A growing desire to live fully in the moment is driving a pervasive design trend that has been brilliantly named “The Story of Now” by one of the world’s leading trend forecasters,WGSN-HomeBuildLife. WGSN recently presented the top trends shaping home product design and décor at the High Point Market, the world’s furniture capital.The Story of Now, WGSN said, is a pervasive market catalyst prompted by a growing need to simplify our lives, to make real time forthe things that really matter.
A fresh take on carpe diem? Perhaps. But more than just living the day, we want to live in the moment. And this moment’s all about home. We want to celebrate our life as it happens in a place and time.
This focus on our ‘now‘ is driving a love affair with simplicity that goes well beyond the urge to clean up clutter,organize our drawers or buy a Swiffer. Our desire to pare back is causing a wholesale change in taste and style preferences, causing many to wonder if the modernists, with their less-is-more credo, were on to something.
In fact, such a growing want of less in pursuit of more is pervading new ideas about home… from less complexity (…the inherent character of a material may be ornament enough) to less strain on the environment (…materials in their natural form are the most natural) to less busyness(… viewing just one or two key design ideas on a piece of furniture can visually ‘calm things down’).
As far as color goes, it would be predictable to expect ‘earth tones’to be right in step with this trend to simplicity. But that’s only part of The Story of Now.Bark and bread tones have a role, but so do washed-out or grayed-down versions of almost any hue (‘complex neutrals’)… along with pure white.
Pure white, especially in bedding, is hard to beat when it comes to calming the senses and simplifying your surroundings. Both of these examples of white bedrooms that combine pure white and soft neutral colors project serenity and an embrace of the here and now:
Color is also becoming a key tool to create depth or exaggerate shape, with light-and-dark ‘value’ contrasts, color blocking, or simple stripes offering a graphic, ‘less busy’ alternative to carving. The simple contrast of the antique mirrored front against the merlot wood finish in a symmetrical design on the 6-drawer mirrored chest in Hooker Furniture’s Mélange Collection illustrates a “here and now” approach to design.
With this less strident approach to color, high-touch textures(concrete, stone, mohair, linen, leather) and the drier finishes that exaggerate them,are becoming fast favorites.
This urn console from Hooker Furniture’s new Rhapsody Collection featuring simple lines and a dry, stone-colored finish is a good example of the color and tactile theme for the Story of Now. Not only the design, but also the function of this piece fits with décor that lives in the moment. In today’s open living spaces, this piece provides a perfect room divider that can be used as a serving piece for parties, dinners or other special occasions.
Although key ideas of modernism may be driving the attraction to less, The Story of Now welcomes historical ideas in pursuit of new ideas about simplicity. Witness the urn shaped bases on the Rhapsody console, straight out of ancient Greek culture. Beauty and utility are considered inseparable, inspiring designers to mine past and present for ideas that blend the best of old and new ideas.
The Story of Now, in fact, is as much about yesterday as today.“We’re just like academic archaeologists,” writer Adam Curtis concurs, “using all sorts of fragments from the past to examine the present.”