• Cindy W. Hodnett

Design Today: Influence of interior designers is on the rise

Made for the Trade: Latest Issue of Design Today Explores Products, Programs and Profitability for Designers

Design Today Summer 2015“Everyone knows that we’re in the era of the designer.”

So said a long-time furniture industry veteran at the April High Point Market, and many manufacturers and dealers agree. Fueled by the demands of a consumer market seeking a personalized aesthetic at just about every price point, the rising status of interior designers in the home furnishings industry is dictating a new approach for many companies, and participants on both sides of the trade equation are revising their business strategies in response.

In the latest issue of Design Today (click here to read), Progressive Business Media’s quarterly magazine for interior designers, Universal’s new To the Trade program is profiled along with some of the products that debuted for the line at High Point Market in April. Noteworthy for many reasons, To the Trade is an exciting addition to the supply-side landscape because it offers accessibility to a curated product line that wasn’t previously available from the manufacturer and also because it’s likely to herald the development of similar programs in the future.

Passion and Profit is a new series that will offer practical strategies designers can use to improve their client roster, list of projects and profitability. According to a recent salary survey conducted by Gail Doby and associates, most interior designers don’t feel like they are paid enough for their professional expertise, and Doby is going to highlight strategies and best practices that designers can take to correct substandard salaries.

Product introductions from markets around the world highlight international trends and a recap of some of the best items seen at High Point Market showcase ongoing and future style preferences in upholstery, case goods and accents. Traveling PBM editors also explored the origins of some iconic furniture designs while they were out and about, as well as new interpretations of favored classics.

Additional new features include Street Scene, a snapshot of happening retail destinations and Build the Room, an ongoing segment that will address specific design projects for different rooms in the home. For summer, kitchen product options at multiple price points are front and center.

Technology supports it — and the overwhelming preference for personalized spaces demand it — this era of the designer. Take a look at some of the resources that are going to help interior designers maximize the potential of the shift.

To see the latest issue, click here.

Cindy HodnettCindy W. Hodnett | Upholstery/Style Editor

As the Upholstery/Style Editor for Furniture/Today, I spend my work hours studying the sloping curves of sofa frames, the intricacies of fabric and the nail head trim and button accents that function as jewelry on a piece of upholstery. I research the companies that bring these things together for retailers, and ultimately consumers, and interview industry leaders about their business strategies and where they think furniture is heading in the future. And when traveling, I provide a sneak peek at what I'm seeing, whether at international markets or in High Point or Las Vegas.

I look forward to sharing what I see and I hope you'll feel free to do the same. Email me at chodnett@furnituretoday.com or follow me on Twitter @CynthiaWHodnett.

Research Store

Web Directory Search
Search for Products/Companies

Featured Video

  • Casual Friday: Furnitureland South's expanding outdoor showroom

    Camera Icon More Videos

Subscribe to
Casual Living eWeekly
Receive the news you need to know about the trends in the industry delivered right to your inbox.

Exterior Design

Exterior Design Fall 2017

A new season means a fresh look at outdoor luxury in the fall issue of Exterior Design. From the Hollywood Hills to the penthouses of New York, we explore the most opulent outdoor spaces, products and designs. The Fifth Room has arrived in high style, and you don't want to miss it! See the latest issue!

November Digital Edition


Don't miss the November digital edition of Casual Living! In this month’s issue, we look to the future of retail with a spotlight on technology. Assistant Editor Alex Milstein breaks down the basics of artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) and how they’re changing the furniture shopping experience. We also explain how building engagement on social media channels can boost business for retailers. 

Universe Study

You’ve waited two years, and it’s finally here! Casual Living’s biennial Universe Study offers a comprehensive snapshot of the outdoor category, highlighting its growth across all segments from furnishings to shade to grills.

Also in This Issue:

• Designer Viewpoint: A Beverly Hills backyard gets a glam makeover, thanks to renowned designer Christopher Grubb.

• Market Report: Our editors give you the inside scoop on all the new outdoor introductions at the High Point Market. Can you say Cobonpue?

• Casual Insights: Kathy Wall of The Media Matters offers insight on refreshing your brand.


November Digital Edition