When I think of the future, I can’t help but remember how we imagined it to be back in the Eighties. Everything we thought would remain science fiction became part of our present. Touch screens, mobile phones, laser printers, carbon fiber, etc.. were all just part of movies and our imagination. Now we know, nothing is impossible and we also realized that the present and future will not be the same without going back to nature. For a couple of decades now minimalism was prevailing with the rise of technology, but not anymore. New trends have been emerging in the past few years and some are about to stay around for a while while others are perishing.
As recent interior design trends have been focusing on the operator rather than the consumer, this has created a great shift in all things design.
Workspaces, for example, are now focused on the employee rather than on the visitor or consumer. This innovative idea has been brought forth by firms such as Google, Facebook, Leo Burnett, Deloitte & Touche, Cisco, and many others. Numerous studies have suggested that a healthy and comfortable work environment produces better productivity, this may not always be true but has been an eye opening approach for many. These firms have come up with ideas we once though of as crazy, such as having pool tables, a gym, cafes, napping zones all at the company’s premises. With this in mind, the human is now the focus of all present and future trends. Focus now is on well being, healthy lifestyle, and communication.
As a result, new design trends emerged and were made possible with the use of materials that are more human and environment friendly.
Design trends that are here to stay:
1- Bringing Nature inside, and almost every other trending material is there to compliment this one. Greenery and nature are everywhere now, restaurants and cafes, entrances, airports, homes, etc.. no space is complete without greenery anymore. It is not a surprise that Pantone’s 2017 color of the year was Greenery! From fake to natural, green is everywhere and here to stay. Integration of nature and natural elements in our spaces and through our architecture has become a requirement now. This is why we are opting more and more for large windows and focusing more on the view. It might be a psychological attempt to replace the damage that has been done to our environment in the past decades.
2- Metals are still trending in full power, especially warm tones such as gold, brass, and rose gold. Luxury brands have introduced them in their furniture lines a few years ago and emphasized them more in their recent collections, such as Minotti, Baxter, Fendi Casa, and Roche Bobois among others. World renowned designers such as Kelly Wearstler, Jonathan Adler, Patricia Urquiola are using them in their interiors and products.
3- Cerused wood ( a technique that was absent for 500 years has made a comeback, a cerused finish is meant to highlight the contrast between the grain and the rest of the wooden surface usually using Oak). This technique is linked to the return to nature and greenery, it goes greatly with nature. The technique is very old and gives a beautiful finish to wood.
4- Marble has been around for a while and doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere anytime soon. From exotic open book marble tiles to ‘marble inspired’ ceramic tiles, home accessories, and even phone covers. It is the most popular finish paired with warm metals and natural wood. Used on walls or floors, it is still a consumer favorite.
5- Patterned flooring and subway tiles have witnessed a great comeback in the past few years, whether 70’s inspired patterns and colors or chevron timber flooring, tiles are never boring anymore. Trendy cafes, stylish apartments, & luxury hotels, are all embracing this trend.
6- Curved furniture as opposed to very symmetrical and straight pieces are more “in” now. Even famous brands known for the ultra modern and straight furniture have caved in and introduced curves. A perfectly symmetrical reception is no longer the sign of a high end design as it was before. In the past the more minimal a piece of furniture was, the more it indicated the futuristic and modern mentality of the designer or owner. Modern furniture brands like Minotti and Giorgetti introduced a wide range of pieces that are curvaceous, a very bold attempt by them. Curves mimic movement of the body as well as organic forms around us.
7- Velvets have made a huge comeback, brands like Fendi Casa have been working with fabric manufacturer ‘Rubelli’ on an exclusive velvet that is modern while solving the usual problems we encounter with this specific fabric. Hence their new collection was presented mostly in velvet with new colors emerging every season! The softness of the material is a great way to tone down the power of the other trending elements . Most fabric manufacturers such as Casamance, Designer’s Guild, Elitis and Houles have come out with numerous velvet catalogs with different textures, softness, and thickness.
8- Outdoor furniture has been the focus of most furniture designers recently, this goes hand in hand with wanting to enjoy greenery and nature.
9- Artisanal , handmade, and bespoke pieces are still trending and will continue for a while. This allows a more personal touch to the space.
10- Smart home features are now a must. Using your iPhone to control your lighting, curtains, or cameras was an option many thought of as unnecessary. Now such features are not considered as a luxury but a part of upgrading your lifestyle. These systems now have eco-friendly features that help with saving energy thus aiding the environment.
11- Urban and industrial styles will remain for a while especially for commercial spaces, as they are the link to the original shape of a space, its history and raw form. This will include the continued use of cork, bricks, concrete, vintage furniture, and industrial elements such as exposed pipes and walls. This style is aimed towards millennials who have been shaping our present and future for a while now in everything especially design whether fashion, interiors, technology, or graphics. These are the same millenials who created Google, Facebook, and most other successful companies.
Whenever the human and humanity is involved, we can be certain the future of design will be bright. Away from the robots of the 90’s, design is personal again, approached towards us: the employees, the consumers, the mothers, the fathers, and the children. Let’s keep it this way!
“This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader”. Thank you CGTrader for the ooportunity to be part of this Design Blog competition and discussion.