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The Un-Trendy Trend -- How Flat-Pack Furniture Fits the Bill

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There is a major trend occurring in home furnishings and decorating and that is: a growing number of consumers are not as interested in trendy, cookie-cutter looks as they once were. Once upon a time we knew that if our neighbor's house was outfitted in Art Deco decor, then it was hip to do likewise. No more, say the trend watchers. As we approach the new millennium, we are going to see product development dictated not by income, but by the individual interests and needs of different groups, forecasts Michelle Lamb, editor of The Trend Curve. She believes that many consumers are distancing themselves from investing in complete matching suites and are instead moving toward distinct pieces that fill an immediate need or a desire. Paul Bush, CEO of Bush Furniture, echoes Lamb's prediction. Bush has seen a dramatic increase in the popularity of his flat-pack furnishings (furniture that is packed flat in a box and assembled in the home) because flat-pack furniture offers the right combination of factors that appeal to today's consumer, including: a wide range of styling; function for today's lifestyles; affordable pricing; and, immediate availability. "More consumers today want to experiment with their home environments," says Bush. "They don't want to worry about making a lifetime commitment, especially when it comes to buying home office or home entertainment furniture that may be obsolete in 10 years. Consumers want to be able to change their furniture as their equipment needs change or as their tastes change." With flat-pack furnishings, the financial commitment is minimal, but the consumer can still achieve an individualistic, higher-end, decorative look that works with their lifestyle and functional needs. "There are so many exciting styles to choose from," adds Bush, "From transitional to contemporary to traditional. We're seeing a lot of interest in the light finishes as well as in coordinate furniture -complementing pieces that customize the consumer's own living or work space. Plus, consumers are becoming interested in styles that mix solid colors with wood grains or metals with lighter finishes. Bush's most popular groups right now are ones that offer more casual traditional styling versus formal styling." So, instead of a "me-too" look, the ready-to-assemble furnishings of today can offer consumers a "just-my style" took they will be proud to call their very own. Bush Furniture is available in stores nationwide. Call 1-800-727-2874 for more information or e-mail Bush at: usbush01@ibmmail.com

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