When trend forecaster Li Edelkoort and her team were brainstorming the lifestyle trends coming our way in 2017, they kept hitting a wall and seemed unable to come up with anything new. “We are just going around in circles,” she told them. Later that night she realised: that was it. The circle was the trend – and it had been right under their noses all along.
As soon as she had identified the circle as a shape driving home and lifestyle trends, everything fell into place, Edelkoort said at a presentation of her “Home and Lifestyle 2017: forecast” in Johannesburg on 15th February 2016. Her latest trend book “Turning in Circles” has become the best-selling book of her career.
Under her Paris-based company Trend Union, Edelkoort creates trend books two or more years ahead that are tools used by strategists, designers and marketeers at international brands. In July last year, Edelkoort was also appointed dean of New York’s famed Parsons School of Design’s new Hybrid Design Studies department.
In Turning in Circles, Edelkoort identifies the circle as a potent social symbol of inclusiveness and togetherness; of a universal vision on our planet and our milky ways of life. It is this circular shape that she says will influence home and lifestyle trends in the following ways, in 2017:
- The rounder edge of materials will deliver design for a softer interior and the round shapes of lighting will be glowing in a softer fashion, as if they possess an aura.
- Form will be further pushed to a perfected sphere with round tables, round stools and round carpets.
- All this round furniture is going to be important as our lives become more about togetherness, family and congregation.
- Children, animals and nesting are all elements that are going to play an important part in our lives.
- Woven work, baskets, quilting and embroidery are all part of a new nurturing age that Edelkoort foresees.
- Legs will be turned, ceramics thrown and structures bent to abide by the rule of the round, confirming the remarkable return of the decorative arts.
- Upholstered furniture will dominate interiors with a focus on cosy installations arranged in circular patterns.
- Fabrics will be furry to soften furniture lines.
- All table top items will be round: From candles sticks to plates, glasses, cups and other vessels.
- Coiling is another trend that supports the round concept.
- Edelkoort identifies our planetary system as another source of circular design inspiration.
- Used together, a group of circular items become a constellation.
- Circular mirrors are going to become an important décor item, especially in bathrooms and on vanities.
- Metallics, especially brass, will continue to be important design elements.
- Edelkoort sees the circular trend as a modern reference to an essential Art Deco element.
- Small furniture, wallpaper and an increase in small items will all refer back to this era.
- There will also be some Oriental influence in 2017 design.
- In terms of colours, Edelkoort says that grey is going to become more blue, there is going to be a lot of stone and stone colours, marble and natural browns. Of course dots, large and small, will be prevalent.
- Edelkoort says the industrial design trend will become more of a defensive movement with tubular metalwork and rusted metals coming to the fore.