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From Home Furnishing Business

Power Rooms

By: Sheila Long O'Mara

Bedrooms — either master or secondary — continue to increase in importance in today’s homes.

As the world whirls around at lightning speed, everyone craves a welcome retreat in which to recover from the everyday hustle and bustle. Today’s bedrooms seem to be busier than ever, and people are looking for their rooms to be functional, peaceful and welcoming.

In Home Furnishings Business’ most recent survey in which we talked bedrooms with 536 consumers who have bought bedroom furniture within the last 18 months, consumers are nearly split between traditional and contemporary styles.

For master bedrooms, 37.2 percent of the consumers are traditionalist, while 36.3 percent opt for more contemporary looks. For guest or second bedrooms, 40.5 percent of the consumers lean toward traditional and 35.7 percent took the contemporary road.

Other style families like European country, Mission, cottage and the middle ground transitional each garnered less than 8 percent of the thumbs up from consumers for either bedroom.

The consumer insight lines up with what is happening within the vendor showrooms throughout the industry.

Traditional and contemporary seem to get the most play, while suppliers looking to reach across the aisle continue to offer updated traditional or softer contemporary styles, and transitional remains a buzzword throughout industry speak although it likely doesn’t hold much meaning for consumers.

John Iasiello, vice president of wood products for Emerald Home Furnishings, sees bedroom styling trending a bit more streamlined. Still traditional, he said, but a cleaner, slightly smaller traditional for Emerald’s target consumer.

One of Emerald’s top sellers is the Riviera group in a linen finish and laden with molding and dramatic curves. Iasiello said the company isn’t likely to leave that business behind, but it is tracking to capture a younger consumer with a cleaned-up design spectrum.

Brian Edwards, president of Fairmont Designs, points to the company’s Grand Estates collection as an example of the continuing trend of traditional bedroom.

“In bedroom furniture, our retailers are looking for proven winners,” he said. “When they land on that tried-and-true group, they tend to stick with it.”

While traditional continues to lead the parade at Fairmont, it’s not your grandmother’s traditional. The latest bedrooms throughout the industry are loaded with creature comforts to make unwinding, sleep and work—as a number from our consumer panel say they do—easier.

Winning bedroom suppliers have tricked out nightstands with power strips to accommodate smartphones, tablets and other devices that have replaced many alarm clocks. Some beds are also equipped with soft, touch lighting to help guide people through the middle-of-the-night treks to the bathroom. Dressers and chests have morphed to accommodate televisions, DVRs and other electronics.

Bedrooms are no longer quiet sanctuaries in which consumers retreat to restore and reconnect with partners. Instead, as our survey shows, those rooms are being used as family entertainment hubs (26.5 percent), reading stations (30.4 percent), comfy work spaces (25.9 percent), and more.

Our consumer panel — both those who bought master and second bedroom — tended toward all wood beds for their purchases. On a scale of one to seven with seven being very appealing and one being not all appealing, the master bedroom buyers rated an all wood bed with a 6.07 and second bedroom buyers gave all wood a 5.52 rating. Second for both groups were metal and wood beds— 3.54 for master bedrooms and 3.88 for second bedrooms.





Want More?

A more in-depth report on the bedroom category is available for purchase at—Industry Info—Industry Reports—Bedroom, or by calling Natalia Hurd at (404) 390-1535.

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