The Stacy Garcia design studio predicts 8 design and color trends for 2012-2013
“When you become a forecaster, you have to read the landscape,” says trend maven Stacy Garcia. “You don’t want to follow the fad of the moment. A trend builds up over time and has staying power. If you track trends, you’ll notice that they evolve over time. The trends are what matters to the customers of tomorrow,” she explains.
According to Garcia, there are five drivers in a trend: politics, culture, environment, economy, and technology. She noted, in a seminar she gave at the Boutique Design New York (BDNY) show recently, that grays started coming in three years ago, just around the time the economy took a dive. Garcia also points to some “early influencers” of trends, such as art, fashion, media, and entertainment. “These areas react quickly to the drivers,” she comments. “Color can reflect the mood we’re in as a society.”
When it comes to forecasting for the hospitality market, one must realize that the design has to last 5, 7, or 10 years, Garcia states. For the BDNY show, she named eight trends that she predicts have staying power for 2012-2013. Several prominent design firms were then selected to interpret her storyboards to create vignettes as a “Trend Walk” on display at the show. “The Trend Walk is like a fashion show. The vignettes are to inspire and bring the trends to life in a usable way,” Garcia explains.
“Calcified evolved from the grey and neutral story from 2010/11, which my studio dubbed ‘Nuance,’” Garcia states. “Neutrals give us a feeling of calm and enables us to create an order out of chaos. Light, textured surfaces remain important. Tactile and textural surfaces inspire our engagement with touch. We are putting things under a microscope, revering nature, and we respect that things are ever-changing. It’s not just about cream tones, gray is the anchor.”
Think bony structures, exoskeletons, fossilized materials, honeycomb structures, dusty finishes, ultra-matte, gritty textures plus cracked, unfinished, porous surfaces.
Just as Hollywood is fascinated with the dark side of happy-ever-after tales lately – witness the popularity of the TV show Grimm plus the upcoming movies Snow White and the Huntsman starring Charlize Theron and Mirror Mirror with Julia Roberts – Garcia envisions Dark Fairytale as a theme. “Dark Fairytale is mysterious and sensual, theatrical, and staged. It is about what lurks in the shadows,” Garcia explains. “It has Twilight glamour. Black is influencing the color.” Other factors at play here are “a desire for action; we are finished with the status quo,” she comments. “These colors and mood stem from our distrust of the government and economy.” Think gothic influence, darks, off-black, forest imagery, lacquered finishes, dark feminine motifs, hooded chairs, button tufting.
“This is a nod to mod, an idealized version of what the 1950s and ’60s were like,” Garcia remarks. “It is a counter to technology. We want to be unplugged and reconnect with our values. In Mid-Century Ideal, you’ll see distressed leathers, couches with boxy lines, low backs, single cushions, and a de-saturated mid-tone palette.” Garcia also points to Camel as a new neutral emerging in this category.
“Rebellious and bright, Acid Hip is modern and bold and gives off good vibes with blinding brights,”Garcia comments. “Playing on color and light, these hipster hues have edge. They’re almost neon and in your face. Acid Hip is juicy color that is youthful and optimistic. It’s all about technology, the youth culture, and high-tech brights.” This trend has counter-culture appeal with an unlimited use of color, dynamic color blocking, and unexpected juxtaposition of matte and high-gloss finishes. “If Acid Hip were a fragrance, it would be citrusy and have a wake-you-up quality,” she muses.
Art Deco and the roaring 20s are at the helm of the inspiration for the trend Garcia calls Speakeasy. “Mixing greys and black with pops of brights bring this to life,” she states. “It recalls looking back to a time when everything seemed feasible through ‘modern technology’ like automobiles, moving pictures, and radio. The Jazz Age rules again! There is an emphasis on the details as a new form of luxury,” Garcia explains, adding that the upcoming cinematic remake of The Great Gatsby plus TV shows like Boardwalk Empire capture this feeling. “Metallic finishes will be big in this trend, along with clean lines, walnut woods, lacquered furniture, and glossy fabrics. This is where the new luxe category is going to be. “
Wild Corners of the World
Inspired by world travels, Wild Corners of The World is a collection of bright colors and textures of the jungle. “It’s an evolution of Nouveau Boho. It has primitive design elements, but is indigenous of many regions around the world. With a little tropical flair and an uplifting, saturated palette, you’d better get your passport ready,” she states, adding the look is rainforest-inspired in a way that is clean and green. “There are palm leaves and a layering of pattern on pattern,” Garcia notes. “It’s about being a global citizen instead of hailing from one country. This trend gives designers permission to mix and match tribal design in a global palette. It is comprised of delicious colors that look like fruit and flowers. Nature comes through on these pieces.”
An evolution of simple pleasures, Modern Rustic focuses on simplified and reclaimed elements. “It is an invitation to appreciate and re-use nature’s gifts while still living a contemporary lifestyle,” Garcia remarks. Consider it an unexpected juxtaposition of industrious metals and organic woods. Modern Rustic is about simplicity with impact, along with minimalistic and restrained compositions. “It’s about mixing chrome or steel with the beauty of natural materials. It’s so simple and yet so beautiful. It’s a modern aesthetic that lets nature do the talking,” she states.
Be charmed by an imaginative vision of slate shades mixed with greenery and blooms.” Playful, fanciful, and enchanting – this is not your standard garden party,” Garcia enthuses. Corsage florals are bold and over scaled, garden greens and feminine floral hues are paired with black or dark blueberry for edge and balance, while floral patterns mix with trellis, swirls, and leaves. “The look is very whimsical and lighthearted,” she continues. “Florals anchor the palette, but they are mixed in with leaves so it’s not too much floral. It’s a trend driven by spring and new beginnings, along with optimism and hope.”