Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Back to the Future...

As part of the May Design series, I was asked to consider what the world of interior design would look like five years from now. Here are some of my thoughts on the trends and shifts that will continue to be pervasive in many areas of our lives and will shape the way that we live in the future…

(Image from 4estbakker)

How will our living spaces have changed?

I see a continuation of the trend towards eliminating formal ‘entertaining’ rooms - traditional dining rooms and sitting rooms will become a thing of the past. Spaces will continue to become much more fluid in how they are designed and used and therefore consistent design themes through an entire house (and anchoring design to a concept image and palette) will become increasingly important. There aren’t as many doors in houses as there used to be…

Which object/ product will we be using the most?

Smart phones and tablets will not only allow us to work and play; they will also enable us to manage our homes (both while we are in residence, but importantly, when we are not) – lighting, music, heating (including energy efficiency) and security... and, as we have been predicting on Tomorrow’s World for some time, eventually eating, diet and grocery shopping too – smart fridges! In terms of what we will be using less of… plumbed AV wires/cabling are on their way out. Wireless communication technologies mean that everything becomes much easier, particularly upgrading as technology continues to advance…

Who will be the next big thing in your industry? (hot talent – one to watch now)

It’s not who, it’s what… within our industry we all need to embrace technology and the impact it is going to have on both residential and commercial space in the future… and the associated impact it is going to have on how we think about design. Moore’s law is having a pervasive impact on every aspect of our existence, including architectural and interior design.

Who or what will be making a comeback?

It’s vintage darling! Completely at odds with embracing technology, contemporary design and a focus on the future, the movement towards sustainability within interiors means that vintage and salvaged items will continue to be in high demand as people seek to find sought after decorative ‘treasures’ for their home in an effort to make them more bespoke and individual (in a world where technology is seen as something that is relatively homogeneous)… blending vintage, cutting edge design/architecture and technology is the recipe for success in our industry for at least the next few years.

What will be the buzzword or catchphrase of the moment?

I/we want to live here and love it! A growing emphasis on ‘My House’ – a move from a ‘resale’ mentality to one of ‘quantity and lifestyle’. Homes will be renovated with longer term horizons of say 5-20 years. Homes will be viewed with more of a personal and lifestyle emphasis, rather than just as a monetary investment, which is where we were in the boom years before the onset of the global financial crisis and the associated impact on the housing market/availability of financing.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey… A Tale of Economic Uncertainty, not S&M…

With pervasive uncertainty and continuing market volatility for the foreseeable future, it is not surprising that with this ongoing grim economic outlook that grey continues to feature heavily in the coming year – however, on a more upbeat note, it’s now in the form of dependable grey neutrals alongside an injection of something a bit more special. Fortunately there is still a desire to be a little bit distracted from the realities of life and to make our homes feel safe and secure and for there to be an overwhelming sense of well being – and, in short, vivid colours make us feel good. As a consequence, in addition to lots of conservative neutral tones, there are a range of joyous and uplifting complementary colours that are a key element of this years palette.

For example, blues are making a huge resurgence in 2013 – although, in keeping with our grumpy outlook this time around and (for the most part) they’re in the form of grey based blues – that said, these colour ranges add an element of oceanic tranquility and well being to our homes… The illustrations below also highlight that texture will play a vital role in making these broadly neutral schemes work really effectively…

(Image from Petra Bindel)
(Image from Design Traveler)

Getting away from the various shades of grey, this year pink is also the new hot impact colour – not girly (and sickening) pink, but dusty and more muted shades of pink. The image below illustrates how effectively these shades can be mixed with yellow. Although yellow is taking a bit of a step back from its huge popularity last year, it still features strongly – always adding an element of freshness to a scheme.

(Image from 10rooms.blogspot.co.uk)

I personally love grey (but not necessarily all the Shades of Grey…) and the idea of using neutral tones as the base of the room and then incorporating these more vivid colours to create a sanctuary where you can feel safe and secure – something that makes a bit of a statement.

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