COLOUR & PATTERN
Pantone, the US colour pundits whose colour numbering system is used worldwide, tell us that Greenery is the colour for this year — “a fresh, yellow-green shade of early spring”.
Interior designer Daniel Hopwood, judge of The Great Interior Design Challenge on BBC2, says: “Green is calming and reassuring at a time of turmoil, when politics are polarised. A vital leaf green is good with battleship grey. And foliage, of course, is a natural living way to use this colour — people so love plants at the moment.”
Society designer Nina Campbell says: “I see green as nature’s neutral. It’s all around us outside, we know this colour, we are happy with it. Use it as the background for tropical pinks, turquoise and orange. It is a good accessory on a statement chair, or on a shelf or table setting.”
Polly Mason, lead designer at the Liberty of London studio says: “Let the shade spread out in the room. Take up the story choosing from opulent emerald hues to sumptuous shades of jade and olive.”
London’s Nicky Haslam, named interior designer of the year at the Design Museum last month, predicts: “Pattern will bomb into homes in 2017.” He loves dark backgrounds, super-size motifs and smack-in-the-eye colour. “Pattern will go boldly into bathrooms, on to fitted carpets — yes, a comeback — the sofas, as well as up the wall and on windows.”
Londoners want the benefits of new technology in production methods, in materials and in our homes, with built-in durability, eco-cred and beauty. “The internet has changed the game,” says Sir James Dyson, the supremely entrepreneurial engineer. “We all have smartphones and now they can control our homes.”
Young London designer Benjamin Hubert of Layer says: “Designers have a responsibility to solve problems with products that benefit society, maybe using technologies tailored to a user’s needs, such as digital sensors or customised 3D printing.”
Robots will be big this year. Dyson has a robot cleaner patrolling his new Oxford Street showroom. Sebastian Conran’s new agency Consequential Robotics has devised a helpmeet table, and a companionable robotic dog.
Buzzword for designers is “materiality,” with new fibres, plastics, and surface coatings. But old materials will hold their own, including woods of all grains and shades, solid and veneers.
Glass is joined in sheets with light-cured glues, moulded or mouth-blown. Copper and marble will remain the darlings of design. London designer Tom Dixon launches stone pendant lamps for bathrooms this month.
“Handmade” will have a powerful appeal and we’ll hear more about expensive “luxury” crafts in 2017, from the likes of The New Craftsmen, of Mayfair.
Craft will be more apparent in the high street, too, with West Elm, Habitat and even Sainsbury’s and Ikea selling beautiful china, glass and rugs made in craft workshops abroad.
Technology has permeated craft, enabling new ways of making by hand. Young Hampshire furniture maker Charles Dedman calls it craft tech. His Zapotec cabinet’s doors feature an elaborate geometry of laser-cut, colourful veneers, applied in strips by hand.
Internet shopping will expand. “The website IS a shop,” says Jason Wilary-Attew, new buying director at The Conran Shop. Shoppers want exclusivity, even on the high street, says Pip Prinsloo, design manager at John Lewis.
“In-house design studios will continue to expand, and you’ll get more specially commissioned authentic design.” Heal’s chief executive Hamish Mansbridge can’t imagine a world without Twitter and Instagram. He says social media “instantly creates trends for designers and buyers alike”.