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Are design trends relevant and do they have a future?

Design trends are constantly changing and, as we continue to navigate an era of unprecedented change, it is a good time to look at what the future holds for design trends.

The final expert panel of Day 2 of the virtual Designscape conference, organised by Informa Markets, turned the discussion to design and colour trends in the industry now and in the future, but also whether trends are relevant and if they have a future themselves.

According to Susie Rumbold, who is the creative director of Tessuto Interiors, the biggest trends we see today are the shift to home working and, as a consequence of that, the potential move away from open space in the design. She believes that we will also see the trend of technology and gadgets in home environments.

Brian Woulfe, Managing Director, Designed by Woulfe agreed, in that he is seeing a significant shift in how people want to plan their spaces as people are spending more time in their homes. “People are looking for outdoor space and incorporating indoor/outdoor spaces in their designs. This opens up the scope for better design of outdoor fabrics and dual-purpose furniture. There is also an extra focus on the infrastructure in people’s homes such as WIFI,” he said.

When looking at how design professionals can help clients discover their colour preferences, Rumbold believes that the role of the designer is to give clients the confidence to work out the colour that they respond to as an individual. “Once you start to work with a client, you see them grow in confidence and start to establish their own way. If you have done your job well, you can see them start to enjoy the process.”

Brian believes that colour trends are a great way to instigate a conversation with the client, so trends serve the purpose of getting people on board with the idea of designing their home. However, trend colours should only be incorporated in moderation.

In her role as an applied colour and design psychology specialist, Karen Haller from Karen Haller Colour & Design Consultancy looks at how colour and design influences how we feel.

She explains that she tends to look at colour trends from three different angles retrospectively.

“I look at what the forecasters are saying and then observe what comes out that year to see how their predictions are going along. I look at what is going on in society as a whole, looking to see what colours people are radiating towards. The other angle is to look at what is happening at big world events, for example.”

Haller also noted that the bottom line is that trends are commercial and about selling. If there is nothing new to buy, it is not sustainable for the economy. Magazines show a broad range of styles as they need to appeal to everyone, and people get overwhelmed by trends instead of being inspired by them. “A trend quite often tells you that what you like is wrong and the trend is right,” she explained.

When it comes to social media, the panel agreed that social media makes it easier for people to consumer trends and social media is great at giving a glimpse of an aspirational lifestyle and inspiring people to take some of it back to their own homes.

“Instagram has brought colour back to life and has made people more adventurous to try colour” Haller said.

Photo Credit: Daniil Silantev on Unsplash

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