The Year 2020 marked the beginning of a new decade in Interior Design Trends. Looking back, the last ten years seemed crucial from the interior design perspective since the decade saw a surge of experimentation in designs.
It also marked the end of the era where the interior design was limited to interesting paint shades or the use of traditional materials like wood, stone or tiles. During the last decade, many new materials were introduced that transformed the face of interior design. Particularly in India, in spite of setbacks like real estate price drop and reduction in the cost of Rupee, the interior design sector continued to bloom and transformed into a ‘necessity’ from being a ‘luxury’.
The interior designers who oversaw this shift are terming the coming decade as one of the ‘golden period’ for interior design where new materials will flourish and fresh trends will be introduced. #SurfacesReporter spoke to some of the eminent names in the design industry and gathered their opinion on what according to them will be the updated trends in the interior design segment.
‘Walk the talk’ is the new mantra of generation Y who seem to be interested in not only about talking but actually be sustainable while designing their home and workspaces. According to Surfaces Reporter’s research, reclaimed materials, non-plastics or synthetics, and even hands down pieces are certainly in trend focusing on the eco-conscious mindset of the youth.
As Ms Punam Kalra, Creative Director of I'M, The Centre for Applied Arts, Delhi puts it, "The focus now is on experimenting with interior styles that have a low carbon footprint, are natural, bring a sense of familiarity and have a bold streak of personality. The new year focuses on the green movement, shifting the focus to biophilia, neotenic furniture, indoor plants and easy to recycle elements like wood, vegetable fiber, jute, sisal, hemp, stone, metal, and terracotta. Handwoven natural fibers like rattan, wicker, and macramé will reflect an environment-conscious aesthetic heavily inspired by the millennial trend of picturesque vacations and their love for vintage glamour.
Minimal ceramic hanging planters, sculptured stone vases, colourful earthenware, and geometric metallic tabletop planters, along with modern materials like recycled leather straps, brass and gold, natural cotton and jute ropes are likely to create sturdy, beautiful, minimal and modern spatial highlights. An addition of deep jewel and forest tones to the furniture will create a fresh natural look further elevating the modern Zen ambiance of the room. Bold and innovative nature-inspired motifs along with a combination of big, bold, bright colors like red and yellow in abstract art, carpets, wall reliefs, tiles, wallpapers, linen, and upholstery create a dynamic and vibrant interior."
Architect Neelam Das, Senior Project Lead, Studio Lotus, Delhi, reinforces the point by stating, "In times of heightened consciousness to be environmentally responsible, exercising sustainability has become a fundamental need in design and not merely a trend. Frugal practices, which include devising design solutions by adapting traditional craft practices, and the use of locally-available materials, furniture, and decor elements go a long way in alleviating environmental stress. This progression of shifting to natural and readily available materials and practices has also facilitated the incorporation of light, pared-back palettes that are easy on the eye."
"With the climate crisis apparent across the globe and the impact the construction industry has on the planet, both designers and end-users are exercising a conscious approach to reduce, re-use and recycle materials, she quips."
In the words of Architect Sumessh Menon, Founder & Principal, Sumessh Menon Associates, Mumbai, "Biophilic design and bio montage walls will see a lot more importance since we are now grappling with climate change and bringing the outdoors inside is a priority for design whether it is hospitality, residential or commercial interiors! Versatility has become the keyword in design whether it is furniture or spatial planning. There is a big shift in material selections too wherein natural materials like cork, bamboo and reclaimed wood are being embraced more often."
"Materials with Matt finish, having more natural and a blended organic look are going to be in trend in 2020," Architect Sonali Bhagwati, President, DPA, Delhi rightly shares.
Clutter-free spaces are being celebrated for their inherent spatial quality, expressed through surface design, colours, and materials.
According to Ms Kalra, "2020 will be all about minimal maximalism, bringing in a wide assortment of forms, colours, textures, and patterns together into a clean, simple and elegant design. The new year celebrates soft curves and solid, rounded, irregular shapes over the now conventional sharper geometric shapes, in plush fabrics like velvet, suede, and leather, metallic finishes and luxurious stones with a strong presence of colour. Curvilinear furniture with bold curves, and distinctive furniture like luxurious geometric coffee tables, and parametric, neotenic furniture inspired by organic folds, asymmetry, and bulbous forms will add visual depth to any space with their juxtaposed multiplanar voluminous forms."
Ar Menon, reiterates the thought by saying, "Neotenic furniture and accessories will be more prominent. Bright, playful, organic shaped furniture and custom designs will slowly and surely work their way into the design scene. Custom furniture especially retro furniture is a big thing. "
In the words of Ms Payal Kapoor, Interior Designer, Delhi, "The spaces have become small in residential sector hence while keeping the basic requirements of client intact, proportions and palette colours have evolved."
As Ar Menon says, "Less of bling and more drama - that will be the design mantra for the year 2020. By drama, I mean embracing bold and lively without treading into cluttered and busy."
Dutch Designer Marcel Wanders rightly summarises the trend by saying, "I think people are leaning toward simplifying their lives. They are looking to do more with less, and they are gravitating toward places that combine the spaces in which they live, work and play. I believe we have already seen a tremendous shift from ornate interiors to streamlined, intelligent spaces using juxtaposition and incorporating innovation with efficient design aesthetics. Of course, quality will always be important, and the trend is now for furniture to not disrupt a room, drawing attention to itself. Rather, furniture is being made to blend into the concept of a room around it."
Ar Das resonates with the thought as she shares, "Residents have been quick to embrace the light and muted aesthetics that are easy on the eye, and are exploring nature-inspired design schemes that recreate a sense of outdoors within the interiors. Minimalist furnishings and soft colours render these spaces to be more engaging and habitable while maximising the sense of scale of the spaces."
Luxury is never out-of-trend. Proving the same, 2020 is also about designing and living luxury. However, one important factor of the luxury designing that will be focused upon is ‘functionality’.
Materials that signify luxury like marble, semi-precious stones, linen will be in demand in interior design this year.
In the words of Ms Kapoor, "In 2020 I see luxury, understated opulence in a classic manner as design trends . Especially for Uber homes and luxury hospitality sector. People's homes need to reflect the elements they have collected over a period of time. That’s what makes a house a home and reflects their lifestyle. Zen living is a bit outdated."
Mix-matching is in. For instance in furniture, instead of having full seating sets, people are preferring to have a mix of furniture types, for instance, a 2-seater with a couch or a metal chair.
Architects Oscar and Ponni Concessao, Founders, Oscar & Ponni Architects, Chennai also predict that in 2020, there will be a mixing of materials. For instance flooring with two materials or inlays with neo-classical inputs.
According to Ar Menon, "Mixing and matching old and new will be inevitable this year. That means blending modern sleek designs with a quirky eclectic element, or a classical style interior was given a twist with a contemporary design element and so on."
We completely agree with Ar Menon when he states, "Metals will be all over the place; specially traditional copper and brass finish ones will be making a comeback."
Ms Kalra reinforces the increasing popularity of metal by sharing, "2020 brings in the mixed metal decor trend.
Restrained use of silver and brown metals, like iron and gold or copper, will bring in the decorative glory of maximalism but with a more understated expression. Using luminous metallic fabrics for furniture is another fantastic way to capture the light and add a new contemporary warmth and sheen to any room."
"Unique shapes and patterns will no longer be limited to walls and furniture, but will also extend to idiosyncratic carpet and lighting design. These will no longer only be a functional addition but act as Avant-Garde art pieces for the floors and the ceiling," believes Ms Kalra.
According to Ar Menon, "Terrazzo flooring with its endless combinations of pattern, colours and shapes will be bigger than ever."
Architect Kanhai Gandhi, Founder, KNS Architects mentions, "Keeping the colour of 2020 in mind i.e. the classic blue which is a quite intimidating and bold colour, the trend would either be to enhance it or compliment it or to subdue it with other materials in styling."
Ms Kalra reiterates the idea of using blue in interiors by saying, "The Pantone Colour of the year for 2020, Classic Blue, will be incorporated into the décor in a wide array of unique ways ranging from the flooring to the walls to the furniture to the accessories. A combination of blue with earthy tones and bold shades of terracotta, burnt orange, and ochre adds an organic artistic vibe to the rooms. For a bolder, eccentric look, the entire room can follow a blue monochrome palette, appropriately balanced by subtle detailing and neutral colours. It can also be paired with highlight furniture pieces in lush velvets, silks and satins, modern artworks and green planters to create a further contrast."
With the launch of devices like Amazon Alexa, India has already stepped into the era of smart homes where your voice seems to do the magic.
People are getting smarter and so are their homes. Most designers now-a-days are making smart homes as per the choice of the clients and this trend is surely going to be the next big thing.
Architect Dipen Gada, Founder, Dipen Gada & Associates also picks up 'automation' as an important interior trend of 2020.
In the words of Ar Bhagwati, "Smart homes are very much on the agenda with more people are wanting to introduce automation in one way or another depending on security systems, AVs to Home automation etc. So the smart home trend is surely going to be the next big thing in 2020."
As Architects Oscar and Ponni mention, "Digitization has been in the West for the last 30 years. In India, this trend has just begun which will nearly continue. As the Government is giving it a push, we are going to see more of digitalization happening in every sector. Similarly, smart design and homes are going to be more popular with an increasing number of takers."
The Founders of DSP Design Associates reiterate the thought by sharing, “It is imperative for organisations today to graduate their change management strategies to be measured by ‘experience delivered’ in the age of millennials and generation Z staffers. The trend that is likely to carry forward to the new year is designing spaces that address the blurring lines between lifestyle, comfort, flexibility and high performance work environments. Amenities that set the stage for a truly seamless, digitally equipped workspace is what will set organisations to be competitive on a world forum of highly successful organisations.”
Overall, as can be inferred, interior styles are moving towards more inclusive, environment-friendly and experiential designs. Bold colours, forms, and combinations are largely setting in. Metals will continue to rule the interiors, and ‘Going digital’ is surely on!
This story has got originally published in the February 2020 issue of Surfaces Reporter Magazine.
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