Tile Files: Following the global upheaval of the pandemic, today’s design trends reflet cultural priorities - July 2022
By Anne Demers
This year, as the world starts to shake off the pandemic, the realignment of priorities finds expression through a handful of strong design directions. Trends related to a global pandemic run deep: they affect our values, our habits-newly formed-and our outlook. As a culture, we are looking for a new beginning, a change. Design fuels these transitions, as it always has, and provides us with a language to help us start over. Here’s a look at some of the trends that have emerged.
Now that the effects of climate change are moving from distant threat to imminent reality, a new and pressing agitation for change is becoming mainstream. Harnessing science and searching for high-tech solutions has never been more important. Biodegradable structures are being explored on a large scale. This is a materials-driven story, inspired by the graphic immediacy of charred wood, raku ceramics, porous bones, eroded shells. There is an accent on the natural rather than the artificial. Oases of indoor plant life are on the rise as we shift to living more of our lives indoors.
In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of appreciating beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent and incomplete” in nature. “Wabi” refers to the kind of beauty in asymmetrical or unbalanced things, which is very different from our occidental concept rooted in the Greek culture of symmetry and balance. “Sabi” refers to the beauty of aged things, translating into tangible objects the concept of the impermanence of life through the passage of time.
Trend: The Great Rebirth
We are looking for alternatives to our mass-consumerism culture, the increasingly overwhelming use of technology and the lack of human touch. Consumers are opting for products that can be reused and repaired in order to live with less, save money and care for the planet. Millennials are turning to craft skills to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle. This brings a new emphasis to timeless materials that are closer to nature. Tile is seeing a technological revolution of surface design, with new textures, through-body technologies and sophisticated glazes that evoke artisanal elements.
Trend: Retro Gothic
If you like your decor moody and broody, you’ll love the gothic trend for 2022. Think dark and lavish curtains, patterned wallpaper and lots of intricate details. Typically, these finishes pair best with spaces that are expansive, have tall ceilings and a lot of natural light. This one-of-a-kind style is unquestionably used to impress. Opt for high-end furniture, high-quality extravagant textiles and a plethora of additional decorative touches for opulent gothic interior decor. Tiles should feature texture, undulation and sheen, or have dark mosaic patterns.
Trend: Deeply Envious
It’s no secret that green is having a moment right now. The hue dominated the list of top color picks from major paint companies, and nearly any interior designer you talk to will call out the color as one of the top trends for the coming year. But while muted shades like sage reigned supreme in 2021, this color trend will take a darker, bolder turn for 2022. Emerald offers a powerful grounding effect. It’s versatile enough to pair with nearly any accent color or neutral, and when applied in large doses, it makes a bold, luxurious statement.
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