Residential Lighting: What overall home design directions are important right now?
Andrea Sinkin: Definitely the introduction of surrealism among products. Our Home Editor, Jaye Anna Mize, says pieces are taking a more artistic approach, whether through a distorted or optical illusion. Yet, they still hold tight to the realm of function. With this comes the integration of function into furniture, décor and home accessories by adding technology into the piece to give it purpose, such as hidden surround-sound speakers in furniture, or artistic statement pieces that double as lighting.
Also, as more and more people are becoming involved with growing their own gardens and taking care of the planet, we see companies making this lifestyle easier to adapt to, say, the urban environment. We are seeing a huge shift in consumerism values that are particularly mindful of how and where items are being produced. Consumers are keen to spend their money, regardless if it costs more, on items that are eco-friendly and made in America, especially when it comes to furniture and design.
RL: What else is emerging?
AS: The editors and trend analysts here say that the Marrakech theme of the past two seasons is springing into ethnic trends geared more towards Japan and East India. Both are a lighter rendition of the dark, folkloric Marrakech. With East India, you’re seeing brighter colors incorporated among the monochrome palette with heavy influences of gold, cultural embellishments, and traditional Indian prints. But Japanese influences are taking a traditional, modernist approach with sleek lines among shapes, clean surfaces and minimalist detailing, incorporating a traditional Japanese color palette and graphics.
The other main trend is minimalism. Consumers are exhausted from clutter and ready to eliminate non-essential forms to create a space of peace. It focuses on geometry, simple lines, transparent materials, illusions and gradients as a way of changing the parameters within the home to give it a timelessness, allowing infusions of multiple genres to be intermixed and taken away at a whim.
RL: Does home furnishings design still follow the apparel industry?
AS: Not as heavily as it once did. Jaye says that as we see more fashion companies incorporating a lifestyle branding stance, we see furniture and home furnishings taking more of the forefront in design. The value system of consumers has changed. They’re no longer spending excessive amounts of money on just fashion. Rather, they spend it on encompassing the lifestyle. Thus, the markets of fashion, interiors and design are influencing each other and working closer together. This is even more clear as more and more fashion designers have launched into the home arena over the past few seasons — it seems like everyone from Diane von Furstenburg to Fendi has a range of furniture and housewares.
RL: What trends do you see in lighting fixtures, lamps and shades?
AS: For lighting, specifically, I feel like two aspects are more key this season: One is a heavy play in minimalist themes, very clean shapes and lines; the sentiment that less is more, especially among lamps and lamp shades. The other is the idea of function, incorporating lighting into the staple furniture and furnishing pieces to give them two-in-one purpose — creating a thoughtful approach to how and where lighting elements are being placed.