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Posted at: Jan 7, 2017, 12:48 AM; last updated: Jan 7, 2017, 12:48 AM (IST)DECOR TRENDS

Setting the TONE for 2017

Setting the TONE for 2017
Pantone has selected greenery as its Color of the Year for 2017. Add a dash of this hue to pep up your interiors
Unlike fashion that changes with each season, interior trends have a much longer gestation period. An idea takes a year or two to develop and a couple of years more to become global. The last few years have seen the Indian industry integrating rapidly into the global systems. Availability of materials, products and systems has opened the world for the Indian designer. The only things that sets an Indian design apart from its counterparts internationally are the socio cultural nuances and often the cost constraints.

Wellknown architect Sonali Bhagwati President, Designplus Architecture, outlines what will be trending in Indian spaces in 2017: 

Transition in commercial spaces

Trends, however, vary with different project types. Commercial, retail, hospitality, residential, institutional or corporate are the major typologies where interior architecture plays a major role. 

These spaces are independent worlds often completely disconnected from the architecture of the buildings they are hosted in. The design approach to each one of these would be unique and cannot be blindly superimposed on another type.

Commercial/ corporate interiors will transition from a young colourful and somewhat funky look which was striking and magazine/coffee table book oriented to a mature and restrained approach which is more timeless in nature. 

The previous trend was based solely on creating a visual stimulus which was strong in the beginning but wore off very quickly making the space look dated. The current approach is soft and subtle with retrained use of colours that do not contrast brightly with the background. Clean lines juxtaposed with eclectic elements create excitement and required visual complexities.

Going soft on colours: White is no longer the base colour. Soft beige, stone grey and dark grey form the basis of the background colours. Timber elements are gaining popularity to break the severity and give warmth to a space. 

Vibrant spaces: The standard 600x600 ceiling tiles and architectural lighting are passé. Planks, slats or open cell ceiling with a variety of suspended lighting will be used increasingly. Very often suspended ceilings are completely eliminated and open ceilings with exposed services are used as design elements.

There is increased emphasis on spaces such as breakouts, café and other social areas which promote team work and encourage people to think beyond.

Eclecticism is often introduced in small measures to create vibrancy in these areas. Another concept that is catching on very quickly is co-working. Creating a work environment that is like home is the new mantra. Casual seating and unstructured work spaces become the new work zones. 

At home

Strong contrasts and bright colours are out. These will be replaced by softer tones, subtle contrasts and restrained accents. There is a strong preference for use of softer warmer stone colours against the previously used beiges and whites.

Touch and texture: Textures have found their way into the interior spaces in a big way.  Use of textural differences combined with skilful lighting often creates the required drama. Use of stone textures, timber textures, leather and metal textures is increasingly popular.

Prominence to architectural elements

The approach to interior design will be determined by the predominant architectural form and palette.   In many complex projects such as the Perot museum in Dallas or the Paris Philharmoie in Paris or the university library in Vienna, the architecture rules the interiors. Most of these projects display the character, form, materials and colour palette of the architectural elements. Colours will be used majorly used primarily as accenting elements. A variety of textures will be often used to subtly break the monotony of a single large surface. 

Bold lighting 

Lighting design will become an integral part of all interior design. Highlighting accents, creating uniform lighting in work areas and accentuating design elements will be rule this year.

Mature sensibilities

In interior design, the gimmickry of the late 90s and early part of the century  will give way to a more subtle and mature approach. In architecture, the availability of software has enabled exploration of forms that were previously inconceivable.  Materials such as concrete and steel will be used to realise complex forms and doubly curved surfaces. 

— As told to Shashi Sunny


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