Renee Hytry-Derrington swooped into town this week as part of the global 100 year celebrations of the Formica brand. As the VP of design for Fletcher Building Laminates and Panels, her role involves a mix of design development for Formica products and PR, and takes her all around the world to speak about design trends.
We pinned her down briefly for a chat about interior design trends for 2013. And for those who were wondering, her own (newly finished) kitchen features pigmented concrete floors with infloor heating, a corrugated metal wall, elliptical laminate islands (currently red, but which can be changed out at will), high gloss grey cabinetry and metallic greys and whites.
Top trends in interior design
Hytry-Derrington identifies three broad trends in the area:
Purity is uber modern, tying together technology with a softer, more human touch ("futuristic feminine"). Think modern, synthetic, high gloss, high tech materials and shining surfaces. The main colour is white, along with translucent or pale pastels, combined with darks and vibrant neons. A light and delightful palette.
Nutopia is closer to consumers' hearts, and marks a step back from technology, reacting to the "chaos of the new world". It's born of a desire to seek personal rhythm and space, getting off the grid and physically getting back to nature. Think concepts like urban farming (gardens atop high rises). Warm colours, natural surfaces and woods are all important, particularly reclaimed wood. Nutopia also often involves bringing plants inside; imagine entire plant walls growing green and lush.
Clash is more of a youthful trend, linked closely to urbanisation and the clashing of cultures in one small place. The basis of this is rooted in a grey, concrete aesthetic, almost rubble-like, with oxidised or corrugated metal, steel, reclaimed or burnt wood looks. This can be contrasted with vibrant patterns against the grey.
Kitchen interior design trends
Tackling kitchen design in particular, grey is coming through as a key base colour, often against a raw wood aesthetic, combining warmth and practicality. Colour pops, on a box or perhaps a series of cabinet fronts, are also popular.
Benchtops are becoming more of a feature and more dramatic. Materially, larger format wood is coming through – imagine a big slab of oak for a benchtop, and a focus on the inherent beauty of wood, knots, imperfections, and all. Larger-scale stone is also emerging, with veining and linearity starting to come in.
Finally, upper cabinets are disappearing, or ditching linearity and being installed at various heights rather than in one straight line.