The John Lewis store in Oxford Street recently hosted a talk between the editor of Elle Decoration, Michelle Ogundehin and the Head of Design at John Lewis, Philippa Prinsloo. John Lewis were launching their new fabulous in-store apartment, “The Residence” - a beautiful opulent showcase of new products (see my previous blog for more info), and the discussion focussed on new trends for the coming season, and how these have developed over the past 18 months.
I decided to go to this talk, even though I’ve always been quite sceptical about trend forecasting. There are always so many trends going on at the same time, and if you put them all together it would be a visual nightmare! For this reason I am excluding ‘La La Land yellow’ from this report, along with many other trends you may be aware of.
Clearly there are several general themes running through any era, and when we look back, we see them more clearly than at the time. So perhaps it is interesting to know what the experts are saying, even though there are many experts all saying quite different things.
Michelle Ogundehin wrote an essay last year, about the seismic change she had noticed in the mood for interiors, which she named the New Modern. For those of us who have had enough of pared back simplicity and Danish whites, we can now proudly embrace the new mood for opulence and rich décor. I think what this means is that maximalism is now cool? Which is fine by me.
The whole mood has been shifting towards jewel-like, high-quality materials, brass and mosaics, and hand-painted wallpapers with a narrative theme. Strong colours are in - forest green, millennial pink (soft but not girly), hints of gold, and lots of coloured glass and exotic stones.
At the Milan 2017 show for interiors and furniture, where big name designers launch new collections, the strongest new trends were:
- Modern Black : every surface textured, detailed, rich and strong
- New Natural : sisal, hemp, cane – re-worked and made warmer and more textural than Scandi style
- 1950s colours : burgundy, pink, mint – all with muddy greyish undertones
- ‘The New Pretty’ eg de Gournay fabrics
- Super Luxe finishes eg pink onyx
- Mixed materials : mixing everything together – decorating every surface, and having fun
The new key trend was Japonisme : harnessing the Japanese love of nature, fine detail, finish and texture, but relaxed and zen, with wabi sabi imperfections
So what next?
Two tips for moving forward with the New Modern style are:
- Dulux colour of the year – heart wood (bruise purple) will be the next big colour, combined with green, pink, purple and blue, for a rich calm aesthetic.
- Build layers – a rich design scheme like this evolves gradually. Invest in things you really love, and they should last a lifetime.