Session: Harvest, Halloween & Holiday 2021-22

by Chandler Harvey

The pandemic has remade consumer emotions around fourth-quarter holidays, Michelle Lamb, founder and editorial director of The Trend Curve, discussed in the “Harvest, Halloween & Holiday” session of IHA’s Connect SPRING event.

Although consumers should be able to celebrate with others for the holidays this year, safety concerns will still be nagging in 2021 and 2022. This could trigger a wave of nostalgia for what are perceived to be simpler and safer times, Lamb said.

When friends and family gather again, consumers will soak in every moment and take little for granted. As people visit homes again, seasonal decor will be looked at in a new way, and it will likely trend “a little bit dressier,” said Lamb, “not formal or opulent, but stylish.”

In addition to dressier holiday celebrations, “In the coming two years, sustainability will also impact Halloween and Christmas collections,” Lamb said

Michelle detailed upcoming trends for the Harvest, Halloween and Holiday seasons.

Harvest Homecoming refers to an autumn theme of harvest and bounty and sharing the bounty with friends and family again; it is a reunion, Lamb explained. Home goods will take on a more serious, well-planned tone that sits on the border of dressy and acknowledges how special it is to come back together. Words such as “grateful,” “gather” and “family” are common to express emotion, she said.

Fall Market, Lamb continued, is an evolution of the farmhouse trend “without the pickup trucks and hay bales” and with a focus on environmental responsibility, shopping local and buying organic. Warm palettes and sophisticated textures, leaves and pumpkin patch and apple orchard themes dominate this trend.

This year’s Halloween trends, while spirited, aren’t scary, Lamb said, noting the avoidance of horror and gore themes.

In Graveyard Buffet, connecting with friends is front and center. Spiderwebs, pumpkins, old candlesticks and happy skulls are popular along with individual and bite-sized foods, she said.

Vintage Halloween harkens back to a simpler and more worry-free time. Bats, witch hats, and personified inanimate objects with childlike appearances bring a lighthearted vibe to this trend, Lamb said. Colors, as if faded, present a comfortable decades-old look. 

Cool Christmas sees a return of the eucalyptus color that rose to popularity in 2019. In 2021 and 2022, eucalyptus anchors a palette that also includes sage, teal, and peacock colors. Blue-influenced greens lend to frosty, monochromatic holiday decor.

Lamb, citing an NPR report, said the rise in skiing and snowboarding signals a desire to return to the playfulness of outdoors. Snowflakes, ski scenes, and Scandinavian, retro-themed items are at the forefront for Alpine Chalet.

Coastal color stories shift to an inky, but not gloomy, color palette in the Midnight Under the Sea trend. Cobalt, navy, and teal variations are accented with emerald and aubergine. Contrast comes from textured finishes, frosted glass and velvet. Turtles, seahorses, coral and shells are also prominent.

With the pandemic causing a rise in baking, Lamb said Elves in the Kitchen trends toward a more nostalgic baking theme, “What could be more comforting than fresh-baked treats and more joyful than elves remembered from our childhood?” she asked. Elves along with red, green and white colors and cookie cutters in traditional shapes are important here.

Lamb described Cottagecore Christmas as a trend for every consumer that values a “front-porch lifestyle,” The theme celebrates a nostalgic return to simpler times along with harmony in nature and escapism from the modern world in favor of being in the comfort of home, she added. Vintage-look mixing bowls, dried flowers of all types, and nature-based materials lead this theme.

The Supernatural theme sees a rise in earthy colors and natural and organic materials, according to Lamb. Gnomes and mushrooms are seen in this trend, but with glitter accents that set them apart from the eco-sensibilities of the past with a little bit of decorative luxe.

People will return to in-home celebrations with a different frame of mind, Lamb emphasized, noting how much time they’ve had to think about the people they have been separated from and the times they once shared with them. The trends and themes Lamb outlined reflect the idea that consumers will approach upcoming holidays with a more intentional mindset.


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