Through Our Eyes
As design junkies in both our personal and professional lives, we are constantly (and voraciously) discovering, cataloging, and evaluating great design — from almost every imaginable direction. Inevitably, we need to make sense of it. What does any of it say about where the market is going? What is useful for our work? What inspires us? What makes our skin crawl? And what just makes us uncontrollably enthusiastic? And so, in the tradition of year-end lists, here is what is likely to make a go in 2019.
TWO BIG THEMES
Handicrafts and anything off- the-bench, off-the-wheel, or off-the-loom. Part of the “Old Meets New” movement that’s been part-and-parcel of the design world over the last few years, this phenomenon is now well beyond textiles or ceramics and is showing in the renovation movement of old steel and brick warehouses, the revitalization of meatpacking and fishing yards, and harbor and waterfront areas. In every case, it’s about finding beauty in something less than perfect, and often reflects the skillful combination of old and new.
This is more than minimalism redone. It’s taking the defined, structured spaces of the movement and filling them with light, furniture, and art. The concept of a "decorated space" is going out of vogue, replaced by curation.
Multi-purpose everything. As more and more people gravitate toward city life, the need for smart, multi-purpose, smaller-scale furnishings that are adaptable to different spaces and needs, and are stylish to boot, is a challenge, and one that makes this one of 2019’s biggest interior-design trends.
Compact furniture creations that demonstrate multi-functionality and flexibility have found a welcome home in small spaces and dynamic lifestyles. We’re not living the way we used to, and instead are insisting that the old idea of five or six functional areas in the house — like the kitchen or the dining room — give way to recognizing how we actually use rooms. For instance, in an era of tablets, smartphones, and Netflix, do we still need a TV-focused living area?
2019 IN COLOR
The big news: the recently hot “Millennial Pink” (aka "quartz" and "sophisticated blush") is losing its ground to the "Red Wave." Stay tuned for that. Elsewhere, palettes inspired by travel continue to have a say. Another interesting place to keep an eye on is Sherwin Williams’ “understated luxury” palette, pulling bold Rockweed and Charcoal Blue, lightly-tinted hues such as Mellow Coral, Dusted Olive, and complimented with Vibrant Voyage, Limon Fresco, and Heartthrob together to offer designers a wide range of options.
The Color of the Year 2019, coined Nightwatch Green, is a moodier alternative to hunter and bottle green, and a nice alternative to today’s on-trend matte black.
Two of the palettes highlighted for 2019 by the Pantone Color Institute come from opposite sides of the color spectrum: The shades in “Cravings” are meant to tempt the eye “as well as the taste buds with spicy reds, sweet flamingo orange and rich purples.” Allusions to “fetish foods” such as peppers and chocolate are tempered by the warmth of a neutral Cappuccino and grassy green shade.
The hues of “Classico” skew more elegant with a nod to style fundamentals. This is the palette where “a graceful swan white" and shades of camel pair perfectly with deep teals, gray flannels, burgundy reds, and caviar blacks.
Other highlights: color gradients (think ombre), patterns, and '80s shapes. We’re also seeing botanicals and big, in-your-face prints from every fabric house.
2019 IN MATERIALS
Traditional organic materials aren’t going anywhere. But they certainly aren’t all by themselves. How can anyone have failed to notice the prevalence of marble? Marble is everywhere, and with the added benefit that some designers are finding ways to make it look less palazzo and more mountain cabin. Another great advance is the number of new examples of innovative uses for glass (including in furniture).
The timeless yet intriguing nature of the terrazzo is bringing this material back as a hot trend that is here to stay. Known for centuries for its durability, it is now making a comeback in a significant artistic manner.
We don’t believe that you should follow trends. Unless you really, truly, authentically like the sort of world they evoke. As we have stated before, trends, in our eyes, aren’t so much for what to follow; rather, they offer a world of new possibilities to incorporate. Or not.