What Are the New Surface Trends for 2022 and Beyond?
Find out which innovative materials designers were showcasing at The Surface Design Show this year
Read on to discover nine trends we’ll be seeing in surfaces over the next year and into 2023.
The organisers of this year’s Surface Design Show pinpointed its theme as ‘Sense of Place’. In short, this looks at the connection between humanity and the earth, focusing on how people are taking a more considered approach to their lives.
A number of talks highlighted the topic, including Liz Bell of Absolute Project Management’s useful presentation, The Importance of Sustainable Specification in Interior Design. She suggested a number of strategies for cutting waste in design projects, including considering how long each product can be used and how it can be repaired.
A way to add longevity to old furniture was displayed by Marq Design. The firm’s marquetry panels (pictured) can be used to beautifully upgrade an existing piece.
In the show’s Colour, Material and Finish Forecast: Spring/Summer 2023 talk, Colour Hive’s Hannah Malein delved deep into two of the company’s global trends stories.
The first, ‘Fury’, stems from a fearlessness and simmering anger over issues such as climate change and Covid, reminiscent of some of the political protests of the 1980s. With this in mind, Colour Hive forecasts more strong, 1980s-inspired colour palettes, such as red, black, grey and white.
The vivid, high-gloss finish of Parametric Walls’ Red Flame wall surface (pictured) was just one of the examples on display at the show.
Another theme highlighted by Hannah Malein was ‘Clinic’, which has emerged from an appreciation of the medicinal properties of science, technology, nature and wellness. A cooler, calmer palette works with this theme, including pastels and healing tones, such as lavender, yellow, green and blue.
The lavender hues on these tiles by Evan James are balanced by green, red and plaster pink. The tiles are made from 100% recycled and recyclable plastic and, as they don’t need grout or extra materials, they chime with the sustainable, waste-free solutions mentioned earlier.
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A highlight of the show every year is the Surface Spotlight Live feature, curated by trend forecaster Sally Angharad. It’s where visitors can get a truly hands-on experience of some of the show’s innovative materials.
This year, Sally highlighted a number of trends, including one she calls ‘Soft Lines’, where tonal shifts and subtle lines evoke a feeling of calm. Here, for example, a deep red hue subtly blends into paler tones on a soft rug by Ignorance is Bliss.
The same tonal variation can be seen on the tiles, which come in shades of black, deep burgundy, plaster pink, pale yellow and white.
More calming lines were seen elsewhere in the form of what Hannah Malein highlighted as “geometric repeats”. In the show’s New Talent section, for example, Emily Hatton’s laser-cut birch ply tiles featured geometric patterns in relief.
The tiles, which also contain resin made from waste materials, can be used as luxury wall panelling, furniture adornments (pictured) and art pieces.
In her talk on sustainable specification, Liz Bell focused on how a crucial part of sustainable design is to ensure a home is a light-filled, nature-inspired and peaceful environment.
Acoustic surfaces have an important function here, and Form at Wood has managed to combine acoustics and nature with its Caro Minus acoustic series (pictured). FSC-sourced timber has been handcrafted to form beautiful geometric panels with intrinsic acoustic properties.
The use of alternative materials to make surfaces is becoming ever more innovative, and there were plenty of examples throughout the show. A notable one was Johnson Tan’s Shell Decay project displayed in the New Talent zone.
Johnson has used natural waste materials, such as eggshells and coffee chaff, to form 100% biodegradable surfaces (pictured).
Sally Angharad also noted a trend for ‘Dappled Colour’, where recycled and repurposed materials define the colour palette of surfaces and add dappled patterns and flecks.
Here, for instance, the leather-like biomaterials in Ellie Preece’s Kitchen Archives are made from various fruits, including apples, strawberries and blueberries. The fruits, as well as natural dyes such as grass, berries and turmeric, result in a varied range of textures and designs.
The desire to maximise light and space has led to a trend that Sally Angharad calls ‘Translucent Layers’. The term refers to surfaces where designers have explored how to create translucency with hard surfaces.
In the products it supplies, Amron Architectural, for example, is using chains by Kriskadecor to create semi-transparent waves that form surfaces for walls or ceiling pendants (pictured), among other items.
Did you visit The Surface Design Show? What stood out for you? Share your thoughts in the Comments.