AFR Statement on COVID-19.

Inspirations and Trends by Lindsay Masterson, Southeast Regional Sales Manager AFR Event Furnishings

Posted: 3.21.13
Category: Special Events

Inspiration for the next big trend in the events world can come from anywhere; we see great ideas for colors and themes in fashion and Hollywood.  With 2013 off to a great start, many people are always wondering – what are going to be the sought after looks of the year?  Here are just a few of my thoughts:

Industrial Glam – After the past two years, we need this look.  Opposite of mason jars and overly cute, this is a balanced design approach, where feminine meets masculine.  It  is about metal and aluminum paired with crystals, or masculine heavy leather sofas positioned with delicate French Provincial side chairs.  We are seeing  words like “steam punk” or the “Soho lounge” as a part of our daily lingo, all with feels that are more masculine, but still very chic.  This masculinity can find itself even in the weddings market, where we  are hearing that the groom’s lounge will be a popular request – man-cave décor (with a bride’s touch of course) will be a retreat area for cigars, craft beer or bourbon tastings.

Matchy-matchy looks are out and the eclectic “retail” or “residential” looks are in.  I’m talking about a West Elm/Restoration Hardware-inspired look, so grab a catalog and steal some inspiration from the pages. Don’t be afraid to mix different colors, fabrics, and styles.  Work to incorporate timeless furniture while using stylized accents to pull the look together in a cohesive way.  People are looking for interesting items to combine to create eclectic looks, for example our Vermont Table which has a very natural, earthy feel and our aluminum Elio Dining Chair is a requested look.

Art Deco will be very HOT, especially as the new Gatsby movie hits the big screen.  Art Deco refers to a bold, decorative style that is characterized by geometric patterns which finds its roots in furniture and architecture.  Black and white are the basis for this look, accented with hues of gold and other rich colors.  Today’s art deco combines these features with clean lines for a modern twist.  For a softer version, think pearls, gold, and lace just as the women attending Gatsby’s parties would.  We are seeing this all over in fashion – just look at the Oscars dresses worn by Halle Berry and others!

Neutrals - People are going back to the basics with their colors – shades of white, taupe, and grey can be seen everywhere.  White will always be hot!  It provides a clean pallet, it is versatile and it also picks up lighting and effects when applied.  Looking at this year’s Oscar’s fashion you can see how many big stars chose a glamorous neutral toned dress for the big night!

Branding opportunities have been a staple option for our company for several years.  This concept is rooted in the same approach we have of furniture in general, which is that our selections should be both beautiful and functional, serving a purpose at the event.  Many times events are about brand building and delivering a message, so logoed pillows or branded bars are an available option.  It goes further than that; recently we participated in a conference in which the furniture in the general session room was positioned into a fast forward symbol, accentuating the concept of the conference of moving forward!  This is something that will have a huge impact on all attendees!

Functional Décor- Remember, the most important thing is that furniture serves a purpose.  To achieve this, clients must ask themselves, “What is the purpose of the event?  What do I hope my attendees gain?”  Once we are clear on this, we can begin to design the best furniture selection and placement to maximize the ROI of these items.  For example, many times corporate events are about idea sharing and networking.  When this is the case, designing events should be about creating areas that are comfortable and casual so that they promote this attitude in the attendees and encourage and facilitate extended conversations.  Of course we want the furniture to work with a theme and look beautiful, but we also want it to prove to be a worthwhile asset to the overall event experience.