New year, new possibilities for designers
Monday, January 15, 2018
New Year’s resolutions, predictions and trends always dominate the early part of every January. We are all anticipating great things for the year ahead, regardless of what industry we are in.
My industry — interior design — is always filled with new and exciting things, but at the beginning of the year the emphasis is to look at what will be "the next big thing," for instance, the new color of the year. This year's color announcement from Pantone came in late 2017, as did other color predictions and trends from resources such as paint manufacturers like Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore and Dunn-Edwards.
They all wanted to make their announcements first, to be a trend-setter for the year ahead. So, when you look at an industry that is based on creating unique innovations for living and working environments, being ahead of the curve, so to speak, is always a plus.
Speaking of possibilities, where do these new and unique design ideas come from? Well, they always come from within our collective design brain — meaning we as designers see and react to things differently than most nondesigners.
I have always believed that designers are born with this innate sense of needing change. We're never satisfied with what has been used before. Whether is it fabrics or furniture styles, we want something new. We also know a good thing when we see one. For example, the simple sophistication of midcentury modern-style furniture or the quirkiness of avant-garde design.
But even these trends get boring. And when designers get bored, they become more creative. Design is all about building on the past and imagining the possibilities of something new.
Where do you begin to find the new design possibilities for the coming year? I always start with what I hear on the street from what people are thinking and saying about their life in general.
This past year, the emphasis was not on health as much as wellness. Everyone wants to live better, sleep better and control their immediate environment — whether that is in their homes or in their offices. Aging in place and accessibility were also big topics of conversation.
How do these ideas become design possibilities and ultimately design trends for me?
It happens when I look at the actual materials and objects that I use in creating a complete interior for my clients. I see these things as elements or tools of the design. If the materials available are not promoting wellness, designed to be used universally or manufactured with environmental responsibility, then I don't use them in my projects.
I always want the interior environments I create to promote well-being and have a meaningful purpose for my clients — even if that purpose is nothing more than finding a new color of paint for their walls. Having the ability to create my own trends or design possibilities is something I believe every interior designer is capable of. The endless choices of new furniture designs, finishes and materials available can be overwhelming, even for a seasoned professional!
Finding innovative design possibilities for future projects is what the creative process for interior design is all about. With 2018 in its infancy, we can only imagine what those possibilities will be.
Popular choices in finishes, colors and textures are always evolving. For example, European tastes are much different than Americans. The same is true for other parts of the world. The influences of culture, technology and personal preferences create an infinite amount of possibilities especially for interiors.
New design possibilities can come from generational preferences, too. What is cool and hip for one age group may not be for another. Every design possibility has the opportunity to become a trend or a flop.
Creating interiors that are stunning and beautiful, that are filled with the latest trends in furniture design and color are always a safe bet for anyone who is looking for something that is popular now.
Creating a design that becomes not just popular, but iconic — like the Eames chair from Herman Miller or a Chippendale settee — is something that can't be predicted. It started as just a design possibility. No one said to Charles and Ray Eames when they debuted their chair and ottoman in 1956 that they would be creating an iconic interior design style that would still be popular 62 years later.
Design is all about what is possible. As 2018 starts, the design possibilities are infinite. Knowing that as a designer I have the vision to see what my clients are hoping for and the ability to make it a reality is why I am enthusiastic about the year ahead for all that is possible for design and beyond.
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