Padraic McGuinness, Group Development Manager for Albany Home Décor, with branches nationwide, talks to The Hardware Journal about the latest industry trends and products in the Paint and Home Décor Sector.
Despite the negative impact of Coronavirus on retailing and consumer behaviour there are some positive stories and trends from the world of home décor in Spring / Summer 2020. With the combination of home isolation, and the long spell of very favourable weather, the opportunity and trend towards home decorating has been the big positive story so far, this year. From a trading perspective, 2020 started very slow and flat due mainly to the very poor weather in January to mid-March but picked up steadily for the few weeks prior to the March lockdown.
A noticeable micro trend in this pick-up was from customers in the teaching profession who were among the first to be affected by the Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown. We at Albany Home Décor saw a pattern emerge around St Patrick’s weekend when it was clear that teachers and students were going to be at home for an extended period of time. This was largely interior painting at first but a gradual shift to exterior coatings followed as the weather improved, marking an earlier than normal run on this activity. Within the context of lockdown and restricted trading, Albany Stores were closed throughout April except for emergency orders or essential products in certain circumstances. However, there was an unprecedented level of demand for exterior paint through online and phone queries. Since reopening in a restricted trading format, Albany has witnessed this trend towards outdoor painting and garden projects on a much greater level than previous years. The demand for woodcare products, masonry paint, roof paint, and other exterior products has hit unprecedented levels and all at a time when the industry was least capable of responding to it, with production and supply chains in lockdown throughout April and operating on a social distancing basis since reopening.
Trends & Products
Outdoor colour application continues to be the big trend in décor and outdoor living. Strong and bold colours are more likely to be found on front doors, patio furniture, ceramic pots and iron down pipes or railings, than neutrals or natural woodstains, and all to great effect. This trend is fuelled by creativity, product innovation and inspirational projects, shared through Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms. The garden colour movement has also been enhanced by TV shows around the home improvement or extension theme.
It reflects our customer`s desire for colour in their spaces and the enjoyment of their outdoors.Our customers are increasingly viewing their garden and outdoor spaces as extension of their living spaces. This trend has been products such as Blackfriars, Rustoleum, Woodoc and Sikkens. There is also a wide range of trim paints available in 1,000’s of colours and finishes from flat matts to high gloss. However, the satin and eggshell look continues to grow in popularity with consumers.
The big colour movers and shakers for Albany Home Décor this summer 2020 are:
- Pinks are currently huge for front doors and even patio furniture. Especially muted pinks with shades like Memory Lane from the Albany Design Collection, or Setting Plaster from Farrow & Ball, and Secret Shell from Little Greene.
- Muted tones of green are also making waves this summer for example Winslade, from the Albany range and Huntsman from Colourtrend, or Green Smoke from Farrow & Ball, and Hedge Green from the Fleetwood Prestige range.
- Vibrant yellows and mustards are breaking the colour confidence barriers with the likes of Mister David from Little Green and French Mustard from Colourtrend.
- Greys and Blues still function as old reliables in the garden too. Dark greys like Templar Grey from Colourtrend, Wolf Grey from Albany or Mole’s Breath from Farrow & Ball are strong anchors for fences, trellises, and gates. Aqua blues like Cambourne from Albany or even Parma Grey from Farrow & Ball are still providing a neutral role against the greenery and terracotta of many outdoor spaces.