industry insider | Jan 2, 2020 |
What will happen in 2020?

Sad to say, but it’s time to recycle those Champagne bottles, sweep up the glitter and get started on the New Year. Wondering what’s on the horizon in 2020? You’re not alone. We’ve taken a quick survey of what the experts are seeing in their crystal balls for the year ahead.

The Stock Market
Since the great recession of 2008, we’ve enjoyed more than a decade of economic growth, and 2019 was no exception. In fact, the stock market had one of its best years in recent memory, the S&P 500 index was up a staggering 28.9 percent (by comparison, in 2018 it fell over 6 percent). Will the markets enjoy another stellar year? Probably not. Will they crash? Again, probably not. Collecting the predictions of eight analysts, The Wall Street Journal reports that “The U.S. economy is still expected to grow on a percentage basis next year, buoyed by consumer spending that has helped offset slowing business investment. But with the global economy slowing and uncertainty over trade policy lingering, many analysts believe stock gains will wind up being in the single-digit percentage range in 2020.”

The Art World
If you think the stock market seems fickle and difficult to predict, forget about the art market. Artsy is prognosticating a shift from figurative painting to abstraction while an expert at The Art Newspaper is predicting the exact opposite trend. One obvious but important truth that most sources can agree on: The art market is getting more and more digital, and a younger generation of collectors is increasingly comfortable researching and buying art online. Accordingly, major auction houses and galleries are investing heavily in digital user experience. Another shared prediction: Brexit will test London’s status as the de facto European capital for the art business. Paris is the most likely city to pick up the slack.

Smart Home Tech
Just last month, the giants of the smart home world (Amazon, Apple and Google) held a summit. Their goal? To develop a standard protocol so that smart home products of competitive brands can work in unison. If they make it happen, Alexa will be able to talk to your Nest camera, and vice versa—potentially removing one of the major roadblocks that has held back the market, reports The New York Times. There’s also a lot of chatter about the coming of 5G (ultra-fast wireless internet) but some are predicting it won’t affect the smart home world for another couple of years.

Design Trends
Will 2020 be the year that midcentury modern gasps its last breath? That millennial pink is replaced by Gen Z purple? No one knows for sure, but people certainly like to guess. Elle Decor has collected an entertaining list of “ins and outs” for 2020, with grandmillennial vibrancy poised to kick grays to the curb, and accent walls on the chopping block. The Wall Street Journal suggests that the coming year will see a rise in multicolored marble and white sofas. Vogue reached out to designers and got the word that antiques might finally be making a comeback. One trend everyone agreed on? Earth tones will be big in 2020.

What Do You Think?
Last week we put the call out to BOH readers for 2020 predictions. The results ran the gamut from optimism to pessimism. Here are a few of our favorite responses:

—“A reduction in licensing and increase in small brands and designers launching their own product lines”

—“More and more e-commerce adoption from manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers"

—“More color and pattern”

—“Designers discovering more of the customization options that manufacturers offer”

—"A recession in Ontario, Canada"

—“Designers are going to be spending a lot of time this year learning about home automation. I do think this will become a critical part of a designer’s role and they will need a new skill set to understand the different systems and how they integrate with smart home products.”

—“We designers need to continue to educate ourselves to bring the best designs to our clients. All of our creativity should be delivered with kindness and respect for our clients.”

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