As 2007 draws to close, let us gather up the year's trends and inspect them for staying power. Donna Warner, editor of ‘Metropolitan Home’, is among those turning away from bamboo, the sustainable darling of flooring and cabinetry. “Have you ever slept on bamboo sheets?” she asked plaintively. “They're itchy and sticky, and the top sheet wraps you up like a mummy.” Warner bought her sheets because she’s trying really hard, she said, to be a good environmentalist.
Perhaps that is why Ann Mack, trend-spotter in chief for JWT, one of the world's largest advertising agencies, has proclaimed blue to be the new green in her list of 10 trends that will shape consumer behaviour in 2008. “Blue is a state of mind,” Mack said. “Environmentalism 2.0 is all about the planet and water. Those are blue images. We’re not saying green is going away—it’s just going to be a subset of blue. And also there are negative connotations to green—all that greenwashing. I think the word has lost a lot of its meaning.” Another coming trend pinpointed by Mack is about “commitment and rethinking instant gratification.” “Because everything is so instantly attainable—you can get what you want, when you want, wherever you want—there will be a premium placed on waiting, on thinking twice before you click ‘buy,’” she said. “Custom-made and one-of-kind are rising above the mass-produced din of ‘now.’”
Fancy woods such as Makassar ebony and zebrawood are on Penelope Francis’ list. “I think those were overly and badly used trends,” said Francis, who is a marketer and brander in Los Angeles, advising clients such as James Magni, a furniture designer. “It was like a Kia trying to look like a Rolls Royce with big round headlights.” Magni, she said, “is still trending towards glamour." “I don't mean like everything mirrored," she added, “but super-super-luxury finishes like gold and silver leaf, or cast glass or bronze.” Cast bronze, she noted, is difficult to knock off, so the material becomes a brand protector.
©2007/The New York Times