THIS is the future of decor, says trend-spotting savant Li Edelkoort
The internationally-acclaimed trend forecaster describes the six trends she believes will dictate our decorating decisions in 2020/2021
Regarded worldwide as the doyenne of all things future, forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort's annual seminar at the Design Indaba festival has become an anticipated event for its insightful straddling of social and design trends and how they overlap and interact.
She describes her ability to foresee trends as a talent rather than a sixth sense, something she has been doing since the age of 21.
"I deal with long-term trends that can easily span a period of 20 years," she says of her forecast, which offers directions that speak to the political and cultural climate globally and will likely play out for some time to come.
We single out some key points that Edelkoort believes will impact on interiors in the next few years:
1. GREENHOUSE EFFECT
An equal and opposite reaction to the proliferation of tech in our daily lives, and the sapping of natural resources, will be the need to ground ourselves in nature and connect to something organic.
Indoor spaces will transform into jungles as house plants will be styled en masse. A mix of large-leafed and delicate species, with a focus on foliage rather than flowers, continues to dominate.
2. MATERIAL WORLD
Materials will tend towards the rugged; raw rather than finished. Concrete, wood and ceramics, along with various metals (patinated instead of polished) will lay the foundation for tactile spaces.
Gold as an accent will play out in kitchens and bathrooms, often as a counterpoint to these textures. Polished faucets are the natural go-to application of this, functioning as a sculptural and refined focal point among more rugged textures.
3. DOWN TO EARTH
The post-recession greys that have been ubiquitous for the past decade will give way to warmer earthy tones that are tactile and approachable.
While brown (Edelkoort's predicted new neutral) will be the centre point of this palette, the shades will range from blushing flesh and deepen into burnt brown and clay hues.
The full spectrum of shades is relevant and exciting for the home and has many applications as far as surfaces go - terracotta and brick flooring and deep umber walls being the most obvious. The rule of thumb here is that the tones are earthy and muddy rather than clean, and neither masculine nor feminine in nature.
Terracotta tones will be especially popular as decorative accents too - from textiles to tableware, and both rustic and contemporary in style.
4. LIVING SPACES
With increasing access to connectivity, offices will become less cluttered and more living-room oriented. Edelkoort anticipates that these rooms will be more integrated into the home, more streamlined in terms of tech and more decorative because they can afford to do away with much that was previously required for working.
Likewise, she says this ease of access to tech will prompt people to become more insular, not just in their homes but in their bedrooms, which will become spaces to watch movies and spend time as a family. As a result there will be more focus and spending on beds, beddings and atmospheric accessories.
4. SUNSHINE STATE
With the return of colour to the home, certain shades will stand out. Standouts include pink and bright yellow, whose primary application, Edelkoort says, will be via textiles, but also as small accessories that serve to pop against their setting.
Pastel accents will still play a role in softening spaces. "I foresaw pink as a trend 20 years ago and it's still around today. In my opinion, yellow will be the new pink," she says.
6. LESS IS MORE
A staging of objects, intentional and curated, will be the result of people having fewer, more consciously chosen possessions. Highly stylised interiors, despite their sparsity,
are an acknowledgement of each item's purpose and a move towards a more minimal way of living.