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Design Trends in 2019: A Shift Towards the Personal

As we greet 2019 with a clear mind and renewed reverence, we also prepare for the cultural and social shifts that influence design trends each year. What once was innovative is now uncouth, what was once sexy is now unsavory. As both consumers and tastemakers, we must remain diligent in continuing to provide a relevant design perspective.

January 18, 2019
modern office lounge area

What is on the horizon? Softness. Personalization. Warmth. Below we’ve categorized the new and notable for 2019.

A Movement Toward Softness

The public perspective is shifting away from the cold, minimalist Scandinavian trend (that dominated the zeitgeist for years) towards more materials, and ultimately, more details, says South China Morning Post. Instead, we see an influx of Scandinese, a marriage of Scandinavian and Japanese design that features sustainable natural materials such as wood and a mixture of East and West design aesthetics.

There are nods to texture with consumers increasingly choosing rugs both as floor coverings and wall art. “Rugs have become part of the decorative arts within a design scheme,” says Altfield Interiors designer Amanda Clark on behalf of South China Morning Post.

Harsh lighting is on its way out, says Wall Street Journal. Exposed bulbs and “game-show lighting,” as Wall Street Journal notes, are making way for softer, diffused light, providing a comforting glow that creates an ambiance without taking over.

Personalized Spaces

Softer, warmer spaces intuitively include more personalized touches. As consumers adopt more design details in their homes and workspaces, there is increasing room for personal taste and subjectivity.

Scandinese design also allows for wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic that heralds imperfect design that pushes against the showroom readiness of modern home aesthetics. We see this in consoles, cabinets and bar trolleys, says South China Morning Post.

This idea of personalization reaches beyond design with modern tech companies shirking cold, emotionally-withdrawn design for a stronger, human-focused approach, according to Fast Company.

Design, in the modern era, has the power to heal -- whether through design that encourages sleep, or simply, a place to relax and recharge. Personalized spaces are able to better address the needs of its inhabitants and provide a unique experience that cold, one-size-fits-all spaces aren’t able to accommodate.

“Designing ways to help people find their sense of purpose and meaning in life is an incredibly powerful way to design for healthier minds and bodies,” says Ideo Cambridge Portfolio Director Ann Kim for Fast Company.

A Focus on Warmth

Ultimately, 2019 will see a growth in warmer design: more texture, color and personalized spaces. Pantone’s color of the year, Living Coral, a coral-reef inspired pink-red shade reinforces this warmth; the shade is categorized by its ability to “energize and enliven.”

Furniture design also has seen a shift towards richer, more luxurious fabrics -- away from the metal, sleek design that has dominated in recent years. Rattan or wicker has seen a resurgence, says Wall Street Journal. The warm-colored wood style can pair well with most furniture styles and designs. Texture will dominate with rugs, blankets and other accents edging out competition as both art and utility.

Overall, however, consumers are realizing the value of the home and office as a place of respite and are shifting towards design elements that are comforting, soft and warm. 2019 will see design as a sanctuary: a place to heal, to recharge and to feel personal.

From quality furnishings to installation, Office Environments creates innovative, well-designed workplaces that allow your organization to thrive. Drop by one of our locations in Alabama and Florida or visit www.officenvironments.com to learn more about us and how we can transform your workplace.