Last week saw the Brookes & Co team descend on Birmingham’s NEC for Spring Fair 2018, the UK’s top trade exhibition for the gift and housewares market. With over 2,500 exhibitors, 14 show sectors and the new Glee at Spring Fair concession to visit, we donned our comfiest shoes and got set to get some sneak peeks into the latest trends.
A few of our favourite things
While perusing mile upon mile of stands full of gorgeous gifts and housewares (we weren’t just shopping, we promise we got some work done too!), there were a few products that stood out to us. The brightly coloured sheepskin footstools from Baa Stool caught Account Director Sam’s eye, while the stylish door mats at Hug Rug were a favourite of Account Manager, Tiffany’s. We spent a fair amount of time lusting after the trendy hanging planters on display at IVYLINE and had a lovely chat with the team at Whitefurze about the joys of finding storage with matching lids! As an agency that is partial to the occasional bacon sandwich, it was also great to bump into the SMART Worldwide team to congratulate them on their Housewares Innovation Awards success for the SMART Bacon Express.
Top trends for 2018 and beyond
New for 2018, Spring Fair launched The Atelier, an interactive feature installation that revealed the top gift and home trends from now until 2020. As we have talked about in previous blogs, the trend for mixed metal finishes is still going strong for 2018, with coppers and silvers continuing to dominate the housewares market. Not only that, we’re still keen to invite the outdoors into our homes as the trend for houseplants, particularly those with irregular patches in different colours, shows no signs of slowing down.
Looking ahead to Autumn/Winter 2018/19, with a push for quiet and reflection in our busy, modern lifestyles comes the introduction of ‘The Thinker’ trend. Classic designs combining the historical and modern will bring a fresh style to housewares, while colours will be inspired by libraries and museums – think rich mahogany and silky creams. According to trend forecasters, WSGN, we are also set to see a reading room renaissance and a focus on quiet contemplative spaces. We think this is a great excuse to set up a cosy corner in the office for a brew and book break (and maybe a quick nap!).
As we approach the new decade, Spring/Summer 2019 will see a focus on collaboration, with the ‘Common Ground’ trend predicted to see us focusing on community, going local and celebrating everything that unites us. Warm and comforting colour palettes inspired by natural landscapes will be embraced, so expect to see a lot of leafy greens, clay shades and aquatic blues. ‘Common Ground’ will see interiors take on a rural twist through patterns, materials and finishes, while anything homemade and handcrafted will take centre-stage.
Introducing Glee at Spring Fair
Another brand-new introduction to Spring Fair 2018 was the Glee at Spring Fair concession, which gave visitors a taste of the new and best-selling garden and outdoor living products ahead of the spring season. Glee is the UK’s top garden trade show and one of our favourite exhibitions, so it was great not to have to wait a whole year to get our Glee fix. Our fantastic clients Creative Products had one of their two Spring Fair stands at the new concession which allowed them to showcase their innovative garden products and saw them bag 5th place in the ‘Glee at Spring Fair New Product Showcase Awards’ for their nifty Fast Fix Hook and Loop Tape. The concession also gave us a great opportunity to meet some new friends including Harrod Horticultural who we got chatting to, after admiring their stylish garden obelisks and planters.
All set for Spring/Summer
Now that we’ve had the weekend to recover from our jam-packed week at Spring Fair, our attention is turning to the Spring and Summer season (bring on the lighter nights!). With all the upcoming trends well and truly on our minds, we’re all set to help our clients make the most of what looks to be a very busy season!