What does the presidential election have to do with centerpieces for weddings planned for June 2017 — or, for that matter, your VIP customer who is thinking about redesigning her living room sometime next year?
Turns out, quite a bit, according to Michael Skaff, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, owner of Skaff Floral Creations in Hinsdale, Illinois.
“We’re going into an election year and there is a lot of unrest in the world, so the colors for 2017 are going to be more muted,” said Skaff, who is developing the IFD 2017 Flower Trends Forecast, which will be previewed during SAF’s 132nd Annual Convention, Sept. 21-24 at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii. “You’re going to see much more gray added in to colors.”
Imagining a depressing storm cloud? Don’t worry. The colors may be muted but the look will be “sophisticated and complex,” Skaff said. And, for his part, Skaff said he’s ready for the change, and the opportunities the new trends present for floral designers.
“The colors are completely different from 2016, and I’m pretty excited,” he said.
Other trends he’s picking up on, and which he’ll present in far greater detail at SAF Maui 2016:
Nature Calls. Consumers’ desire to bring nature inside their home, through flowers, plants and floral-inspired goods, isn’t going anywhere soon. Indeed, the urge is growing stronger. “With technology and our fast-paced lives, people want to bring the natural world and natural materials into their home more than ever,” Skaff said, adding that many people now see their homes as a kind of “retreat” from the busyness of life. A jungle-inspired look with an emphasis on sophisticated tropical flowers and foliage could also be on the horizon, Skaff predicts.
Vive la France. Look for French-inspired hues and motifs in 2017, as consumers hurry to show their support for the country that’s already inspired millions of fashion and design trends. “Cinnabar red, golds and blues — I think we’ll see a lot of these,” Skaff said. A color that’s been trending for several years — aqua blue — will still show up in fashion and home décor, but in a variation that’s (you guessed it!) “slightly more gray,” Skaff added.
What’s Old is New. Consumers, particularly those in urban places, are looking for a mix of modern, simple, elegant design paired with ancient artifacts (or “artifacts” that look ancient), Skaff said. “I think we’ll see simple lines in furniture mixed with antiquity,” he said. “Think: a well-traveled person who still wants to hold onto their history but wants to live with minimalist design.”
Skaff has worked on product development initiatives with top name designers Todd Oldham, Vera Wang, Better Homes and Gardens and The Smithsonian Institute. He is a member of the Color Marketing Group, and continues to be called to the White House to lend this design expertise to high profile events.
“Michael brings years of design and product development expertise to the Flower Trends Forecast,” said Jeff Lanman, executive director of International Floral Distributors Inc., which produces the trends report. “Michael’s work has been at the forefront of emerging trends, his innate abilities to integrate visual design and color principles with marketing objectives provides insight into changing consumer preferences.”
The 2017 Floral Trends Preview is just one of dozens of top educational programs not to be missed at SAF Maui 2016. For details, travel information and to register, visit safnow.org/annual-convention.