keyboard_arrow_left See all news

Recent News

14 Jan 2021
Furniture Show Birmingham Postponed to January 2022
In-line with ongoing restrictions implemented by the UK government, Clarion Events has a...
08 Jan 2021
Sleepeezee: Backing Sustainable Britain
Steve Warren, Joint Managing Director at Sleepeezee, talks about the importance of a sus...
21 Dec 2020
New Year, exciting new era for Retail at Clarion Events
Clarion Events, the organiser of January Furniture Show and Manchester Furniture Show, h...
16 Dec 2020
Talking Technology with Designsofa
Dan Hyllested, Managing Director and Partner at Nordic-C, shares an insight into its Des...
04 Dec 2020
Coping with Covid - Young Furniture Makers
Four budding furniture designers share their experience of 2020 so far and how the Covid...
09 Nov 2020
January Furniture Show Dates Moved
January Furniture Show organiser postpones the event to 25-28 April 2021, due to extende...
21 Sep 2020
Time to Do More Online?
Andy Mulcahy, Strategy and Insight Director at IMRG, talks about the importance of onlin...
11 Sep 2020
Furniture Digest | BFM Industry  Support, Appointment Systems & Retail Sales Increase
Nick Garratt gives an insight into how the BFM is supporting the industry. There's acqui...
04 Sep 2020
Appointment System Weeds out Browsers
A look into how an appointment-based system can help businesses such as Artertons and Fu...
13 Aug 2020
The Furniture Makers': Here to Help
Jonny Westbrooke, CEO of The Furniture Makers' Company, the long-standing furnishing ind...
31 Jul 2020
January Furniture Show 2021 to go ahead
January Furniture Show 2021 is going ahead, with doors set to open 24-27 January at the ...
31 Jul 2020
Dids Macdonald on IP Protection | ACID
Dids Macdonald, OBE Chief Executive - Anti Copying in Design (ACID), shares an overview ...
20 Jul 2020
Dan Oscroft | Whitemeadow
“We’ve made good progression, but we’re far from done yet” says Dan Oscroft, who...
10 Jul 2020
Real Business Rescue's Keith Tully on COVID-19
Real Business Rescue is a restructuring and turnaround service for businesses in financi...
03 Jul 2020
Furniture Digest | La-Z-Boy on COVID-19, Backing British Furniture & Uncertainty for Harveys
Insight from La-Z-Boy, and Barker and Stonehouse’s new campaign supporting the British...
02 Jul 2020
La-Z-Boy UK: Coping with COVID-19
Global upholstery manufacturer La-Z-Boy reflects on how its UK arm has coped with the co...
19 Jun 2020
Furniture Digest | Footfall up 40%, Advice from Retailer Vic Smith Beds & VAT Reduction
We caught up with Vic Smith Beds to find out how they are opening safely. Footfall was u...
17 Jun 2020
Vic Smith Beds: Coping with COVID-19
Independent mattress retailer Vic Smith Beds shares an insight into how they have coped ...
05 Jun 2020
Furniture Digest | Advice from Financial Consultancy & Consumer Demand
We spoke to an expert from Financial Consultancy Begbies Traynor to get advice and insig...
03 Jun 2020
COVID-19: Independent Advice from Professional Financial Consultancy Begbies Traynor
Gary Lee, North West Partner and a specialist in Business Rescue & Recovery at Begbies T...
29 May 2020
Furniture Digest | Financial Support & More Retail Reopening
The Furniture Makers' Company increased the support available, while Arlo & Jacob has be...
28 May 2020
Trend: Sustainability
COVID-19 has presented governments, businesses and individuals with unprecedented challe...
22 May 2020
Furniture Digest | BFC Inquiry & Guidance for Retailers
More information has emerged from the British Furniture Confederation (BFC) Inquiry into...
21 May 2020
How Retailers Can Prepare to Reopen
As several large-scale retailers begin to open their doors, many local retailers are sta...
11 May 2020
COVID-19: The Furniture Industry Responds
We’ve been inspired by stories about these suppliers and retailers who are using their...
04 Feb 2020
January Furniture Show is Home to the Industry’s Market Movers
The value of the U.K.’s furniture and lighting retail market looks primed to advance a...
03 Feb 2020
Furniture Makers Exceeds Target of 100 One Step at a Time Companies
The Furniture Makers’ Company has surpassed its target of 100 companies signed up to i...
31 Jan 2020
January Furniture Show 2020 Attracts Key Buyers in Every Sector
Exhibitors in all five halls of the UK’s biggest furniture buying event reported stron...
19 Jan 2020
The Winners of The Furniture Awards 2020
The results are in for The Furniture Awards 2020, as the UK’s top suppliers present ...
16 Jan 2020
One Step Champion Campaign
The Furniture Makers’ Company is encouraging visitors and exhibitors at the January Fu...
11 Dec, 2020
keyboard_arrow_left See all news

Talking Trends with Barker and Stonehouse

With lockdown providing an opportunity to focus on home improvements, there are many that have taken the chance to refresh, refurbish and revitalise their living space.

Online sales of home furnishing products have soared for the large part in recent months and now retailers have reopened, consumers are continuing the trend of parting with cash to put their interior inspiration into practice.

So, what exactly is trending in terms of products?

We caught up with Claire Hornby, Head of Creative at independent furniture retailer Barker and Stonehouse, who answered this question and a few more on what their customers have been busy buying. 

The first point of call isn't in fact the products themselves but the style, Claire revealed.

     Quote The products that are trending at the moment are those with strong colour and velvet finishes. Quote

"People are becoming more confident about using colour in their homes to create strong focal points. Navy and teal continue to be the most popular colours for us, but we’ve also seen a new wave in sales of ochre and burnt orange. I think colour always lifts the spirits a little, which is always a good thing!"

We second that, especially in the current times we are all living in at the moment. A boost of much need colour can certainly clear up some of the murky uncertain clouds looming. 

With these types of finishes in mind, the obvious product category would be soft furnishings, which are proving to be very popular.

"With regards to soft furnishings, bold prints and natural materials are really popular right now," Claire said.

"Textural finishes are also a key trend. Rattan and wicker have made a huge come back and our customers still love animal prints.

"Navy and teal continue to be the strongest colours for us with a new wave in sales of ochre and burnt orange."


Claire Hornby


Another top category for Barker and Stonehouse, and its highest performing one, is upholstery, followed by dining chairs. Claire said that this is likely due to the "huge array of styles and price points" it offers. 

One 'style' - or what's perhaps better described as a 'movement' - that is continuing to be extremely popular with shoppers is sustainability. For Barker and Stonehouse, it has seen a rising trend in this area, where sustainably sourced, recycled and reclaimed furniture has been a big part of its product offering for some time, but consumer demand for this type of product has increased further and there is definitely a rising trend in this area.

In keeping with sustainably sourced product, Barker and Stonehouse took the opportunity itself through lockdown to launch an initiative to back British made products, which has been "very healthy" for both the business and its suppliers.

"During lockdown, we launched a campaign to specifically promote British furniture manufacturing and British made products with our customers. The campaign was endorsed by the British Retail Consortium and the British Furniture Manufacturers Association (BFM)," Claire said. 

"The aim was to help our home-grown manufacturers bounce-back from lockdown and to help secure their order books, jobs and skills. As a result, we have seen very healthy orders for our British made products. We’re delighted with the outcome as traditional British furniture making skills are second to none."

Barker and Stonehouse work tirelessly to keep on top of what's trending to maximise its offer to its customers, and of course, keep securing the sales.

So how do you keep on top of 'what's trending'?

Claire explained: "As a small team comprising of furniture and homewares buyers as well as a trend analyst, we always start by focusing on the main upcoming trends that we see emerging at the shows and around the world. 

"We then adapt these, putting our own twist on them, and sometimes creating micro-trends from these, that prove to be extremely popular with customers. 

"The most important measure of success is always sales. There’s no real point in us creating a trend that nobody wants to live with."

Looking ahead, Claire revealed that the team is currently focusing on the bedroom and is in the middle of working on an "exciting project" that will allow for more variety and colour to be offered, all driven by customer demand.

With the pandemic putting strain on the industry and wider economy, it remains key to be able to react and adapt to not only changing trends, but changing consumer behaviour. 

"There have obviously been many changes in the world due to the pandemic," Claire said. "More people are focusing on their personal space, making changes, investing in their homes with new décor and furniture, and many people are continuing to work from home, maybe forever. 

"Fundamentally these are already impacting sales and will continue to do so into the autumn and winter."


Processing. Please wait.