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Millennial Musings

Alexa Boschini
Alexa Boschini joined the Furniture Today Group in May 2012 as assistant editor for Home Accents Today and Casual Living. A native of Greensboro, N.C., she graduated from Elon University in 2010 with a degree in journalism. She spent two years as an award-winning education and features reporter with The Sanford (N.C.) Herald, and has also covered arts and entertainment for Go Triad at the Greensboro News & Record. When she isn't delving into the latest news and trends in home décor, you can find her at the movies, with her nose stuck in a book or volunteering to help the Triad's homeless animals. You can reach her at
  • Color Conscious

    Trends are constantly evolving in this industry. We’re continually assessing what’s trending currently – the colors, the styles, the materials – and predicting what might garner a positive response in the months to come. Paint company Dutch Boy, part of The Sherwin-Williams Company Diversified Brands Division, unveiled its 2014 color trends forecast last month. According to a press release, Dutch Boy’s 2014 color palettes represent “a renewed commitment to the environment and thereby ourselves. It’s comprised of four distinct palettes – Gather, Connect, Explore and Serene – encouraging consumers to surround themselves with an overall positive synergy through color.” Inspired ... Read More
  • On trend at Ambiente

    Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the Ambiente consumer goods fair in Frankfurt, Germany. It was my first international trade show, and it did not disappoint. When I first arrived at Messe Frankfurt, I was blown away by the scale of the show - more than two dozen exhibit halls encompassing 329,300 square meters filled with everything from home accessories and outdoor décor to tabletop and culinary tools. According to show organizers, 144,000 buyers from 161 countries attended the show while 4,724 exhibitors from 89 countries showcased their products. So, no small endeavor. I attended the ... Read More
  • South African Artistry

    During the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market last week, I had the pleasure of spending some time at South Africa's Lifestyle Hub, located at Americasmart in Building 1, suite 5-E-16.The new permanent showroom, launched by the South African Department of Trade and Industry and Small Enterprise Development Agency, features furniture, lighting, soft goods, ceramics, art and accessories crafted by South African artisans. According to Brand South Africa, a publicly funded organization charged with promoting the country, the goal of the showroom is "to help emerging artisans and crafts people break into the U.S. market for handmade ... Read More
  • Everything's coming up orchid

    I've developed an avid interest in color trends since joining the staff of Home Accents Today - the inspirations they stem from, how designers use them, how they evolve over time. So naturally I was elated last week when I checked my email and saw Pantone's much-anticipated 2014 Color of the Year announcement.According Pantone Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman, PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid is "an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones" that "inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm."The social ... Read More
  • Being human in a digital world

    A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to attend the Internet Summit, an annual technology forum held in Raleigh, N.C., that attracted speakers from Google/Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Bing and other digital behemoths. I was there to learn about social media strategy, search engine optimization and other tactics for expanding and enhancing our digital footprint here at Progressive Business Media. I attended a lot of informative sessions addressing everything from creating impactful online video to how Google's new Hummingbird algorithm will affect the future of search. But the presentation that has stuck with me the ... Read More
  • American Spirit

    There are plenty of reasons for Americans to feel frustrated today. An October Gallup poll states that 85% of respondents disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job, thanks to a vitriolic political atmosphere that fueled the recent government shutdown and hindered debt ceiling talks. The economy, while it seems to be slowly but steadily improving, is still a concern for many.But for all of America's troubles, its people are still proud. Most citizens still recognize the country's strengths, and are loyally doing what they can to support it. In our industry, the American spirit is ... Read More
  • As Seen on TV

    The fall television season kicked into full gear this week, and the available space on my DVR is already shrinking drastically. You see, I'm a huge movie and TV buff, an entertainment nerd if you will. I love getting lost in rich, creative worlds filled with well-developed characters and engaging stories, from the tense, high-stakes methamphetamine empire at the heart of Breaking Bad to the quirky personalities that populate city hall on Parks and Recreation.Since I started working at Home Accents Today, I've added a new layer to my entertainment viewing - analyzing the set décor. I can ... Read More
  • Updating our social media profile

    The world of social media is continuously evolving these days. In addition to powerhouses like Facebook and Twitter, we now have Pinterest, Linkedin, Google +, Instagram, Reddit, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat and a plethora of other sites designed to quench our thirst for online interaction.The landscape is so vast that it can be difficult even for social media veterans like me - who were on Facebook back when only college students could join - to keep it all straight. But among these online innovations is a wealth of possibilities for businesses to utilize in connecting with customers.One such platform that we recently ... Read More
  • Inside Out

    It's difficult to believe it's been a full year since my first trade show, the July 2012 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. I can still recall vividly how in awe I was of everything when I first arrived at market - the artistry of the showroom displays, the beauty of the various collections, the earnest passion expressed by the winners of that year's ICON Honors. I felt surrounded by creativity. And three Atlanta markets, two High Point Markets and one Las Vegas Market later, I still do. I recently returned from the summer Atlanta market, and I ... Read More
  • Trending in textiles

    A few weeks ago I attended my third Showtime, the semi-annual fabric fair held in High Point. I'm always excited to see the colors, patterns, textures and other creative elements on display, first and foremost because I appreciate the design, and also because it's often a great indicator of what we might see at the next High Point Market in upholstery and soft goods.At the December show, I noticed an influx of bold, bright colors and sharp geometric patterns. This time, colors were more subdued and patterns trended a bit softer. Overall, designs were more restrained but ... Read More
  • Easy as 1, 2, 3D print?

    A constant stream of press releases flows through my inbox, from the significant to the strange, but one in particular caught my eye recently. The subject line touted "the world's first full color 3D desktop printer," and I had to read on.The release announced the launch of the ProDesk3D by Botobjects, a designer, manufacturer and software development company based in New York and London. Per the company's website, the ProDesk3D is intended for home and business use and aims to "demystify the process of 3D printing, while keeping the technical jargon under the hood - enabling everyone to ... Read More
  • Getting to know the new consumer

    During the recent High Point Market, Home Accents Today hosted a breakfast and round table discussion for top-100 retailers. It was an enlightening morning in which accessory buyers from retail powerhouses such as Badcock, El Dorado Furniture and One Kings Lane discussed what they shop for at market, voids in the marketplace and how their stores are adapting to the changing consumer.It's the last point that struck a chord most with me. Since I started working at Home Accents Today, I've seen a constant stream of research and commentary about the mysterious Millennial, the first generation to ... Read More