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Natural Resilience: Interiors in 2019

Earthy walls, tonal metallics, niche houseplants and velvet on everything – the interiors of 2018 have offered so many contrasting tones and textures. With sustainability and the environment at the top of the agenda, it’s no wonder we increasingly want to bring nature indoors, whether we do it through recycled materials, striking views, or a forest of peace lilies in baskets hanging from a ‘statement ceiling’. Meanwhile, with property at a premium in cities across the world, interior designers face the creative challenge of fully exploiting every inch of space with ever-more inventive uses of light, colour and material.


But which trends have peaked? And what can we expect from the homes, schools and workplaces of 2019?


We asked trend forecasters Scarlet Opus to cast their expert eye over the design landscape and tell us what they predict for the great indoors next year. Compiling research from a plethora of international sources, encompassing world events, the global climate, fashion, technology, art, science, society, politics and beyond, they gave us the lowdown on emerging aesthetics.


WeWork, Tel Aviv, Israel

Lines will continue to blur between work and home


Breakout rooms, collaborative workspaces and beanbags on the floor – offices have become increasingly flexible in recent years. In 2019, this may mean your workplace begins to seriously resemble your living room – if that’s not where you’re working already. Homely layouts, with Ikat rugs, sleek coffee tables and cushioned sofas are increasingly more likely to provide the setting for your weekly catchups than traditional meeting rooms. Spaces specifically designed to enhance collaboration, such as island tables surrounded by bar stools, or scatter cushion-strewn mini amphitheatres, will create opportunities for idea sharing and problem solving. In the same office, you’ll see purpose-built nooks and crannies facilitating ‘social solitude’ – for those times when we need to work alone, together. And technology, of course, will be present at every turn, controlling environments, supporting communication and seamlessly providing access to ever-more complex levels of information.


Paramit Factory, Penang, Malaysia

Biophilia will boom


When it comes to employee, pupil or patient wellbeing, there’s only one approach to take – and it’s one that puts nature at the heart of the design process. Biophilic design adheres to the principle that human beings want to connect to nature, and that we must reflect this desire in our work. This means going beyond green design – planning with sustainable materials and minimal impact in mind, but ensuring our relationship with nature is placed at the fore of every interior, with a layout and an aesthetic that promotes our connection with the environment.


This approach is forecast to be a ‘mega trend’ for 2019. Biophilic design will continue to flourish, impacting on aesthetics in new and exciting ways. Building work is under way, for example, at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing (NAMOC) where Jean Nouvel’s design features an intricately perforated façade allowing sunlight to filter into a vast indoor garden. The ambitious Seoul Skygarden thrives, with over 24,000 plants reviving a disused elevated highway, making a dramatic statement of nature’s defiance in an otherwise crowded urban landscape.


At Space Zero, we’ve long known that design features including natural light have a powerful impact on student success; that employees perform better in work environments that don’t neglect nature; and that patients thrive in clinics and care homes allowing a natural interplay between flora, fauna, light and air.


In 2019, we expect to see this approach amplified.


Ecological aesthetics will remain at the fore


If 2018 has seen rising awareness of climate change and environmental issues, 2019 will see an increase in accountability for combating them. A trend emerging from the confluence of science, nature and craft, choices that promote ecological harmony and social justice will be visible in the way we live – and in the way we design. Practically, this means an increase in features which speak to their origins, in production processes with a conscience, and in natural and sustainable materials used with new purpose and context. Aesthetically, hues of ochre, soya bean, wheat and clay will occupy the warmer, neutral end of the colour spectrum; while you can expect to see samples of lagoon blue and herbal green on paint charts from the cooler side. Think Van Gogh’s sunflowers, or the blue pool, pink floor and terracotta house in Hockney’s ‘A Bigger Splash’.


Wabi Sabi Living Room –

Perfect imperfections: the Japanese art of Wabi-Sabi


Ever found something more beautiful after a breakage? Or been through something terrible yourself, only to discover new strengths and skills? The Japanese philosophy of ‘kintsugi’ treats damage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to paint over and hide. It is the art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum; highlighting the cracks and flaws in a celebration of resilience. For 2019, this approach is represented in interior design in a trend towards imperfect beauty, or Wabi-Sabi. Raw textures, intriguing materials and disruptive surfaces will pay homage to the philosophy of embracing flaws. Materials might include rough hewn timbers and raw concrete, frayed edges and loose weaves, while subtle patterns will make a feature of water marks, speckles and stains, uneven, worn colour and hand-painted fine stripes. Furniture might come in slabs, slices and boulders rather than intricately-turned pieces, with hollows and cutouts showcasing negative space. It’s not all heavy, though – elegant droplets, gathering and ruching will provide a little levity.


The Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year for 2018 has recently been announced as ‘toxic’. Whatever 2019 brings, we are sure the interior design world can offer the antidote – creativity, innovation, accountability, and resilience.

Blog    Tue Dec 18

Written by: Space Zero

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