Top design trends 2016

The new year marks a new beginning, and what better way to start than by genning up on new trends for 2016. From colours and materials to patterns and overall concepts, CID’s editorial team compiles a list of key design elements to keep an eye on as the year unfolds.

COLOURS: FOR HER & FOR HIM …And everythig in between

In 2015, we honoured (or hated) a dark grape-coloured shade known as Marsala, but for 2016, Pantone’s authority on colour takes on a softer approach. For the first time in its history, Pantone declared not one, but two colours — a soft pink called Rose Quartz (Pantone 13-1520) and a muted blue called Serenity (Pantone 15-3919).


In 1999, the company established the Colour of the Year programme that reflects social trends and captures them in a shade (or two). The prevalent combination of Rose Quartz and Serenity challenges traditional perceptions of the colour association since each flows seamlessly into the other, making it almost impossible to tell where one begins and the other ends. The chosen colours are more than just a pretty combination. In some ways, the two colours have a political edge, symbolising society’s changing perspectives on gender equality.

Hello Gio rug by cc-tapis

Hello Gio rug by cc-tapis

Pantone explained: “In many parts of the world we are experiencing a gender blur as it relates to fashion, which has in turn impacted colour trends throughout all other areas of design.”

It stated: “This more unilateral approach to colour is coinciding with societal movements toward gender equality and fluidity, the consumer’s increased comfort with using colour as a form of expression, a generation that has less concern about being typecast or judged and an open exchange of digital information that has opened our eyes to different approaches to colour usage.”

Kartell Jellies family by Urqola.

Kartell Jellies family by Urqola.

As colour specialist and Pantone executive director Leatrice Eisman explains: “Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.”

Pantone described Serenity as “weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us”, adding that when paired with Rose Quartz, it “brings calm and relaxation”.

Appealing in all finishes, matte, metallic and glossy, the engaging combo joins easily with other mid-tones including greens and purples, rich browns (as shown in this colourful geometric rug by cc-tapis), and all shades of yellow and pink.

MATERIALS: SHINY & COLD …Or breaking the taboo

Reflecting back to the Golden Era, we’re certain that last year’s trend of mixing metals will continue into this year. Once considered to be a taboo, mixing warm metals, such as copper, brass and rose gold, with cool ones like platinum and silver, is the perfect way to make a big statement.

Kartell has released the Precious collection, which features some of its bestsellers in sleek metallic finishes.

Kartell has released the Precious collection, which features some of its bestsellers in sleek metallic finishes.

We see more and more copper and aged-looking gold items being seamlessly incorporated into commercial and residential interiors, from big statement furniture pieces like the latest Wave table from Boca Do Lobo or Muubs bath tub, which was recently presented at Downtown Design in Dubai, to cutlery, pendant lights, lanterns, wall features and mirrors. Apart from glitzy and shiny materials, there are other metals to choose from, such as black iron or brushed steel, which we now regularly see in many industrial interiors.

CONCEPT: ROUGH & RAW …Because it feel so real

Raw and natural materials as well as products that emulate the feel, finish and touch of wood, metal or marble are still in strong demand.

“From the padding in sofas to the wood sourced for counter worktops, sustainability is at the heart of everything this year. Recycling, repurposing, reinventing and reusing are all things that consumers are beginning to consider when they make purchases today,” said Hamdi Ben Yaghlane, designer at DND furniture studio.


To create an illusion of rough surfaces and materials that suggest an industrial past, manufacturers of carpets, rugs and wooden flooring continue to combine an aged, worn and distressed look and texture like in the recently presented Near and Far collection by Interface.

Industrial and reusable objects in combination with contemporary prints and natural raw materials, such as wood, stone or concrete, give so much character to a space and these design elements will remain some of the key features for rustic interior concepts.

Near and Far collection  by Interface.

Near and Far collection by Interface.

Milou Ket, renowned trend forecaster, said: “A natural look is important. Because of the textures, it never looks sterile or cold. All surfaces show texture, such as a concrete look on the walls or marbling effects, which show irregularity and unevenness. A lot of products imitate these natural effects, textures and irregularity. Materials such as concrete, clay, copper, glass and steel oppose warmer materials such as wood, paper and cork.”

PATTERNS: TRADITION & TETRAGONS …Fluid geometry is making its mark

When it comes to commercial interiors and applying textured patterns and detailing, geometry seems to be the new black. The traditional geometric patterns found in Arabian architecture is a consistent theme throughout hotels and resorts in the Middle East, followed by Aztec-inspired patterns and abstract shapes. From carpets and floors to wallpapers and decorative screens, we see traditional patterns frequently being deconstructed and morphed, adding a contemporary twist.


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