2011 Trend Watching – Part Three

By Marica

Throughout this week we have been chatting about the various trends we have observed in 2011. We kicked off Part One with our favourite Décor Style Trends and discussed our most-loved Colour Trends in Part Two. Today, in Part 3, we continue our Trends 2011 discussion with a look at our favourite Pattern trends of the past year…

Pattern Trends:

Pattern, textile and other surface designs play a larger role in the establishment of interior design & decor trends than we think. It is also no secret that current Fashion Trends have some influence on future Décor Trends. Since Pattern makes bold visual and stylistic statements, it is one of the first elements decor gleams from fashion (after style, of course). Where in the minimalist contemporary trend of the previous 5 years pattern was rarely used, interiors are now filled with gorgeous pattern.

Geometrics:

For the past year everywhere we looked we saw geometric patterns – fabrics, rugs, decor pieces, even in elements of furniture design. This funky change in pattern was a breath of fresh air to the tired trends of yesteryear that contained mostly organic shapes (that is if it contained pattern at all).

The beauty of these trending geometric patterns is that they can take up an array of shapes, forms, scales and cultural influences. For instance – we saw a lot of chinois-inspired lattice, links and brickwork geos; some beautiful and bold nautical stripes; Greek Keys; Moroccan Quatrefoils; Tribal African Geos; and even beautiful rustic Navajo geometrics.

The most popular geos of the 2011 were a lot less complicated – bold chevron and thick herringbone patterns and solid triangles – most of course, in bright daring colours or contrasting black on white.

And while most bold patterns have a definite contemporary vibe, they also signify a return to tradition as most of the geos are historical significant. You know what they say – trends are cyclic and bound to repeat (hopefully with a contemporary twist).

Truly my favourite trend of the past year and happily still going strong – we are going to see a lot more geos in 2012. It’s definitely hip to be square…and triangular…and rectangular…

Toile:

 

Toile has been around for centuries (from the 18th century to be exact) and this highly detailed pattern has always been a favoured addition to traditional and classic interiors. Usually consisting of a white or off-white background on which a fairly intricate scene is printed in a single colour. Toile patterns generally tell a story in pastoral themes such as a couple having a picnic by a lake, fisherman in their boats, or farmers working the fields.

Toile has however received a contemporary revamp in the past couple of years that has boosted it to trend. Now, not only limited to fabrics anymore – we see beautiful toiles on wallpaper in surprising and bold colours. Gone are the boring black/brown on white prints – think pink, shocking pink! With this trendy adaption Toile can now look stunning in even a funky cotemporary interior.

Florals:

The floral trend is back in full force – and it’s probably got the nostalgic trend to thank for it! Entering mainstream trends a year or two ago (although florals has always been on the backburners), the runways are now an explosion of florals in all shapes and sizes.

Bright 80s prints, dainty romantic florals in pastels, big florals in watery brushstrokes, and beautiful vintage prints all provide just the right amount of whimsy. I’ve even seen some interiors that took a rather “Victorian” approach in their use of florals – that is to say florals EVERYWHERE…and bizarrely enough I quite liked it.

Ikat:

Ikat patterns were hot, hot, hot last year.  Essentially a dyeing technique, and similar to the tie-dying process, it is originally produced in several pre-Columbian Central and South American cultures. The technique has however been adopted by many eastern countries. Ikat weaving styles vary widely and many design motifs may have ethnic or symbolic meaning.

One of the main reasons why Ikat enjoyed so much popularity in the past year (other than the fact that it’s deliciously ethnic) is once again bold use of colour. Exotic tie-dye patterns in hot pink, deep blue and bright orange – beautiful! I however think that Ikat has a “shelf-life”, we best enjoy it while we can.

Oh, there are still a good handful of trends we really enjoyed this past year, but since we don’t want to bore you with a long spiel, here in closing are a few images of some other favourites…

Other Favourites…

Use of Typography
Illustration and sketching
Chinoiserie
Animal prints - especially birds and rabbits
Geo 1, 2
Toile 1, 2
Floral
Ikat
Typography
Illustration and Sketching
Animal Prints
Chinoiserie

2011 Trend Watching – Part Two

By Marica

Yesterday we discussed some style trends we observed in 2011, highlighting our favourites. Today we’ll be looking at our favourite 2011 colour trends…

Colour Trends:

{source: 1 & 2}

At the beginning of 2011 various berry colours did the rounds – luscious shades of purplered and pink. Pantone’s colour of 2011, Honeysuckle Pink, probably had a large role to play in the berry-coloured trend. Since the trend is to draw our inspiration from nature in terms of colour, it comes as no surprise to find that the rich, warm and comforting colours of berries have unfolded onto the artist’s palette. The colour red hit the stage of fashion and design a number of years ago. And like most things that evolve, so too has the tones of red. This evolution has moved from being bold striking reds, to the more gentle tones of berry, cherry, pink, purple – and the most awesome part of it all, is that these same colours are boldly and effectively, being coupled with teal blue, deep aqua blue, chartreuse yellow, grey and black. Adding exciting and adventurous flavours that allows the man-in-the-street to dabble with colour in a manner not seen for a long time.

{source: 1 & 2}

Another awesome colour trend was the use of sunny yellow. I’m instantly drawn to the warm, friendly colour. We observed a good few beautiful yellow interiors – most often paired with another trending colour – grey. The predominant trend is to use pops of yellow as accent colour and the contrasting grey as a neutral base. Splashes of yellow adds some instant sunshine and statement to an interior as the use of such a bright yellow is quite bold. The combo of warm (yellow) and cool (grey) really complements contemporary interiors.

{source: 1, 2, 3}

A colour trend that is still going strong, is my much-loved shades of blue. Blues of all shades and hues has been trending this past year – strong cobalt, bright ultramarine, deep indigo, sea-foam, aqua, turquoise, robin’s egg. Jeez, thinking of all the beautiful inky blues is making me all excited, lyrical even! Rose also agrees that this blue trend was by far her favourite colour trend of 2011 – lets hope it sticks around for another year or ten…blue is timeless.

{source: 1 & 2}

There is one of the past year’s colour trends that Rose and I really had to get used to – the all-white phenomenon. Hugely popular, we now see it in every other interior –  white wallswhite floors, splashes of accent colours and textures. Our problem, you see, is that we view walls and floors as an integral part of “layering” – an interior with white walls and floors is therefore missing “layers”. Rose and I have however grown to love this fresh and open style of decorating (when somehow refined) – it must be the Scandinavian influence.

{source: 1, 2, 3, 4}

Towards the end of 2011 we saw gradual migration towards fresh spring colours – especially corals and salmons, usually paired with aqua and turquoise blues. I found the introduction of the coral and salmon hues quite surprising and unexpected. I can remember telling Rose “I will never like those – it’s just another name for shades of (dreadful) peach!” Luckily, I soon changed my mind – I can honestly say that the coral-aqua combo is one of my favourite colour trends of 2011. This pastel-coloured trend is also said to be one of the strong colour trends of 2012.

Stick around for Part 3 of our 2011 Trends report where we discuss the past year’s pattern trends…

So, what colour trends did you notice in 2011? We would love to hear about your favourites colour!

2011 Trend Watching – Part One

By Marica

Rose and I regularly have awesome (and sometimes quite extensive) discussions about design and decor trends. Now, while we are in the process of review and reflection, and before the 2012 trend reports start flooding in we would like to take a look at some of the trends we observed in 2011.

We are by no means Li Edelkoort, but if you watch the blogs and image sharing websites long enough it is quite easy to recognize popular content and before you know it a definite trend pattern emerges. So without further ado, here are our favourite observed trends of the past year…

Nostalgia:

  

The primary trend that explains the popularity of most of the subsequent trends (some of which we are discussing below) is aptly labelled Nostalgia. Rose had the following to say about the rise of Nostalgia:

“Despite the fact that there is never a time when change is not happening on a global scale, the uncertainty of the current times in terms of climate change, economies, etc, has been and is very real to us. Experts have shown that when there is a prevailing sense of threat and insecurity, the over-riding trend towards nostalgia and all things from the past, become evident.

That is exactly what our current Nostalgic trend is all about. We have reached into a time past, back into eras that speak the fundamentals of our value systems, with the hope of finding stability in our roots. Nostalgia is all about being “homesick”, yearning and idealizing the past, while fondly recalling memories of times that seem to us much better than that which is our immediate experience.

So, it comes as no surprise, that as the Nostalgic trend stands on the shoulders of the Past, it has gained huge momentum in all walks of life. We draw our inspiration from décor of eras past, motivated in an almost “pick-me-up” fashion for the strength to push on as those from that past era must have done. Despite the fact that Nostalgic styled décor & accessories have been given a fresh and contemporary twist, in a very real sense it is creating a sense of “time standing still” or timelessness.

  

The Nostalgic vein runs though most of popular trend of the past year – think Vintage, Shabby Chic, Retro & Mid-Century Modern, Rustic Scandinavian, Contemporary Country, and even the glamorous Hollywood Regency, the list goes on. All of these contain tributes to the past, little collections of bygone eras.

As we sat down to review the trends and styles of the past year, it is evident that Nostalgia is the TREND, into which ever expanding styles from the “Golden Ages” of past eras have come to find home.

I am very grateful for the rise of this Nostalgic Trend, as it is a very necessary phase, a breathing space in which to appreciate the past, in order to continue moving forward.”

Handmade Revolution:

 

A lot of emphasis has been placed on craft this past year – this Handmade trend is definite secondary arm to the primary Nostalgic trend. Who would have thought that crafts like crocheting, knitting, quilting and other general DIY decor projects & products would become so overwhelmingly fashionable? Is it a protest against consumerism or an attempt to save some moola?  I don’t know, maybe it’s the emotion behind Handmade that makes it so popular – it’s personal, it’s sentimental, it’s my own…it’s perfectly imperfect.

REcycled / UPcycled:

  

It makes me happy to see that decor & design trends have, in some small way, taken a cue from our planet’s environmental crisis and adopted a waste not want not approach. We have seen some excellent examples of innovative use of old, discarded trash transformed into beautiful pieces of design. Also, slotting in with the Nostalgic and Handmade trends, a lot of Upcycled designs – like the painted vintage furniture trend or converting an old suitcase into a chair or a rusted cheese grater into a lamp, etc. It’s all about being eco-aware – REclaim, REpurpose, REcycle. This trend is far from dead.

Mid-Century Modern:

Eames Lounge Chair

Seen as one of the most influential and significant design movements, the Mid-Century Modern style is synonymous with furniture design greats like Charles and Ray EamesArne Jacobsen and Eero Saarinen (to name but a tiny few). The Mid-Century style can also be linked to Scandinavian Design, as they had a significant influence on each other. The use of Mid-Century Modern furniture and elements in interiors and decor has always been an admired choice between decorators, designers and architects alike. However, the Nostalgic trend of the past couple of years has boosted this classic vintage style back into mainstream popularity. It is said that Mid-Century Modern is the perfect balance between function and aesthetic. And I don’t know about you, but I sure want to own an Eames chair….

Industrial:

  

This funky style has made a smashing comeback in the past couple of years can also be tied to the Nostalgic and Mid-Century Modern trends. The core of Industrial Style is to expose elements that are usually hidden – brickwork, exposed I-beams, unfinished wood and all the nuts, bolts and mechanisms that we generally hide.

Nautical:

  

The Nautical interior & decor style spilled over from the recent nautical fashion trend. Bold stripes in shades of blues and splashes of reds and oranges, rustic and distressed timbers, and ocean-inspired baubles make for a perfect sailor’s sanctuary. Rehashed this cool and fresh style is often paired with Industrial and Mid-Century Modern elements.

Stick around for Part 2 of our 2011 Trends report where we discuss the past year’s colour and pattern trends…

So, what trends patterns did you notice in 2011? We would love to hear about your favourites!

Images sourced: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14


Plascon Trend Talk – Part One

Marica and I sneaked out of the office to attend the recent the Trend Talks 2013, being hosted jointly by Plascon and InHouse Brand Architects. Pity we have not done so before. If memory serves me right, this initiative was conceptualised and started by Lauren Shantall in 2012. Joining her is Lacia Gess as MC and it seems that this event is fast becoming a “must do” on the calendar of the local design trade. Plus, plus, plus – local design-mined charity Rock Girl is the beneficiary of each event’s proceeds, while creating more awareness around safe places for vulnerable women, young girls and boys alike.

The theme of the topics under discussion was “Reflections on the Future”, with a view to looking at some design trends going forward what with 2014 becoming more of a reality with each passing day. The three speakers were Laurence Brick, Co Founder of retail outlet, Loads of Living (one of my personal favourite décor shops); Cara Siegers from InHouse Brand Architects and Lianne Burton, a past editor of Elle Decoration,  now an “accidental curator of words, images and ideas”,  – her own definition.

Today we look at what Laurence Brick and Cara Siegers had to say…

What was interesting for both Marica and I, looking back post the event, was that each speaker presented a very different angle of design (largely related to architecture and interiors) – so repetition was not the order of the day.

I am not going to go into hectic detail about the content of each speaker’s presentation. But will just highlight that which stayed with us and impressed us most. Neither of us here at The Design Tabloid professes to be Trend Gurus. We will leave that for the likes of Mr Dave Nemeth. But because we spend so much time on the social media platforms, especially Pinterest, we have noticed that we’re managing to stay pretty clued up when it comes to trends.

Plascon Trend Talk - Laurence BrickLaurence Brick spoke of many trends that have already made their mark locally and abroad, particularly – once again – on Pinterest. Elements of interiors such as the Industrial style, its related and complimentary elements – lighting, seating, furniture and those gorgeous warm metals that we have written about before. He touched on neons, which by the looks of things has no intentions of going away any time soon, as it morphs to take on different shapes and applications. The other design elements that seems here to stay are geometric patterns such as those triangular shapes that are so cleverly produced onto fabric, jewellery, wall textures etc. Yes, I do think that those little geos are going to gain momentum and we can expect to see far more coming out into the retail space.

Moving on to the point that really made my eyes stretch in wonder, was the fact that the patterned floors are once again gaining a place of prominence. Seemingly in kitchens and bathrooms. Probably patios as well. Mosaic patterned floor tiles with that strong Moroccan flavour. But not restricted to those areas or patterns. I have noticed it around the Pinterest-sphere but now am intrigued and fascinated by it. Would love an opportunity to install it into one of our interior projects.  And let’s not forget that pattern on the floor has been coming across strongly in rugs as well.  And no, I am not referring here to the traditional rug and kilim patterns.  Rather there is a great deal of modern kilims on the market. As well as those gorgeous re-loaded vintage flavoured Persian rugs that has been faded by a particular washing technique. The patchwork rugs are the yummiest of this genre. Note to self: Must write about that some time soon. 

Plascon Trend Talk - Cara SiegersWhat stayed with me most coming out of Cara Siegers presentation was the growing trend of 3D printing. Okay – so I have heard of it, but true to my form, when it sounds too technical for me, I don’t give it the time of day. Net result was that up until now, it has just stayed out of the reach of my mental grasp. Confession – even during her presentation, I was still not too clear on it.  Afterwards Marica and I had one of our oh-so many discussions and the light slowly began to dawn.  Later we popped over to research it a bit further – AND – it became an AH-HA moment.  I am quite excited about it and I guess now that I understand it a bit more, I will probably find it coming across my path more frequently. Thank you Cara Siegers for sharing your insights!

Next blog we take a look at what Lianne Burton had to present.

Cheers for now.

Trend Watching 2012 – Part Two

By Marica

Last week in Part One of our 2012 Trend Report we discussed our most-loved Colour Trends of the past year. Today, we continue our discussion with a look at our favourite pattern and imagery trends of 2012…

As so many of the pattern trends we spoke about in 2011 are still hot (especially those gorgeous geometrics) and to avoid repeating, we have selected these three trends as our favourite pattern and imagery trends of 2012…

Trend - Ombre

As one article on Apartment Therapy stated: “subtle and sweet or bold and dramatic, the ombré trend has taken off in a big way.” You see this delightful trend everywhere, and we have already devoted a Décor Dictionary post to Ombre (see it here)! There is something altogether magical about this light to dark gradient colour trend. Whether it is “dip-dye” or “paint chip” ombre, we will see a lot more of this trend in the year to come…

Trend - Ethnic Fusion

Tribal patterns and ethnic designs are back!  *hears a thousand South Africans tear their clothes in anguish*

Luckily, I’m not referring to tacky African masks, bowls and other general Greenmarket Square touristy junk or the drab dirt-coloured interiors of “Tribal” trends past. Nope, this trend is far more bohemian – exciting and colourful!

Most likely an extension of the ikat trend, we saw the introduction of other ethnic elements this past year. Beautiful Persian and Balkan kilims, Central Asian Suzanis, and gorgeous Aztec and Native American patterns – all in bright, non-traditional colourways. Imagine a beautiful geometric Navajo blanket or rug in shades of pink and lilac!

Quite interesting to note that these elements where often combined with unexpected room styles. For instance – a white Scandinavian bedroom with textured Aztec pillows; or a Mid-Century Modern Lounge with a bold kilim rug – a surprising fusion. Well, it has been said that Eclectic design is the interior style of the future…

Trend - Foxes

In some way or form animal imagery is always (and probably will always be) trending. Think back over the past two or so years – birds – EVERYWHERE! Birds on fabric and wallpaper, décor and art, fashion and jewellery – sparrows, owls, hummingbirds, and whatever the Twitter bird is – you name it. Not that I’m complaining, ask Rose – I’m the first one to point out something with a bird on it… I love birdies.

And before bird trend there was the rabbit trend. Now? … foxes.

Often associated with folk tales, the sly fox is said to symbolize cunning and intelligence. However, I think they are just adorable and I adore the fox-inspired designs I’m seeing all around the web. I wonder if this trend is a delayed homage to the beautiful imagery seen in Fantastic Mr. Fox?

Trend Watching 2012 – Part One

By Marica

Just like last year, Rose and I sat down earlier this week to discuss our favourite trends of the past year. We might not be good at predicting future trends (yet) but we love to observe the evolution of current and past trends – we call this little exercise “trend watching”.

As predicted many of the 2011 trends we wrote about last year continued on into 2012. Since most of these trends are still relevant and to refresh your memory you can read the 2011 trend reports here: Part 1 (Style), Part 2 (Colour), and Part 3 (Pattern).

Interesting to note that the primary style trends have not changed much over the past year. Trends like Industrial, Mid-century Modern, Scandi, and Vintage are now more popular than ever – especially since trend-related items have finally reached the retail market. More and more emphasis is also being place on designing green and buying homemade.

Rose and I also read a fascinating article on Freshome recently concerning the link between fashion and interior trends. In recent years the world of interiors has seen about a 2 year lag from runway to living room. Now that gap seems to be closing in at a much faster rate. The article also addresses Pantone’s Colour of the Year and its trend influence – it’s a very interesting read.

Now, today we’ll be looking at our favourite colour trends of 2012…
Untitled-1

The most surprising colour trend of 2012 would have to be Neon! First hitting the runways as part of Spring/Summer 2012 fashion collections – my first instinct was to run for the hills. However, this current neon trend is not a rehashing of the horrible, unmentionable neon trends of the 80’s. It’s contemporary, it’s refined, it’s balanced – it’s interesting!

Within months (maybe even weeks) this bold trend made its transition into the world of interiors and décor. Vibrant and eye-catching, pops of fluorescents adds an unexpected element to any interior. I’m not saying you should go paint all your walls a shocking pink – just add one or two bright accent pieces. It’s cool, it’s brave, it’s not for everyone – I totally love it.pastel

Pastels are by no means a new trend – it has been around for yonks. However, we have noticed a pastel evolution over the last handful of years. No longer restricted to kid’s bedrooms or fluffy girly spaces, we have moved away from the predictable cotton-candy pastels. The current pastel palettes – including those of 2011 & 2012 –  have a lot more depth. We saw the introduction of “bright pastels” – think corals, salmons, mints and aquas. These spring-coloured pastels where much the rage last year.

A new addition, which I’m sure we are going to see a lot more in the year to come, is what I like to call “dusty pastels“. Not as saturated as “bright pastels“, it has an almost time faded appearance – think dusty lilac, faded rose, or powdery moss.

Another delicious current trend is to combine pastels with pops of neon – the result is absolutely stunning!

metallics

Various metal finishes have once again made a comeback. However, it is not the shiny, glam, and gaudy metallics of trends past. It is an aged, faded kind of metal trend – no blinding, polished golds and silvers. Old gold, antique silver, and especially brass and copper have seen a revival. There is just something about these rich, warm-hued metals that adds dimension and a sense of vintage luxe. I have seen some gorgeous brass and copper light-fittings and décor accents, and it works so well with our other colour trends!

Stick around for Part 2 of our 2012 Trend report where we discuss the past year’s pattern trends…

{So, what colour trends did you notice in 2012? We would love to hear about your favourites colour!}