According to Downtown Design, in 2019 our design choices will ultimately lead us to what really matters: wellbeing.

Be it residential design, the workplace or hospitality projects, this year, a renewed focus on comforting familiarity, conscious creation of design and a more intimate interaction with nature will guide our creative decision-making.


From terrazzo that is cast in-situ and wall finishes in textural stucco to the use of roughhewn limestone, wood and metal panels, purposeful imperfection lends an artisanal quality that is not only eye-catching but also brings the nature into contemporary design, successfully avoiding a clichéd approach to biomimicry.


Moving on from a market over-saturated with a brass-on-brass design approach, 2019 will see the comeback of industrial black metal finishes. While brass will still remain in favour, it will be grounded by stoic black – shiny, matte and powder coated. From knobs and handles to faucets and furniture, black will deliver modern opulence that is masculine and accessible.


While Pantone’s Colour of the Year tends to dominate the year, the playing field is still open for an entire palette of soft, washed out tones to take centre stage. Teals, pinks, greys and blues will continue to inform our design decisions, but unlike the jewel-like sharpness that was pervasive in the past, moving forward a gentler approach will signal friendliness, familiarity and warmth. Velvets and the fringe will continue to dominate, albeit applied to a neo-modernist design approach.


From photovoltaic surfaces that can be integrated into concrete and glass during construction to stick-on solar films that can be applied to existing glass structures, companies such as LafargeHolcim and electronics manufacturer Heliatek are pursuing an active integration of solar tech into our urban environment.

London based like Robin Grasby has developed a new composite, Altrock. Set in resin that can be pigmented to client’s requirements, marble off-cuts and marble flour make up 87% of the product composition. Cast by hand and in honour of the randomness in nature, marble chunks are allowed to find their own place in the block, resulting in one-of-a-kind slabs.

Image credit: Apparatus, Studio Fluo and Robin Grasby.