Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of our bloggers’ viewpoints on our seven 2012-2013 Perspectives trends.
If you’re like me, seeing the handsome but trite white kitchen over and over again makes your design mind numb and your color-thirsty eyes roll yet again. Why do we often fear color, texture and the wow factor? While many parts of my own home are restrained and modern/traditional, I love the POP of Andy Warhol prints and my dining room is a pulsating emerald green. And I love it. So I ask you, are you like me and countless others? We’re tired of restraint. Fed up with Federal Blue. To hell with prudence: design is about the ever-powerful imagination, and let’s face it, we rarely dream in black and white!
Expressive design is making a comeback and will be a huge trend in the coming years. If you haven’t noticed the rad colors of the 80’s making a return – in everything from fashion to carpets – you likely were born in the 90’s. Expressive design smartly reflects a desire for instant and constant stimulation, reinvention and new life. Those who embrace this art-form are constantly changing themselves, allowing their true colors to shine through in bold and geometric patterns, florescent hues plastered on both home and self, and influences from the likes of Lichtenstein, Piet Mondrian and Valerio Adami.
Daring patterns are already cutting their way through runways with edgy couture and origami-like shapes and textures. Mixing of patterns that seemingly don’t work is becoming more popular, making the unmistakable statement: ‘I am rebel, hear me roar!’ What preppy politely portrays, expressive loudly proclaims: color, texture, pattern! Let’s mix mediums baby. Digital meets natural, and prudent proportion gets lost in pure drama.
Around the home and retail spaces, we’re seeing cold concrete clash brilliantly with warm, eclectic hand-made carpets, lighting from the mod period and antiques lovingly resuscitated with wild fabrics. Expect unique touches like colorful mosaics in stone and glass, designs focused on style over function and unique pieces of wood-working. Experimental shapes on lighting, furniture and objects de art can be found in lacquered wood, plastic and glass. Simple white and black kitchens simply won’t do. Instead we see super-streamlined cabinetry in brazen colors, mixed with modern hard surfaces such as vivid granite, marble and man-made products. Details like window coverings, flooring and room dividers in retail or dining spaces incorporate geometric cutouts and spliced openings, with laser cutting seen in lamp shades as well. The idea is a beautiful collision of colors, dream-like ideas and raw, modern materials.
Even the auto industry has sprung back to life with electric cars, electric colors and (finally) stunning, curvy sheet metal pulled taut over divine bodies. Interiors have begun to stray from basic black and gray to incorporate luscious brown, white and red leather, and dramatically curved panels with bright metal accents.
The most important ideas the Expressive movement makes are those of individuality, creativity and unapologetic modernity. Be yourself! Mix – don’t match. Let go of restraint and let your imagination hurl you into happiness.