Wednesday, September 28, 2016

From Paris with Love: Maison + Objet 2016 Recap

Every year, our showroom and product development teams travel to Paris to attend the Maison + Objet show during Paris Design Week. The trip provides a chance for idea generation and good discussion around possibilities for Accent Decor to grow and improve.

"I try to approach Maison + Objet without expectations. I find this leaves my mind open to discovery, rather than looking for something specific," Sarah Bagle, Creative Director at Accent Decor, said. "We always come back from Paris with building blocks, affirmations and a pulse on trends. This trip was no exception to that."

Paris Design Week allows the showroom and product development team to get a pulse on what is happening in design. For Accent Decor's creative consultant, Jessica Hiemstra, it provides the opportunity to open her "artist's heart" to new, bold, and interesting design. 

"Everything that I look at from someone's outfit to another vendor's display allows me to scribble in my notebook as I prepare to bring innovations and problems to our team to interpret and bring to life in the showrooms," Jessica said.  

To prepare for the trip, Sarah made sure to keep the team up to date with her observations and innovative ideas. She communicated that deep greens, a masculine/scientific approach to plants and florals, and heavy, urban jungle-inspired interiors were on the rise.

"What I came away knowing was not just that we were "on point" with trends, but that in some ways, we are ahead," Jessica said. "Sarah's creative direction is not just aligned with what we saw in Paris, but also innovative, new, and distinctly American in design."

As we all know, inspiration comes from a lot of different sources and Accent Decor's creative team strives to interpret with displays that are appealing, inspiring and pragmatic to customers.

"We want to get our customers excited about how they can interpret our inspirations in their stores or at the events they create, so we take cues from many exhibits and the displays at Maison + Objet," Liz Zwissler, Design Director for Accent Decor, said. "Once they've passed through the filters of our hearts and minds, they become what we are proud to present to the industry. "

Accent Decor always stresses the importance of being open to new inspiration while respecting the practical side of being a business. Without the human hours and financial support that go hand-in-hand with bringing inspiration to life, a space will struggle to become an experience, something both Liz and Jessica are passionate about maintaining in the Accent Decor showrooms.

Vincent Gregoire's talk on trends really reinforced the concept of the experience for the team.

"He talked about how customers today can go online, and digitally get so much of what they want, so when they go to a store, they are going for more than just an object," Jessica said. "They are going in order to experience a place, and I think it's worth it to inspire people and remember we should be offering an experience," Jessica said.

So what can customers expect to see from Accent Decor in 2017? 

"Accent Decor customers can expect to be kept up to date with trends as we release our own trend and color stories yet again that have influences from around the globe," Sarah said. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

5 Color Blocking Tips for Visual Merchandising

Color blocking doesn't mean you have to arrange all your products in a rainbow row, but considering it for your shop or window display could help bring an organized, cohesive look to your merchandising.

In our showroom, we had a section inspired by Jackie O. and color played a huge part in that story. While we used color blocking mainly in the environment around our products, we were also strategic in the products we chose to live there - sticking to metallics, neutrals, and glass to help the paint and florals pop.

Here's a few tips you can use to bring color blocking to your own merchandising displays:

1. Know Your Color Wheel:

Paying attention to color harmony is a necessary step in the process. Here's some popular starting points to keep in mind when choosing colors.

Complementary - opposites on the color wheel. Great for making certain colors stand out 
Triad - colors that are evenly spaced from each other on the color wheel
Analogous - colors that are next to each other on the color wheel

Need help picking the perfect palette? We love Adobe's Color Wheel Tool.

2. Tell A Story:

Use autumn jewel tones to feature your new fall line or pick out muted neutrals if you're showing off your eco friendly products. By pairing your products with specific colors, you're inspiring your customers with a story and allowing them to visualize your products in an environment that appeals to them.

For our Jackie O. Story, we chose to focus a lot on white, clear, metallic, and pastel products that had strong lines and bold shapes, all features that were popular in the 1960s. Adding our cement pieces grounded the story and gave it an updated, industrial touch.

3. Use Your Products:

While we used color blocking mainly in the environment around our products, we also used our flux planters to help bring our Jackie O. story to life. With the geometric angles, stacking ability, and easy to drill material, the Flux Planter added visual interest not only to our walls, but to our tabletops, acting as product risers. By using an all white product in mass, we had a dimensional blank canvas to build upon.

4. Think about flow and direction

In order for the whole look to feel anchored, we designed our color flow to travel from bottom to top. So, the heaviest, darkest tones sat at the bottom, and then we added white to the paint to get lighter and lighter as we painted our display structures.

5. Take Risks

Sometimes, our best work comes when we break the rules a little bit. When adding strips of colored paper and pairing products together, we embraced symmetry rather than sticking to the hard-fast rule of thirds in product groupings or keeping everything asymmetrical.

What sort of risks have you taken in your merchandising that really paid off? Tell us in the comments below!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

#AccentDecorColor: Win $1000 to Shop Accent Decor

On Instagram, we've been so inspired by our followers' take on Africa.  We've also loved how you all went Scandinavian for the holidays, and now we're excited to announce our third Instagram contest: #AccentDecorColor, a styling and floral design challenge inspired by color blocking and the iconic style of Jackie O.

We'll be selecting TWO winners who will each be awarded a $1000 credit to their Accent Decor Account.

One winner will be chosen for best floral design inspired by one dominating color and one winner will be chosen for best styled look inspired by one dominating color.

5 Things You Need to Do:
1. Follow us on Instagram: @AccentDecorInc
2. Design a floral arrangement, tablescape, or home decor vignette inspired by one dominating color!
3. Share your design on Instagram between September 12 and October 10 using #AccentDecorColor somewhere in your caption.
4. Make sure your profile is public so we don't miss your entry!
5.  Be a registered customer (or be willing to register) of Accent Decor so we can add the $1000 credit to your account if you're selected the winner!

Ideas to incorporate in your entries: 
  • Color blocking 
  • Tone on tone layering
  • Mid-century design
Need more inspiration? Check out our blog post on how Jackie O. inspired one of our showroom looks this year.

Participant Eligibility:
In order to be eligible to win, you must have a business license. If you are not a registered customer with Accent Decor, you will need to start the application process in order to receive the $1000 account credit. 

There is no purchase necessary to register with us or to participate. While we would love to see how Accent Decor products inspire your creations, using our product will not be a deciding factor in who wins. 

To register, fill out our online registration form.

Selecting the Winner:
Two winners will be selected and each winner will receive a $1000 credit to shop our newest products. Winners will be announced Monday, October 17 2016.

Winners will be picked by the Accent Decor Art Director and one of their guest floral designers.

Participants can share as many photos as they want in both categories, but they will only be able to win in one category. 

Our social media strategist will share photos each week of the challenge, but photos shared on the @AccentDecorInc account do not reflect the judge's preferences. 

We'll contact the winners directly through email to collect their prize on Monday, October 17, 2016.

Freight: For winners, free economy freight will be applied for US continental only. 

Image Rights: By tagging your image #AccentDecorColor, you're giving permission for Accent Decor to share your image on, in the Accent Decor newsletter, on this blog, and on any Accent Decor social media channels. Proper photo credit will be given.