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What do you see as current "hot trends" in furniture/interior design? What will last and what won't?

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Forum topic by barringerwoodworks posted 06-14-2014 09:46 PM 1467 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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barringerwoodworks

208 posts in 456 days


06-14-2014 09:46 PM

Topic tags/keywords: design trends business

For guys who build for a living and deal with clients, designers, architects on a daily basis; What kinds of designs, aesthetics and materials are most lucrative for you?

What styles seem to be trendy where you work and of these, which ones do you see as lasting (i.e. having an appeal that will transcend into the future)

Do any current, popular styles have clear roots in traditional designs? (Shaker, Stickley or others?)

Where does true originality in design come from or is there even such a thing?

Just some interesting questions I’ve been pondering.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA https://barringerwoodworks.squarespace.com


23 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

7821 posts in 2392 days


#1 posted 06-14-2014 10:05 PM

You know, some of what they want is refinishing and modifications
to existing older pieces. If you can move a giant case to your shop,
modify it and deliver it, you can bill pretty well for that service.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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Marcus

1080 posts in 764 days


#2 posted 06-14-2014 10:29 PM

I me in the process of having a home built so have spoke with a ton of builders and designers. All of them right now are saying dark wood good are in demand, but more than that, white painted furniture cabinets. I for one hope the paint fad goes away.

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barringerwoodworks

208 posts in 456 days


#3 posted 06-15-2014 01:42 AM

Loren, I’ve done a couple of repairs since I’ve been open for business. I’ve had a lot of interest in whether or not I can match existing furniture as well.

A common proposal I hear is to match an existing piece, but by using a cheaper wood and staining it. Like, say building a computer desk out of Pine but staining it to match an existing Black Walnut dining table – baffling (and impossible).

I got asked recently if I could build this:

She found this at Toys-R-Us and wanted to see if I could beat their price. She was shocked at my quote. To be honest, I may not have done it anyway. Or I might have but not told anyone!

As far as trends, I see two things around here; The first being a lot of interest in reclaimed materials – furniture from pallets, old fence boards, barnwood, old industrial hardware, etc.

And the second is ultra clean, modern, largely synthetic materials and colors (think Ikea).

Two completely different sets of aesthetics and philosophies in my mind.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA https://barringerwoodworks.squarespace.com

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barringerwoodworks

208 posts in 456 days


#4 posted 06-15-2014 01:45 AM

That Hello-Kitty headboard is going to come up on Google searches for me from now on.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA https://barringerwoodworks.squarespace.com

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Marcus

1080 posts in 764 days


#5 posted 06-15-2014 01:45 AM

I would love to see that headboard done by someone here. I’m picturing the white in maple, black in walnut with a padauk bow.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7821 posts in 2392 days


#6 posted 06-15-2014 01:50 AM

Unless you want to get into working with an edgebander a lot
I’d focus on the reclaimed idea.

If you can do distressed finishes that’s a marketable thing to
designers. They’ll give you a hassle on price some of the time,
because their typical markup is 100%. A lot of what they
do is try to imitate the look the wealthy get on much
lower budgets, sort of like those things that show how
to put together an imitation of a Paris runway ensemble
with stuff bought at Target.

If you can do the finishes they really want, you’ll have some
leverage. You can even outsource some of the woodworking
and focus on finishing and service.

You can buy table legs in the mail. You can even buy unfinished
french provincial furniture pretty cheap. It’s the finish and
posh-looking details that drives people nuts with desire,
assuming the building style is what they like.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

15450 posts in 1082 days


#7 posted 06-15-2014 02:02 AM

Although what I do is keeping me as busy as I can physically be (live edge), I still see refinements that will move me more towards more traditional furnishings. I don’t know if it is a specific style, but solid wood and well constructed.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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LeTurbo

181 posts in 330 days


#8 posted 06-15-2014 05:38 AM

I laughed at the Hello Kitty headboard – not so much that, as the client wanting a knock-off and then being shocked at the price. What is it with people that they think a handcrafted piece will cost less than the mass-produced piece? “Oh yes, I want to make this so much, I’ll cut my margins just for you.”

It’s pretty common though. I’ve just had a guy wanting the same thing, a copy of a refectory table. He’s gone to a cheap woodworker who will put it together with biscuit joints and (a very popular one, this, in my area) a solid top that is securely bolted on with no possibility of movement. I give those pieces maybe three years…

A friend has just had to spray a solid cherrywood commode gloss white. Much as I dislike the idea, it was a badly made piece without any grain matching, so it actually looks better this way.

But trends: supawood with gloss. Steel and wood, or other mixes of materials like concrete. Mid-century Scandinavian. Printing on wood. (See Boca do Lobo for much of the aforementioned). And that horrible, horrible rustic look which usually involves painting a beautiful old piece and then (again in my area) hitting it with an angle grinder.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7821 posts in 2392 days


#9 posted 06-15-2014 06:00 AM

I should note too: furniture is hard.

Casework is the lower hanging fruit. If you really want
to do furniture, stick to your guns and do furniture. If
you start bending wood and doing marquetry and curved
veneering, their jaws will drop.

I should warn though – the more dazzling your portfolio
the less calls you’ll get from people who want something
simple because they’ll assume you’re expensive. It’s a
dance you’ll have to figure out… still, go for dazzle. It’s the
better approach in the long run.

I’m set up for both but it’s an awkward compromise
and took a long time to get here. Many casework
shops are going over to CNC and other specialized
machinery in order to compete. I can still do casework
pretty quick because I have a silly machinery addiction,
but compared to a shop optimized for casework only,
I’m a tortoise.

The bottom fell out of the big ugly entertainment
center gravy train when the flat panel TVs came out.

I’m going off topic but I know people want to know
the lowdown, so I’ll just go on calling it as I see it.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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barringerwoodworks

208 posts in 456 days


#10 posted 06-15-2014 03:43 PM

To make the Hello Kitty headboard thing even more ridiculous, I told her I would have to sub out the painting because I don’t spray finishes. Could you imagine?

I like what Monte said – “solid wood and well constructed”. I personally think there are some things that never go out of style because there just isn’t a substitute. Trying to convince potential clients of this is a big part of my job.

I can’t do dazzle (marquetry, carving, wood bending) because I don’t know how and I’m not equipped for it. So instead I’m sticking to my guns, doing what I can do and trying to do it really well – stylistically simple and traditional but extremely well made.

That said, I do all kinds of things to pay the bills. They just don’t necessarily end up in my portfolio.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA https://barringerwoodworks.squarespace.com

View Iwud4u's profile (online now)

Iwud4u

492 posts in 273 days


#11 posted 06-15-2014 03:49 PM

”The bottom fell out of the big ugly entertainment
center gravy train when the flat panel TVs came out.”

I still make a lot of built-in wall units that utilize flat screens.

The style that I see dominating is contemporary.
Flat panel doors, tight reveals, and as said above dark colored wood.
I also am seeing a lot of shaker style coming back.

-- It's far better to be criticized by a wise person than applauded by a fool --

View bruc101's profile

bruc101

589 posts in 2286 days


#12 posted 06-15-2014 05:22 PM

“I me in the process of having a home built so have spoke with a ton of builders and designers. All of them right now are saying dark wood good are in demand, but more than that, white painted furniture cabinets. I for one hope the paint fad goes away.”
- marcuscraft

I’m a kitchen designer, furniture designer and home designer and I hear this all the time…so and so said this and so and so said that.

I ask them…what do YOU like and want?

My answer to them is…

So and so is not going to be living in your home nor cooking in your kitchen.

Never failed me yet and momma was happy to get what SHE wanted not what so and so was telling her.

We just recently installed a country French kitchen and had gone back after 30 days to make sure everything was working properly and she was happy. The lady told me one of her friends told her oh that looks so out of date…she told her friend…it’s my kitchen and what I want and you don’t have to cook or eat in it nor sit in here with me drinking that cup of coffee This lady is 36 years old.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

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barringerwoodworks

208 posts in 456 days


#13 posted 06-15-2014 05:30 PM

Bruce, well said, and a great approach. Sometimes common sense falls by the wayside of peer pressure.

-- Scott Barringer, Sacramento, CA https://barringerwoodworks.squarespace.com

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bruc101

589 posts in 2286 days


#14 posted 06-15-2014 05:44 PM

“Bruce, well said, and a great approach. Sometimes common sense falls by the wayside of peer pressure.”
- barringerwoodworks

Thanks and I’ll add this to the furniture approach. Where we live in the mountains it’s all about distressed and or twig and post furniture.

We have million dollar vacation and retirements homes all over us. We’ve found that the people have one idea about where their full time homes are and how they want their homes here furnished.

It’s a matter of personal choice and should be. In our home we have Chippendale, Chippendale distressed, Shaker, country, junk, you name it. With a wife and five daughters NO 2 think alike but they all agree on one thing. We want our furniture built in our shop like we want it to be.

My wife has a Shaker style kitchen. That’s what she wanted and that’s what we built for her. Cook and eat in it or cook outside and eat outside…so far no arguments.

-- Bruce http://plans.sawmillvalley.org http://www.sawmillgirls.com

View jmartel's profile (online now)

jmartel

2788 posts in 894 days


#15 posted 06-15-2014 06:10 PM

As was said, the biggest things I see is the “rustic”/”distressed” stuff and white painted furniture. They can both look great when done right, but the majority of what’s out there is pretty terrible, in my opinion.

Unfortunately, my wife is stuck on the rustic look and we made a deal that she can pick whatever style of furniture she wants for the bedroom, so it looks like that’s what I’ll be making. At least I get to pick the main floor and can do Arts and Crafts stuff there.

-- End grain is like a belly button. Yes, I know you have one. No, I don't want to see it.

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