With many more than pleased to have left 2009 behind, the new year begs the question of popularity—which trends will sell the economy out of stagnation? Experts have predicted a desire to break free from the safe, neutral tones that have dominated the last few years and emphasize bright colors to accent and create moods.
With the global economic recession people gravitate toward products that provide comfort and safety, said John Bain, Brintons’ global design director. However, with the slow uptick that has been seen recently, “We see inspiration and risk taking as we strive to set ourselves free from doom and gloom and people seeking a bit of escapist glamour.”
To achieve a more exciting look, we’ll see bold colors with dramatic, over-sized patterns, in an “almost out of context scale,” according to Bains. Playful colors such as pink, turquoise and yellow will liven up neutral palettes. Particularly in the interior, natural primaries like bright blue, yellow, green and red will lend new life. Color will be a factor in the emphasis on what people want this year, rather than traditional space utilization, particularly in public spaces like hotel lobbies.
While business conditions are looking up for some, buyers remain wary and seek quality and value in purchases. Products of higher quality such as wool, cotton and natural fibers, solid woods, marble and stone last a long time and generally reflect good value. These types of product will most likely come in more muted tones of celadon, jade, yellow green with grape, navy blue and aubergine, as well as antique gold.
“The green palette and the use of brights will dominate into 2010 with stronger combinations using color accents to amplify or play down a color palette creating an atmosphere, an emotion or a mood,” Bain said. He explained that color is highly emotive and that stronger accent colors with neutral palettes create a sense of drama and breaking free from the doldrums.
Such products also reflect a continuing trend of late—environmental awareness. Sustainable products will be the year’s biggest sellers. “From cars to interiors, exploration and exploitation of anything with an eco label will dominate this year,” said Bain. Naturally derived products like hemp, banana, raffia, bamboo and grasses are examples of materials that will gain popularity in the soft surface segment.
Bain noted a shift for eco-friendly beyond products, pointing to the mill’s new factory in China that meets U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria. He also said that the wool used in Brintons broadloom is sourced from sheep that are bred for eating, reducing the mill’s carbon footprint.
Environmental awareness spreads into the hard surface as well. Along with ceramic and porcelain, natural stone tile will remain a popular floor covering option for the kitchen, said Mark Karas, president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). However, the most popular trend for that room will be hardwood, as in the past.
Bathrooms will continue to use tile in ceramic, porcelain and natural stone for flooring options. Even countertops will opt for natural materials such as granite, quartz and marble.