Snapshot: Interiors 2011 | PDD


February 9 2011
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Snapshot: Interiors 2011

Last week I went up to Birmingham NEC to visit the Interior 2011 show. Firstly, it’s no Milan when it comes to looking at cutting edge trends in furniture , but that is not really the point of the show. Instead it is a chance for us, at PDD, to see how some of the trends we talk about are being rolled out into mainstream interior design.

Mimicking some of the fashion trends for ss2011, bold bright blocks of colour could be seen in the wallpapers, rugs and as accent colours to warmer greys in soft furnishings. Perhaps most popular was the use of brights in patterns across many of the soft furnishings. These manifested themselves as either florals or digital patterns combined with an increased use of texture to give a much more visually interesting feel to a lot of the products.

Below are some of my favourite and ‘newer’ things in the show…

Vibrant felt panels by Penelope Jordan

‘Light Montage’ soft partition by Siwen Huang

Concrete sample from Graphic Relief. Zebra illustration by Yehrin Tong (Courtesy of Debut Art)

Another sample illustrating the very fine surface detail that can be achieved with Graphic Relief’s new casting technique.

Lovely soft chunky knitted textiles in Claire-Anne O’Brien’s ‘knit stools’ series, part of the Designersblock stand.

Image from: Plumenshop

Also at the Designersblock stand was Hulger and their Plumen’ energy saving light bulb which was launched in September 2010.

Global Color Research and Mix Publications were also present at the NEC, hosting a seminar on their Autumn/Winter 2011/12 Trends, together with work from students  at Birmingham city university.

Hannah Malein, colour researcher, presented their colour trends; Curve, Afrika, Botanic and Fable.

‘Curve’ embraces the body, using fleshy tones that are natural and raw combined with gender neutral greys and copper. Finishes are soft and matte, creating objects that are light, airy and soothing. ‘Curve’ is born out of a backlash against technology and the need to be comforted from daily stresses.

‘Afrika’ is all about a vibrant collision of offbeat rainbow brights, combining local colour with global design trends. Fresh yellow reflects optimism in 2011 and used in contrast with vibrant red and a strong, unnatural green. The overall effect is something that is tribal and rhythmical. Interestingly, it is forecasted that this trend will  play  out in slightly different styles; Europe creating a modern urban Africa feel whilst China will be combining them with local chinese sportswear culture and the US will be sticking to a more authentic tribal interpretation.

‘Botanic’ stems from the well-established trend for Grow Your Own and a  return to ‘nature’s best’. However, moving on from simply replicating floral motifs, ‘Botanic’ focuess on the secrets of nature and its wellbeing abspects from a moew scientific perspective. Key shades include pomegranate pink and aubergine purples combined with hyper-real green and a more clinical (or ‘optic’) white. These colours are soft and yet fresh at the same time. After spending so many years trying to remove bacteria it’s time to think ‘harness not harmful’, as patterns will use bacteria as inspiration, as well as other scientific botanical drawings.

‘Fable’ takes the traditional fairy tale images of our cultural past and overlays them with the glow of electronic screen. Influenced by the fantasy worlds in gaming and online, this colour trend looks at the dark side of technology to create a new kind of ‘cyber geek’ palate. Rich and smokey purples and blues with fiery orange to create quite a luxurious feel.

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The last thing that inspired me: Design and Innovation.
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