EVERYONE BRACED THEMSELVES on New Year’s Eve, hoping it would be a smooth transition into 2022. Prior to the celebratory evening, memes were swirling around the internet insinuating that 2022 sounded just like “2020 2,” as in a sequel to 2020 as a highly contagious variant and positive cases littered the country again. How long would we continue living in a pandemic? How would a new variant, along with wavering CDC guidelines, affect rising inflation, supply chain issues, or in-person events? To be frank, the uncertainty has been exhausting. Alas, to err on the side of caution, we still decided to stay home and refrain from large public gatherings. And sadly, the last day of the year didn’t go unscathed. You probably recall the collective shock when it was announced on social media that America’s beloved Golden Girl, Betty White, passed earlier that day. Nevertheless, we mourned, remembered, and marched on.
The new year is always a great time to reflect and start fresh. We declutter, redecorate, and rearrange our WFH (work-from-home) and at-home learning spaces. Companies have been reconsidering, or canceling, their commercial leases as flex working becomes a permanent option. According to a Wall Street Journal article, “7.3 percent of Manhattan’s office space was available at the end of the fourth quarter, the highest in many years.” Developers are now repurposing empty office spaces to be retrofitted into post-pandemic style apartment dwellings.
As a print business owner, your job is to provide clients with solutions that deliver unique value, specific to their needs. If you’re a PSP specializing in digitally printed interior décor then you must deliver high-quality, niche applications that far exceed typical wide-format graphics. (Check out the new Interior Décor and Textile webinar series to learn more at bigpicturemag.com/homedecor.) As you’ve probably gathered from above, there’s a building boom in commercial and residential markets, and two areas of opportunity to develop new sales and marketing strategies: 1. More properties mean more potential projects, so gear up for those job specs and PO’s. 2. Design has shifted toward post-pandemic living; compartmentalized spaces, flex-work spaces, and forward-thinking public and multi-family buildings. Cue the creative juices. If you’re unsure what to expect for interiors in 2022, keep reading to learn how to make the most of the new year for your print business.
Color is probably one of the most important decisions for brands, product designers, and interior professionals alike. Of course, there are other factors to consider, but we naturally gravitate toward colors of our liking. Not only is there a psychology to color but there’s also an element of illusion. Designers apply colors throughout space to trick the eye; they can narrow, widen, shorten, or raise the perspective of an interior simply by the use of color and placement. All the more reason to be aware of color of the year be it Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore. Pantone’s color of the year is Very Peri, a vibrant, cool combination of blue-violet and periwinkle.
Have you considered leveraging a color of the year in your marketing? The heavy lifting has been done, all you need to do is incorporate these to stay timely and relevant. Hopefully your production calendar doesn’t have too much downtime but if it does, run some test prints, post BTS (behind-the-scenes) shots on Instagram or a company blog.Advertisement
Pattern, print, and fashion play a heavy influence in interiors and the new year is chock full of easy ideas to implement into your projects. Blame last year’s pandemic lockdowns forcing consumers to be creative and seek comfort. Craft and cottagecore are huge right now. If you’re not familiar with cottagecore, it’s an aesthetic celebrating an ideal rural life, popularized by Gen Z.
The idea of craft being a home trend is a nod to artisan or handmade details. If you specialize in digitally printing wallcovering, start researching classic and gardenesque botanicals, warm colors and fabric, and homey-like textured grounds. And since “healthy home” is here to stay, don’t forget to flaunt your low-VOC and antimicrobial attributes. Biophilic design is going strong as we bring nature indoors; people are still craving comfort, joy, and tranquility. Somewhat contrary to tranquility and peace, maximalism is on the rise again as well as Gen Z’s desire for authenticity, so expect to see lots of mixing and matching of prints and patterns. Predictable cookie-cutter décor, no more.
Space planning and the strategic use of space is where you as a PSP are going to uncover the most value. Of course, being aware of key colors and patterns are important in client conversations but understanding how space is being used today, and beyond, is where you’ll be able to sell projects and new applications. You’ve probably been subjected to a lockdown at some point, which forced you to move from nook to nook within your own home to find a quiet place to plug in your laptop. Houzz.com reports homeowners and commercial developers are investing in work-from-home flex places; in 2020 renos and additions were at an all-time high. People need maker spaces, podcast rooms, zoom rooms, studios, and collaboration hubs at work when they decide to come in. The applications here are endless.
Where are these print opportunities? No doubt commercial projects came to a standstill and yes, one more time, there’s a supply chain issue. However, Construction Drive reporter Sebastian Obando recently quoted Mark Perkowski, VP at Draper and Kramer, a Chicago-based property and financial services company saying, “Lenders that typically preferred flagged hotels driven by corporate travelers now favor boutique resorts and extended-stay properties that performed particularly well during the pandemic.” Projects are coming back but in a new way. Before, boutique hotels certainly were a thing, they attracted a different type of traveler, but here we can confirm their resiliency because funding is going towards smaller, unique hotels that held up through the pandemic.
Residential projects are an interesting topic. The housing market in general is something I don’t dare touch on without enough knowledge, but what I will say is the rental market is exploding with newly designed rental and multifamily communities. The hottest investments in the home make perfect sense to everything we’ve discussed above; the home office and larger, more purposeful outdoor spaces. Keep in mind the “resimercial” movement is a vertical market where you can take softer, more residential products and applications but create them for larger commercial spaces. So, 2022 home trends such as wall texture and faux finishing can be iterated onto a fresco plaster finish PVC wallcovering ground. Or, perhaps this would be appropriate in a residential, multifamily project.
There’s no guarantee 2022 will go swimmingly, but there’s hope we’re in recovery mode. With a little strategy and focus, you can have a successful year in décor printing, thinking creatively and closing sales.Advertisement
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Interior Décor and Textile Printing: What Equipment Do You Need?
The First Installment of the new Interior Décor and Textiles Webinar Series, Bridging the Gap Between Commercial Peel-and-Stick Wall Graphics & Professional Home Décor, focuses on the technology used for these applications. Our expert panel of speakers cover topics such as what equipment to purchase, what to look for when purchasing, and the various applications you can offer with the equipment you currently have. Watch the first episode, sponsored by TVF, above.
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