On her visit to India last year, the globally eminent trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort prophesied there would be a going back to nature and its goodness.
So if star diets and organic foodoholics are to be believed, if fashion is paving the way for materials rich in textures, home décor too is on that bus. From lighting trends and décor products, bath fittings to kitchen gadgets, furniture and upholstery these lifestyle choices seem to be making quite a statement.
Naturals: “Heavy silks and linen are growing popular depending on the occasion and season. Silk drapes can be reserved for formal occasions while linen would give a casual feel,” says Mandeep Nagi, design director, Shades of India, Delhi-based home fashion brand. Hand-embroidered upholstery and accessories are doing the rounds too, giving the artist in a homemaker a reason to celebrate. Shades of green and coral too will see takers this year. Kitchens too are going organic. With nude, unpolished concrete on walls and stone finishes for tiles, it is not just looks, but maintenance too proves easy. “Lighter wood has being a favourite in Europe forever, while in India, people have preferred dark wood with varnishes. There’s a shift now towards lighter wood and Scandinavian-inspired designs,” says Julie Leymarie, co-founder, Le Mill, Mumbai. “The look of the ‘50s is in, with less straight and more rounded legs in furniture,” she says.
Textures and touch: Playing with contrasts and giving users and visitors something to engage with, that is the idea in surface treatments. Textural patterns in fabrics for drapes and upholstery are a good way to create points of interest, says Nagi. Taking off from the natural touch, in furniture too, wood is being treated and finished to give it a raw feel. “We’d like to focus more on organic products where we can use paper, wood and other materials is a more natural way,” says Leymarie. And while our smart phones are seeing the touch revolution, it has made its way into kitchen gadgets such as ovens, microwaves and refrigerators.
Photo realism & Geometry: Pop art isn’t passé yet, so hold on to the Marilyn Monroe cushions in fuchsia and neon green. “The new home is evolving into larger and more innovative surroundings where the traditional rules are bent and living spaces are making a personal statement,” says Raseel Gujral, creative head, Casa Paradox. So furniture can be kitschy, with Indian wedding themes, for the flamboyant, if they so choose. “Vintage prints are wearing a new look, too,” says Laymarie. What’s flying off shelves are African designs on Italian fabrics, creating a new vocabulary in upholstery design. Tribal prints are scanned and then superimposed on fabric for that contemporary look. Likewise, traditional block prints are seeing embroidered finishes, giving it a 3D lift. And the next time you doodle, don’t just throw it away. It could go up your wall, as a work of art. Geometric prints are doing the rounds and one will see it on everything from plates to tiles.
Mélange: No longer does the living room need to look like it has come from one furniture shop. Experiment with different styles, take an Italian sofa and team it with an industrial lamp. Throw in a designer coffee table, get adventurous.
Upcycling: It is no longer hand-me-downs but scale-me-up when it comes to clothes and décor. Ingenious homemakers are transforming old saris into blinds and partition screens. Cabinetry is seeing do-it-yourself designs to turn wobbly wooden chairs into stands for washbasins. Twisted ropes are turning into chairs and discarded clothes are being piled up as new-found bean bags.
Lighting: Lighting is globally being recognised as design enhancer. “2013 will see a shift from electricals to electronics with a focus on human centric approach, sustainability, and spatial articulation,” says Amit Gupta, managing director, Vis a Vis, a Delhi-based lighting firm. If LED has been in vogue, it’s also a technology that’s evolving fast. A new tool that manufacturers are exploring, to transform interiors, is called “RGBW”. For a long time, dynamic or colour changing meant a single luminaire changing colours of white light or RGB luminaire producing 16million “colours” but white. With RGBW, there can be a myriad options, from warm whites to neutral, and cool white to red, magenta, green, even violet. And just as HVAC levels, security systems and home automation are activated at the touch on the phone, lighting too will be as handy.