With an emerging consumer backlash to mass-produced goods comes a desire for simplistic, tactile and primitive forms, hand-crafted and hand-woven materials. Products that build an emotional connection resonate with jaded consumers, who are exercising a much more considered approach to shopping. In part this is because of the continuing squeeze on disposable income, and also because of a desire for original, authentic and beautiful products following a decade of fast and cheap goods.
We highlighted this consumer mood in our Lifestyle Trends for the home Spring/Summer 2012 forecast within our trend direction Natural Selection; a story focusing on the absolute essentials, the perfect edit of pieces for the home, where the art of manufacture and the skill of the artisan are celebrated, and where hand-rendered techniques and naturally occurring imperfections are revered.
Published back in 2010, our report highlighted that real, tactile and human elements within products play a significant role in purchasing decisions made in times of economic uncertainty. A new and engaging dialogue is beginning to arise between artisan and customer. Consumers want products with integrity, authenticity and longevity. In terms of design, we can expect to see rough and raw natural materials – such as washed leathers and untreated wood – alongside recontextualised traditional elements made modern to cope with the requirements of tomorrow. Pattern and colour are played down allowing us to see the technical aspects of production.
We are starting to see this crafted aesthetic come to the forefront as we move into Spring Summer 2012, as the influence spreads from early adopter to late majority status. Here we share some examples of how this trend is unfurling.
Basic household objects are themselves becoming centre of attention; in previous years we’ve seen things like wooden clothes pegs and the light bulb become icons in design. At Maison et Objet, there were many references to tactile, simple and familiar materials, like the humble ball of string, used as inspiration for door stops and candles. To see all of our reports from Maison et Objet, visit the Trend Bible blog.
Inspired by this trend, an editorial feature in Good Homes’ February 2012 edition depicts Elements as a key trend for Spring/Summer 2012 – where a muted colour palette is teamed with tactile soft furnishings, hand crafted ceramics and linens. Showcasing texture by keeping colours pared down is also a key element, which we also emphasized in our Natural Selection trend.
British retailer Marks and Spencer’s latest collaboration with design powerhouse Conran interprets the mood for hand-rendered products with integrity within its’ SS12 range, including woven outdoor furniture. We highlighted intricate wickerwork and woven natural materials as being a key component for outdoor furniture this season, where the methods of manufacture are evident and exposed.
For more on this year’s Spring/Summer trends, take a look at last month’s guest post from Trend Bible, in which we run through another of our forecasts, Sentiment, detailing how the upcoming Diamond Jubilee and London Olympics are influencing design trends over a cross section of industries.
Trend Bible is an authority on home interior and lifestyle trends, working with many key brands and retailers in the UK and USA. Trend Bible forecast design and colour trends up to two years ahead of the season, producing trend forecasting books that sell in over 18 countries and work on bespoke consultancy projects for clients such as TK Maxx, Asda, and Graham and Brown. Take a look at their blog here - trendbible.co.uk. You can follow Trend Bible on twitter @TrendBible. Read more posts by trend bible.