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Darren Palmer’s 2019 Design Trends

In 2019, what are design trends that we are likely to see emerge this year?

There are so many it’s hard to count them. There are evolutions of retro schemes, there are organic forms, there are stone looks and textures applied to otherwise flat textiles and surfaces. There are references to 80s architectural elements, geometric forms, bold colours, there are really so many different things going on at once that it’s sometimes hard to see how they correlate to each other or relate to the market in general. Trends develop and evolve at an ever-increasing pace too, though not as fast as fashion thankfully.

Are there particular trends we have seen in 2018 which will disappear?

Skandi is waning but has evolved into Japandi that is much more interesting.

Boho is waning too, there are a lot of more fresh, crisp and retro-inspired looks coming through. Organic shapes, bold colours and a more clean array of looks may well overpower the earthy-ness of the boho trend, but there will always need to be a salve to the pace that we live at and the machined quality of modern life so don’t expect these more rustic trends to disappear.

Are there any trends you will be glad to see phased out?

Not really. I think trends are great and serve a purpose, though I try not to adhere too closely to them myself. There’s a great scene in “the devil wears prada” where Miranda Priestly schools Andi on the blue cardigan she’s wearing. This journey from haute couture to bargain bin is a perfect example of how all trends work. By the time they’re ready to phase out everyone is aware of them and the next thing is already halfway filtered into retail so there’s always something new coming, there’s always warning that they are coming and there’s always going to be people that want it at whatever stage it is. If you wait long enough too most trends have a second coming, albeit decades later, so it depends how patient you are I suppose.

What are you most excited to use in your work in 2019? Be it textures, innovative ideas or new furniture pieces?

I’m particularly loving timber ceilings at the moment. I love timber look laminates as the quality and finish is so good they’re indistinguishable from real timber veneers. I am really looking forward to using routed timber profiles to add another dimension to walls and joinery. There is always something new that is captivating and I usually find something that excites me every time I venture into stores.

What colour are you likely to use a lot of in your work in 2019?

I think I’ll be using some richer warmer colours this year. Golds, deep fig colours, not reds but warmer tones. I will always use greens and blues and have a deep love for deep yellows. There aren’t a lot of colours that are out of bounds for me and it seems that colour trends at the moment support a wide variety of colour combinations and intensities.

What is your verdict on artificial plants? On trend and a good solution for apartment life?

There is a hung jury on artificial plants and here’s the reason. They’re both wonderful and terrible depending on the application and reason for use.

They’re absolutely appropriate and downright beautiful if you don’t actually have to get too close to them. Most faux plants on the market these days are very convincing and are totally appropriate for low light, hard to reach or not regularly maintained places. That means they’re great for up high on shelves, above cabinets or in places like show or display homes or houses that are vacant and for sale. They work very well though in everyday homes, particularly when mixed with real plants.

Fake plants, however, aren’t the best option if there is the possibility of a real plant. Succulents are hardy, easy to look after and beautifully consistent, so if given the choice between a real or a fake succulent more often than not the real is a better option. Fake orchids, however, look real 99% of the time so can be a really great inclusion. Large scale trees, such as fiddle leaf figs, can look good in fake versions, but they have to be very high quality and produced with realistic detail. At the end of the day though, if maintenance, light and practicality allows, nothing beats a real, living, oxygen producing plant.

What is the one thing everyone should purchase for their home this year?

Whatever makes their home as liveable and appropriate to their lives as possible. For each home and each family that answer is going to be different, it’s only through reflection, assessment and consideration to your environment, your home and you and your family’s needs that you can work out what is the best possible way to improve your own home. I don’t think there is ever a one-stop answer for these questions, it’s always going to boil down to personal circumstance, budget, desires, needs, weaknesses and strengths.


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