Do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) drive many of the trends in specialty markets. Mass-market customers are content with picking up a look-alike products but increasing numbers of customers want to convey their own personal style in their surroundings. For example, decorators are taking flea market finds like old wooden tables and chairs, apply a custom paint job on them, and then using them in their home.
Digital technology – like on-demand and 3D printing – have spurred on the DIY movement, too. Nearly any flat surface, from paper to canvas to metal, can convey a personal image or message. Even wall themselves can portray custom designs.
“Speaking of timeless, some design elements are the exact opposite of that. Instead they’re all about the now,” according to Justin DiPego, senior editor at DoItYourself.com. “Look for designs and art going directly on the walls, rather than being hung on them. Peel and stick appliqués have evolved from dorm room decor to grown-up statement pieces.”
Home furnishings are a $79 billion industry, according to IBIS World as of December, and there’s no reason why personalized photo and designed products can’t be a major portion of that.
“Home furnishings shoppers used to start with the likes of Ikea, graduate to, say, West Elm and eventually dabble in Williams-Sonoma or Restoration Hardware. Now with tools like Pinterest and design blogs providing endless inspiration and access, there are a lot more choices, variety and experimentation,” writes Charlotte Nichols, director of marketing at UGallery, in Entrepreneur. “And creating a coherent, polished yet personalized aesthetic no longer requires an expert eye, bundles of free time or a hefty disposable income.”
Key to this trend is the concept that, if you can’t find the piece of decor that fits your style or vision, you can have the item made the way you want it. There is an amazing array of personalized home-decor items, ranging from wall hangings and wallpaper to more functional items, like shower curtains, pillows and towels.
Savvy photo retailers and online companies are using these new exciting product categories to reach out to existing customers and to expand their business to new ones. More awareness of the possibilities of personalized home decor will happen, and when it does, the entire photo category will benefit.
Take a look at these product ideas!