Time to go Bold – by Dave Nemeth

April 7, 2017

As I am about to launch the latest design trend report for 2018 / 1019 “Futuresplash”, I cannot give too much away but what I can say is that it is the age of individualism, being bold and not following rules. People no longer want to be categorized in boxes and along with this are people’s homes. Trends are no longer followed as they were in the past and whilst consumers will take inspiration from trends, the biggest trend is doing things differently.

When it comes to flooring it is no different and people are starting to understand that the floor itself does not have to be a neutral palette. For many years people have experimented with bold colours on their walls, furniture and even ceilings but have been far more conservative when it comes to flooring. I believe that those days are over and we can really expect to see a backlash to boring coloured flooring.

We have seen some very exciting developments take shape in the flooring game over recent years with developments happening in carpets, tiles, LVT’s and even engineered flooring. These have come in different shapes and different textures but are still generally on the so called “safe side” of the colour spectrum. When it comes to laminate flooring I believe we will start seeing the more adventurous manufacturers bringing out bolder, brighter colours as well as graphic prints. The LVT market in particular has stuck mostly to wood grain textures, with colours varying across the timber ranges and if they want to find new markets and remain relevant they will really start coming up with really innovative alternatives. To look further forward I think we could be looking at completely bespoke LVT solutions where suppliers will actually offer a “print on demand” option which will give the consumer complete flexibility and allow for total uniqueness. This would also make the product even more attractive to the retail and hospitality industry who are all being forced to push boundaries at the moment in order to create the ultimate consumer experience.

To a large degree the Carpet tile market is already there and we are already seeing many corporates opting for far brighter options in their office spaces. In recent years many companies tried very bright, almost DayGlo colours, which were probably a bit too early for good market acceptance and used primarily for children’s spaces and of course the odd agency. It seems the time is now right as people are far more experimental and eager to try things that differentiate them. There are carpet companies that allow for custom colour configuration and well as customised designed (Within certain boundaries due to manufacture restrictions). The carpet tile market is also experimenting with variations in shape and this combined varying colour and pattern allow for configurations and looks that have not been seen before.

The biggest trend in the tile market recently has been to mix and match tiles that are all in the same colour but have a variety of different patterns on them. The most popular ones have been blue and white, grey and white as well as black and white. Although this style has created a completely new dimension to the tile market, it is still lacking this concept in combinations of bright, bold colours. The Mexicans are famous for their hand painted bold ceramic tiles and although we are seeing a few establishments experimenting with these specially imported tiles, I am sure they will become mainstream within a short space of time as the tile market has been one of the fastest to adapt over the past few years.

With LVT’s and laminates replacing actual vinyl which was once popular and adorned almost every bathroom and kitchen under the popular name Novilon, we rarely see the application of vinyl in domestic interiors as it is used mostly for the medical industry as well as things like labs and other commercial applications. The interesting thing is however that the development of these products has been vast over recent years and this product already comes in a host of bright colours, metallic as well as printed variations. Although I cannot foresee this becoming popular again for the domestic market or even the corporate market for that, I do think this product offers a huge amount of versatility for the retail sector.

It is however without a doubt that the most experimentation will be seen in the carpet and LVT industries as these continue to grow in popularity as new prints and colours continue to evolve. Consumers will be at ease with having the ability to be completely different in these mediums and we will start seeing really stunning applications of bold and bright floors. The key will still be however, to create interiors that don’t easily date and it is very easy when using bold colour to create something that has a limited lifespan. It is therefore probably more realistic to envisage a combination of colours and pattern used over a large surface instead of a span of red or green. The colours will most probably be used as focal areas or statement areas, combined with the kinds of carpets and LVT’s that we are already accustomed to. Whichever way it plays out, the focus will most certainly be on the FLOORS.

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