There’s an interesting paradigm going on. While the U.S. has been in the throes of a multi-year Recession, it seems like the average consumer’s Style IQ has gone way up. Whether it’s due to the popularity of remodeling/decorating TV networks and shelter magazines or the countless decorating blogs on the Internet, consumers have more access to design advice than ever before — and they are seeking it out. They are using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest to collect decorating ideas for their homes and asking their friends for opinions.
Just as consumers are exhibiting more discriminating taste in aesthetics, interior designers are refining their palettes. “I think there’s a greater sensitivity to style and selection among interior designers,” says Jason Phillips, an award-winning product designer and the vp/creative director of the manufacturer The Phillips Collection. “There is so much great product out there from so many different companies that designers are taking their time choosing pieces for their clients,” he explains.
Homeowners and designers are looking for unique furnishings that have personality and “a story” behind them. They also seem willing to wait and save up for just the right product. Quality is trumping quantity. In many cases, Phillips has noticed that price is not always the primary factor; instead, it’s all about the client or designer “falling in love with the piece.” In this issue, we’ve put together some inspirational projects – from illuminating home art galleries to a grand master bath renovation – and interviewed three prominent interior designers about their lighting likes and dislikes.
We also shine our spotlight on some of the lighting industry’s movers and shakers in a special Legends, Leaders & Luminaries section. You might be surprised how some
of the familiar faces you’ve seen for years at market got their start. One attribute they have in common: a passion for the lighting business. I know you share that same feeling. With the housing market beginning to rebound and news that consumers are willing to pay more for beautiful designs, I’m hoping these are all harbingers of a great spring selling season ahead.