What’s Selling On Etsy? Forget Hygge, It’s All About Friluftsliv

If you’ve not visited Etsy

recently, it may be time for another look. This global marketplace has seen explosive growth during the pandemic. Their financial results, announced yesterday, showing an incredible 132.1% growth in first quarter sales.

Home to over 4.7 million sellers, and with a buoyant performance throughout the last year, Etsy has evolved to become a design-led platform connecting thousands of customers with the small businesses who sell through them. Not only that, their rich customer data that shares fascinating insights into what today’s customer wants.

A conversation with Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy trend expert and author of the Etsy home decor trends guide, revealed a marked shift in customer buying behaviour, with a strong focus on the garden.

Described as a growing interest in”friluftsliv”, the nordic term for embracing the joys of outdoor living, customers in 2021 want their homes, and especially their outdoor spaces, to be a sanctuary.

Multifunction spaces are the new norm

Dayna Isom Johnson explains “Last year was all about making quick adjustments as our home spaces collapsed together.  The kitchen table became the class room, the office and the family hub all at the same time.

Now that we have had time to adjust to this new way of living, 2021 is about reclaiming these spaces and creating a truly multifunctional home in a considered way.”

Enter “Japandi”, a hybrid of Japanese and Scandi aesthetics that speaks to the customer’s desire for clean, clutter free living. On Etsy, the first quarter saw a 172% increase in searches for Japanese decor and a 55% increase in searches for Scandinavian decor compared to the same period last year.

At the heart of Japandi is the use of natural materials – highlighting how the customer has a growing interest in the overlap between outside and inside spaces. Interiors are using more materials from the natural world, and gardens are being re-cast as extensions of the spaces for entertaining.

“We’ve all been spending so much more time outside in the last 12 months” explains Dayna Isom Johnson, “it’s not surprising that this has sparked the interest in friluftsliv but also a renewed appreciation for nature that is being reflected inside the home as well.”

Also feeding in to the desire to create restful interiors with natural influences is the rise of “cottagecore”, a movement that embraces an analogue, simpler lifestyle – the perfect antidote to a world that feels chaotic.

With social distancing measures likely to be in place for some time, and with many people slowly re-adjusting to a post-pandemic life, it is likely that this focus on the outside spaces will continue to be a major trend throughout 2021.

While not every customer wants the minimal look (in fact, the trend guide has plenty to offer the colour-loving maximalist), it seems the need to create a home space that feels safe and inviting is one trend unlikely to go out of style any time soon.


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