From Home Furnishing Business
What Sells: FAVORITE SHOWS The evolution of today’s home entertainment consoles
Oversized flat-screen televisions have become ubiquitous in today’s homes resulting in the need for stylish and functional media consoles. Placing these large-screen TVs (an oversized black box in visual terms) throughout the home has become palatable to design-savvy consumers in recent years, yet the idea of resting them on basic TV stands is less appealing. Some homeowners choose to wall-mount their screens, but for fans of Houzz, Pinterest, HGTV, and home décor influencers, the well-styled media console has become a decorating essential.
As Americans spent more time at home during the pandemic, home entertainment furnishings received a sizeable share of home improvement spending. Industry research—from the FurnitureCore model developed by Impact Consulting Services, parent company to Home Furnishings Business magazine—estimates the entertainment furniture category grew an impressive 20.9% from 2020 to 2021. This double-digit growth compares to the strong, but not as astounding, 9.9% growth posted from 2019 to 2020.
In 2021, the entertainment furniture group finished at $6.92 billion over $5.73 billion the previous year. As with most categories, that dramatic growth has slowed in , yet the numbers are still positive with 5.8% growth showing from the first quarter of this year to the second.
New looks in media consoles dovetail with other casegood design directions and notably include wirebrushed, cerused, painted and clear finishes. Natural finishes and designs with a light, natural aesthetic are trending. Greenington’s best-selling Hanna console embodies this look and features a sustainable, earth-friendly Wheat finish crafted using heat, steam, and pressure to transform solid bamboo into a variety of tones. The environmentally safe finish displays a beautiful grain pattern with continuous color throughout the material.
“Hanna represents my commitment to working with Greenington to integrate sustainable and rapidly renewable bamboo material with minimalist design to evoke a powerful emotional response with high-performance consumer products,” says Greenington’s designer Jim Liu.
Console size is an evolving factor in the category, with larger sizes proving necessary to support larger TV screens. At Lexington Furniture, the 107-inch Artistica Signature Designs Logan media console is a best-seller and appreciated for its ability to anchor the 100- inch class of ultra-high-end monitors, says Robert Yount, president of Artistica. The growth of on-demand and digital programming and the subsequent decline of DVD-player usage has changed the styling of media consoles as well. While some console designs still feature open shelves or clear glass doors, the more popular look of closed-door cabinets has become predominant as multiple A/V component access is no longer required. This evolution in style has added versatility to the category as media consoles are increasingly being used in other areas of the home—and not just for displaying televisions.
“The Enrico entertainment center, which can fit in any room, reflects the next generation of home entertainment, and shows the versatility of our sleek and modern style,” said Frederik Winther, vice president of sales and marketing for Bellini Modern Living. “Younger consumers are minimalists, so entertainment centers tend to work better because they fit in a room easily and leave the wall space open. Enrico is our best seller because its contemporary features really speak to the modern-day consumer.”