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Beyond Décor: Rachel Nunziata

I’ve Seen the Future of Décor Printing, and Things Are Looking Bright

With the economy in recovery, now’s the time to polish your processes.

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IT’S HARD TO believe the third quarter of 2021 is coming to a close. This means you’re currently in the midst of the post-pandemic world and 2022 planning for your décor print business will soon be a top priority.

Large spaces will be compartmentalized next year. Residential projects are increasing as we’ve had excess time in quarantine to assess our home environments and we are yearning to enjoy face-to-face interaction; reconnection seems to be the recurring theme. (Let’s go, tradeshows!) However, one of the challenges in the décor print sector is how large and fragmented the interior décor market is, at least here in the US. There are many facets; products and applications, vendors, supply chains, and end-users that influence one another. Variables such as our vast range of geographical regions, trends, customer demographics, and consumer demand are constantly driving and reshaping the market.

In a newly published residential report by Houzz.com, “Renovation spend is on the rise.” The report’s corresponding survey data shows 55 percent of respondents said decorating was their top home-related activity, and as no surprise homebuilding resulted in just three percent of those surveyed. Remember the high costs of lumber due to the pandemic? The pricing of wood (think furniture, building materials, and flooring), the market’s demand for new homes, and lack of labor, all created the perfect storm. To be specific, NBC news reported lumber prices alone jumped from $400 per thousand feet of board in February 2020 to more than$1600 in early May.

In another phenomenon, digitally printed products such as residential and commercial wallcovering saw a resurgence. For years we’ve been saying it’s no longer your grandmother’s wallpaper, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Technavio’s recently published report on digitally-printed wallpaper states it expects a growth of $4.81 billion by 2025. Why? Customized wallcovering provides the “ability to provide the exact look and feel desired by consumers.” After spending months and months at home, isn’t there something about it you’d like to change?

The claim that there’s a new wallcovering resurgence can be further supported by a ramp up in raw goods manufacturing in Europe. Print media manufacturers see a strong demand for a variety of colors, textures, and applications by discerning customers seeking additional home decoration to keep up with the latest interior trends. Nonwoven, printable wallcovering substrates are on the rise. Houzz.com also reports 44 percent of survey respondents cite the number one reason for home renovations is that they now actually have the time, compared to an LY percentage of just 38. Individual spending also increased and was mostly paid by cash, i.e. stimulus money.

Without a doubt, the décor market is growing. Technavio research claims the online home décor market will grow by $52.95 billion. In another report, Smithers has forecasted the décor marketplace will grow around five percent annually by 2023. You can thank lockdown and online shopping for those statistics. If you’re a D2C or B2B PSP and you don’t have a way to serve your customers online, now is the time to craft effective workflows and profitable processes to do what we in the print industry do best: adapt and overcome.

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Rachel Nunziata is a digital print business and market development specialist with an undeniable enthusiasm for interior and home décor segments. She is a graduate of Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida, and has a knack for enabling synergies between artists, interior designers, and industry experts. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter @RachelNunziata.

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