If last year taught us anything, it’s that nothing is quite so constant as change. The beginning of a new year brings with it the hope of the future and, in these parts, the turning of the calendar always has us pondering what the next 12 months and beyond might bring for the interiors world. This year, especially, we’re focusing on how interiors as we know them might be changing. The COVID-19 pandemic has single handedly made everyone rethink how we interact with our interior spaces, accelerating the already in motion trajectory of a rapidly evolving interior landscape.
As we pondered our theories for the future, we were keen to hear from our design friends of the LuxDeco 100 who also lead the way in these exciting changes. From sustainability to shaking up the status quo, here is what you can expect from some of the industry’s most illustrious names.
Jiin Kim-Inoue, Finchatton
"Interiors no longer conform to dated rules and, therefore, visually appealing design often pushes the boundaries in terms of scale and proportion and the manner in which the materials can be used. For us, this is an important distinction as, while our designs are timeless, they are always relevant and never feel dated. The idea that, for example, leather was traditionally used for upholstery or wallpaper solely for walls no longer applies. This freedom allows our designers to be more creative in how we select and balance these finishes within one design scheme."
Karen Howes, Taylor Howes
"2021 poses many challenges, both socially, politically and economically, but also when it comes to skillset and human resource. The nature of the consumer is changing and they’re seeking more from us as brands. We have to be more socially conscious than ever, whilst delivering next level craftsmanship and service."
"The two haven’t traditionally gone hand-in-hand, but the responsibility is now on the brand to meet these new benchmarks. And what do we need to do this? We need to look to British craftspeople and our own arts industry, and we as a body need to work harder at encouraging our young people to take up apprenticeships and skill-oriented roles."
"More and more I see a reversion back to the artisanal—people want one-of-a-kind, handmade, natural materials—and a negation away from industrialised materials such as plastic. I see people wanting longevity, quality and personality, rather than accumulation for accumulation’s sake. I think that people have tired of the minimalist, sanitised white-box aesthetic; rather prints, brushed wood, bronze, the human touch, and inspiration from nature are being favoured."
"Today people are confined to smaller and smaller spaces, therefore there is a need to recreate dreams and nature as nature itself is a synonym for space. It represents texture and depth, the ability to breathe... There is this urge to recreate nature within these small spaces in order to create the sensation of space."
Shayne Brady & Emily Williams, BradyWilliams
Shayne: "I have read people say how we are experiencing the death of the high street and even more so with Covid-19 being its death knell, but I disagree. I think Covid-19 will hopefully, as the economy re-finds its feet, be the catalyst for the high street to return to past glories, with people wanting to embrace the social aspect of interacting as opposed to doing everything from behind screens. We can already see how the pandemic has brought communities together and hopefully it will carry through to helping reinvigorate the local high streets and businesses. I certainly hope so anyway."
Emily: "I would add that sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint is exponentially becoming more and more important and should be at the forefront of design. We are proud to work with British craftsmen and believe that this will be on the increase in a post COVID-19 world."
"The simple answer is wellness. This has always been a guiding principle throughout my designs. I always ensure the guiding elements of energy flow, sustainability and nature are seamlessly implemented throughout my clients’ properties. I feel in this current day and age people are very aware of the importance of wellness. Our homes are our personal retreats. My clients are keenly interested in wellness in their properties, acknowledging and welcoming my guidance."
"This year there has been a huge emphasis and awareness around environment and sustainability. I always include both aspects in my designs with vintage pieces, upcycling and selecting sustainable natural materials and timeless pieces that will be passed through generations."
Charu Gandhi, Elicyon
"Global political and economic upheaval have of course impacted the property and interior design industry across the past few years, but our approach is to meet uncertainty with optimism and openness as we enter a new decade. "
"With the abundant access to design information, references and inspiration, particularly on social media, we are definitely having to dig deeper as interior designers to be innovative. At Elicyon, we are always striving to create unique and truly special work for our clients, but are now focusing on looking further afield and across different industries for new inspiration, materials, processes and suppliers in order to achieve groundbreaking design."
"We also believe that technical innovation will play a big part in the design industry in the coming decade and we want to be at the forefront of this advancement. For example, we have recently been exploring the possibility of presenting our design to our clients as a 3D experience where they can walk through and experience the space."
"The industry has become much more international in feel with a far greater symbiosis between different nationalities, countries and genres of design. Globalisation ensures that trends are instantaneous and far-reaching and clients have an awareness of designers out with their own region. They travel a great deal, have properties in many countries and are ‘citizens of the world’ rather than necessarily of one specific country."
"For my studio, the knock-on effect of this is that we undertake a greater range of projects in all corners of the globe. We are currently working across mainland Europe, Hong Kong, China, Kuwait, Qatar, America, Dubai and of course the UK. We have to be fast moving, flexible and able to both design for and install our projects abroad. My design team is very international and used to designing for a range of cultures and locations. I find that to keep up with a fast paced and interconnected world, one has to continuously look outwards and seek new inspiration to ensure that you are creating new designs and trends rather than following others."
"Thanks to social media, our need for visual impact, in terms of our choice of interiors, is on overload. The 'awareness factor' is huge and it is already making big impacts in our sector of industry. In terms of an overall style for the next decade, I feel that we are now so much more free, more than we ever were. Interiors and home decoration, just like fashion in the 1960s, has become liberated. It is a question of individuality and how to express that, which has in turn has affected our taste in decoration. Being different is the new norm and we can feel free to express ourselves in any way. However we also have to learn to be more discerning. Longevity is the key as sustainability at all levels is a big issue which will become more and more important as the decade evolves in the choices we make as consumers."
Ivana Allain, Helen Green Design
"Interiors no longer conform to dated rules and therefore visually appealing design often pushes the boundaries in terms of scale and proportion and the manner in which the materials can be used. For us, this is an important distinction as while our designs are timeless, they are always relevant and never feel dated. The idea that, for example, leather was traditionally used for upholstery or wallpaper solely for walls no longer applies. This freedom allows our designers to be more creative in how we select and balance these finishes within one design scheme."
Monique & Staffan Tollgård, Tollgård Group
"I think the democratisation of interior design with Instagram and Pinterest was the explosion that changed our world—we’re still feeling this into the new decade. I can’t see anything similarly dramatic dawning this decade, aside from this month that has seen us spend more time at home than we have probably ever done before. What lessons will emerge from this experiment? More people may well decide to work from home a few days a week, having discovered that the home/life barrier isn’t as inflexible as they previously thought. Where we thought that the kitchen was going to shrink out of existence with Deliveroo and Ubereats, have people rediscovered the joy of baking bread together? The sales of flour in the supermarkets seem to say so!"
"The impact of sustainable design is one that’s been on the horizon for a while and that will hopefully take stronger root this decade. With a new culture of sustainability slowly moving through all creative industries, the idea of looking hard for an heirloom piece that passes down through generations holds a lot of value. We look hard and buy once."
Header Image: Finchatton