With the constantly alarming statistics published everyday in regards to climate change, global impact of plastics and the decimation of natural habitats, it’s tempting to wonder how much the Interiors industry can either help or react to this state of affairs.
Kings of Chelsea has recently spent time at both the Surface trade fair and the Futurebuild fair and it’s clear the answer is “quite a lot”.
Truly innovative materials and technology are already available, to architects, Interior Designers and also product designers. In the area of recycling, especially, there are surface finishes, building components and structural accessories formed from recycled glass, plant material, paper and plastics. And rather than being simply innovative, many of these things are deeply brilliant in terms of design.
Veneers of 2mm cement onto recycled wood panelling, “bronzed” crystalized recycled glass, metal recycled and reclaimed from batteries – all of this is currently available, and going back into the system.
Additionally, schemes using plants as anchors for a scheme in the form of “living walls” or having internal gardens, means that an interior can benefit from the health giving properties of green plants.
A reflection of this engagement with nature is also seen across visual trends in print and in the impact of natural forms in nature. It’s probably no coincidence that the Pantone Colour of 2019 is Living Coral, and the fact that marbles, stones and shells are used as key accents in many designs. The beauty seen in naturally occurring forms has been inspiration to designers for years.
Roberto Cavalli’s agate Cooper tables create pattern from the clever interlocking of sliced geodes, and the carpets now handwoven to original designs use innovative bamboo silk instead of the less sustainable spun version.
The house of Cavalli never has a collection without some nod towards animal print, and the same inspirations are seen across contemporary fashion designers from McQueens butterflies to Versace’s bird wings. The debt to nature is immense, and in these challenging times it’s more important than ever to pay tribute and give thanks.