What Are the Surface Trends for 2023 and Beyond?
Discover the innovative materials that were on display at this year’s Surface Design Show
Here are six trends we expect to see in surfaces over the next year and into 2024.
Surfaces made from recycled materials were in abundance around the show, a theme acknowledged by Tarek Merlin of Feix&Merlin during the panel discussion, Repurposing: Finding the Sweet Spot Between Old and New.
“I’ve been coming to the show for a few years, and you can really see how people are now embracing the idea of repurposing,” he said.
In the Surface Spotlight Live section, Emily Hatton Surface Design x Revive Innovations’ Deco Tile, made from recycled CDs (pictured), was on show, while elsewhere, Smile Plastics displayed its range of flecked panels made from diverse products such as yogurt pots, chopping boards and even white goods.
Design agency Volume Creative showcased its start-up, Spared, which aims to support brands in turning their waste into beautiful objects, furniture, art and surfaces, while Tomas & Jani’s materials made from coffee granules were also on display.
Exhibitors were making the most of nature in their designs, with surfaces such as Botanica Textiles’ range of naturally dyed fabric on show. The firm’s handwoven textiles (pictured) are made from yarns dyed with plants such as rhododendron leaves, eucalyptus leaves and logwood.
In the Surface Spotlight Live section, Florence Carter of Object Cor’s tactile light switch and silver birch cabinet handle aimed to offer urban dwellers a daily connection with the natural environment.
Alongside these were Lily McDonnell’s wellbeing textiles made from seaweed and salt, and dyed using rust extract. The seaweed has oxygenating properties, while the salt has been shown to improve health and wellbeing, so the fabrics reinforce healthy air and bring a biophilic connection into homes.
Designers are finding ways to get more function from their products by giving them multiple uses, and there were some interesting examples of this at the show.
acou.space’s SOLIS light (pictured), for instance, works as a stylish pendant or floor lamp while its soft surface helps to absorb sound – perfect for an open-plan room where noise travels.
Another hybrid surface on display was Mirage’s Papier range of beautiful pictorial tiles. The large-format porcelain tiles can be laid together to form a picture that resembles a mural wallpaper or installed over a vanity unit as a stunning, tactile basin and work surface.
In Colour Hive’s Colour, Material and Finish Forecast: 2024, Hannah Malein highlighted water as an inspiration for surface trends next year. She pointed to studies that show blue space can have even more health and wellbeing benefits than green space.
Certainly, there were a number of materials with the reflective qualities of water, such as G-Tex Stainless’s Water Effect stainless steel sheet range (pictured). The surfaces create a bright silver ripple that reflects the light and makes a space feel transparent and clean.
The reflective theme continued in the Surface Spotlight Live section of the show, where ceramicist Helen Johannessen’s pieces consisted of parian porcelain draped to form a luminescent ripple effect.
A continuing theme is the desire by renovation professionals to add longevity to their clients’ projects, and surface designers are responding by making materials that are evermore durable.
Surface Matter’s Durat (pictured), for example, is a silky solid material made of post-industrial recycled plastic that’s designed to last, even in high-use areas. And when it does finally reach the end of its life cycle, the material can be refinished and repurposed, or returned to the company to be recycled.
Elsewhere, BerryAlloc showcased its 100% water-resistant Ocean+ laminate flooring. It’s easy to maintain, scratch-resistant and suitable for bathrooms and kitchens.
Many home renovation professionals are embracing the benefits of traditional materials and crafts, a theme that could be seen in the large amount of lime products on show.
Impera Italia’s Lime Eco paint is antibacterial, environmentally friendly, breathable and suitable for bathrooms. The company’s Cementino decorative powder is also made from lime and is suitable for concrete-like decor.
More traditional skills could be seen with Metal Clad’s range of patinated metallic sheets, all crafted by hand in its Devon workshop. Upstairs in the New Talent area, meanwhile, Magnus Nilsson harnessed the carbon-capturing abilities of traditional Moroccan clay to create an innovative product, ClayO2mato (pictured), that absorbs carbon from the air while using a water filtration system that irrigates tomato plants below.
Do any of these surface innovations interest you? Share your thoughts in the Comments.