Earlier this winter, the Merchandising Team at 5th & Main Furniture by Freed’s escaped South Dakota’s frigid temperatures for a slightly warmer trip to North Carolina’s Furniture Market! The weather was lukewarm, however the home furnishing finds were hot, hot, HOT! Attending Furniture Markets is definitely a highlight of what we do as Merchandisers. We take Market very seriously; we want to find unique, value-driven home furnishings to bring to our customers in Rapid City. At each Market, overall colors and themes present themselves. This market was full of lighter neutrals. In addition, more retro colors presented themselves as the pop needed for home accents. Overall, color palettes are moving toward lighter neutrals. This includes creams, whites, off-whites, light grays, and taupes. These colors are definitely a hot trend for upholstered items like sofas, loveseats, living room chairs, etc. However, neutrals are even finding their way to upholstered dining chairs, area rugs and as stains on bedroom sets and occasional tables. Neutrals have always been (and will continue to be) excellent canvases to work with. Virtually any accent color can be incorporated with a neutral palette. These colors are extremely versatile, meaning an investment in a beautiful, cream sofa will last you for years. Of course, let’s address the lightly colored, gray elephant in the room (also a great neutral color): neutral colors are so light, they will stain! Yes, it’s no secret that lighter colors will show stains more than the chocolate micro-fibers of yesteryear. However, fabric companies are on the ball, and are offering numerous stain-resistant fabrics in our favorite, creamy colors. When I say stain resistant, I mean let’s drop a glass of cabernet on this sofa cushion and watch it wash away kind of resistant. Stain treated fabrics really work. So, let’s rejoice! You can now have the light neutrals you have always dreamed of without giving up your dogs and children. Neutrals are definitely on the rise for upholstered items, however, neutral tones are also finding their ways onto wood stains. Dining room sets and bedroom sets are showcasing lighter woods, which is a great way to add a soft element to your living space. Apart from actual stains, woods are making their way back to more natural states. Clear stains on European oak, maples, and more are all popping up in showrooms as a definite trend. Although we saw many neutral items layered with neutral accents, colors are still present and finding their way onto the scene. Brighter, more retro colors, like avocado, burnt sienna, harvest gold, and mustard are adding splashes to throw pillows, wall art, area rugs, and other home accents. If you didn’t live during the 1970s, maybe you are ready for these palettes? I know I am! These colors are bright, however, they are muted versions of their bright selves, meaning they mix well with lighter neutrals. Expect to see neutral colors and poppier accents make their way to Rapid City within coming months! Although these are the trends, it doesn’t mean designing with these colors are the rules. Above all else, you should like the colors you design with, whether or not they are “technically” on-trend. If you haven’t visited us in awhile, be sure to stop into 5th & Main Furniture by Freed’s, on the corner of 5th & Main Street in Downtown Rapid City. We have an ever-changing selection of furniture, home accessories, lighting and area rugs. See you soon!