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Should We, Shouldn’t We?

When I was first asked to write this article about the trends for 2019, I did inwardly cringe a little, because for me trends are not something I always follow, as design to me is not dependent on a trend. Also, in much of my work, mainly in hotel design, it can take up to seven years to see your design come to fruition, so by the time a hotel is built that latest “trend” could have well and truly passed.

However, trends have influenced my life in subtle and not so subtle ways, my parents in the 70s, were following the hippy movement of the time and built with their own hands an off-grid sustainable mud brick house. My three-year-old hands went into the creation of those bricks and my love affair with creating spaces began.


Photos: Courtesy of Jotun

Then 80s capitalism took over, and we moved to a house clad in peach, teal and pine wood with a luxurious spa bath.

Then, at my first year of university, I became more aware of trends and how the influence could be more conscious but also should not be followed blindly. We were asked to design a residential living space, adding colour and texture. I devoured all the Interior magazines at the time and followed the colour trend of the time; blue and yellow. So, I layered blue and canary yellow in abundance in this painstakingly beautiful hand drawn perspective, proud of the attention to detail in the sketch, only to receive scathing comments from my lecturers at the time due to the overuse of blue and yellow.


So potentially I have been scarred ever since when the word, trend comes up. Hence my now reluctance of trends and caution to not overdo it…. and my avoidance of the blue and yellow combination ever since.


Photos: Courtesy of Jotun

If we follow the pack, then how do we make our own new trend or innovation?

In some ways trends have become too much of a thing, what with Pinterest and the Instagram movement, we get so caught up in following what others are doing we lose sight of new inspiration.

The design of an interior should be about the form, the function, the space, the flow, symmetry, balance, the trend will not dictate that. But the trend may be the added touch, the embellishment. The colour palette that is pleasing, the latest accessory, or statement furniture piece, the layering of details, the material choice, can all be influenced by the trend.


Photos: Courtesy of Jotun

A trend comes and goes. Great design is timeless, everlasting.

As a designer it is important to remember that a space should not follow a trend alone, a trend can play a part, but it should not be the basis for the design. The space should be designed according to the client brief, what is needed within the space, how and by whom it will be used, with a narrative or vision that holds it all together.

But trends do come and go and then return in another form, I would never have used the peach and the teal of my parents 80s bedroom, in the 90s (or the naughties!), but now it seems to be making a comeback, the retro flashbacks.


Photos: Courtesy of Jotun

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