Understanding Digital Decor : Sources and Inspiration for Interiors

Guest blogger - Rachel Nunziata

Even if you haven’t kicked off 2018 by globetrotting to each and every A&D trade show, event and furniture fair, there is enough content circulating throughout social media to get the general consensus; homewares and décor categories are plentiful and growing. Last fall an article written by Ali Morris in CNN Style pointed out fashion labels were strategically teaming up with well-established homeware brands to leverage their labels and create new brands, becoming an instant success after launching. It also stated data from Allied Market Research projects the total expected growth for the luxury niche alone will reach $27 billion by 2020. These collaborations will no doubt continue to multiply as the market grows but truly understanding how design brands think and where new channels will emerge is crucial for the digital print community to convey the value proposition of digital print technology to the creative industry.


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(Image courtesy of Print Unlimited,The Netherlands)


The interior décor market is a competitive, crowded space and companies are looking to generate customer loyalty in their product lines and ranges through developing brands aimed at certain aesthetics or demographics. (Not to be confused with interior design, the actual discipline of assembling spaces, interior décor by definition are the objects and materials used to finish spaces.) In the consumer market, this is especially important as transparency and accessibility to online shopping is a sure way to encounter similarities between products after searching pages and pages of popular e-commerce sites. The commercial contract market is also faced with the same quandary. This community remains protective, naturally so, designers and firms rely heavily on sourcing unique products and materials to set themselves apart and woo clients for future projects — but e-commerce is disrupting that.


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(Image courtesy of Print Unlimited, The Netherlands)


A common misconception about [interior] designers is most of their revenue is generated through design fees. Normally, trade pricing, which is not privy to the public, is only accessible to licensed design professionals but their clients are now also shopping for products online. The trade cost savings to the designer are not passed onto clients rather the markup is kept by the designer, which in turn incentives them to shop and specify more décor products and materials for the clients' space. Here is where the majority of the designer's income is made. Traditional licensing deals (another revenue stream for designers), manufacturing and retailing will also change due to e-commerce.



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(Images courtesy of Print Unlimited, The Netherlands)


It’s a paradigm shift that may result in an uptick of higher fees if revenue from trade pricing and markup is watered down for the designer. So where can print service providers and manufacturers with in-house digital printing help those sway clients from shopping online? By collaborating within our industry and offering solution tools for customization. Specifying custom furniture, for example, is usually not available to consumers and custom products (mostly furnishings and softgoods) help designers incur additional revenue on a project. Customization in the tradition channel is very costly with long lead times, however, digitally printed wallcovering and textile applications, for example, are opening new pathways for both consumer and contract markets. Some say finished goods within these two segments are actually interchangeable.



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(Image courtesy of Print Unlimited, The Netherlands)


Be on the lookout for new opportunities as consumers and design professionals shop online to source homewares and décor products; or launch capsule collections and new brands. New e-design services and third party marketplaces are also reshaping the market with design services available through software by tech startups. (Check out Laurel & Wolf, Havenly or Hutch.com.) These business models give access for anyone, of any budget, to access décor and design services and is a roundabout way as a vendor to potentially list your décor products, too.


If you have questions or comments contact Rachel via email at rachelnunziata@gmail.com or follow her LinkedIn page for daily interior décor and digital print industry updates.

Join us for more discussion around Interior decor at PURE Digital 17-19th April 2019 - www.puredigitalshow.com