IDS 08 | Design: 10 years ago and 10 years from now

ids 10 years of design by Globe & Mail's Lifestyle Section

I went to 4 design talks when visiting the Interior Design Show. Each design talk will be reviewed separately. I am starting with a report on What were the most important trends over the last decade?

The panel animated by Trevor Kruse of Hudson Kruse Design was composed with the design journalists of the Globe & Mail’s Lifestyle Section. We had the pleasure to hear the thoughts of Janice Lindsay, Danny Sinopoli and Karen Von Hahn. Janice Lindsay is the founder of PINK, Colour + Designer.

They did not forecast a lot about the future. It is a wise move since the design styles are evolving at such an increasing rate.

It was a great assessment of what is happening. They assessed that the top 10 design trends that emerged from the last decade and will continue are:

1. Speeding Up

You see it in fashion, where when they used to be 4 collections a year, retailers are bringing new clothes and accessories every week. Fashion has an even bigger role in home design than in the past. It is due to fashion designers who entered the home décor and bed linen business.

2. Eco-design

Like Karen Von Hahn, I believed that eventually people will get tired of the eco-products in the same that marketers overuse the concept by stretching the eco-friendless of their products. Having said that, it does not mean that people will stop wanting eco-friendly products.

But one thing is sure that the eco-design movement changed the motifs and shapes of products. Look at the omnipresence of birds, twigs and trees from wallpapers, bed linens, placemats, dinnerware to invitations as the perfect example.

3. Designer gurus and Star Architects

Big names design everything from simple objects, furniture, home, outdoor rooms, corporate identity, skyboxes, private jets and even cities. The idea is based on being fully immerse in the experience. The separation between disciplines is slowly disappearing.

Philippe Starck and Frank Gehry, brought a whimsical feel to serious design. More on this later.

4. New Ornamentation

This marked the end of the super minimalist. Layering of textures and motifs is one of its expressions. You see it with the use of the damask, furs and bold motifs on simple line products. That is what make them fresh.

5. End of packaged style

Thank God for that one. It is OK to break convention, to make it your own. Making a room is built over time by filling it with things that matter to us. The key is to edit once in a while.

Making an entire French Provencal kitchen, an English style living room, is so passé. We have a creative freedom but at the same time, it is harder to make it right. Eclectic design rules but that does not means that everything goes together. That is why the advice and the input of professionals are still necessary.

6. Wit and Humor

Things can be stylish without being too serious. Furniture and rooms are not seen as precious anymore. We have the freedom to really live in it. You see that fact with many modernists. As they become parents with young children then still live in cool and home.

7. Technological Innovation

Advancement in technology opened the doors to new materials, new manufacturing techniques and affordable customization.

8. Light and Transparency

Gone are the days of one central hanging fixture and a lamp to light a room. Today, we use lighting fixtures as a way to sculpt the space. In fact, you can fill a room by creating shadows at desirable spots.

9. New Cachet of Design Classics

Just look at the popularity of mid-century modern furniture to be convinced. The same vintage look is a clear fashion trend this spring.

Old patterns like toile and damask are so in demand. The current Damask motif looks modern because the motif is oversized. Computers brought a new life to old motifs.

10. A Canadian Aesthetic

We have seen an emergence of a new Northern aesthetic that distinct us. They are several regional movements across Canada on style but three characteristics is shared by Canadian design:

  • sustainability,
  • experimentation and
  • warmth and humor.

I enjoyed listening to Janice Lindsay, Danny Sinopoli, Karen Von Hahn and Trevor Kruse. More reports on the Interior Design Show 2008 in Toronto are coming on the next days. See you then!