What do you want to do next?
Finding the balance between what’s next and what’s too far ahead – that’s where the challenge lies. Finding what will make your environment, your place, your space, feel fresh for years to come, minimizing cost while maximizing long-term fulfillment can be done by just looking around.
Another place to look for inspiration:
2. Economics and Social Trends
The Western economy has been in a rough state for a while now, with a few areas seeing some gentle growth, most areas seeing a plateau trend, and most areas (especially in the U.S. and Europe) still experiencing a drop. It makes sense for us to adjust our needs to accommodate our new reality.
Residential design will be continuing to create more at-home office space, and virtual office space. There is a huge social cost of lost time to rush hour traffic and long commutes that I don’t believe we are willing to do for much longer. I believe we will see more merging of urban and rural styles in outlying communities as more of us stay closer to home to work and play, without wanting to completely give up an urban lifestyle.
Some call the trend, “nesting” – using stable and solid forms with large items in nostalgic and subdued colours and textures. Looking to the past, and using natural materials in an honest way. Yearning for the security of childhood, however, I think we will see more pops of playful colour, creating paradoxical, eclectic interiors with energy and tension between the neutrals and the brights, the patterns, textures and solids.
Recycling, upcycling and a “make do and mend” mentality will continue to grow. A growing number of design professionals are achieving their “LEED” certification (www.gbci.org) along with the NCIDQ (www.ncidq.org). Even on a small scale, reusing materials is not only socially responsible, it looks and feels really good with the right application – imagine your grandfather’s cozy, memory-filled fishing sweater remade into a throw cushion for your family room couch. Maintaining and nurturing connections to family and community in this way reinforce feelings of comfort.
Lastly, social consciousness remains a growing movement. A great example is the popularity of “Tom’s” shoes in North America. For every pair of shoes sold, the company donates a pair to a child in need. I am waiting to see where Interiors will take this idea and run with it – perhaps a line of home goods raising funds for Habitat for Humanity (www.habitat.ca) that could be sold at their ReStore as well as large chain stores across North America? I would love to see your comments below about design companies and their commitments to social change.
Incorporating these concepts in your home, office or retail space will mean you’ll be happier there, longer – and you’ll have better resale/release value when you choose to relocate.