Ok friends, it’s that time a year again! 2018 is almost behind us and I hear a lot of whispers that “maximalism” it’s back, apparently (for me it never went away :P). Earth tones, Santorini-style plaster work and highly textured super nubby fabrics are also in the spotlight. What does it all mean? Today I’m breaking down some trends that I see happening, from the visual to the socio-cultural and beyond! Here’s what I think we can expect to see and experience more of in 2019!
1.) Desert Vibes: Sandy hues: clay reds, deep, muddy browns, desert golds, and yes: terra-cotta colors will be booming in 2019. Desert flora (cacti — especially unusual and highly sculptural varieties like agave and yucca) will be everywhere — also desert fauna: Camels, Tortoises (and their pretty, pretty shell patterns) and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more snake and scorpion motifs and inspiration popping up.
2.) Next level Natural Materials : Natural materials are having a moment. This year we saw wicker, rattan and raffia in catalogs and on catwalks. I think the trend will not only continue, but that it will be taken to the next level. We can prepare to see raffia used in more unexpected ways — think fringe, woven and thatched. Natural dyes (think Saffron, black current, coffee) will come into play.
3.) The Gig Economy and Changing Communities : With so many more people choosing to work from home and with the ability to have alternatives forms of income, (from Lyft drivers to building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in your backyard to host guests on AirBnB) changing social mores and the gig economy are informing design decisions and changing communities. A home is not necessarily a private place as it once was. The concept of home and of community are being constantly redefined. My mother recently told me about child care centers that are built together with nursing homes — and while intergenerational care isn’t an entirely new concept, it neatly encapsulates the way that I see people moving away from the traditional 9-5 work schedule and the “nuclear family” vibe as we know it. I see the definition of the modern family and how we care for one another shifting to more community-focused living. This is manifesting in a resurgence of community gardens, alternative and intentional communities and more centers for culture/art and design that encourage in-person activities and gatherings.
4.) Natural/Organic Shapes and Forms: Just as authenticity outperforms the appearance of ‘perfection’ on social media these days, this also extends to design and home decor. Highlighting the inconsistencies of person-made objects and spaces will take precedence over the appearance of perfection. So, for example, a lime wash finish on a wall where the paint is uneven or a hand-chiseled table leg will feel more modern than a totally evenly painted wall, or machine-cut table leg. Along with this, I see the curvaceous walls of San Torini, the bumpy textures of hand-blown glass and the irregularities of a nubby hand-woven textile feeling more luxurious than the sleek modern lines that were so popular in the earlier part of this decade.
5.) Female Empowerment: While trends can seem silly, at their core, I believe that design trends reflect what’s going on in our world: our socio-economic climate, our environment, our collective consciousness. And the last couple of years I have seen women feeling empowered (myself included) to effectuate change and fight for equality. I believe that this shift is affecting the design world. I see more female designers and architects highlighted in the media. I have spoken with dozens of female business owners at the ten+ events, conferences and trade shows I spoke at this year and one of my big takeaways is that we aren’t going anywhere!! Women are stepping into leadership roles like never before and I have no doubt this will greatly affect the design world, how, exactly, is yet to be seen. Do you have any predictions on this front?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on trends moving into 2019!!