My Milan DESIGN Week REPORT 2023 is out! Carefully curated, it is a comprehensive yet compact summary of the key takeaways on colour, material, finish, style, shape, construction, design details, innovations and overarching themes.
I developed my report for brands/creatives who weren’t able to attend MDW themselves or don’t have the resources to distil relevant best practice examples. It features many quality brands, over 100 pages, with a minimum of 3 inspirational images on each page (1 page = 1 theme), in deliberate contrast to the many 200+ page reports that exist.
More time has been spent on selection/analysis to help brands quickly understand what really matters. Additional images are available on request and this report provides a valuable, solid basis for informed decision making.
Email hello(at)alinaschartner.com for your preview and all you need to know about how you can get my report.
WITH PLEASURE is an ode to indulge in exquisite hedonism elevating every day. This trend fully embraces maximalism, a premium touch for daily goods and making the most of any situation after prolonged feelings of having missed out.
With stretched budgets due to the corona crises, 2022 is likely to be another year for many not to be able to go on holiday. Instead, interiors and campaigns are reminiscent of plush hotel treatment. For the homebody economy, this is an excellent opportunity to offer more of life´s little luxuries.
Mix bold stripes with ditsy florals and wiggly line-work for cutting edge clashes with vintage-inspired patterns. Powdery red, blue and peach freshen up a base of classic, dark shades. Absolute must-haves? Ramie or lotus silk sleep masks, serving trays and twisted candles.
Powdery, sophisticated reds such as RAL “Light Tomato” have little in common with the nuances that first come to mind when red is mentioned. Its nonchalant elegance is heart-warming. This colour works best in matte and velvety qualities.
REWILD supports a return to more wilderness and holistic well-being. We see the steep resurgence of natural remedies; from beauty brands incorporating foraged botanicals, to booked-out wild-herbal courses.
Urbanisation and edutainment formats such as David Attenborough´s “A Life on Our Planet” drive this trend. Circular thinking is expected. With growing awareness of the impact of deforestation or the textile industry polluting our ecosystems, a major CMF-shift (colour, material, finish) is about to go mainstream.
Oat-meal shades replace chemical white. More sustainable fibres such as hemp are left unbleached and undyed. Accent pieces are coloured with plant and mineral-based dyes or pigments derived from industrial waste. Ceramics stay unglazed, wood is untreated or oiled. Mycelium is used from packaging design to the world´s first “living coffin” by Bob Hendrikx.
Rich browns such as RAL “Golden Brown” are key colours to be paired with oat-meal shades and unbleached, chalky whites. More and more designers turn to plant and mineral-based dyes or pigments derived from industrial waste. Mix darker wood with paler varieties for a contemporary look.
DREAMSCAPE blurs the borders between earthly and extraterrestrial realms. Amid the new space-age design is influenced by notions of populating Mars. Raw surfaces, porous textures and bold orbital shapes are key for product direction.
The colour palette takes inspiration from the red planets matt nuances ranging from mud yellow to deep mineral reds. Light mauve and peach add softness whilst two lilacs – one on the blueish one on the reddish spectrum – contrast the hazy glow.
Global pressures – from the exploitation of our world´s resources to the corona crisis – have accelerated escapist tendencies. Millions dream of a life beyond the mundane. Expect to see a rising demand for virtual/extended reality experiences as well as adaptogens and nootropics for relaxing at home.
HOUSE BAR is the nonchalant invitation to entertain friends and family at home. Back in the game are card and board gaming nights. Hanging out with each other in sophisticated loungewear and a trend for low and no alcohol drinks are the real move-on from the house bar´s old days.
Design direction celebrates 1970s aesthetics. Rich colours and bold, dynamic shapes radiate an optimistic outlook. Boiled wool, tufted and shaggy textiles emphasise the retro feel. Modular and flexible furniture serves different levels of social distancing, remote work or homeschooling.
I forecasted a version of this already 1,5 years ago. The steep rise of the homebody economy was already evident. However, back then, I couldn´t predict that staying in would become the new going out to this extent. In 2019, most of this was a choice. In 2021 we will see many with no other option; due to the economical, physical and mental impact of corona restrictions. Brands offering easily accessible excitement and catering to shifting consumers behaviours will stay of relevance.
I completely reworked some 2021 mood boards to show you how I inform different markets. This is a fairly international look suitable for directional brands anywhere in the world.
MODERN COTTAGE is a contemporary take on country-inspired living, which has steadily risen in popularity in previous years. This trend story is all about cherishing the simple joys of cosy days spent at home.
Preparing and sharing wholesome meals with loved ones has regained importance for almost all of us. This look is a highly commercial interpretation of the #cottagecoreaesthetic which boomed on social media recently. It particularly resonates with householders that care about longevity and sustainability.
Well-crafted products made from responsibly sourced wood, hand-painted ceramics and linen are key. Consider unbleached and naturally died fabrics. Romantic frills adorn pillows, patchwork-blankets and lampshades. More maximalist brands boldly mix plaids, gingham, stripes and florals in varying scales. Balance out generous patterns with clean shapes for furniture.
The desire to feel closer to nature – even in urban areas – and escape daily pressures has intensified through global restrictions of free movement. We will see this trend continue post-pandemic. It can work all year round for several seasons. Add extra warmth with rug-hooking techniques, recycled wool knits and (faux) shearling for Autumn/Winter 2021+.
I completely reworked some 2021 mood boards to show you how I inform different markets. This was developed for the DACH region where a more restrained approach to design is popular. For the UK, North America, or certain countries within the APAC region, where #cottagecore #farmcore#countrycore are trending, more embellishments, different colours and bolder pattern clashes would be suitable for some brands.
NEW LIGHTNESS encourages us to freshen up our homes after the longest winter ever. Let’s boost our physical and emotional wellbeing with colour and light. Ready for a new wave of upbeat designs?
Clubs have been shut for so long it’s time to turn up the volume at home! Bored of the grey dominating the last decade, we now see increased enthusiasm and bravery to revamp bland interiors. As we move through 2021, more homemakers seek to surround themselves with fun decor.
Scalloped, arched and squiggly shapes continue to grow in popularity. Motifs inspired by 90s rave culture move from fashion to interior design. Translucent materials, colour gradients and mirrors make rooms seem more spacious. Clever ideas for zoning and lightweight, flexible products are vital as the home has taken on more functions.
Combining pastels with chromatic neutrals and bolder accents prevents the overall appearance from looking too sweetly. Rough textures and a mix of matte and glossy finishes add interest. Print, pattern and messaging reflect the uplifting spirit.
I already forecast a rising awareness to use colour and light for therapeutic measures in early 2019. This trend was accelerated for larger parts of the population by all of us spending more time at home than ever in 2020. Expect to see a shift towards more extraordinary and playful design in the years to come.
I completely reworked some 2021 mood boards to show you how I inform different markets. This is a trend for the world´s youthful early adopters. It will continue to gain more traction amongst mavens and early adopters; from London to NY, Tokyo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Milan and back to Berlin.
The selected key colours are based on my research for 2021 (from early 2019-present). I consider how they work across interior design and lifestyle trends. Each of the colours is part of a collection of 7-8 shades. Have you noticed that the circular key colour features in the mood boards before and after this post?
Pale Siena RAL 050 60 10 pairs well with many shades. For Spring Summer 2021 warm, soft clay tones receive a freshen-up with cooler nuances.
In ‘MEDITERRANEO’ they sit at ease with other baked nuances in this mostly analogous colour scheme. The palette is inspired by natural materials used in traditional Southern European architecture. Wind Blue RAL 260 80 15 feels like a mild breeze coming in from the sea. It adds a contemporary twist to the overall look.
In ‘NEW LIGHTNESS’ Pale Siena takes on a completely different function. Here it is used to soften the impact of brave shades such as Ice Mauve RAL 300 80 15 or Techno Pink RAL 350 70 30. Did you spot, that Terra Orange RAL 040 60 40 and Biscuit Beige RAL 060 80 20 also appear in both colour palettes?
MEDITERRANEO evokes memories of sunny days indulging in the mild breeze of the Mediterranean sea. Homemakers recreate the warm, relaxed feel of traditional Southern European interiors with a modern twist.
The region’s rich cultural heritage inspires the design direction for SS21+. Rounded arches, columns and terracotta are reminiscent of vernacular architecture. We see consumers freely blend indoor and outdoor features, even in spaces that lack an actual outside area.
Warm neutrals, baked tones and a clear sky-blue hint at summer holidays year-round. Glazed and hand-decorated finishes on majolica ceramics and zellige tiles contrast chalky surfaces. Linen, cotton and net-like fabrics are draped casually. Combine rustic materials such as rattan, sisal and raw wood with minimalistic shapes for a contemporary edge.
I completely reworked some 2021 mood boards to show you how I inform different markets. Versions of this trend will not only rise in popularity in Southern Europe as well as Germany, Austria, Switzerland (a significant part of the population north of the Alps has always been at awe of interior design south of it), but also in Australia and New Zealand.
‘Form follows seduction’ as artist and designer Adam Nathaniel Furman so rightly updated the often misinterpreted ‘form follows function’, which led to a tremendous lack of understanding colour on a global scale. If you compare the curriculums of the vast majority of universities for architecture and design, you’ll notice, that colour is a side note if it is mentioned at all.
Did you know that colour is usually the first and most influential impression we have about any object? Roughly 85% of all purchasing decisions can be directly attributed to colour.
Why is it, that so many designers and architects shy away from colour apart from the monochromatic and standard material driven palettes they have become used to? If you ask me the truth isn’t just found in their appreciation for functionality. I don’t think every design needs to be purely functional. In my opinion, the reason is often, that you have to be a more knowledgeable creative to do maximalist designs well compared to minimalist ones.
Readily available information on colour theory and use is often too trivial and dogmatic for today’s complex world. Do a random search engine search and you’ll find out, a lot of the data is too simplified.
Therefore sticking only to black, grey, white and other so-called neutrals? We can often do better than that. Check out the marvellous feeds of extraordinary talents like Adam. Follow people who know how to work with colour professionally. Recommend those inspiring feeds to anyone you know, who could benefit from it.
After years of predominantly pared-back designs, colourful extravaganza is rising exponentially. Maximalism is boldly influencing the direction design will be heading in the years to come. Get prepared. The biggest trends in colour design currently are MORE colour and BRAVER combinations.