy out and hired friends from your alma mater. In fact, you thought only guys from your alma mater were worth hiring; or perhaps you hired all young hipsters, MBAs or like-minded WASPS. Congratulations, you have created a one-dimensional organization lacking creativity and divergent ideas.

11. You protect the high-performing sociopath in the office. This cancer in the company is allowed to wreak havoc on the organization, because they have big talent in some area. Their wide-reaching influence demoralizes everyone and has a serious impact on sales.

12. You have no succession plan. In fact, you have surrounded yourself with weak players. You prefer to have control and if you get hit by a bus the company’s going down the tube.

Great leadership takes continued humility, the willingness to listen, change and make hard decisions. Innovative new products come from strong motivated teams. Success of the company starts from the leadership at the top.

Dix&Pond is the blog of Dix & Pond Consulting Creative and strategic consulting for retail, wholesale apparel, footwear, consumer products and analysts. Follow me to get the latest posts

Metal Urge for Home & Fashion

Our obsession with casual living, dressing and entertaining refuses to wane. At the same time, there is a serious trend in the “glamming of casual”. It is expressed in our urge for metal. Silver, gold and rose gold metallic looks, pervade all-things-casual… chunky sweater knits, tees, deconstructed totes, rustic espadrilles, thong sandals, outerwear, sneakers, jeans, even the ultimate hipster Birkenstock. Lustrous metal has invaded the home in rustic textiles, pillows, baskets and glamorously irregular, hand-hammered metal or molded serve ware, trays and frames. Perhaps we are craving the luxe status of metal in a sea of laid-back sameness?

Metallic is a big trend in casual fashion and home décor.

Metallic is a big trend in casual fashion and home décor.

Metallic is the perfect textural foil in home decor and elevates a neutral color scheme to royal status. Layering of low-luster metals in the home enhances their innate richness.

In fashion, metallic clothes and accessories speak a modern language, when used as a single, bold statement at a time. Metal apparel and accessories provide a similar textural contrast to sophisticated neutrals and solids. Pairing metal with casual items like jeans, spotlight the notable against the vanilla masses. Wearing more than one metallic item at a time (other than jewelry) and the wearer may slip down a steep and matronly slope.

Dix&Pond is the blog of Dix & Pond Consulting Creative and strategic consulting for retail, wholesale apparel, footwear, consumer products and branding agencies. Follow me to get the latest posts

 

Lessons From Exceptional Entrepreneurs

See 20 simple lessons in leadership and entrepreneurship from 3 great entrepreneurs. These exceptional leaders reached the pinnacle of success in fashion and home furnishings!

Restoration Hardware’s New Boston Home

RH's Boston store is a branding tour-de-force.

RH’s Boston store is a branding tour-de-force.

Expect to be awestruck, breathless, converted to a quiet, monastic, simple life. The Restoration Hardware (now called RH ) has completed their renovation of one of Boston’s most iconic Back Bay buildings into one of the most moving retail brand experiences I ever had.  In my career as a trend watcher, I have been in countless thousands of them, but haven’t been this moved by a retail experience since the first time I stepped into the Food Halls at Harrod’s.

RH has recently completed their renovation of the former retail location of the venerable Louis of Boston, at the corner of Berkeley and Newbury Streets in Boston. The grand, free-standing building was built in 1864 for The New England Museum of Natural History. (which later became the Museum of Science and moved to The Charles River). It was vacant for several years when Louis moved to the South Boston waterfront. I wondered what retail tenant could do justice to this uniquely beautiful property. Ralph Lauren topped my short list for companies with the capital and vision to pull it off. RH was not on my list.

The floral area on the first floor.

The floral area on the first floor.

The store is a triumph.  It is the essence of modern, traditional home furnishings… spare, classic, oversized and dressed with buttery leathers and neutral linen. It is masculine and quiet, but emotionally rich on every level. It is palatial and clubby. RH has hit exactly the right note blending contemporary touches like the commanding glass elevator and slick concrete stairwell, while paying homage to the sheer beauty of the original architecture of this edifice. It is a textural, neutral symphony, with a hip background track. It is like experiencing their products through vintage sepia photos.

This tour-de-force brand experience is not to be missed. Expect to be converted to an RH disciple. It may have you shopping for a larger home to fit their enormous furnishings.

Dix&Pond is the blog of www.dixandpond.com Creative and strategic consulting for retail, wholesale apparel,  footwear, consumer products and branding agencies. Follow me to get the latest posts

This commanding stone bar is for in-store events.

This commanding stone bar is for in-store events.

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