After years of enjoying industrial, Nordic and navy design trends, be prepared for a shift towards something more eclectic – the coexistence or unification of different styles that reflect good taste and personality. This was the message delivered by Anita Bloom, the Creative Director for Decorex Africa and 100% Design South Africa, in the latest Decorex Africa Trend Report 2020 – the authoritative guide for the creative industries.
The report provides a tantalising glimpse of what to expect from Decorex 2020 in Durban, Cape Town and Joburg, when designers and manufacturers showcase all the latest trends, concepts and products that will guide and inspire our interiors.
The broad themes emphasised in the report will be featured in the Mobelli Furniture + Living Trend House – Urban Living by Design, Insta-Interiors and Trend Installation as well as pop-up restaurants, cafés and feature areas at each show.
Bloom, who authored the report, ran her own design studio, Just Bloom Designs, before moving to Inspire Trade Expo for four years and then joining the Decorex Africa team, and her vast experience in graphic design and exhibition curation perfectly positions her to identify and share shifting design and décor trends.
She reveals two major themes to look out for next year: New Nordic and Contemporary Organic. New Nordic departs from Scandinavian minimalism, with its stark black-and-white interiors that represent order and harmony, and embraces a cosier, more nuanced aesthetic. Clean, pared-down features still prevail, but look for softer tones, tactile surfaces, natural materials and textured rugs and fabrics.
“Living spaces are warmer and more inviting – fireplaces are back, as are table lamps, candles and lanterns, along with lots of green plants,” says Bloom. “The colour palette is easy on the eye: champagne, beige, warm neutral colours, sage green, dark blues and indigo.”
The second major trend, Contemporary Organic, is even more nature-focused, with a luxurious twist. “We’re moving away from sleek materials and sharp architectural lines as ultra-modern design adopts softer, more texturally rich touches: furniture with sensual forms, timber with an irregular grain,” Bloom explains. “The effect is relaxing and grounding – a counterpoint to the highly charged, technology-driven world we live in.”
A further trend that will inspire us in 2020 is the mash-up of Scandinavian and Asian trends – think Japadi (a blend of Scandi and traditional Japanese details) and Wabi Sabi (the idea that imperfection is beautiful and life is impermanent). Precision and purpose are modified by delight at the unusual, irregular and striking – handcrafted items, textile arts, chubby furniture, oversized paper lamps, touches of neon, painted floors, and Chinoiserie wallpaper.
Because down-sizing and urban living restrict the space we live in, we’re looking at the rise of integrated areas in the home – an open-floor arrangement between the kitchen and the lounge means we can socialise while we cook, as well as work or study at the kitchen table. “The new heart of the home will eschew cold, high-gloss design in favour of atmosphere and snug simplicity,” says Bloom.
Along with this trend comes multifunctional furniture design – think sofas with several accessories as part of their structure, to configure according to whether one wants to work, relax, study, store objects or recharge electronic devices. We’ll also get more imaginative with interiors: artisanal design for fabrics, odd-shaped mirrors, hand-painted organically shaped ceramic pieces for homeware, 3D wallpapers, tiles, and carpets with geometric shapes and patterns.
A broad range of styles is in vogue, with colours that evoke the sea and the sky, along with a splash of warmth (cassis, cantaloupe and mellow yellow). It’s all about the personal touch and creating happily lived-in spaces.