In our year-and-a-half of quarantine and isolation so far, we ‘ve had plenty of time to think about the people we have been separated from, and the traditions we once shared with them. To say that we now long for these touchpoints is an understatement.
Whether 2021 is the year we return to our friends, family and rituals, or we are compelled to wait for 2022, there is no doubt that we will do so with a different frame of mind. We will definitely feel uplifted. At the same time, many of us may approach these Holidays with a more-intentional mindset. We will be soaking in every moment and taking very little for granted.
In addition to this state of acute presence, another consideration will impact our thinking. For more than a year, our focus has been turned primarily inward—on ourselves (this was the concept behind the Mindful Season trend from my 2020-21 seasonal forecast) and also on our home, which has variously transformed into our office, school, bakery, sanctuary, prison. If anyone saw inside, it was because we staged a table or a room and posted it on Instagram.
As we prepare to invite people into our actual home again (starting with those who we care about the most), we recognize that they are going to have more than a glimpse at our furnishings. After all these months of knowing that nobody could really tell if anything was dusty, guests are going to be up close and personal with our décor. This will certainly be top-of-mind as consumers decorate for those Holidays that can be celebrated together again.
Who wouldn’t take extra care with how their home is decked out for Harvest, Halloween or Christmas? For 2021 and 2022, that attitude is translating into peacock behaviors. I’m not talking about peacock as a color or a pattern, but as a tendency to show off. Not a lot. Just a bit.
So, we anticipate as an undercurrent of design elements throughout fourth-quarter seasonal trends that sit right on the border of dressy. Not opulent—too many of us seen a negative impact on incomes during the pandemic for opulence to have relevance. And not formal—when the dining room table is also a desk and study hall, even alluding to formality seems absurd. This look is just a little more stylish. It is a metaphor for our cautious optimism for the future.
Sustainability was already on many consumers’ minds before the pandemic. Then, the early lockdown made it impossible to ignore. When the skies cleared so quickly, removing the haze along with particles in the air, many people felt a sense of freedom that they had not known was possible. They understood immediately that this was how they wanted to experience life.
The impact of this shift will not only be long lasting, but will also expand as more and more consumers are drawn into sustainability’s orbit. That’s why sustainability is forecasted to have an impact on seasonal trends. It has always been a no-brainer for Harvest. In the coming two years, sustainability will also impact Halloween and Christmas collections.
Another hallmark of seasonal décor in the recovery is benign themes. For a second Halloween in a row, anything horrifying is off the table. No blood or gore, just sweetness and smiles.
Finally, a tendency to embrace nostalgia will also be obvious in new seasonal collections. If it’s part of a childhood memory, or from generations ago when times were simpler and safer, it will have a fourth-quarter following. That’s why some themes I presented last year, like Mid-Mod Merry and Letters to Santa will stick around. Ditto motifs like nutcrackers.
But I definitely have some fresh trends to share with you. In fact, I’ll present 10 completely new seasonal trends in an hour-long webinar next week.
Join me on Wednesday, March 24 at 10:30 Pacific/12:30 Central for Harvest, Halloween & Holiday 2021-22. This webinar is part of IHA’s virtual event, Connect SPRING.
The session is free, but you must register: REGISTER HERE
12:30 – 1:30 PM (CT) Wednesday, March 24
SESSION: Harvest, Halloween & Holiday 2021-22
For more than a year, consumers have been unable to gather and celebrate with loved ones. As opportunities for in-person experiences return in 2021, emotions will run high, increasing consumer interest and engagement. Assortments that speak to these powerful emotions will win big. Learn about the palette, pattern and thematic style trends with the greatest potential for third and fourth-quarter sales.
Speaker: Michelle Lamb