Design Trends Reflect Nature
Design trends reflect the current societal mood, and this year is no different. In a time of uncertainty and chaos, the 2018 design trend in color reflects a need for tranquility. Neutrals, particularly beige & brown, are back in a big way. Sherwin-Williams’ 2018 color predictions were inspired by HYGGE, a Danish word that roughly translates to “getting cozy.” Their palette includes neutrals in white, beige, dove gray, and chocolate brown as well as pale pastels. While the Fall Markets flouted occasional unexpected pops of red and orange, it was predominantly a neutral palette. Warm neutrals like gold, brown, caramel, whites & organic materials were shown in solids, textures, and simple, tribal prints.
This palette combines beautifully with the design principles of another trend, wabi-sabi, an airy, comforting, unassuming aesthetic. Combining these trends results in an organic, authentic, unfussy aesthetic that’s cozy, serene, spare and reassuring. These rooms feel like an embrace; there’s a familiarity when you walk into them, and a serenity that makes you want to remain.
“Simplicity is the key to elegance” – Coco Chanel
Simplicity results in focus. A pared-down design not only looks less fussy but it ultimately requires less to energetic commitment, thus freeing up time to enjoy life. We all know that the maintenance factor to our built environment often results in our feeling “owned” by it.
Wabi-sabi principals are based on natural simplicity and the art of imperfect beauty. It honors the passage of time and the beauty of natural materials. Unlike shabby-chic, new pieces are not intentionally roughed up to look used. Instead, it honors the honesty of imperfect woodgrains, irregular hand-crafted pieces, and items that acknowledge the passage of time. This creates an environment that is organic, harmonious, uncomplicated, and unassuming. Wrinkled linen and loose-fitting pillow covers are reminiscent of easy-breezy coastal living. Blemished or unrefined decorative pieces add rusticity and honesty. There is an absence of fussiness or excess. But while pared down, it is neither stark nor cold. This style is carefully curated, but with a relaxed, thoughtful, restrained, lived-in quality free of the unnecessary. Here are some basics for achieving a wabi-sabi aesthetic:
- Honor humble materials such as wood, clay, stone, bamboo, natural linen, rough paper, woven grass, iron, etc. These will all reveal the passage of time with use.
- Clear clutter. The wabi-sabi mindset is to achieve simplicity…to become less and less encumbered, because excess is a physical and mental block to living simply.
- Thoughtful editing. Curate your collections until you’ve achieved the very essence of them. The idea behind this is that you will have more time and space for relaxation and greater appreciation for what you have.
- Showcase hand-crafted, irregularity. Nature is perfectly imperfect and as we have moved toward mass-manufactured goods, our spaces have become stilted.
- Overlap beauty with function. Investing in “functional art” simplifies our spaces, requiring fewer things to make us happy
- Fill your spaces with natural light, fresh air, and nature. These will blur the lines between the natural and built environments, and bring peace and harmony to your interior spaces.