Design never stops. Fuelled by the desire for new, fresh and innovative, design continues to gain momentum across every area of work and life, crossing cultures along the way.
And that’s perhaps the most interesting aspect of the design world in our current era: as technology enables us to travel more and see more, designers’ influences are becoming ever more diverse and dynamic. There really is a world of possibilities, and the more you see and learn, the more those possibilities grow.
We see it every day in the workspaces we create for businesses and individuals who understand the value of great design and how it can shape a space beyond the limitations of physical infrastructure.
Becoming popular at the turn of the 19th century when people began to enjoy expendable income and leisure time, artists evolved into commercial designers, creating and fulfilling the desire for interiors, furnishings and décor that make a house an individual home. Today, design ethos is something that permeates every aspect of our lives. So much so that we don’t even think of it.
But the designers are. They’re engaged in not only solving functional problems but making the solutions look as pleasing as possible. That involves an incredible amount of cross-referencing, looking to the past and envisioning the future, keeping a finger on the current cultural pulse and an eye on what future trends are coming down the line.
We took a look at the top level global trends and how they might influence your next grand design…
Don’t underestimate the power of Pantone. Pantone’s colour for 2019 is ‘Living Coral’, “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge”.
Over the last 20 years, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product, packaging and graphic design.
For us, ‘Living Coral’ is of the sea, it’s fresh and vibrant and inherently of the US: design schools are touting the potential of it leading a strongly Miami-influenced interior design trend, particularly when paired with dark green.
Scotland’s most famous cultural export, tartan has gone beyond tradition. Whether in the most familiar red and green with accents embracing the rainbow, or in cleaner, softer greys and blues, tartan is truly coming of age. It is warm and welcoming, smart and sophisticated and can be classic or post-modern, it’s all in the hands of the designer!
The French, meanwhile, don’t have the monopoly on style but they have certainly made it their own. French chic continues to endure: in fact, according to Hotel Designs, the 12th most popular interior design hashtag on Instagram is #frenchinteriors. Search the hashtag and you’ll find light and bright rooms weighted and balanced with classic touches: overstuffed sofas and walls adorned with architrave. The key current trend? The detail stays but it is not fussy. French design is all about the finer detail.
Way up there in that interior design trends hashtag guide, #scandinaviandesign sits at No.2.
1.8 million images are tagged #scandinaviandesign. Though perhaps most pertinently, Scandi design is right now influencing colour more than any other design element – so much so that ‘scandicolour’ is a thing.
Ikea are describing the trend as ‘Maximalist Scandi’, and while it has a seventies influence, it’s very much forward focused.
Here in the West, we’ve been importing Asian aesthetics since the trade routes opened. Traditionally luxuriously ornate, Asian design has become tempered and sleek, but still retains its distinct signature. #asiandecor is the 14th most tagged interior design term on Instagram and is recognisable for its natural finishes, clean lines and celebration of everything organic. London’s Design Centre took time out to celebrate ‘Asia Week’ at the end of 2018.
Shou sugi ban originated in Japan in the 18th century to make cedar siding weatherproof. Over the last few years, it’s developed into a trend for contemporary exteriors and interiors. The blackening of the wood reveals clean lines and brings out the beauty of the inherent texture.
Out of this World
If you really want to go for it, go intergalactic. The space age is enjoying a resurgence, informing design that goes far beyond the futurism of the seventies to make space that is very much here and now. It’s also worth noting that 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the first humans landing on the moon. Our quest to explore space is just getting going, meaning we continue to be fascinated with its icons. The current trend for celestial and astrological motifs reflects this and, of course, stars and planets continue to be the obvious choice for lighting design.