Exploring trends, materials and innovation in design

Downtown Design

Exploring trends, materials and innovation in design

Award-winning international interior designer Matteo Bianchi discusses design and its application in the coming year.

Born and bred in Venice, Matteo has now lived in London for the past 10 years where he has fully embraced his true passion to manipulate and decorate spaces. With an approach to design that is both chic and distinctive; Matteo has an inherent feel for good craftsmanship and elegant design, a part of his Venetian heritage.

Founded in 2007, the Matteo Bianchi Studio is driven by a simple philosophy to ‘listen, design, inspire!’  applied to every aspect of their work. Principal, Matteo, shares with us his insight into next year’s trends, application of materials and future vision. 

What would you say are the top 5 interior design trends for 2017?

In terms of style, we will see a prevalence of ‘Chic Opulence’- a crossover style applying luxurious materials to design without making the whole appearance too pompous or heavy. 

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Image: Bernhardt

Creating a harmonious balance will be a ‘Mix and Match’ of soft furniture from different brands with different colours, texture and heights. We will also go through a ‘Golden Era’ meaning that gold will remain a strong element as an accent, but with soft washed sheen in small details.

Style references will hark back to the 70’s with deep somnolent colors such as burgundy or terracotta and revive key retro materials including velvets, dark woods, metal finishes and opaque glass.  

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Image: Siematic

What materials and patterns do you see emerging in the coming year?

Metal finishes will dominate the scene everywhere: kitchens, tables, basins, splashbacks, and veneers. Glass will take prominence with an interesting mottled finish.

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Image: Moroso 

What colours do you think will influence interior design in 2017?

Monochrome will continue to dominate design palettes throughout the year, as well as touches of pink, terracotta, burgundy, and a range of blues and deep greens.  

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Image: Kohler

With regards to bathroom trends do you think there will be a shift in the usage of marble and copper accents?

Popular copper accents return, with stainless steel, bronze and distressed copper bringing contrast warm wood finishes that take bathroom basins and the domestic atmosphere to another level.

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Image: Antonio Lupi

How do you think lighting will be used differently this year?

Lighting will be soft and indirect- complimenting spaces without taking the center stage. Everything from shelves, cabinets to mottled glass doors will be backlit; which will be elegant and stimulating at the same time.

How does sustainability inform design trends internationally?

I believe sustainability in design products is the smart application of materials. For example engineered wood uses a fraction of raw material rather than solid wood, costs half the price and has way better performance than its solid counterpart. Apart from much easier installation; engineered wood has superior stability making it resistant to changes in temperature and humidity.

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Image: Woodfloors

What socio-economic factors do you think affect design production and process?

There is an interesting wave of up-selling existing furniture. Ebay made an inspiring and subtle exhibition during the last Milan Fair with few examples on how you can upscale some run down objects into bespoke, unique, elegant pieces. 

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Image: Designed by Hind

What innovation in materials do you see emerging?

With a continuous change in the way creativity is applied to product design; I see the printing industry fusing with the design industry. This infusion will be seen in products such as tiles, wallpaper and fabrics giving designers the potential to apply themselves differently. 

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Image: Etqaan

What do you think the future of handmade design is?

A growing access to affordable design and mass production doesn’t mean that skilled craftsmanship will die. On the contrary, I think we will never stop to mix and match the commodity item with something made from local artisans.

Read more about Matteo Bianchi here

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