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Hamptons Life

Dec 10, 2009 11:20 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

The future of design

Dec 10, 2009 11:20 AM

Having looked into the future of design, the branding and licensing expert Hermine Mariaux has determined that it’s all about two words: innovation and adventure.

Last Friday, Ms. Mariaux discussed “Global Trends for Tomorrow, Today” based on her experiences at the “Paris Maison et Objet 2009” design convention in September. More than two dozen local designers, builders, retailers and real estate agents came out to hear her speak at a luncheon sponsored by Plum Builders and Plum TV at the Maidstone in East Hampton.

According to Ms. Mariaux, who has lived on the East End for the last 40 years, there are a number of new design trends that will emerge between now and 2011, including shifts in the way people think about indoor and outdoor living spaces, textures, colors, and thematic design.

One trend sure to be popular on the East End will be the creation of outdoor rooms and living areas. Sophisticated outdoor living will become a major hit in the Hamptons when the weather turns warm, Ms. Mariaux predicted. Outdoor furnishings that are “very much like an interior”—from club chairs and sleeping pavilions to covered chairs and chaises—will be all the rage, she said.

Over the next few design seasons, white will be the color of choice for outdoor furniture, Ms. Mariaux said. She added that open weaves and slatted furniture that creates an ethereal look of transparency will reign in the near future.

Ms. Mariaux also forecasts that plants will play bigger roles in both indoor and outdoor settings. She noted that succulents and other sculptural greens will be the plants of choice for decorating and design in both interiors and exteriors.

Inside the house, a more rustic chalet style that Ms. Mariaux deemed “rough luxe” will be replacing and updating the country look that has been in style for the last few years.

“It’s a very affluent country style,” she said. “Like from the winter chalets and mountain lodges in St. Moritz, Gstaad and Cortina,” noting that de

signer Ralph Lauren is currently offering his take on rough luxe style in the form of antler mirror and Adirondack-style pieces.

The rustic style will feature a very wintry look, with lots of real and faux fur and animal skins, rough linens, horns, baroque-feeling pieces and heavy bouclé textures. “Lots of hide, distressed leather and furs,” she said.

Another take on the a more rustic feel, which Ms. Mariaux dubbed “Channeling Hemingway,” can be seen in the return of campaign furniture. “It’s roughing it luxury style,” she said. Items such as steamer trunks made of metal and leather and other adventure travel and safari pieces are already showing up at stores such as Hermès, according to Ms. Mariaux.

Both in Europe and America, sophisticated takes on simpler times will be major design trends, Ms. Mariaux reported, adding that designers at New Jersey-based paint company Benjamin Moore, a leader in design forecasting, have predicted “the farm” as the big color trend for 2010 and 2011.

Other hot colors for the future, according to Ms. Mariaux, are mustard tones; reds in the orange and brown families; deep, inky blues and blacks; and silver, particularly in silver-leaf, glitter and mercury glass.

The influence of silver, which Ms. Mariaux reported will be all about “high profile texture,” will also be evident in the use of more industrial and sculptural pieces, particularly indoors. “Metal plays a major role. Wire and metal will be very prominent in interiors,” she said. “It is showing up in decorative objects and accessories and is moving into furniture and lighting.”

Other less pronounced but still notable movements in design include the rediscovery of Russian folk-art and Asian motifs and the return of romance and whimsy. There are also a few distinctly fringe movements that might not be for everyone but are making a splash abroad and here in the United States, she said.

Two particular fringe trends, which Ms. Mariaux referred to as “Anatomy 101” and “Kinky Trade,” are going more mainstream. She noted that body obsession in design is showing up more and more in high fashion ready-to-wear shops and interiors retailers in Europe. Ms. Mariaux added that even American retailers are getting into the fringe business, noting that The New York Times recently ran an article on fetish leather and bondage gear.

The investigation of taboo subjects and objects has been steadily creeping into design and becoming more accepted by a larger percentage of the population, according to Ms. Mariaux. “It used to be the lingua franca of a different societal affiliation,” she said, “but now it’s more mainstream.”

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Thanks for the great article about the beau monde and design trends. My social affiliates are already into the distressed rustic look. The whimsy comes in as the caprices of the work environment, the bondage is from debt. The silver outdoors is that of tarps. Why not make the ubiquitous tarp in a rainbow of colors, shapes and patterns? The market is ready. There are a number of people living in outdoor rooms right now. Fortunately the farm is in style because it will become more and more of a necessity.

By Montaukette (46), Waterland on Dec 11, 09 8:32 PM