Trend forecasters sift through contemporary evidence—whether technological innovations, political events, or social media phenomena—to identify our wants and needs in the near and distant future. Mixing big data with instinct, they can work out what we’ll be craving often years in advance.
We asked three leading forecasters to nominate an interiors trend and explain what’s driving it.
Joanna Feeley, Founder and CEO at Trend Bible
Based in Newcastle, Feeley’s company focuses solely on forecasting for the future of home life, whether that relates to kitchens, appliances, social housing, sleep, the ageing population or celebrations—there are no limits to what is studied.
Richer shades, complex and sophisticated colour and material combinations
Feeley suggests that we’re reaching saturation point in the trend for, “stripped-back, minimal design inspired by a Northern European aesthetic that’s seen white painted walls, wooden flooring and grey upholstery dominate homes in the UK mass-market (or Late Majority) level,” for the last five or six years.
“Early Adopters are sensing this saturation and moving on,” Feeley suggests, and, “more directional, confident householders,” are now starting to, “really indulge in more complex and sophisticated colour and material combinations that take a stylist’s eye to pull off. Warmer neutral colours such as biscuit and earthy terracotta look new again and bring a warmth back into the home.” In manufacturing, “richer and deeper shades like ambers, ochres, tans and browns are working their way into compact, dense composition floral prints for cushions, bedding, tableware and wallpaper.” Meanwhile, “Heavily textured ceramics continue to dominate decorative accessories, in part because they provide us with a soulful tactility that is lacking in the modern digital world.”
Lisa White, Head of Lifestyle & Interiors & The Vision, WGSN
WGSN is one of the world’s largest forecasters, with offices on every continent. Specialising in fashion and interiors, it has over 38,000 subscribers to its website and more than 6,000 clients receiving custom services.
“One trend we have been discussing for the past three years is Housewarming, and we have seen various iterations says White. “This is a long-term trend that we see developing further into the future.”
“Home is not just a place, it’s a feeling,” White says. “In an age of anxiety, we are increasingly seeing the home as a place for calm, safety, thinking, being and sharing together. We need furnishings that help us to achieve this. Comfort is key, and is attained with soft textures, home textiles, curved edges and warm colours and materials.”
“Increasingly, the housewarming effect is being extended to hospitality and public spaces. Hotels like the Hoxton look and feel more like home, and even hospitals including softer colours and textiles in their waiting rooms. Softroom’s designs for the Eurostar Lounge in Paris are a prime example: they feature soft velvets and rounded contours, fireplace fronts, carpets and floor lamps that make a waiting room in an unlovely train station feel like a home away from home.”
Anne Lise Kjaer, CEO and Founder, and Louise Loecke, Senior Strategist and Associate, Kjaer Global
Kjaer Global was established in Denmark in 1988, and is now headquartered in London. Their work touches every industry and sector, whether it’s banking, automotive, luxury lifestyle, pharma, energy, technology or not-for-profits such as education and NGOs.
“One key belief we champion at Kjaer Global is that the future is not somewhere we just go, we are all active participants in creating it.”
Artisanal urges, smart homes, and a need for nature
Kjaer and Loecke point to a, “current love of everything artisanal” that is a reaction to globalisation and urbanisation. As a counterbalance to the homogenisation of products and aesthetics, “we can observe a renewed love for hand-made and local crafts, as people look for ways to narrate their individual stories.”
The impact of technology on our homes, “is still very immature in relation to interiors, but there will be substantial transformations, as more things get ‘smart’ and our interiors evolve into integrated systems.” While the ‘smart homes’ trend, “can appear to sit uneasily with our desire for natural materials, artisanal qualities and tactile ambience,” technology, “is becoming more invisible and embedded into existing objects. One approach is to subtly subvert familiar products, adding intrigue and strangeness.”
The sense of detachment from nature, prompted by ever-increasing urbanisation, has lead to a desire for natural elements in the home. Kjaer and Loecke believe, “holistic wellbeing will influence everything, from product design to architecture, urban planning and interiors.”
Scandinavia is playing a significant role in this trend, and, given its Danish heritage, Kjaer Global is well placed to understand it. The “New Nordic Model” can be felt in, “a focus on spaces for conviviality and human connection, interiors rich in texture and the use of high quality, natural materials, with human-centric ideas and great design as natural elements of the good life”.